The reformed Flat Owners’ Act (Wohnungseigentümergesetz, WEG) has been in force since 01.12.2020 and brings with it numerous innovations for administrators and flat owners. In essence, the reform is intended to eliminate bureaucratic problems due to decision quorums or regulations that are distant from practice. This is to be achieved through more rights of the condominium owners’ association and the administrator as well as a greater possibility of structuring the internal relationship of the condominium owners’ association. The most important innovations are summarised below:

1. modernisation measures can be decided more easily

In order to counteract the modernisation backlogs that are quite common in practice, the owners’ meeting may in future decide on all structural changes to the common property with a simple majority. In order that individual condominium owners are not excessively burdened with additional costs, only those owners who have also agreed to the measure must contribute to the costs of the decided measure. This principle is not applied after §21 Abs. 2 Satz 1 WEG Only two cases of deviation: Either the measure must be amortised within a reasonable period of time or it must have been decided by a 2/3 majority of the condominium owners and be realisable through a not disproportionately high cost.
In addition, every flat owner will be able to demand modernisation measures in future, provided they contribute to accessibility, e-mobility or burglary protection, or access to faster internet is achieved through them. In this case, however, he must bear the costs himself. Other flat owners who also want to benefit from this measure can be obliged to make a compensation payment.

2. more powers for the administrator

The administrator represents the WEG in external relations without limitation. Consequently, all contracts that he makes for the condominium owners’ association are also binding on it. Only in the internal relationship can the flat owners limit his power of representation.
The new WEG law also no longer provides for an explicit catalogue of duties for the administrator. Instead, he is now liable under §27 para. 1 No. 1 WEG is obliged to take all measures of minor importance. All previous duties of the administrator naturally continue to fall under this; in individual cases, especially in the case of larger administrative units, §27 para. 1 No. 1 WEG now defines the duties and powers of the administrator.
At the same time as the extended powers, however, the new WEG also introduces the certificate of competence for administrators in the WEG that has been desired for years. After a transitional period, as of December 2022 only the appointment of a certified administrator fulfils the standard example of proper administration of §19 para. 2 No. 6 WEG. Certification can be obtained in accordance with §26a WEG either through appropriate professional qualification or through examination at the IHK.

 

3. dismissal of the administrator

In its previous form, the WEG required an important reason for the dismissal of an administrator. This regulation is now no longer applicable, so that an administrator can now be dismissed without giving reasons. In this case, the administrator’s contract ends at the latest 6 months after the dismissal. In addition, the administrator can no longer challenge the dismissal in court.

4. quorum of owners’ meetings

Under the new WEG, owners’ meetings will in future always have a quorum; §25 WEG no longer provides for a quorum. However, owners’ meetings must be held in accordance with §24 para. 4 sentence 2 WEG, the meeting must be convened in future with a notice period of 3 weeks instead of 2 weeks.
Likewise, a simple majority will suffice for all resolutions in future. Here, each condominium owner continues to have one vote, regardless of how many condominium units are owned. However, it is possible to deviate from this regulation, so that previous deviating regulations thus remain effective. According to a new provision of §23 para. 1 sentence WEG, condominium owners will in future also be able to participate in owners’ meetings in electronic form.

5. financial management of the condominium owners’ association

The costs shall be allocated in accordance with §16 para. 2 sentence 1 WEG according to co-ownership shares. In deviation from this, however, a different distribution key can now be agreed. However, this cannot be agreed as a lump sum, but only with regard to individual costs and cost types, such as for maintenance measures.

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