Basically, "the operating costs must always have something to do with the use of the property by the tenant. Costs incurred solely by the owner are not included,“ explains Siegmund Chychla, Chairman of the Tenants ' Association of Hamburg. < / p> < p> On average, tenants in Germany pay 2.16 euros per square metre per month. This is shown by the latest operating cost index, which the German Tenants ' Association has compiled on the basis of the accounts of 2017. < / p> Do not pay undetected
But not every utility bill is correct. Some contain items that the landlords are not allowed to transfer to their tenants. Tenants should carefully examine the annual accounts. Especially since not every operating cost accounting is justified. < / p>
"In addition to the net cold rent, tenants only have to pay additional costs if this is expressly agreed in the lease agreement," explains Chychla. An exception are the costs of heating and hot water. < / p>
There are no high requirements for formulations in the lease agreement, the Federal Court of Justice (Az.: VIII ZR 137/15). In order for landlords to be able to transfer the costs effectively, a simple clause is sufficient, for example: "The operating costs can be transferred", says Julia Wagner from the owners ' association Haus & Grund Germany. < / p> < p> Billing must meet certain formal requirements. "It must contain a compilation of the individual types of costs," explains Chychla. And it must state the total amounts in each case. < / p> Billing must list individual cost types < p> A comprehensible distribution key is also required. This calculates the exact cost share of the tenant. In addition, the operating costs incurred must be compared with the advances already made by the tenant. < / p>
But what exactly belongs to the reversible operating costs? The Operating Costs Ordinance (BetrKV) lists 17 types of costs. In addition to heating and hot water, there are 14 "cold operating costs", such as property tax, insurance, waste water, garbage collection, caretaker, cleaning of the house, the street as well as the chimney and garden maintenance. < / p> < p> Item 17 includes other operating costs, which are incurred in addition to the usual 16 types of costs. "It is conceivable, for example, that concierge and security services or the maintenance costs for smoke detectors could be covered," says lawyer Johannes Hofele. < / p> Tenants do not have to bear all costs
Tenants should consider these costs particularly carefully. "It is important that these costs are explicitly listed in the rental agreement, otherwise they may not be transferred to the tenants. In addition - as with all other operating costs - the profitability requirement must be observed“, explains Hofele of the German Bar Association. < / p>
Under "Other operating costs" some landlords list costs that belong elsewhere or cannot be transferred. "This violates the principle of transparency. Tenants do not have to pay costs that are listed somewhere where they are not expected,“ says Hofele. < / p>
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In the event of complaints, tenants can withhold additional claims in the amount of the disputed cost share, explains Chychla. Tenants have the right to view original documents at the landlord. They are usually not entitled to copies. However, you can photograph receipts and look through the accounts at home in peace, explains Chychla. < / p>
If tenants want to understand whether the invoiced costs are within the reasonable scope, they can orient themselves on the operating costs mirror. This lists the amount of cost types and the usual cost rates per square meter and month. "Tenants should note that there are large regional differences," says Wagner.
If the settlement is in order from the tenant's point of view, he must make any additional payments only after an examination period. A maximum of one month is appropriate here. If there is a balance for tenants, the landlord must transfer it immediately.
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< / p> mbe / dpaUpdated Date: 01 May 2021, 11:26