Any flat you can buy is obviously a part of a larger building that contains not only other residential units, but also a number of things that are used by all residents. Stairs, load-bearing walls, the roof and gardens are usually parts of the so called commonhold. As such, they are co-owned by everyone who owns a unit in the building. That means that all those owners share the responsibility for repairs and maintenance as well as any costs that may arise from these.
Annual owner’s meeting
All decisions concerning the commonhold have to be approved by an annual owners’ meetings, in which every owner has one or more votes, according to the size and number of their units. This practice is prescribed by law to ensure equal participation for homeowners when it comes to financial decisions. While relatively new in other parts of the world, commonhold in Germany is a tried and trusted system with a long standing tradition.
If you own a flat in Berlin, but do not live here, you may want to appoint an apartment manager to attend meetings for you, take part in discussions according to your interests, and represent you in any votes taken. That way, there are no unpleasant surprises concerning your flat or your budget, and you do not have to travel to Berlin only to attend an owners’ meeting. As your manager, we can also take care of all the correspondence with the owners’ association, property managers and contractors, which will of course be in German.
If you own a flat and are thinking about appointing a manager, contact us! We are happy to answer all of your questions.