The reform of the Housing Ownership Act (WEGesetz) agreed in the coalition agreement 2017 is gaining momentum. According to this newspaper, the bill is due to be published on 25. March 2020 to be presented to the Federal Cabinet. 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 real estate administrators are given unlimited power of attorney and orders can be given to third parties without the approval of the paying owners: they should be allowed to make their own decisions, i.e. without the owners' decision.
The owner protection community Haus & Grund finds this both on the one hand and on the other hand: “Residential property communities (WEG), which have so far been difficult to take decisions and thus get into maintenance backlogs, for example, are likely to gain from this change. 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 “Housing in property” association is displeased with the new administrator structure that the WEG should assume responsibility and liability for the management of the common property in the future if damage is caused by improper administration or due to Breaches of duty by the administrators.
Other key points of the WEG reform include the promotion of electromobility and the elimination of weaknesses in the decades-old and therefore largely outdated law, which was passed in March 1951 came into force.
Small majorities can decide for everyone
In future, every owner should in principle have a right to installation have a charging station and bear the costs themselves. 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 homeowners' 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 an owner list 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 administrator's annual accounts can be judicially checked for correctness”, “unauthorized withdrawals are open”, the consumer advocate fears . 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.
In the discussion of the draft law, the Internet portal points out Immoverkauf 24 indicates that the legal protection of the owners should be improved. So far, majority decisions can be contested by inferior owners, but 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 – dismissal of the administrator within a minimum period should not be possible without important reason.
The one asked for an opinion Deutsche Anwaltsverein comments on the planned reform: “The homeowners will find home ownership in a wide range that is significantly different 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 sees critically & Reason the limited practicality of the reform: “It remains with the unsatisfactory situation that the tenant can make claims within the framework of tenancy law that the landlord cannot enforce in the WEG or that the landlord can take measures against the tenant Can’t force tenants, ”said Julia Wagner from Haus & Grund’s legal department. It is incomprehensible why the citizens and the courts are faced with the costs of protracted disputes, although a clear legal regulation could simply be created as part of the reform.
“The draft from the Federal Ministry of Justice sees for the many apartment owners in Germany there is a clear improvement in their rights and opportunities for influence, ”says the real estate association IVD. “This gives administrators greater responsibility. Therefore, 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 to obtain effective legal protection in the future. 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 to represent should at least be countered by an effective means of control by the apartment owner.”