The Austrian “Residential Property Act”: Major Changes
By Raffaela Lödl-Klein, KAPP & PARTNER Rechtsanwälte GmbH
In Austria, a “Residential Property Act” (Wohnungseigentumsgesetz) provides for a special form of ownership: it is the connection with the (proportional) ownership of the real estate, combined with the right to exclusively use a flat (apartment). The Residential Property Act regulates the rights and obligations of the flat owners. An amendment to the law with three major changes is planned. To achieve these targets, three central points in particular are to be addressed:
- the individual flat owner’s right of amendment according to § 16 WEG 2002,
- the regulations on the formation of wills in flat ownership, and
- a (minimum) allocation to the reserve fund.
1. The owner community’s decision-making is being facilitated
In future, the decision-making process of the community of owners is to be facilitated when passing resolutions. The new regulation is intended to facilitate the implementation of structural changes to the common property or to enable structural changes to the flat property.
2. The individual flat owner’s right to changes will be extended
In order to make changes to the residential property, the consent of the other flat owners is in most cases required, according to the provisions of the WEG. To simplify reconstruction measures and changes, the amendment 2021 is to implement a fictitious consent similar to the provision of section 9 (1) WEG in the Residential Property Act. Accordingly, in the future, consent to a modification measure notified by the flat owner shall be deemed granted if no objection is raised within a certain period.
3. Establishment of a mandatory minimum reserve for residential property complexes
In order to facilitate the implementation of renovation work in flat property complexes, a compulsory reserve is to be introduced for such flat property complexes. The aim of the compulsory reserve is to increase the likelihood that owners of flats will agree to urgentlyneeded refurbishment work because the money for this work is already available in the form of reserves.
Raffaela Lödl-KleinGGI member firm
GGI member firm KAPP & PARTNER Rechtsanwälte GmbH
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KAPP & PARTNER Rechtsanwälte GmbH has four partners and five associates and an outstanding reputation for bankruptcy and real estate law in Austria. The firm mainly focuses on bankruptcy law, reorganisation law, company restructuring, commercial law, banking law, real estate law, and international law. For further information, visit the homepage at www.kapp.at.
Raffaela Lödl-Klein is Managing Partner of KAPP & PARTNER Rechtsanwälte GmbH, and specialises in real estate and corporate and insolvency law. She joined the firm in 2013.
Published: Real Estate Newsletter, No. 13, Summer 2021 l Photo: Dieter Hawlan - stock.adobe.com