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Reform of the homeowners law should ensure less disputes among owners

A revision of the Homeowners Act gives individuals more rights for the benefit of environmental protection and aims to achieve easier agreements.

A simple majority should suffice in the future – but it will be more expensive

On September 17, 2020, the Bundestag passed the reform of the Apartment Owners Act, WEG for short, which is to come into force on December 1, 2020. So far, the only thing missing is the approval of the Federal Council, which could approve the entry into force on October 9, 2020. The reform of the WEG, which has remained unchanged since 1951, should in particular lead to fewer disputes at the owners’ meeting, give individual owners more rights and thereby contribute to environmental protection.

Heated discussions or even a dispute can arise, especially at the owners’ meeting. It is not uncommon for the apartment owners of a house to disagree. Johannes Fechner, consumer law expert of the SPD, told Spiegel: “With the law there will now be more climate protection and less squabble among homeowners”. The first regulation therefore says that in the future a single majority will be sufficient to make structural changes or modernizations. In the case of a simple majority, however, only those who voted for it have to pay the measures. So far it has been the case that a single apartment owner has been able to stop these modernizations and conversions. However, modernizations are in the interests of climate protection and are thus promoted with the new law, reports Spiegel.

If there is a two-thirds majority, everyone is obliged to pay

All owners of the residential building are only obliged to pay for the measures if a two-thirds majority is achieved in the vote. However, in order to protect financially weaker parties, the estimated costs must be proportionate.

In favor of environmental protection, owners can now change this on their own

Furthermore, individual property parties also receive more rights. Apartment owners can now decide for themselves where the owner company previously had to agree. This concerns the installation of a charging station for electric vehicles, solar panels, a conversion for more accessibility, measures for more protection against burglary and the laying of fiber optic cables.

Administrator rights are restricted

The rights of the administrators are somewhat restricted and in return the owner receives more legal action options, easier termination options and claims for damages. In addition, an administrator must provide a certificate of competence from December. In addition, the manager should no longer be able to decide measures on his own, so he will need a decision from the apartment owner more often in the future, said Gabriele Heinrich from the owner interest group “Living in property” in an interview with Deutschlandfunk.

Image sources: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH / Shutterstock.com

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