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Calculate living space: How to measure correctly
Calculate living space: How to measure correctly

Video: Calculate living space: How to measure correctly

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Video: How to measure a room 2023, January
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Have you ever wondered whether the living space of your apartment actually corresponds to the square meters specified in your rental agreement? It is worth taking a measurement: Because if there are deviations from the rental agreement, you may be able to save a lot of money. Here you can find out how to measure correctly and which requirements to consider when calculating living space.

Table of contents Table of contents Calculating living space: How to determine the square meters precisely

  • Calculating living space makes sense
  • Regulations for the calculation of living space
  • Important for tenants
  • manual

Table of contents Table of contents Calculating living space: How to determine the square meters precisely

  • Calculating living space makes sense
  • Regulations for the calculation of living space
  • Important for tenants
  • manual

Calculating living space makes sense

It is not uncommon for tenants to be relieved and happy to have found an apartment due to the current housing market situation. Often, many applicants come to an apartment and the initial luck is great when the right rental property has been found. Doubts about the correctness of all information usually arise only after the signing of the rental agreement. Because it is not uncommon for landlords to specify inaccurate or incorrect square meters in the rental agreement in order to be able to charge higher rents. As this is not understandable at first glance, you as a tenant may pay an expensive price for your apartment for years. But not only the rent amount is decisive: Household insurance and utility bills also refer to the square meters specified in the rental contract. The remeasurement is therefore worth it twice.

Regulations for the calculation of living space

In order to be able to calculate the living space, it is unfortunately not enough to simply add the measured square meters of the living space. The calculation is more complicated and has to comply with certain DIN standards. All DIN methods for calculating the living space are permitted. Good to know: Depending on which DIN standard you use for the calculation, the results may differ. It is therefore particularly important to deal with the different processes in advance.

This guideline specifies which parts of the apartment you are allowed to rate and how when you calculate the living space. Since January 2004, the living space regulation has stipulated that the living space does not correspond to the floor space of the residential building. Originally used for subsidized housing, the WoFIV is now also the common method for newer housing.

There are areas that may not be fully designated as living space, such as rooms with sloping ceilings or balconies and terraces. As living space in an apartment or house, you can credit the kitchen, bathroom, toilets, living room, bedroom and side room, dining room, hallways and storage rooms that are located in the apartment in accordance with the living space regulation. You must not take hallways and storage rooms outside your home, cellars, washrooms, boiler rooms and garages into account. Unfortunately, it often happens that landlords also include these areas in the living space.

Important to know: Especially for tenants of older apartments or houses, it is crucial when the property was last modified. If your house is older, it is possible that the old living space regulation, which was valid until December 31, 2003, will apply. Be sure to inform yourself thoroughly beforehand before informing your landlord of any doubts.

Tip: The living space only includes rooms that are at least one meter high. If this is not the case, these must not be included in the living space calculation.

There is another way to calculate your living space. The DIN standard 277 describes in detail the "floor space and volume of buildings in building construction". This method is more popular with landlords than the tenant-friendly living space regulation. According to DIN 277, you divide the living areas into traffic, usable and functional areas. The most interesting point here: balcony, loggia and terrace as well as attics or cellars can be fully added to the living space with this method, which increases the rental price. Attention especially for tenants of attic apartments: According to DIN 277, many square meters are quickly added to the living space.

Dachgeschosswohnung
Dachgeschosswohnung

Are you a tenant of an attic apartment? If so, please observe the following principle when calculating the living space: Areas less than two meters high must not be fully included in the living space!

Photo: iStock / Artjafara

Important for tenants

The results of the two methods for calculating your living space can vary considerably. Because: Whether you have to take the balcony fully or a maximum of 50 percent, for example, and whether or not the basement is part of the living space, plays a major role in the area calculation.

Before you take out the ruler and measure the areas, read your rental agreement carefully. For rental apartments, the procedure for calculating the living space should be specified. This is the only way to have the transparency and security of how you can proceed. If there is no information on the calculation of living space in your rental contract, the tenant-friendly living space regulation usually applies in the event of a dispute in court - it has been used preferentially since 2004.

As a tenant, if you have the choice, you will measure the available living space in accordance with the Living Space Ordinance. You can get more detailed information from the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).

Calculate living space: Now it goes to the ruler

With the folding rule in hand, obstacles such as particularly narrow niches or inaccessible areas in the bathroom can get in your way. With our tips you can measure without any difficulties:

1. Do as the architects do and first sketch a floor plan of your apartment - it does not have to be to scale, but only serves to record the measured distances between the different walls. Here you can gradually enter your measurements and keep an overview. No data is lost and you can easily calculate the living space at your desk.

2. Are you using your beloved folding rule? No problem as long as the measuring points are easily accessible. It is best to use a laser rangefinder in difficult places. With the exact measuring device you can measure the distances between the opposite walls with millimeter precision - even if they are obscured by low furniture. Operation is very simple: The measured data can be saved on the device and called up at a later time. Our tip: Divide highly angled rooms into several rectangular segments and measure them individually. At the end, the partial areas are simply added up.

Tacklife A-LDM01 40 Advanced Laser-Entfernungsmesser
Tacklife A-LDM01 40 Advanced Laser-Entfernungsmesser

3. If you calculate a smaller number of square meters than specified in the rental agreement based on your own measurements, you should have the living space measured again by an appraiser. As a rule, this takes up to two hours for all measurements, which can lead to costs of around 200 euros. Of course, the expert is very familiar with all calculations and regulations. And: If there is a dispute with the landlord or even a legal dispute due to the incorrectly specified living space, the expert assessment in court has greater evidential value than the own living space determination. In this case, contact a tenant association or tenant association in advance - they will advise you on how to enforce your rights as a tenant.

Important to know: You can only request money back from your landlord if the specified living space deviates from your measurement by at least ten percent. As a rule, the rental costs may be reduced according to the different percentage and, if necessary, returned - this also applies to excess costs paid by the way.

Carolin Haist

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