Trend-setting ruling Tenants’ associations are allowed to bring collective actions

Trend-setting ruling Tenants’ associations are allowed to bring collective actions

Trend-setting ruling Tenants' associations are allowed to bring collective actions
Tenants' associations can now take action against clauses in model rental agreements, for example, with so-called representative actions.  Source: dpa

The more than 300 tenants’ associations in are entitled to bring so-called representative actions after a landmark ruling by the Higher Administrative Court for the state. The OVG has thus confirmed a decision from the first instance at the Cologne Administrative Court and approved a tenants’ association from Würzburg, as the court announced on Thursday.

The Federal Office of Justice in Bonn had so far refused entry in lists maintained there nationwide with reference to current administrative practice. Reason: Tenants’ associations would not work with their work beyond the circle of their members. The OVG does not share this view. The verdict is not yet legally binding. Because of its fundamental importance, the OVG allowed an appeal to the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig (Az .: 15 B 1529/21, judgment of 23.9.2021).

As a justification, the OVG Münster announced that tenants’ associations, based on their statutes, protect the interests of all consumers by providing information and advice. This is not limited to its own members. In the case of the Würzburg association, this is undisputed. There, the effect goes far beyond the scope of the members with over 5000 personal or telephone consultations per year. In this case, the tenants’ association is comparable to the classic consumer associations.

According to its own information, more than 300 tenants ‘associations are organized nationwide in the German Tenants’ Association (DMB). According to information from court spokeswoman Gudrun Dahme, the tenants’ associations can take action against clauses in model rental agreements, for example, with so-called collective actions. This means that complaints from individual tenants are no longer necessary.