The reform of the Housing Ownership Act (WEGesetz) agreed in the 2017 coalition agreement is gaining momentum. According to this newspaper, the draft law will be presented to the Federal Cabinet on March 25, 2020. Because of the strong position of the administrator inscribed in the draft, there was a lot of criticism of the proposed law in advance (the Tagesspiegel reported). The main criticism is that property managers receive unlimited powers of attorney and can place orders with third parties without the approval of the paying owners: they should be allowed to make decisions independently, i.e. without the owners’ decision.
The owner protection association Haus & Grund finds this both on the one hand and on the other hand: “Apartment ownership communities (WEG), which have so far been difficult to take decisions and thus, for example, in maintenance backlog, are affected by them Change likely to win. However, by law a large part of their competence has been taken away from previously very active WEGs, ”writes the legal department of the lobbyists’ association.
The association “Living in property” is displeased with the new administrator structure that the WEG will assume responsibility and liability for the administration of the shared ownership if damage was caused by improper management or due to breach of duty by the administrator.
To others Key points of the WEG reform include the promotion of electromobility and the elimination of weak points in the decades-old and therefore largely outdated law that came into force in March 1951.
Small majorities can decide for everyone
In future, every owner should in principle have a right to install a charging station and bear the costs yourself. Such regulations should also exist for accessibility and burglary protection. “This will enormously reduce the hurdles for decision-making,” says Julia Wagner, Legal Advisor in the House & Grund Germany Owners Association, regarding the draft.
The quorum of apartment owners’ meetings should be made easier. If this was mentioned in the invitation to the apartment owners’ meeting, the meetings should in future be quorate regardless of the number of owners or representatives present. This is to avoid unnecessary effort by convening owner meetings again. So far, half of the co-ownership shares had to be represented in the meetings.
However, the new regulation on the quorum of resolutions can mean that only a small majority of owners can bring about and take a decision that can have a major impact on all owners, both in terms of content and costs.
Norbert Deul, initiator of the protection association “Hausgeld -vergleich e. V. ”expressed indignation at the present designs. It is a massive attack on the rights of apartment owners by the SPD-led Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. Norbert Deul – and probably not just him – is irritated that, in the future, the majority of the costs of ancillary living costs should be distributed regardless of the size of the apartment. Previous individual owner rights would not have been included in the law, such as B. Inspection of powers of attorney, the right to a list of owners with postal addresses, the obligation to admit resolutions to the meeting, the right to enforce legally binding resolutions, the right to information about one’s own property.
Dismissal of administrators becomes more difficult in individual cases
Because “only a small part of the annual accounts of the administrator can be judicially checked for correctness” are “illegal” Withdrawals opened the door, ”feared the consumer advocate. Access to the minutes and other important administrative documents should be possible in the administrator’s office, although access to all administrative files could also be made possible digitally in an environmentally friendly manner.
Discusses the draft law the internet portal immoverkauf24 indicates that the legal protection of the owners should be improved. So far, majority decisions can be contested by inferior owners, however, decisions currently remain effective until the court declares them invalid. The administrator must also implement a decision if it is challenged. If the challenge proves to be justified, the condition must be restored at the owner’s expense, as before the measures were implemented. In order to avoid this situation, the court should be able to suspend future contested decisions in the course of an interim order in the event of actions for annulment.
On the other hand, majority owners can be restricted in their rights if – as planned – it is not possible to dismiss the administrator within a minimum period without good cause.
The one The German Lawyers’ Association asked for its opinion on the planned reform: “In a wide range of areas, homeowners will find property that differs significantly from what they had previously. The individual is severely weakened, overruled with ease, and therefore has to be much more careful. It can hardly be assumed whether a relevant legal change will be understood or even approved by the homeowners as the most affected. Because the associated individual loss of rights and the significantly increased financial risk will hardly be explainable. ”
Reform does not provide evidence of expertise for administrators
Haus & Grund takes a critical view of the limited practicability of the reform: “The unsatisfactory situation remains that the tenant can make claims under the tenancy law that the landlord in the WEG cannot enforce or the rental owner cannot force the tenant to take any measures required by the WEG ”, says Julia Wagner from the legal department of Haus & Grund. It is incomprehensible why the citizens and the courts are faced with the costs of protracted disputes, although clear legal regulations could simply be created as part of the reform.
“The draft from The Federal Ministry of Justice provides for the many homeowners in Germany to clearly improve their rights and influence, ”says the real estate association IVD. “This gives administrators greater responsibility. That is why a legal certificate of expertise is required, ”said IVD Vice President Markus Jugan.
The German Judges Association criticized in its statement: Some of the proposed changes would make it considerably more difficult for individual apartment owners in the future to provide effective judicial protection receive. Structurally, the draft bill would massively strengthen the administrator, in particular by introducing a comprehensive authorization to represent the company externally while at the same time reducing the comprehensive catalog of duties internally. The judge therefore demands: “A comprehensive extension of the administrator’s power of representation should at least be countered by an effective control option by the apartment owner .”