After Building Energy Act (GEG), owners of older existing properties have to renovate their house if the insulation and heating system are no longer up to date. If the owner dies, the obligation to renovate passes to the heirs. And there the obligation to reorganize develops into an explosive substance among the heirs.
Many people want to inherit a house. However, the fact that this also entails expensive renovation obligations, especially in the case of older properties, is often overlooked. Everyone knows them: vacant properties in the best locations that are extremely neglected. The reason for this is usually communities of heirs whose members cannot agree on a joint restructuring. “No heir in a disunited community of heirs will voluntarily invest more good money of his own in something that does not belong to him 100 percent and which he will often not get to for years,” says Manfred Gabler, Managing Director of the Weilheim company ErbTeilung, the reason.
Pay old bills
Even in normal times, communities of heirs are very prone to disputes, because the most diverse characters can be found here as co-heirs. The legal forced community serves quite a few to pick old chickens from past family feuds. While the legislature communities of heirs equipped only as a temporary measure, the reality is different. It often takes years for the heirs to divide the inheritance.
Energetic building renovation drives heirs into a corner
The obligation to renovate according to the Building Energy Act (GEG) can also fall within this period of time. The legislature is really driving the co-heirs into a corner. Older houses are particularly affected. For example, if the heating system was installed there in 1991 or later, it must be replaced after 30 years of operation. In addition, there are insulation requirements for external facades, the top floor and exposed pipes in unheated rooms. This renovation obligation also applies if a new owner buys a house with an old heating system or if the house is passed on to a community of heirs as a result of inheritance. This also applies if the previous owner himself was exempt from a renovation obligation because he had lived in the property since 2002. The new owner cannot refer to this privilege.
Nobody wants to invest in something foreign
“Depending on the type of house, the community of heirs can quickly face renovation costs of between 50,000 and 150,000 euros according to the Building Energy Act. Then the Zoff really starts. The new obligation to renovate according to the Building Renovation Act drives the members of a community of heirs further into a corner. Because the obligation to renovate or not: an economically intelligent person will never invest money in a property that he only owns 33 percent of,” reports Manfred Gabler.
There are high fines
Simply sitting out the issue of restructuring is dangerous for communities of heirs. Because according to the Building Energy Act, a fine of 50,000 euros is due if the community of heirs does not comply with their statutory renovation obligation within two years of the inheritance. “Those heirs who want to sell the property at the highest possible price are most likely to agree to a renovation. On the other hand, the heir, who lives in the family home for a low rent, will resist a quick renovation,” Gabler observed. Because as long as the property is not renovated, it is more difficult to sell. For the troublemakers in the communities of heirs, this means that they can stay rent-free or at low rent for longer.
Uncertainty grows with political disunity
“As is well known, the Building Renovation Act is being revised by Economics Minister Robert Habeck. At the moment, no one knows what further renovation obligations will come to property owners after a tough legislative process,” says Gabler. In communities of heirs, this uncertainty is another reason for many heirs to sell the property as quickly as possible or to part with their share of the inheritance if co-heirs block the division.
Source: ErbTeilung GmbH
Amei Schüttler is an editor at Mittelstand-Nachrichten and writes about innovative products and the doers in German-speaking medium-sized companies. For questions and suggestions, please use the following contact details: