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Residents must agree to an increase in the cost of retirement homes


Residents must agree to an increase in the cost of retirement homes
Karlsruhe (jur). Old people's homes and nursing homes may not demand higher home allowance without the consent of their residents. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe ruled in a judgment published on Friday, June 3, 2016, that it represents an unreasonable disadvantage for consumers if home contracts provide for a unilateral fee increase (Az .: III ZR 279/15). Only if the home resident refuses the desired fee increase, can the home operator legally claim this by lawsuit.

With this, the BGH agreed with the Federal Consumer Association (vzbv). The latter had sued an old people's home operator from the Ruhr area for injunctive relief. The stumbling block was the institution's home contracts and the remuneration arrangements contained therein.

Home remuneration for residents whose accommodation is paid for by the social welfare office or social long-term care insurance is stipulated by social law in special framework agreements with the authorities. Nevertheless, the home operator reserves the right to unilaterally increase the accommodation charge "if the previous calculation base changes" and the increase is appropriate. This applies all the more to residents who pay for the home privately. The operator referred to the housing and care contract law.

The BGH has now stopped this procedure with its judgment of May 12, 2016. A one-sided price increase by the home operator is not permitted and puts the residents at an unreasonable disadvantage. Just as in tenancy law, where a landlord needs the tenant's consent for an intended rent increase, this also applies to residents in the residential and care contract law.

Not only private payers, but also residents whose accommodation is covered by the social welfare office or the long-term care insurance scheme would have to agree to a fee increase. Only if the resident refuses this consent can the home operator try to legally request it.

The legislator also had good reasons for his new legal regulation that home operators cannot unilaterally set a fee increase. The Federal Association of Private Providers of Social Services had warned that home operators would now have to sue every time a resident refused to consent to the fee increase. This would result in unnecessary legal proceedings.

With the consent requirement, however, older people, people in need of care or disabled people should be protected from disadvantage and "their desire for more self-determination" should be taken into account, according to the BGH. The legislator wants to strengthen consumers as "equal negotiating and contractual partners". In this way, the resident can decide whether he agrees to the intended increase in wages or whether he uses his special right to give notice, for example. fle / mwo

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