Friday , 19 July 2024
Home Global Economy What the landlord can and cannot do
Global Economy

What the landlord can and cannot do

Municipalities are closing their indoor swimming pools, monuments are no longer illuminated, and public buildings are to be heated less: there are many ways to save energy in public spaces. In the private sphere, tenants or homeowners have to be prepared for high additional payments for their energy.

Some landlords have already reacted to reduce consumption of hot water or heating. The case of apartment tenants who have had no hot water for weeks – because the homeowner turned off the heating system – has even become known from Frankfurt.

What is landlords allowed and not allowed to do in times of rising energy costs and high inflation? An overview.

Can the landlord just turn off the hot water?

"He's not allowed to do that," says Gert Reeh, the chairman of the Hesse tenants' association: "There is a so-called basic service in tenancy law, which includes the hot water supply." And that applies all day long. Courts would have confirmed that.

If this happens anyway, tenants can respond with an injunction. "The injunction is provisionally enforceable. If the landlord doesn't come, the residents can order a plumber, and also a locksmith if the facility is locked," says Reeh. In addition, landlords are liable for damages and have to bear the costs if the tenants shower somewhere else, for example in a swimming pool.

Can the heating be turned down?

According to current case law, lowering the heating to 17 or 18 degrees is permitted between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. In order to reduce costs, the Vonovia housing group is planning exactly that at the beginning of the next heating season.

Just over half of the 490,000 Vonovia apartments are connected to gas central heating, which is now being converted during routine maintenance. Vonovia wants to reduce to 17 degrees between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. This should save up to eight percent. According to the company, the supply of hot water is not affected.

"This becomes problematic for shift workers or older people who sometimes want to stay awake longer or sleep badly and then want to heat the room," says expert Reeh. "Then you have to contact the landlord."

Can the prepayment simply be increased?

"We are currently finding out during the consultation that many landlords are asking their tenants to increase the advance payment for operating costs," says Gert Reeh. However, the landlord only has the right to adjust the advance payment because an additional payment was due in the current statement.

The Hessen Tenants' Association nevertheless advises its members to talk to landlords in order to adjust the advance payment. In this way, it is possible to prevent an additional payment from being disproportionately high in the coming year.

Some leases provide for flat-rate operating costs. The landlord must nevertheless announce an increase in writing and explain why the flat rate is being increased. And: If the operating costs fall again, the flat rate must also be adjusted.

Is inflation enough reason to raise rent?

The rent is usually based on the "comparative rents customary in the area". That means: The local rent index decides whether a rent may be increased or not. Landlords are not allowed to do this arbitrarily or indefinitely: "There is a cap so that the rent can only be increased by 15 percent within three years," says Reeh. If the rent has been changed once, an increase may only be made again 15 months later.

The situation is different if tenants have signed a contract that provides for an index rent: An initial rent is agreed, which the landlord can adjust according to the current inflation rate. The consumer price index of the Federal Statistical Office is decisive here. The landlord may increase the rent no more than once a year or at the earliest one year after the start of the tenancy.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Global Economy

Spotlight on 2023: S&P 500 and the Significance of the 4400 Level

In our past exploration of the financial landscape of 2023, we delved...

Global Economy

AI and Data Analytics Drive Efficiency in Money Laundering Detection

BIS Innovation Hub Turns to Tech for Money Laundering Detection The BIS...

Global Economy

Russell 2000 Gains Momentum as Tech Stocks Outperform Value

Tech stocks have dominated the equity markets in recent months, surpassing value...

Global Economy

Crypto Exchange Bybit Announces Exit from Canadian Market Amid Regulatory Changes

Regulatory Shifts Prompt Bybit's Strategic Withdrawal from Canadian Crypto Market