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How to play it safe when buying an apartment
How to play it safe when buying an apartment

Video: How to play it safe when buying an apartment

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Before buying your apartment, read the fine print: the declaration of division and the community order. Both are part of the notarial sales contract and are binding for owners.

1 What belongs to whom?

The declaration of division specifies the special and shared ownership of a residential complex. "In principle, the owner only owns the airspace, wallpaper and plaster, flooring, interior doors and non-load-bearing interior walls in his apartment, " says Sabine Feuersänger from the consumer protection association Wohnen imbesitz (WiE). The door to the apartment, load-bearing ceilings and walls as well as windows are jointly owned. Anyone wanting to change something needs the approval of the community of owners.

2 Can I run a business?

The rights and obligations of the owners are laid down in the community order. For example, it regulates the distribution of costs and specifies the use of the apartment. “The community order can also restrict or prohibit freelance work, keeping animals or playing music in the apartment,” explains the WiE expert.

3 How much is the house allowance?

The costs for the common property are apportioned to all owners and are to be paid monthly as “house allowance”. These include operating, heating and hot water costs, expenses for the administrator and maintenance reserves. Don't underestimate the house money! In 2012, an average of 2.70 euros was incurred per square meter of living space. That is almost 230 euros for 85 square meters. Today the costs can be significantly higher.

4 Who decides on the color of the awnings?

Anyone who buys an apartment becomes a member of a community of owners. According to the Housing Ownership Act (WEG), all co-owners have the same voting rights in their meeting. "Although the individual is largely free to own his own property, he may have to get the consent of the community for some changes, for example when installing awnings or selling the apartment, " explains Eva Reinhold-Postina from the Association of Private Builders.

5 What do you have to take care of?

Owners' associations usually appoint a property manager who, among other things, takes over the annual settlement of the community. “But that doesn't mean that the owners don't have to work,” explains Sabine Feuersänger from WiE. "On the contrary: you have to negotiate the contract with the administration, control income and expenditure, check the annual accounts, take decisions on the maintenance of the residential complex and keep an eye on the implementation of the orders."

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