Congratulations on buying property in Germany!
Now it’s time to start dealing with the condominium owners’ association…
aka your Wohnungseigentümergemeinschaft (WEG)
I’m a professional legal interpreter for German and English. I serve on the advisory board of my own property’s condominium owners’ association (“WEG”). Close collaboration with owners and property managers has given me a unique insight into the content and structure of the annual general meetings.
Kathleen Parker, founder and managing director of Red Tape Translation UG
I will go through the agenda with you in advance.
I’ll accompany you to the meeting and interpret simultaneously.
You’ll feel confident and well-informed when you vote.
That's all you need to know.”
Red Tape Translation has been around in Berlin since 2012. We’re known for being friendly, competent and reliable. We are a women-led business and our small, close-knit team loves helping you navigate red tape.
How I can help you prepare for your WEG meeting
Your property manager must send you the agenda and any addenda at least 3 weeks before the annual general meeting. I need to know what’s being discussed so I can prepare. Upload below and I’ll have a look.
You might prefer not to attend the meeting in-person. Instead, you can order a full written translation of the agenda or arrange a talk-through with an interpreter ahead of time. You’d then send your votes to the property management in writing before the meeting takes place. Alternatively, you can choose to be involved actively on the day and use an interpreter to contribute your point of view to the live discussion. This is much more effective if you are keen to influence the outcome of the resolution.
Once you’ve got a meeting date lined up and you know how you’d like to work with me, I’ll give you a quote and tell you how long I need to prepare in advance. I usually ask for 50% payment up-front and the remaining amount once the meeting has taken place.
It’s important that I come well-prepared. I examine the agenda and supporting documents in detail. I bring notes with me and I make sure in advance that you and your property manager give me a power of attorney so I’m allowed to be present. My advance preparation will allow the meeting to run smoothly and quickly for you and your property manager.
This gives you the chance to ask me questions and mention points you’d like to bring up or negotiate during the meeting.
Good interpreting is unobtrusive and smooth. I interpret simultaneously in a whispered voice. This means I speak quietly over the top of the attendees. This allows you to stay up-to-speed on exactly what’s going on, every step of the way, without causing any disturbance to others.
If there are other owners who would benefit from an English interpreting service, you can share the costs with them and I’ll open a private Zoom channel for multiple participants (but only those who are present on the day – we can’t let external parties in). All you have to do is bring your phone and your own headphones and I’ll take care of the rest. I do need your property manager’s permission in advance to work this way.
If you have an opinion to share with the other owners, don’t be afraid to speak up in English. The meeting has to take place in German and the minutes will be in German too, so we’ll make sure your matters are communicated clearly in the official language. You will feel comfortable, informed and heard with a Red Tape interpreter at your side.
Every property manager has a different way of leading the voting process. We’ll make sure you know exactly when to raise your hand. Once it’s all done, you can celebrate with your neighbours (if you’re all still talking to each other!).
Best of all, you’ll know you’ve done your best to stay informed, respect the meeting protocols, and make your voice heard. Enjoy the feeling of confidence and relief!