Damage to the common property
Damage to the common property - Schäden am Gemeinschaftseigentum
November 09, 2022
If common property gets damaged, the question arises as to who is obliged to bear the costs. This depends on where the cause of the damage originates.
Cause of damage in the common property
In principle, the community is liable according to the co-ownership shares if the cause of the damage lies in the common property. If, for example, ceiling beams, which are usually also part of the common property, are damaged by a defective water pipe that is part of the common property, the Community of Apartment Owners is primarily liable. In a next step, the individual owners are required to compensate the Community of Apartment Owners according to their co-ownership shares.
Cause of damage in the condominium
However, if the cause of the damage to the common property is in the condominium, for example a defective water pipe in a flat, the respective condominium owner, i.e. the owner of the flat, is obliged to pay compensation. The obligation to compensate follows from section 280 ff German Civil Code (BGB). The obligation to pay compensation follows from sections 280 cont. BGB, because there is a relationship under the law of obligations between the Community of Apartment Owners and the condominium owner. According to section 14 no. 1 Act of the Ownership and the Permanent Residential Right (WEG), each condominium owner is obliged to use the parts of the building owned by the condominium only in such a way that no other condominium owner suffers any disadvantage. If the condominium owner neglects his/her duties, e.g. by failing to maintain the water pipes in the flat, and this results in damage to the common property, he/she is obliged to compensate for the damage - in this respect, liability of the condominium owner can only be established in the event of fault. The condominium owner would then again have to be proven to be at fault, which is usually obvious if the damage was caused in the flat due to lack of maintenance or repair.