Upcoming changes to German condominium laws
E-mobility, procedural simplification, digitalization and modernization
The Condominium Act, which dates back to the 1950s, is to be modernised - the areas of regulation range from charging infrastructure and other construction measures to online meetings and the strengthening of owners' rights.
On January 14, 2020, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection published the draft bill for a law on the promotion of electromobility and the modernization of the residential property law and forwarded it to the Federal States and interest groups for comments. This represents a further major step in the planned reform of the German Condominium Act.
The draft bill aims at a fundamental reform of the German Condominium Act, which has remained largely unchanged since 1951. The amendments are intended to adapt the Act to social, demographic and technical developments of recent years.
The Ministry is taking the legislative process as an opportunity to introduce new regulations in a wide range of different areas - from the creation of a legal right to install charging infrastructure, and possibilities for an online participation in condominium owners' meetings, to strengthening the rights of condominium owners and the Administrative Advisory Board.
In detail, the proposed amendment to the German Condominium Act provides for the following main features:
- Integration of the entitlement (for condominium owners and lessee) to at one's own expense install charging facilities for electric vehicles, proceed with extensions and conversions to ensure accessibility and measures to protect against burglary;
- Simplification of the decision-making process regarding structural changes, in particular insofar as these lead to cost savings or contribute to bringing the residential complex into a state-of-the-art condition;
- Extension of the rights of the condominium owners, through improved access to administrative documents, annual property report of the manager, easier recall / replacement of the manager;
- Strengthening the rights of condominium owners by upgrading the condominium owners' assembly and strengthening the Administrative Advisory Board;
- Reduction of the potential for disputes within the community through clearer legal wording;
- More efficient dispute resolution by changing the court procedural rules;
- Harmonization of tenancy and condominium law by changing the obligations of tenants to tolerate certain measures resolved by the condominium owners' meeting.
The Ministry Draft follows the discussion drafts for a "Law for Sustainable Living in Residential Property" and a "Law for the Promotion of Accessibility and Electromobility in Tenancy and Condominium Law", which had been presented earlier in the course of the legislative process.
The Ministry Draft closely follows the results of the Bund-Länder working group on the German Condominium Act reform and the discussion drafts, which presented its final report at the end of August 2019.
The initiation of the legislative procedure follows the stipulations of the coalition agreement 2018 and the Masterplan charging infrastructure.
The interest groups now have until mid-February to comment on the draft legislation.
It is still too early for a detailed presentation and evaluation of the regulations - we will keep you informed about further developments and details.