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Real property dictionary

Real property know how from A to Z – our dictionary provides all the answers you need.


Use permission

Site management and facilities that require approval may not be used until use permission has been obtained. This is an official assessment of the systematic planning and legality by the building authority. However, with building permission, the obligation to obtain use permission can be abandoned. In this case, the construction authority must be notified that site management has been completed and the completion notification replaces the use permission.

Utility bill, limitation period

An account of operating costs for the previous calendar year must be created until 30 June. Documents can be viewed and copied against cost reimbursement as required. A credit or subsequent payment is due on the 5th day of the second month after accounting (i.e. by 5 August at the latest) and affects the tenant or flat owner respectively on the due date. A review of the operating costs is retroactively possible up to three years, as long as the operating costs have been properly accounted for and the account is available. According to current jurisdiction, the inspection and reproduction of receipts can only be granted within six months after the account has been placed.

Usufruct right

This is the right in rem to use a third-party object without any limitation, but nevertheless while protecting the substance of the object. The usufruct right can also be justified with movable objects. It is essential that the usufructuary can provide for the existing object, that is, rent or lease it. As the usufructuary receives the earnings, he is fundamentally bound to its maintenance.


Upkeep work comprises the running care and maintenance of existing properties in order to maintain their condition. This includes minor repairs or the exchange of non-essential sections of the building. It is important that this does not lead to a substantial increase of the value in use or useful life of the property. Examples of upkeep work are routine maintenance work, painting the staircase, repairing the façade, or renewing individual parts of the building due to storm or hail damage.

Usable floor area

The usable floor area (NF) serves the use of a building on the basis of its intended purpose. This can be divided into main usable floor area (e.g. areas which are for living, working, and leisure) and additional usable floor area (e.g. storage rooms, cloakrooms, non-developed attic rooms).