From 1 July 2021, the special address will cease to exist. According to the Streetlawyer Association, the new law could have adverse effects.
What is the purpose of the special address?
Under the Act on Addresses, this special address is a formal address (e. g. post office box or other postal service place) that the citizen has claimed officially for contact purposes other than his/her living place.
The special address has been introduced in 2012, but its poor implementation has raised many criticisms. In 2016, the homeless advocacy group The City is for All publicly turned to the Minister of the Interior. It stated that “it is still not possible to record the address in the state register and the necessary form does not exist for it (although its content is laid down in the law). In other words, overall, it is still not possible to request the recording of the address, despite the fact that the legal possibility has existed for several years.”
What happened in summer of 2021?
As of 1 July 2021, the special addresses registered in the state register will be invalidated.
According to the explanatory memorandum of the law, the state register will be renewed. In this context, the termination of the special address is justified as follows: “With reflection on the small number of registrations and the fact that there is no specialised system linked to these data, the special addresses will be phased out, and the registered addresses will be cancelled ex officio by the body managing the register as of 1 July 2021. Thereafter, it will no longer be possible to register a special address.”
What is wrong with the termination of special addresses?
A special address could solve the problem of people who for some reason are not able to register at their real residence or who did not have an address at all, for example because they had a address invalidated or an address without indicating their home. Typical situations are those of people renting flats or homeless people.
We think that the law’s justification ignored the fact that the “low number of registrations” cannot be explained by the lack of public interest, but the result of the administrative environment for the address not having been developed by the government for years. Thus, in essence, although the right to a special address was codified, in practice people were unable to use it.
Expected impact of the law
The impact of the amendment is expected to increase the number of cases where the circumstances of mail delivery will be unclear, which will lead to a prolongation of legal disputes.
If you also have a problem with your address, contact the volunteer lawyers of Streetlawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.