The additional costs for water

Although it may come as a surprise to many readers, the cost of running water is a source of fuel. Different distribution keys, just as different high water consumption through car washes, irrigation of garden shares and even almost identical conditions between the water consumption of different tenants do not exclude dispute. Therefore, we have put together a lot of valuable information for tenants and landlords.

Water around the rental property

Tap water in Germany is one of the world's highest quality public water networks. A drinking water quality is given at all times. The costs for water consumption are correspondingly high. Behind additional costs with "water" but can hide different posts.

  • cold water
  • Sewage (sewer)
  • Hot water (hot water, heating water)
  • Rainwater (site and roof drainage)

The operating costs for water

However, additional costs for water are generally cold water, wastewater and possibly hot water. Billing can also be done using various distribution keys.

  • Billing based on proportionate square meters
  • Per capita billing for people living in a household
  • Reading home-related water clocks

Problem with a square meter bill

Already here start the problems. If you pay by square meters, it can very quickly lead to dispute: You may live alone, your neighbors as a couple with 5 children and a baby would come to your account to 8 people, the neighbors have a garden plot that they water regularly, while you may not use it and the other parties may have a vehicle that they regularly wash in front of the house, but they only have one bike.

Per capita billing without realistic meaning

That a billing by square meters therefore does not necessarily have to be fair, is also seen in numerous courts so. However, on the other hand, there is no evidence that two persons living in a household would also mean a double water consumption to a single tenant. The fact that two people live there says nothing about their water consumption habits.

The right to be billed by water meter

However, if your water bill seems too high and you have been billed for square meters, you may insist on using a water meter. According to BGH (Federal Court of Justice), the landlord may not settle according to square meters if a water meter has been properly installed in your home and is read with a neutral witness.

Billing by meter reading, even if agreed otherwise

There is also an exception to the operating costs to be included in the rental agreement. What and how is billed, must be clearly apparent from the lease. Deviations from this are not permitted. Regarding water consumption, however, regardless of which other distribution key has been agreed here (per capita calculation, according to square meters), billing must be made via the water meter.

The cost of water meters

If you exist as a tenant on the installation, you must also take over the costs. If you want to install a water meter for the first time as a tenant, this is the modernization costs, which you can allocate proportionately to the tenants - with 11 percent annually. However, this excludes the cost of replacing meters after the end of the calibrated period. Incidentally, water meters may in principle no longer be used if the calibration period has been exceeded.

  • Calibration period Cold water meter: 6 years
  • Calibration period Hot water meter: 5 years

But a landlord can just as well rent the water meters. Because the oak can not usually be done on site. Therefore, the oak would be expensive, making the renewal or rental of water meters profitable. If you insist on the installation of the water meter as a tenant, you also have to pay for the renewal after the calibration period.

The pfennig justice

However, it is not always the case that tenants actually only have to pay what is displayed on their water meter. Likewise, tenants who charge the total water consumption per capita or square meter can complain. And this happens when other tenants evidently cause different costs.

  • Garden share awarded to a single renter alone
  • Water connection to parking or garage for individual tenants to car wash
  • Infants in other housing parties
  • Water for staircase cleaning
  • Irrigation of green areas (usable or not)

However, it looks bad here for tenants who complain. As long as these amounts do not account for at least 10 percent of the total water consumption, they are to be taken on a pro rata basis. This is understood as the so-called penny-justice in the settlement.

Non-allocable water costs

But of course there are costs for which tenants do not have to pay.

  • water pipe bursts
  • Water that the landlord needs for his garden or for additions
  • Leaks (for example from the toilet flush, if the landlord knows)

Recoverable costs in addition to the actual water consumption

In addition to the pure water costs, other items can also come under the item water in the additional costs.

  • Cost of a pressure booster, if necessary
  • Cost of a water filtration system
  • Basic fees of the water supplier
  • Maintenance of water treatment and water flow regulators
  • Maintenance internal water supply system
  • Rental costs water clocks
  • the cost of the initial installation of water meters
  • Calibration costs of water meters
  • Electricity and maintenance of the respective systems

With the water, which is needed for the house cleaning (stairwell) and the garden irrigation, it is to be noted, however, that these items also represent operating costs and must not be charged twice.

Tips & Tricks

The counter difference between home and main meters may be 20 percent, as main meters usually work more accurately. Therefore, differences up to this amount are allowed in the bill. If billed according to persons, infants are not considered as one person. If the calibration of the water meter has expired, billing may no longer be performed according to the meter reading. This would be the entire utility bill in question. This also applies to such determined household allowance for water by property management, which is to be allocated as water costs. Expired water meters may only be used for estimates.

In many federal states there is a duty for water meters for housing units, but not everywhere. The same applies to existing buildings: in many federal states existing and old buildings are exempted from this obligation.

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