Genossenschaftswohnung (Cooperative housing)
“Genossenschaftswohnung” is the German word for cooperative housing. It is a housing form combines both rental housing and housing property. To be able to rent a “Genossenschaftswohnung” it is required to be a member of the cooperative. Therefore, in this housing type the tenant of the apartment is also a co-owner of the cooperative. The cooperative owns apartment buildings, which they either acquired or built themselves, and rent them out exclusively to its members. The only financial obstacle that needs to be overcome to become a member is the purchasing of company shares. In most cases, the monthly usage fee paid to the cooperative in the form of rent is below average in the individual area. Especially in larger cities they might, however, be waiting lists and longer waiting times for a “Genossenschaftswohnung” due to high demand. This housing form is particularly popular because of its security aspect, as the contract may not be terminated by the cooperative based on own personal needs. Apart from that, the usual rental terms and conditions are applied. Additionally, members of the cooperative have a voice in formal decisions and the cooperative generally takes the interests of its members into account. When the membership is cancelled, the full amount of the paid share price will be refunded. However, this can take up to three years, as the cooperative uses the money for administrative purposes as initially budgeted.