How much property can you own if you claim government benefits? And is it fair if parents have to look for a smaller apartment in such a case because the children have moved out? The Constitutional Court has decided.

The assessment of whether self-occupied property by Hartz IV recipients is appropriate may depend on the number of residents. The corresponding regulation does not violate the principle of equality, the Federal Constitutional Court said on Thursday in Karlsruhe. The legislature does not have to take into account whether more people used to live in the apartment, such as children who have since moved out. (Az. 1 BvL 12/20)

Owner-occupied residential property is part of the so-called protective assets. For example, it does not have to be sold if someone applies for unemployment benefit II. However, the apartment must be adequate, i.e. not too big. How big it can be depends on the number of residents.

The Aurich social court had to decide on the case of a couple who live in a house of about 140 square meters. The six children have since moved out. The woman applied for benefits from the job center, which were rejected because the house was too big for the two of them. The Social Court asked the Constitutional Court whether the corresponding regulation is constitutional – which the latter now affirmed.