rilke

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About rilke

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  • Location Brandenburg
  • Nationality British
  1. Thanks everyone for all the tips and suggestions!   I guess usufruct = Nießbrauch? From what I've read, a notary would usually be necessary for this too, and (like Wohnrecht) it would also be taxable as a gift.   @murphaph The two owners bought the property in the first place (with their own money). Since then, all of us have contributed money and work to the renovation and running costs. So you could say that each of us has paid for a share in the house, but not in the eyes of the law. Since the start (when the owners bought it) we have all had the same rights to the house in practice, and have all taken on responsibility for it, even though it legally only belongs to those two.  Making us all legal owners of the house would make the Grundbuch reflect the real situation. In my own case, if it would only cost me a small amount, I would want to be added to the Grundbuch. But if it turned out that I had to pay several thousand in taxes, I don't know whether the extra sense of security would be worth it to me. (This is just my personal attitude though, and I understand that for some people it would seem too risky.)
  2. Many thanks to both of you for your responses and for reading my long question!   @karin_brenig Yes, I guess we have to get the house valued. One person in the group is a sister of one of the owners, so she would have a higher maximum on the gift. So it might work out if we split it between the 10 of us, even if the house did turn out to be worth more than 200 000. Thank you for all your other tips, I will look into them!   @murphaph Luckily, there is no mortgage and we haven't borrowed money. But it's true that I don't know enough to feel totally confident that Wohnrecht would protect from all eventualities.    
  3. Hello Toytown!   I’ve never posted before but I’ve found so much useful information here in the past about taxes and insurance - thank you!   TLDR version: I live with a group of 10 friends in a big, ramshackle old house. Currently only 2 people are owners, but they want to add more people to the Grundbuch. I’m worried that this has financial disadvantages, and I’m researching the options. I have lots of questions and am not expecting to find answers here to everything, but if anyone has a tip even just on a particular aspect, I’d really appreciate it!   My questions are: 1.) What are the potential costs of adding further owners to the Grundbuch? 2.) Alternatively, are the potential costs of giving the rest of us a „Wohnrecht“? 3.) Are there some defined risks which the owners could/should get insured against? 4.) Would a Verein (as owner of the house) be a good option instead? 5.) Are there other possibilities that I’m overlooking?     The detailed version (for people who want it):   I am a British citizen living in an old manor house in Brandenburg with 10 friends. Only 2 people (a soon-to-be married couple) are legal owners of the house. They now want to add more of us to the Grundbuch, as owners.   The main reason they want to do this is because they think it’s risky for just the two of them to own the house. (E.g. if one of them went bankrupt, they could lose the house and the rest of us would not have any right to it.)   Value of the house The original purchase price of the house in 2011 was 45 000 EUR, but its value has definitely gone up, since we’ve done a lot of renovation work. However, it’s still in quite a ramshackle state, so it’s hard to imagine anyone buying it for more than 200 000 EUR (it needs a new roof; it has v few bathrooms, ancient plumbing, etc).   Option 1: Adding further owners From looking online, it seems like if they added me to the Grundbuch, this would count as a gift, and I would/could be taxed if that gift is worth more than 20 000. Would I/we also have to pay other taxes, e.g. Grunderwerbsteuer? Would we have to pay the notary a percentage of the purchase price of the house, or a percentage of its current value?   Option 2: Wohnrecht Instead we could add a „Wohnrecht“ meaning that I (or others) could live in the house indefinitely without owning it. This might be better, because we could almost certainly continue to live in the house even if it was re-possessed. *But* I have read that Wohnrecht is also taxable as a gift, and that the value of the gift depends on age. (So because I am 33, I would have a lot of years to live in the house, making the gift worth more and the tax higher.) These potential taxes make me lean towards leaving the situation as it is. I trust the owners completely. But perhaps owning property here could have advantages for me after Brexit, if/when I apply for German citizenship? Also, if I was a part-owner, I could write off some renovation costs from my taxes. (Currently I earn so little that this is not really relevant.)   Option 3: Insurance against risks? I’ve also been wondering whether the two owners could get insurance against some of the risks they’re afraid of. I guess it’s not possible to define all of these risks (since by definition, they’re worried about something unexpected happening), but maybe there are specific risks for which people seek insurance in this sort of situation?   Option 4: nonprofit Verein Some people in the group have suggested founding an association (gemeinnütziger Verein) and making it the owner of the house. I guess the charitable purpose of the Verein would be the protection and upkeep of the house, which is a listed building. (I don’t know whether this would be sufficient for the definition of „Gemeinnützigkeit“, though!)   If anyone has advice on any part of this, or relevant experience, I would be very grateful. I know we need to get legal advice, but I would like to be better informed on the questions I should be asking.