Owner Information Platform

Frequently asked questions

1. After-Sales

To summarise, these are the individual stages:

  1. The invoice of the last purchase price rate to the customer, the principle of first payment then handover applies.
  2. The actual possession of the property (handover of keys, meter readings, corresponding companies are informed, notification of changes to post office as well as banks, insurance companies, tax office, building management, etc.) means that the property can be used as if you were the owner, i.e. property holder. Thus all expenses (=Lasten) and the safety obligation are passed on, e.g. obligation to pay property tax, consumption costs such as electricity, insurances and the risks of destruction or damage is borne by the owner. It is not equal to the home ownership, i.e. seller is property owner, purchaser is property holder.
  3. The transcription of land register takes place within the next months up to half a year. The buyer is then the property owner and holder.

The building inspection can be done by yourself or we can introduce you to an expert. We would be glad to accompany you or carry out the building inspection for you if you commission us.

If all the conditions from the purchase contract are met, the salesperson will contact you for the key handover. If you can not be on-site, we will be glad to assist you.

That depends on your investment goal, our team is available to you for advice.

The building management takes care of the common property: (right of housing ownership of the property as well as parts, installations and facilities of the building). For example, cleaning of the communal areas, garbage collection, settlement of housing, etc.

Eichenglobal takes care of your individual property management (sole ownership of a particular apartment). Our exact services can be found here.

Common property is jointly owned by all condominium owners, made up of the plot and all building elements that are necessary to ensure the intact state and safety of the house.

The special right of use allows certain parts of the joint ownership to be used alone. The other property owners are excluded from (co-)use, e.g. garden, garage, underground parking.

No, you are not allowed to make any changes without the consent of the building management or the homeowner association. With the purchase contract you have acquired only a special right of use, which means façade, balcony / terrace, green areas, outdoor area belong to the community of all owners. The costs for care and maintenance are therefore to be borne jointly by all owners.

For this purpose, an application has to be filed with the building management and the approval of the other owners must be obtained at the next meeting of owners.

2. Service

We inform your tax office, building management as well as electricity supplier and arrange your correspondence directly to our office in Berlin. The letter is scanned, summarized with the important points and forwarded to you digitally by mail.

Of course not, this service is included in the basic package. We open the letters and summarize the most important points and send you the translation by mail. The translation fee is only due when very important documents must be translated word by word.

At least once a year, the building management invites to the meeting of owners. All topics on community ownership are discussed and decisions will be made. In particular, the condominium fees are regularly discussed and agreed upon. Further topics can be addressed, at the request of individual owners at the building management, in order to make decisions. We would be pleased to represent your interests at the meeting of owners if you commission us.

In case of repair, we will give a quotation from the respective craftsman and forward you the expected costs for confirmation. After confirmation, we will order the repair and forward you the invoice for payment.

The exact costs of the individual services can be found in your contracts. It is not always possible to give an accurate cost estimate, e.g. the meeting of owners usually takes place between 3-7 hours depending on how many points there are to discuss.

Based on our experience, we can already give a general assessment of the time needed. The final inspection is usually 2 hours, handovers between 30-60 minutes, … Please keep in mind, that our agent has to go to the property, inspect the premises (everything is examined carefully), fill out documents and return to the office again. In addition, a follow-up takes place in which we inform you about the result.

Amongst others, a report contains information on your rental income, expenses and value development.

We currently offer our services exclusively for properties in Berlin. In order to ensure the quality and the high level of our work, a presence on-site is indispensable.

The contract is limited to one year, but it will automatically renew if none of the parties make use of the right of termination.

3. Regarding contracts

We already have ready formulated contracts. The lease is bilingual, in order to meet the requirements of German tenants and landlords.

The rent increase is regulated by law and depends on various factors agreed in the lease contract. We would be glad to advise you of what is possible and what to look out for, in order not to exceed the laws.

In such a case, we adhere strictly to legal procedures, that is, we start with a payment request, then follow orders for payment. If this is not sufficient, you still have the statutory lien which can be implemented by a bailiff in order to implement the creditor’s claims to the debtor. As soon as legal action is required, we will inform you accordingly. Attorney fees are also due.

4. Finance

If you have used a credit when investing in your property, we recommend opening a German bank account. Even for future transactions without transfer fees, a bank account in the country of your real estate investment is advisable. Your Eichenglobal contact person will gladly open a bank account with you on your next visit to Berlin. Please bring your passport and tax or other identification documents with you and documents with your current residential address on it.

We would be glad to introduce you to our partners, who will help you with tax matters. Feel free to contact us. Please note that the additional costs will be paid by Eichenglobal for the consultation with partners.

The property tax is a tax on the ownership of the property. The amount of property tax is determined individually by local authorities. Every owner has to pay the property tax himself. Within the scope of our services and with the budget available through rental income, we undertake this task on behalf of the owner.

If a budget is available through rental income, we will pay all the house invoices with the help of the budget in the name of the owner. Otherwise, these invoices must be borne by the owner in advance.

5. All about the Renting Process

On the basis of certain standards we recommend to provide a kitchen in the apartment. If you need help, please contact your Eichenglobal consultant for designs.

Further furniture can make the apartment more appealing, but additional investments will occur.

Yes, our premium services include organisation and supervision of furniture, decoration, household appliances and kitchens.

Yes, if you want to rent your apartment furnished, otherwise not.

The supplies regarding the apartment, thus the individual property belong to the property owner. With the benefit-to-load change, each owner is compulsorily obliged to change his / her current, ie. to conclude the power supply contract with a supplier.

We advertise the apartments on our own website. In addition, we are displaying ads on the largest German real estate portals.

As soon as we have access to your property, we will collect materials for the creation of an exposé and acquire prospective tenants through advertisements on various internet platforms. Depending on the property, viewings are organised with prospective tenants and documents for the assessment of the creditworthiness of the potential tenant are examined. Only serious and pre-selected tenants with continuing interest in renting will be presented to you. You will inform us within 2 days whether the tenant as well as the rental conditions correspond to your wishes.

You get a description of the most important data: amount of income, job, whether the tenant is smoking or has pets. Based on these information you will make your decision as to which candidates end up being your tenant.

The lease is concluded between Eichenglobal and the prospective tenant. Eichenglobal is your local representative and acts as a direct contact person for both parties.

We conclude the leases in principle indefinite, with a minimum contract term of 1 year for unfurnished and 3 months for furnished apartments.

Since this is subject to market-related fluctuations, your personal Eichenglobal consultant is at your disposal.

In principle, the agreed rent is payable no later than the third working day of each month.

We open a trust account in the name of the owner and check the regular payment receipts.

We will transfer surpluses after allocation of different costs to your bank account.

With the rental income, various costs are incurred by you in connection with the property, such as condominium fee, property tax, management fee, etc. For this purpose, you will receive an account statement illustrating inflows and outflows at half-yearly intervals.

If the tenant from the tenancy does not fulfill his obligations, the deposit will be charged upon termination of the tenancy. In the case of unfurnished rental, this is three times the net rent, and the furnished rental is the double of the warm rent.

On the basis of statutory provisions, special obligations for deposit are required. In order to preserve them, they are not handed over to the owner.

The deposit is used for the security of the lessor for future claims of the tenant or tenancy, e.g. compensation for damages to the apartment, unpaid incidental costs, and will be placed on a separate bank account – trustee account.

The deposit belongs to the tenant and serves the landlord only in cases where the tenant does not fulfill his obligations from the tenancy. Condominium fee and other charges are obligations of the landlord and not of the tenant and therefore not to account with the deposit.

The condominium fee are costs incurred by the owner. Please see point 6 for a detailed explanation of the individual terms.

These are prepayments to be paid on the basis of the economic plan proposed by the building management. There is no monthly invoice document. One distinguishes between convertible (e.g. operating costs) and non-convertible costs.

Operating costs / incidental costs are the costs to be paid by the tenant and the amount is fixed in the rental contract. These are also prepayments, which require an account no later than the end of the following year, e.g. the operating costs paid by the tenant, cover a large portion of the owner’s condominium fees advances.

Definitions Condominium (= Wohneigentum)

The common property is made up of the plot and all parts of the building not held in individual freehold ownership, i.e. all building elements that are necessary to ensure the intact state and safety of the house, e.g. the exterior walls, the roof, the foundation, the stairwell, the windows and entrance doors as well as facilities and equipment jointly used by all condominium owners. All the condominium owners share the management of the common property and the costs for its upkeep.

The German Condominium Act is the basis for all legal regulations involving individual freehold ownership.

Among your most important obligations as a condominium owner is the payment of the condominium fee, usually paid to the estate manager (Hausverwaltung). The proceeds of this fee are used to cover the costs for the management, maintenance and administration of the commonhold property. The condominium fee is earmarked for the maintenance reserve for major overhauling work, e.g. the replacement of the central heating system or smaller maintenance measures and the costs of managing the house. The overhead is also covered by the condominium fee. The owner is responsible for the payment and must pay even if his object is not rented. If a condominium is not owner-occupied but let to a third party, the overhead can be recovered from that tenant.

Condominium regulations are by-laws that define the rights and duties of the condominium owners in the home owner association (short HOA). They are drafted for each housing estate, and normally set down in the land register with the condominium declaration. One of the most important items governed by the condominium regulations is the apportionment of costs.

The commission is a bonus for the real estate agent if he makes a rent or sale, and is paid either by the tenant or the buyer. The “ordering principle” defines that the person who hired the real estate agent has to pay him.

Current rents represent rent payments on existing lease contacts. Rents on new leases represent rent payment agreed prior a new lease contact is signed. Both current rents and rents on new leases are used to calculate the local reference rent. Municipalities that publish a rent index will include the local reference rent.

The declaration of division or condominium declaration separates freehold from commonhold property. It defines the parts of the plot and property which belong to an individual owner and to the HOA. Parts held by the latter represent commonhold property, which include the plot and components needed for its upkeep and use, e.g. load-bearing walls, the roof, staircases and heating system. Those parts of the property that are held by individual owners represent individual freehold ownership.

The owner may use the commonhold property only when such use does not infringe upon the other owners. This means, for instance, that a condo owner may not keep furniture or bicycles in the stairwell except with the other owners’ consent. Even the use of the individual freehold property may not infringe upon the other owners.

The German energy performance certificate provides details on a building’s energy consumption. It was introduced in 2007 and must be made available to you as potential condo buyer upon request regardless of the building’s age. This certificate is always compiled for the building as a whole.

The “(fair) market value” represents the price for which a plot or a property would sell on the open market at a given moment in time. It takes into account the characteristics, the nature, and the location of the developed or underdeveloped plot or property. Price variances caused by unusual or personal circumstances will not enter the calculation of the average value. The fair market value is appraised by a surveyor committee in a fair market valuation report.

As a group, the owners of a given housing estate form the HOA. One of the key responsibilities of this collective is to jointly take care of the common property. The meeting of owners as a body representing the HOA is the most important party in the administration of the accounts, possible refurbishment measures and repairs concerning the commonhold property among other things.

The duties of the owners of a housing estate are all listed in the condominium regulations. Attending the meeting of owners is not mandatory. However, attendance is recommended as it gives owners the chance to play an active part in key decisions about the housing estate. If an owner is unable to attend, they may send a proxy. The condominium regulations specify who can qualify as an owner’s authorised agent. According to the German Condominium Act (WEG), owner’s meeting minutes must be in writing. This is the responsibility of the chairperson of the meeting. The chairperson of the administrative advisory board, and one owner must sign the minutes. The minutes are an important source of information for prospective freehold owners.

The Home Owner Association fee settlement, also called annual maintenance assessment, is compiled by the manager once a year, and must be approved by the HOA at the meeting of owners. This settlement must be complete, clearly structured, and intelligible for non-experts. It should itemize reserves, liabilities, and revenues as well as expenses. Aside from the settlement for the HOA as a whole, the manager complies separate settlements for each owner.

The HOA may appoint a manager. Among the main responsibilities is the management of the HOA’s finances. The finances, especially the investment of the maintenance reserve, should also be regulated in the form of contractual provisions. It makes sense to use a trust account. The manager compiles a business plan by listing all anticipated revenues and expenditures for the year to come, including a breakdown of the costs for each owner.

If a freehold or condominium owner develops a personal need for the apartment (acquired as private investment), they may claim their right to owner occupation. Under German law terminating a lease due to intended owner occupation is permissible only if the owner can give a plausible reason for giving notice. Depending on how long the tenant has already lived in the flat, the notice period can range from three to nine months. Special rules apply whenever the house in which the condominium is located has only recently been converted into freehold property.

If you acquire a let apartment as private investment, the existing tenancy will continue after the change in ownership. Prior to the sales transaction, you will be given all relevant lease and contact documents.

A key component of the budget is the maintenance reserve (also called maintenance provision or simply reserve) paid monthly by every owner. Pursuant to the German Condominium Act (WEG), saving up an adequate reserve is necessary for the property management of housing estate. The money earmarked for the reserve is taken out of the condominium fee which is paid by every condo owner. The funds collected this way are primarily intended to cover major overhaul measures involving the commonhold property, such as the replacement of the roof or heating system.

As a condominium owner, your freehold ownership also makes you pro-rata owner of the plot. As a result, you become subject to property taxation. Property tax is levied on the ownership of plots and the built-up structures upon them. The tax depends on the value of the plot and is paid to the municipality. Further it varies from one municipality to the next. The property tax is not covered by the HOA’s budget, but is paid by each condominium owner personally.

Operating costs include all current costs that arise from property ownership and the way you use your property. They do not, however, include one-off cost items. If a condominium is rented, the operating cost can be partially passed on to the tenant. The following costs are apportionable according to the operating costs ordinance:

  • Current taxes, that are incurred for the property, such as land
  • Fees for water
  • Fees for waste water
  • Heating costs
  • Fees for hot water supply
  • Costs related to heating and hot water supply
  • Operating costs for elevator
  • Fees for waste disposal and the street
  • Charges for residential building cleaning
  • Charges for garden care
  • Fees for the communal room and outdoor lighting
  • Fees for the chimney
  • Premiums for property and liability insurance
  • Fees for the janitor
  • Costs for media supply, for example to operate a community antenna system
  • Costs for the operation of washing machines and dryers
  • Other operating costs such as a sauna and a swimming pool

The following costs are not apportionable:

  • Capital cost effect
  • Fees for the administrative authority
  • Cost of maintenance and repair