Additional costs: which distribution keys can apply

Setting a distribution key to split tenants' heating costs is a complicated matter. By law, different rules of law may be used for fair distribution and combined with each other. How to do it right, and what is inadmissible, read here.

Consumption-based billing

In order to encourage the individual tenants to save energy, the heating cost ordinance stipulates that the allocation of heating costs to the tenants must also be based on consumption.

At least 50% of the heating cost key must therefore take into account the consumption of the tenant.

Conversely, the distribution of heating costs must not be based solely on consumption, but up to a maximum of 70 percent. This complicates the design of a distribution key for the tenant's utility bill.

Legally permitted distributor key

rule standards

The law allows a whole number of different so-called rules. A control scale is a criterion by which the heating costs are distributed.

Permitted rule scales are, for example:

  • according to the ratio of the living space of the rented apartments
  • according to the ratio of the volume (m3 of enclosed space) of the rental apartments
  • according to the number of persons
  • after so-called person months or person days

In addition, the individual scales can be combined almost anywhere. Once set, you may not just change it as a landlord.

General rule scale

If no other standard rule is specified in the rental agreement, the ratio of living space as a rule of thumb automatically applies pursuant to § 556a (1) of the BGB.

That is, if the landlord has set no other scale, the heating costs are split 50 percent according to the consumption of each tenant, and 50 percent of the corresponding proportion of the total floor space.

Calculation according to cubic meters of enclosed space

This can be useful if the rental apartments do not have the same ceiling, so that just a comparison of the floor space would not provide a fair distribution. The apartments with a larger room height have a comparatively higher heating demand (because of the larger indoor air content) than the apartments with a lower ceiling.

For the correct calculation, the II. Calculation Ordinance applies to the heating costs. This calculation method must be adhered to.

Calculation according to number of persons and / or person days and person months

The calculation is certainly more complex if it is done by persons. But she is also fair. A single man in a 70-square-meter apartment certainly causes lower additional costs, as a family of four in a similar sized apartment.

The landlord must therefore always take into account the number of people living in each apartment. In addition he is in the burden of proof for the number of persons, if it comes to disputes. Because of this, this distribution key is rarely used.
Discounts for children or pets are as inadmissible as surcharges to the number of people due to special use.

Calculation of vacancy

A vacancy may - even for a limited time - be transferred to the other tenants. Vacancies are always at the expense of the landlord and must be calculated accordingly from the total costs.

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