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In German property law, a component is understood to be that part of a thing which , according to the natural public opinion, is considered to be part of the main thing and cannot be classified as an independent thing.


A simple thing is not made up of customizable components. A compound thing, on the other hand, consists of several physically delimited and perceptible components, which in themselves could be capable of independence. These components are necessary for the unity and functionality of a thing, so that missing individual components neither make the assembled thing complete nor enable it to function. With the individual components the question arises whether ( property ) rights can exist in them. The BGB does not define the term “component”, but it does define the additional requirements of the essential component in §§ 93 ff. BGB. According to the public opinion, a fixed connection speaks for the property as a component, but is not absolutely necessary. Rather, what is decisive is the spatial context and the purpose of the connection; Ultimately, the economic approach is decisive.


Components belong to one main thing to which they have a more or less close connection. The BGB therefore differentiates between simple components , essential components , accessories and rights associated with property ownership . Because of their complexity, case law and literature have dealt particularly with land and buildings .

Simple components

The simple components can be separated from the main thing without their economic use being restricted in their previous type after the separation. Simple components usually follow the fate of the main one. However, through separation, the constituent property is abolished, and the previous constituents are now able to move away from the main thing, also with regard to their legal affiliation. To the simple constituents include about standard manufactured automotive engines in new cars and standard exchange engines in cars . The motor vehicle engine can then be used at any time as a prime mover for other vehicles or in a stationary manner. The other components can also be used in the same way as before after the engine has been removed. Another engine can be installed, thereby creating a ready-to-use motor vehicle again.

Essential components

The word “essential” does not refer to the whole thing (that is, to what constitutes its “essence”), but to the consequences of an imaginary separation. The aim of the legal regulation is that a thing and its essential components should have a uniform legal fate. For economic reasons, the useless destruction of economic values ​​is to be prevented, which would occur if components are separated from one another, which have their economic purpose and thus their value only in the unit they form. The legal circle of the essential components is extended by § 94 BGB and restricted by § 95 BGB.


  • Connection / disconnection : The only thing that needs to be considered is whether a component can still be used economically in its previous way after disconnection. Minor impairments due to the separation are insignificant. A fixed (physical) connection is neither necessary nor sufficient to be classified as an integral part. It depends on whether a component is changed in its essence by the separation. That depends on whether it can still be used economically in the previous way after the separation. In the replacement engine ruling cited above, the BGH denies the question of whether a series-produced engine is an essential part of the vehicle. A component of a uniform thing is then significantly changed if it cannot be used economically in the previous way. The prerequisites worked out by the BGH for technical equipment and its components also apply to the relationship between properties and their components. If the separation leads to (not just minor) damage or changes to the characteristics of the property associated with a property, it is considered an integral part of the property.
  • Traffic perception : Whether it is an essential component, an independent item within a set of facts or an accessory , must be assessed in each individual case according to the traffic perception and the natural perspective on the basis of a technical-economic point of view. The progress of technical development and changes in economic conditions must be taken into account. It is therefore possible that a component previously regarded as essential is no longer considered essential due to changed technical or economic circumstances.
  • Essential property components: The prerequisites worked out by the BGH for technical apparatus and their components also apply to properties and their components. If the separation leads to (not just minor) damage or changes to the characteristics of the property associated with a property, it is considered an integral part of the property. The fixed connection is to be judged according to the general view of the natural view of the nature, purpose and quality of a building. This prerequisite exists if the separation leads to damage or change in the characteristics of the thing connected to the property; even if the separation and reassembly of the components can be carried out with disproportionately great difficulty and only through damage and with considerable effort. If buildings are firmly connected to the property, they are considered to be an integral part of the property ( Section 94 (1) BGB). Buildings are houses and other structures , including underground garages . According to the building regulations , buildings are "independently usable, roofed structures that can be entered by people and are suitable or intended to serve the protection of people, animals or things" (§ 2 Paragraph 2 LandesbauO NRW).
The essential components of the building also become those of the property. The essential components also include all items added for the construction of a building, without which the building is considered not to be completed according to the public opinion. For objects that are used to equip or furnish the building, this only applies if, according to the view of the general public, their insertion gives the building a certain character or if they are specially adapted to the building and therefore form a unit with it.
Thanks to modern heating technology, central heating and hot water systems - regardless of the ease with which the individual radiators can be removed or exchanged - are essential components of residential buildings and therefore also essential components of such a building. Taking into account the development of heating technology and the requirements for modern living conditions, it is assumed that central heating systems in their entirety represent essential components of modernly furnished houses, even if they are retrofitted. Kitchen stoves are essential components of an apartment according to § 94 Abs. 2 BGB, since a modern apartment building without kitchen equipment is incomplete according to the public opinion; A built-in wardrobe , because it is specially made (and therefore not usable elsewhere), is an essential component according to § 93 BGB (exception: if installed by the tenant, then a sham component according to § 95 BGB). Lines that run in the ground are essential components of the property, unless they are laid “in the exercise of a right to the property of others” ( Section 95 (1) sentence 2 BGB), for example due to limited personal easement ( Section 1090 BGB) have been.


  • Type and intended duration of the connection : The objects must lose their previous independence through connection. This connection must lead to a mutual technical-physical dependency and be provided in the long term. However, a loose connection is sufficient if this is viewed as a single thing in traffic. In the case of a machine, it is then necessary that it is generally understood as part of a factory building.
  • Degree of adaptation of the previously independent things to one another : The more different things are technically and economically coordinated, the more likely it is that they will be classified as an essential component. The prerequisite is always fulfilled when technical installations are individually adapted to the building (especially elevators or heating systems), which therefore form a unit with the building.
  • Economic context : The essential importance of a machine for operation is not sufficient for its classification as an essential component. Only the structural coordination with one another and the inseparable unit with the property make machines essential components. If after the separation an economic use in the previous way is no longer possible, this speaks in favor of the property as an essential component.


Accessories have a certain spatial connection to the main thing and have a serving function in relation to it. The BGH, concerned about uniform case law, has defined the criteria with the help of which a delimitation is made easier. As a result of technical progress and changing public opinion, doubts about the properties of a thing can arise in individual cases. These demarcation problems do not only arise at the beginning, but can also arise at any time due to technical or technical-structural changes.

Rights attached to a property

The rights associated with ownership of a ruling property are also part of the components, i.e. if they are due to the respective owner of a property. These rights are essential, non-separable components of the property ( Section 96 BGB) and can be found in the land register . Here, too, it applies that the rights of way and pipeline rights registered as easements ( Section 1018 BGB) represent essential, non-separable components of the dominant property. It follows that these rights are seized by the rights with which the ruling property is encumbered. On this burdensome mortgages and land charges cover the subjectively real rights ( § 1120 , § 1192 para. 1 BGB), they adhere to the mortgage and mortgage creditors.

Sham components

Sham components do not belong to the components, because § 95 BGB is an exception to § 93 and § 94 BGB. Sham components are things that have been connected to a property or building for a temporary purpose or things that have been connected to the property in the exercise of a right . A temporary purpose can also mean 20 years, the exercise of a right must be a real right to the property such as heritable building right , usufruct or servitude . Sham components belong neither to the essential nor to the components at all, but are considered to be independent movable objects. It is decisive that the subsequent loss of the connection with the main item is anticipated from the outset or is to be expected according to the nature of the purpose. These include grandstands , construction containers , things temporarily added to the rented apartment by the tenant, or the dacha on a leased property. The legal consequence is that they are neither to be regarded as accessories nor as an essential part of a property and are therefore not liable for mortgages and, in case of doubt, cannot be sold with the property. However, they are liable under a landlord's lien .

Legal consequences

Components follow the legal fate of the main thing to which they belong. Essential components are incapable of special legal rights, they necessarily share the legal position of the main thing. They share property and other real rights with the main thing; In the case of real estate, this is governed by Section 946 BGB, and in the case of movable property, Section 947 BGB. The special legal inability is particularly important for loan collateral , since a retention of title disappears if the thing encumbered with it becomes an essential part. Conversely, if previously independent items become essential components of a main item through a fixed connection or insertion, the existing rights to them, in particular retention of title and transfer by way of security ( § 946 BGB) , expire . As long as equipment is part of a legally unloaded long as it is capable of being privileged so can about suitable or seized be. However, if a property is encumbered with a land charge, the property accessories are also liable ( Section 1120 BGB).

Swiss and Austria

According to Art. 642 of the Civil Code , a part of a thing is everything that is part of its inventory according to the local view (cantonal law) and cannot be separated without its destruction, damage or change.

For the differentiation between independent and dependent components, the economic possibility of segregation and restoration of an independent thing is decisive. An earth-proof, wall-proof, rivet-proof and nail-proof connection does not yet result in the creation of a dependent component. For the differentiation between independent and dependent components, the economic possibility of segregation and restoration of an independent thing is decisive.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Josef Wieling: Property Law: Volume 1 : Property, possession and rights to movable property , 2006, p. 56.
  2. Haimo Schack: BGB General Part , 2013, p. 47.
  3. BGH , judgment of November 11, 2011, Az. V ZR 231/10, full text = BGHZ 191, 285, 288.
  4. Louis Busch: The Civil Code with special consideration of the case law of the Reichsgericht and the Bundesgerichtshof , 1977, p. 69.
  5. a b c d BGH, judgment of October 8, 1955, Az. IV ZR 116/55, full text = BGHZ 18, 226.
  6. BGH, judgment of June 27, 1973, Az. VIII ZR 201/72, full text = BGHZ 61, 80.
  7. a b c BGH, judgment of March 3, 1956, Az. IV ZR 301/55, full text = BGHZ 20, 154.
  8. a b RGZ 67, 34
  9. a b c BGH, judgment of April 29, 1953, Az. VI ZR 212/52, full text = NJW 1953, 1180
  10. BGH, judgment of May 22, 1981, Az. V ZR 102/80, full text = BGH NJW 1982, 756.
  11. a b BGH, judgment of September 27, 1978, Az. V ZR 36/77, full text = BGH NJW 1979, 712.
  12. RGZ 264, 266
  13. ^ BGH, judgment of March 13, 1970, Az. V ZR 71/67, full text = BGHZ 53, 324.
  14. BGHZ 40, 275
  15. RGZ 87, 46
  16. a b RGZ 130, 264
  17. RGZ 69, 121
  18. BGH, judgment of February 17, 2012, Az. V ZR 102/11, full text , No. 9.
  19. ^ Jan Wilhelm: Property Law , 2007, p. 21.
  20. Heinz Hübner: General Part of the BGB , 2013, p. 178.
  21. ^ OGH , decision of February 12, 1958, Az. 1 Ob 565/57.
  22. ^ OGH, decision of July 12, 1973, Az. 6 Ob 146/73.