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BGH decides post thermal insulation in old buildings

BGH decides post thermal insulation in old buildings

Karlsruhe. If the old building is located directly on the property line, an extra layer of insulation inevitably stands out nearby – when should a neighbor accept this to protect the climate? This question has been occupied by the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe (BGH) since Friday in a case from Berlin.

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Most federal states have put in place special regulations to make renewals as easy as possible. But in the capital, particularly affected neighbors are expected to suffer. This may be unconstitutional.

In other countries, the amount of space that the insulation may occupy – in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, 25 cm, is determined, among other things. There are no such requirements in Berlin.

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Here it says simply: “The property owner must tolerate the development of his property for thermal insulation purposes if the building to be insulated is already on the adjacent property.” The only condition is that he will be compensated with cash rent and can demand the removal of the insulation layer if he later wants to build on the separation wall himself.

Is the Berlin regulation unconstitutional?

During the trial, the presiding judge, Bettina Bruckner, noted that there may not be enough space for bikes or trash cans in a very small inner courtyard due to insulation. However, this should be accepted. The Senate must decide whether the Berlin Regulation infringes the fundamental right of property. If the higher civil judges consider the clause to be unconstitutional, they should not enforce it, but will have to involve the Federal Constitutional Court. The decision will be announced on June 23.

For now, the judges are still hesitant. Bruckner said climate protection serves the public good and now has constitutional status. The more differentiated regulations in other countries have the disadvantage that they are more likely to lead to disputes.

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In this specific case, it is a more than 100-year-old apartment building whose gable towers rise a few meters above the adjacent building. An insulating layer no more than 16 cm thick must be installed on this surface. The local and regional courts had sentenced the affected to forgiveness. During the process, an expert came to the conclusion that insulation from inside the house – more expensive – is out of the question. (Ref. V ZR 23/21)

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220513-99-274408 / 2