The utility bill - so the tenant comes to his right

The topic of operating cost accounting, also referred to as incidental costs or ancillary costs, ensures throughout Germany for disagreements between tenants and landlords. Often, the tenant pays too high operating costs because he does not bother to check the utility bill.
Every year, the German Tenants' Association criticizes the fact that, on average, about every second utility bill is wrong.

But how can one protect oneself as a tenant against too high and unjustified additional demands of the additional costs? The calculation of operating costs must not be arbitrarily carried out by the landlord. On the one hand, the calculation of operating costs is subject to different distribution keys. The distribution key for additional costs can basically be determined by the landlord. However, the landlord is obliged to use the cheapest distribution key. On the other hand, the renter has the right to check his own account or to have it checked by experts.

If the utility bill is once a year in the mailbox, then it usually consists of several pages of paper and the costs are divided into tables. At best, because not every landlord takes it with the care so carefully. But even if the utility bill is listed properly, this is no guarantee for its accuracy. In the jungle of operating costs you should have its utility bill settled by a specialist check. The legal experts examine, on the one hand, which costs may be allocated to the tenant and which costs the landlord himself has to bear. On the other hand, the legal experts prepare a precise test report, which simplifies later communication with the landlord if the utility bill contains errors.

  • Have the utility bill settled by a specialist
  • Which costs are payable and which are the landlords?
  • Final test report from the legal expert

Which deadlines does the landlord have?

Does the utility bill settle after 1.5 or 2 years, then you have to pay the costs at all? The legal experts of Mineko also check the deadlines that the landlord has to comply with. Also helpful on this topic is the checklist: How to check your billing from Stiftung Warentest. The landlord may by no means create and send the utility bill at any time. The landlord must complete the billing within 12 months. The period of settlement does not necessarily have to include the calendar year. All that matters is that billing for operating costs be made within 12 months of the billing cycle. Which billing period is set by the landlord, should be recorded in the lease. Anyone who is not sure as a layman whether his operating cost statement is correct, should definitely ask an expert for advice. Instead of a back payment is often even a repayment possible.

  • Deadline for the utility bill: 12 months
  • Billing period may be determined by the landlord
  • Period of billing should be recorded in the lease

Video Board: Can a landlord quit paying the utility bill if the tenant stops paying rent?