Presentation of housing allowance payments in the annual statement of account

The Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) had to deal with the question of how detailed housing allowance payments should be presented in the full-year statement.

In the underlying legal dispute, the plaintiffs had brought an action against their condominium owners' association with the application to declare the annual statement of account null and void. The plaintiffs were of the opinion that a proper annual statement of account must contain a detailed account of the payments for housing benefit arrears plus interest.

The Federal Supreme Court dismissed the action.

In its reasoning, the Federal Court of Justice stated that the annual statement had the character of a pure income and expenditure statement. It was therefore not necessary to break down in detail the accounting periods for which the respective housing allowance payments were owed.

The annual statement could contain the more detailed breakdown of the housing allowance payments requested by the applicants, but this breakdown was not required by law.

Furthermore, the Federal Court of Justice stated that subsequent payments by a condominium owner on housing benefit arrears from previous years - irrespective of the question of their respective offsetting - constitute income of the condominium owners' association in the annual statement of account.

The Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) confirmed its legal opinion in its judgement of 1 June 2012, file no. V ZR 171/1, and stated that a credit balance shown in the approved annual statement of account does not give rise to a claim of the individual condominium owner to distribution of the credit balance. This credit was to be treated as other income and could either be added to the maintenance reserve, used to cover running costs or distributed to the condominium owners.


Federal Supreme Court, judgement of 11 October 2013, ref. no. V ZR 271/12

Lower courts:

AG Charlottenburg, decision of 17.11.2011 - 74 C 77/11 -

LG Berlin, decision of 17.10.2012 - 85 S 244/11 WEG - 17


Source: Press release of the BGH


Goldberg Attorneys at Law 2014

Lawyer Christine Thede