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Disputed ancillary rental costs
Disputed ancillary rental costs

Video: Disputed ancillary rental costs

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The ancillary rental costs or the ancillary rental cost accounting always causes disputes between tenants and landlords. This is not surprising when you consider how complicated the regulations for the settlement of ancillary rental costs are.

A survey recently revealed surprising things: only every second tenant checks his utility bill. It's a lot of money. The ancillary rental costs make up an average of a good third of the total rent. Many landlords find it difficult to keep the numbers in order, as incorrect billing documents show. Reason enough to find out more.

What are ancillary rental costs?

The term ancillary rental costs is not legally defined - only the operating costs. Operating costs are all costs that the owner incurs on the building or property, for example for heating and hot water, which according to the Heating Cost Ordinance must be billed according to consumption. In addition, there are all other items from the Ordinance on Operating Costs from 2004 and the extension from 2012. However, regulations in older rental contracts continue to apply.

What the lease regulates

If there is no corresponding agreement in the rental agreement, the landlord bears all the incidental rental costs himself. If such agreements were quite common in the past, a monthly flat rate or advance payment is agreed today. The difference: a flat rate covers all costs. When paying in advance, the landlord must quantify the costs and invoice once a year. The tenant must receive the settlement no later than the end of the twelfth month after the end of the settlement period. "The landlord bears the risk that the billing reaches the recipient in time, " says Dietmar Wall from the German Tenants' Association in Berlin.

Wasseruhr und Taschenrechner
Wasseruhr und Taschenrechner

The calibration of water meters also counts as ancillary rental costs and can be apportioned.

Photo: iStock / cherezoff

What does the tenant pay?

If the rental agreement contains a reference to the Ordinance on Operating Costs, all positions listed therein can be allocated to the tenant. These incidental rental costs include property tax, water and sewage, heating and hot water, elevator, garbage disposal, caretaker service, chimney sweep or property and liability insurance.

What does the landlord pay?

The landlord alone pays other costs such as those for administration, maintenance or ground rent. The tenant cannot invoice one-off costs either. "Even after the contract has been concluded, costs such as new insurance can only be allocated if the rental agreement allows it, " explains Wall.

The distribution key for the additional rental costs

In addition to the costs for heating and hot water, tenants and landlords can freely agree on the allocation key for the operating costs. If there is no such regulation, the operating costs are apportioned to square meters. In the case of rented condominiums, it is of course advisable to invoice for co-ownership shares. However, this must be explicitly stated in the rental agreement. The number of people per apartment can also be agreed with the tenant as a distribution key.

Incidental rental costs correctly and on time

Time is money: Owners have to settle with the tenant in good time in order to receive all apportionable costs. Questions that landlords have to ask themselves in order to have all the additional rental costs transferred in good time:

  • Is there an agreement in the rental agreement for all operating costs that are passed on to the tenant? Because: The tenant only has to make monthly advance payments if this has been agreed.
  • Are all items operating costs? Because: The billing must take place no later than twelve months after the end of the billing period. If the deadline is met, the landlord can request additional payment and must reimburse the prepayment made too much. If the deadline is not met, the landlord can no longer request additional claims, but must reimburse prepayments made too much.

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