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Housing management: Definition, rights and responsibilities

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What are the types of housing management?

Different forms of housing management are used depending on the type of property ownership. Rental management is exclusively responsible for rental properties. It serves as the landlord's representative vis-à-vis the tenant and ensures that the landlord properly fulfils his obligations under § 535 BGB ff (rental agreement). Landlords who do not wish to take care of the tasks arising in connection with the tenancy themselves hire a manager to perform these tasks. Condominium (WEG) management is responsible for properties owned by several parties. Special property management takes on similar tasks, but always acts on behalf and in the interest of an individual owner. Regardless of the form of management, it is possible to file a complaint with the local court in the case of dissatisfaction with the manager's activities, as the court serves as the complaints body for property managers.

Tasks, duties and costs of housing management

The tasks and duties of a housing manager cover a whole range of responsibilities, which are accompanied by various obligations. A condominium administrator must always act in accordance with the Condominium Act, where the duties of the administration are clearly defined. For example, the condominium administrator must implement the decisions of the owners' meeting and ensure that the residents comply with the house rules. Furthermore, measures required to maintain the common property as well as maintenance and repair of the property are the responsibility of the administration. A significant part of the administration tasks involves bureaucratic activities.

These range from the payment of taxes, waste disposal fees and insurance premiums, to the processing of community reimbursements and mortgage interest, along with the management of collected funds. The condominium administrator is obliged to hold regular owners' meetings and to keep a record of all decisions. A rental administrator is responsible for ensuring a legally compliant tenancy. Typical tasks here are the selection of suitable tenants, the organisation of viewing appointments, the reading of meter values, the preparation of service charge statements and other activities. The costs for managing the property are borne by the owner or the owners' association.

In times of digitalisation, virtual solutions for housing management are increasingly in demand

Digital housing management systems: How effective are they?

In times of digitalisation, virtual solutions for managing a property are increasingly in demand. There are various solutions for digital housing management on the market. Ideally, up to 80 % time savings are possible by using digital applications for apartment, housing and property management. With digital housing management, all documents are available virtually. Contact between owners, managers and tenants takes place via a portal or app, and the documents are available and retrievable for everyone on a tablet, smartphone or PC. This eliminates the need for all parties to meet in person for any coordination meetings, and also eliminates the need to send important documents by post. The need for the housing management to be close to the property is also eliminated with digital management.

Housing management landscape in Germany

According to the Federal Statistical Office, there are over 30,000 housing and real estate management companies in Germany. The majority of these manage residential properties, while only about 18% are responsible for managing commercial properties. The most common form is probably the classic management of rental properties, although condominium management is also widespread. Special property management is less common. Professional administrations are organised through the Association of Property Managers. However, it is also possible for an owner to be appointed as property manager if no external manager is commissioned. The hurdles to taking over this area of responsibility are relatively low. For a long time it was even possible to take over a property management without a business license, however, since August 1, 2018, a business license is mandatory starting at a certain number of units to be managed.

Frequently asked questions

Written by:

Marit Hunt

Since moving to Berlin from the U.S., Marit enjoys exploring everything her new city has to offer, from the many parks and lakes to the nicest cafés and writing about her experiences for the EverEstate blog.

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