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Caretaker service: what it does and costs
Caretaker service: what it does and costs

Video: Caretaker service: what it does and costs

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Video: Care For The Caretakers - WRS Health EHR 2023, January
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If you don't want to hang the “Kehrwochen” sign from door to door every week, think about the garbage bins in the evening or just shovel the way to the car in the morning, caretaker service can make life much easier. But what else does this service offer include? Who bears the costs - tenant or landlord? And how do you find a good caretaker service?

Table of contents Table of contents caretaker service: tasks, costs and law

  • Caretaker service or cleaning company?
  • Janitorial service means more than building cleaning
  • Difference between caretaker service and facility manager
  • How much do janitorial services cost?
  • Apartment owners jointly commission the caretaker service
  • Who pays for the caretaker service?
  • What if the caretaker service doesn't work?

Table of contents Table of contents caretaker service: tasks, costs and law

  • Caretaker service or cleaning company?
  • Janitorial service means more than building cleaning
  • Difference between caretaker service and facility manager
  • How much do janitorial services cost?
  • Apartment owners jointly commission the caretaker service
  • Who pays for the caretaker service?
  • What if the caretaker service doesn't work?

Caretaker service or cleaning company?

The caretaker service is still quite young. Up until a few years ago, it was quite common for residents of an apartment building to do the maintenance and repair work on the building themselves. The classic Swabian sweeping week is the best example of this. But what if the neighbors didn't do the sweeping week properly, according to your personal ideas? Okay, then you could hire an outside cleaning company to clean the stairwell once a week. But the rest? What if the neighbor doesn't replace the broken lamp in the hall for weeks, even though his son shot it with football? And what if this neighbor also forgets to roll the garbage cans on the street in time and they are not emptied for a week in high summer? As you notice, or maybe you have already experienced it yourself: the neighborhood conflict potential when it comes to cleaning and maintenance issues is enormous. In many cases, the simple solution is: caretaker service.

Hausmeisterservice kann Streit unter Nachbarn vorbeugen
Hausmeisterservice kann Streit unter Nachbarn vorbeugen

If the sweeping week was not done properly in an apartment building, a dispute quickly arises between the neighbors. A caretaker service can be the solution here.

Photo: iStock / AndreyPopov

Janitorial service means more than building cleaning

Caretaker services across Germany offer their services. Classically, these include:

  • The first point of contact for residents in the event of damage and forwarding to the apartment owner, unless otherwise regulated in the individual rental contracts
  • Carry out minor repairs
  • Building cleaning
  • Courtyard and sidewalk cleaning
  • Gardening
  • Heating operation and monitoring of the delivery of new fuel
  • Operability of the elevator (if available)
  • Operability of the underground car park or the parking lot (if available)
  • Provision of the dumpsters for removal and tidying up after removal
  • Indoor lighting of shared rooms and corridors, as well as outdoor lighting
  • Enforcement of house rules
  • Winter service

What exactly the caretaker service has to do is recorded in a contract. Incidentally, there are no regulations for the activities. The contract should therefore state in detail which tasks the caretaker service has to take over and how often which work has to be done. Most janitorial service companies these days are a mix of cleaning companies, gardeners, garbage managers and classic janitors.

Administrative or administrative tasks are not the responsibility of a caretaker service. Although a caretaker service could also take around potential new tenants as well as taking out keys and moving keys to new tenants - if this has been contractually agreed. Large janitorial service companies mostly reject this type of work. They often see themselves as cleaning and maintenance companies. A single caretaker who is not hired by a service company is more willing to do this for you.

Ein Hausmeisterservice erledigt den Winterdienst
Ein Hausmeisterservice erledigt den Winterdienst

In addition to general building cleaning, winter maintenance is also one of the tasks that a caretaker service does.

Photo: iStock / robertiez

Difference between caretaker service and facility manager

Classic management tasks are, however, carried out by a property management company or a so-called facility manager. And there is already the difference between a classic caretaker service, which carries out work regulated by a contract, and the facility manager, who is used and managed especially in very large buildings or several apartment buildings. This means that he not only carries out building cleaning and maintenance work or has it carried out by external companies, but also takes over the entire administrative part and maintains, if not increases, the value of his buildings to be managed as cost-effectively as possible.

How much do janitorial services cost?

How much you pay monthly for the caretaker service depends, of course, on the tasks that the company or the individual caretaker does for you or the owner community. Furthermore, the size of the building and the property to be managed and the technical equipment of the house. On average, a caretaker service costs 35.00 euros per hour. With more than ten hours a month, i.e. from the eleventh hour, there is a small discount for some companies. And the next one from the 21st hour of employment. The stairwell cleaning, once a month, costs about 25 euros for one floor. Nine floors cost around 99 euros. For lawn mowing, the price is determined by the square meter area of ​​the lawn to be mowed, the gutter cleaning by the length of the gutter. How much you pay to put out the garbage cans depends on the number of tons. A standby fee is usually payable for winter service and, when it has snowed, a fixed amount is added per square meter to be shoveled.

Apartment owners jointly commission the caretaker service

In a family home, the homeowner can hire a caretaker or a caretaker service. Especially in winter, the service is very popular with older home owners so that they don't have to push snow themselves. Supplemented by a cleaning company or a cleaning aid and a few other caretaker services in summer to mow the lawn or weed, such service providers enable many seniors to stay longer in their own four walls.

In an apartment building with an apartment owner company, i.e. a house in which each apartment belongs to someone else, the majority of the apartment owners have to agree to hire a caretaker service. The division of costs must be recorded in the so-called division declaration of the owner company. Then the community of owners instructs the property management company to find a suitable caretaker service, or possibly just a cleaning company, for their property. Since most property managers do not only manage one property, they often already know good and reliable caretaker service from other apartment buildings. Or they have good contacts to quickly find a suitable company.

Mehrheitliche Einigung der Wohnungseigentümer auf Hausmeisterservice in Mehrfamilienhaus
Mehrheitliche Einigung der Wohnungseigentümer auf Hausmeisterservice in Mehrfamilienhaus

In an apartment building, the majority of the apartment owners agree to hire a caretaker service.

Photo: iStock / elxeneize

Who pays for the caretaker service?

If the owners live in every apartment in the apartment building, then of course they pay 100 percent of the costs for the caretaker service themselves. If you rent the apartment, you can only pass on part of the costs for the caretaker service to the tenants via the operating costs statement if that has been recorded in the rental agreement. If this is not the case, the landlord must agree to the service if a caretaker service is subsequently ordered or if they do not, the landlord must bear the costs alone. If you are the owner of a building in a building that does not yet have a caretaker service, it is still worthwhile for you to write down in the rental contracts that the costs for the caretaker service can be passed on to the tenant in accordance with the Ordinance on Operating Costs. If the owner company then opts for a caretaker service, you can reclaim part of your costs from the tenants.

But what exactly are we talking about? The apartment owners can only transfer the work of the caretaker service to the tenants, which has to do with the classic, regular caretaker work such as building cleaning, winter maintenance and gardening - no administrative work and no repairs. Even the cost of the smallest repair must be paid by the landlord, the owner of the apartment. Because the maintenance of an apartment is up to the owner.

Therefore, tenants in Germany pay an average of 50 cents per square meter of the rented apartment per month. The exact amount depends on the state and city where you rent an apartment. However, if your share is significantly more than 50 cents per square meter of living space, you can ask the landlord to explain the high costs. Because the apartment owner is obliged to commission an economical caretaker service. If he deliberately chooses a company that charges much more than the usual market price, then you as a tenant can defend yourself against it.

What if the caretaker service doesn't work?

The apartment owners can also defend themselves if the caretaker service does not work as desired. Legal experts advise that unfinished work or misconduct by the caretaker should be given a written warning. And that from the property management directly to the caretaker service. If nothing has improved after three warnings about the same problem, then the apartment owner company should instruct the property management company to terminate the caretaker service. By the way, tenants can report misconduct by the caretaker service to the apartment owner or property management. After all, they pay part of the cost.

But be careful: A caretaker service does not release you as an apartment owner from your obligations as a tenant and he also assumes no liability for you. Example: If a passer-by slips on ice on the sidewalk in front of the house in which you own an apartment and injures yourself, you are still liable together with all other apartment owners - even though you have entrusted the winter maintenance service to the caretaker. In such cases, homeowners' associations recommend taking out a landowner's liability.

Sabrina Deckert

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