Residents of certain areas near the former West, Prosper-Haniel, Lippe, Auguste Victoria and Ost mines are entitled to file claims for the period from 2008 until the closure of the relevant mine.
Underground coal mining in the Ruhr region resulted in repeated tremors at the ground surface on some occasions. The frequency, temporal density and intensity varied depending on the area. In certain locations, these tremors were very noticeable. Following intensive negotiations, the RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen/Germany, has now reached an agreement with the VBHG (association of owners whose property or land has been damaged by mining). The two parties agreed that compensation will be paid for reductions in property value (§ 906(2) German Civil Code) resulting from past mining-related tremors. The agreement reached with the VBHG allows for compensation payments of up to 200, 400 or 800 €. This is based on a system of flat rates, which takes into account both the results of the VBHG’s relevant test cases and the regional differences in tremor intensity.
In addition, RAG offers owners, tenants and others with right of residence, who are not represented by the VBHG but have also been affected by such tremors in the past, compensation per affected residential unit at the same conditions. The flat-rate payment is made once, irrespective of the specific number of people living in a residential unit, to compensate any and all reductions to the property value caused by mining-related tremors.
Residents are entitled to claim compensation for the period between 2008 and the point at which the relevant mine was closed. Tremors and any resulting claims prior to 2008 are statue-barred in line with the agreed interpretation of the law. Claims for compensation can be submitted until 31st December 2020 in line with § 906(2) of the German Civil Code. Claims submitted after this deadline will not be considered. There is no right to reimbursement for costs relating to consultations with a solicitor.
Information on which residential units are located in areas significantly impacted by tremors and are therefore entitled to compensation can be found online at RAG’s citizen’s information service: www.bid.rag.de. (RAG/Si.)