Discussions about the pre-emptive purchase rights
In the wake of a landmark decision by the Federal Administrative Court on November 9, 2021 to outlaw municipal authorities’ exercise of pre-emptive rights to purchase properties located in conservation areas, politicians have decided that new legislation is the answer. As a reaction to the initiative of the federal states of Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg, the Bundesrat is making a strong case to tighten the wording in the relevant sections of the German Building Code. The restoration of municipal pre-emptive purchase rights was also discussed in a public hearing of the Committee for Housing, Urban Development, Construction and Municipalities at the beginning of May. The plans of Federal Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Building, Klara Geywitz (SPD), have met with criticism throughout the real estate sector. According to the real estate association IVD, a municipal pre-emptive purchase does not create any added value: a public landlord is per se no better than a private landlord. And, as the IVD points out, tenancy law already protects existing tenants anyway. The IVD is clear: Rather than discussing a new version of pre-emptive rights, politicians should focus more on new construction.