Massive increase in rent Nebenkosten

25 posts in this topic

Posted

Dear all,

I hope someone can give me some guidance.

I have lived in my apartment for the last 12 months, with no problems. Rent paid on time, no complaints. It is a 2 room apartment - 55sqm

It was owned by a management company, but was recently sold, so now I have a new landlord.

The new landlord has written a letter to me stating that they are maintaining my Cold Rent cost - which is great. However, that they have at the same will increase my Nebenkosten from €165 to €310 per month, which is an 88.5% increase. This obviously came as quite a shock to me. As a result, this increase in Nebenkosten has increased my overall rent by around 20%, which I think is totally unacceptable.

I pay electricity directly to the supplier monthly.

Is there anything I can do?

Thanks

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Posted

That seems strange to me.

Nebenkosten are based on real costs like tax, heating, water, services and so in.

So your Land Lord has to give you an overview of all those.

I think the best way is to ask him what has changed in detail.

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Posted

Thanks for the reply.

I will contact him to see what the breakdown is and what has changed.

If nothing has changed and he doesn't budge, then what are my options? Do I still have to serve the 3 months notice - although a new contract has not been drafted or signed yet?

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Posted

You don't have to sign a new contract - in fact, I wouldn't do it.

Your old contract remains valid.

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Posted

Ask them for a breakdown of why they are raising it. It is possible that your heat and water (included in the nebenkosten) was actually so much that you really are using 310 a month. It is also possible that the 165 estimate when you moved in was too low, possibly on purpose to make the apartment more attractive to a possible tenant.

My nebenkosten were originally 100€, split into heat: 80 and other: 20. The "other" is actually 45€ a month. The heat can be anywhere from 60 to 95 (or more) depending on how cold the winter is and how much I heat. I raised my payment to 135 so I don't get backcharged.

In your case, if you insist on paying what your contract says and your actual bill is more, you will just get a bill from the landlord for the excess. If you pay what they say and the bill turns out to be less, you will get money back.

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Posted

Join your local Mieterverein. They'll check if your Nebenkostenabrechnung is correct and will do any necessary correspondance with your landlord. Just in case your landlord wants to screw you he might reconsider if he knows you are a member of the Mieterbund.

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Posted

That sounds like a good plan - I will do this tomorrow - thanks everyone for all the great advise.

I will try to post developments as they happen - any new comments also welcome :)

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Posted

You'll get a Nebenkostennachzahlung for the last 12 months, I guess. I'd take all the paperwork (contract, letters, Nebenkostenabrechnung) to the Mieterverein and let them have a look at it. They'll explain to you in detail what your rights are and what the landlord can and can't do.

Gas prices have been going up last year, though, so maybe you really need to pay more. But I'd actually pay more in advance instead of a hefty Nachzahlung at once.

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Posted

The average Nebenkosten per sqm (no electricity included ) are about € 2.30- 3 ,00 each month. Which is pretty much the amount the OP paid till today.

What springs to my mind is that the new landlord is maybe unexperienced in renting out and by this wants to charge to the tenant all cost he as owner has to pay for, the Hausgeld, which is quite a bit more than the Nebenkosten (that difference is part of the rent per sqm already)

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Posted

But I'd actually pay more in advance instead of a hefty Nachzahlung at once.

While I prefer paying less and saving/investing my money where it will earn something meanwhile. Why give free loans to the landlord? (Tax authorities, etc.)

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Posted

The price for all utilities (Esp. Power) went up on Jan 1st. My power bill alone increased 50%

even though my power usage actually went down over prev. years. So before everybody goes

off yelling Mietervereine.. Get a copy of the actual costs from your landlord. Only if he refuses

should you goto the Mietervereine.

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Posted

It can't hurt to be a member. I wouldn't know all the particulars of landlord and tenant law. I couldn't tell if a Nebenkostenabrechnung is correct. And I guess the OP can't either.

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Posted

I am very miserly when it comes to looking for apartments and what the Nebenkosten are. Probably unrealistically miserly and am always on the lookout for nebenkosten at around the 60-70 mark (am I a glutton for punishment, I wonder?). To me, at least for the cold rent, you are paying for bricks and mortar. But if the Nebenkosten are already half as much(or higher) as the cold rent, I often ask myself what is wrong with this building that it is sucking up half its value again in Nebenkosten. OK its communal consumption related some of the time, but still...

On the other hand, the reality is a lot of maintenance costs are on the increase (bad luck for especially new tenants). The eletricity costs have really increased over especially the last few years. I am shocked sometimes at how high the current Nebenkosten are on places like immoscout, kalaydo. Kind of makes me glad I got my apartment when I did, since there's rarely apartments with good nebenkosten/kaltmiete balance to be found anymore.

I'm not sure if elevators make much difference for communal electricity consumption. They always have those big electricty/generator rooms with a high voltage warning somewhere nearby. But then again, I could swear I saw a boring daytime TV programme saying elevators work mainly on gravity and cantilevers so maybe they dont suck that much electricity after all.

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Posted

The price for all utilities (Esp. Power) went up on Jan 1st. My power bill alone increased 50%

even though my power usage actually went down over prev. years. So before everybody goes

off yelling Mietervereine.. Get a copy of the actual costs from your landlord. Only if he refuses

should you goto the Mietervereine.

Good point, DK, but the OP said he pays his own power bill separate from his rent.

We just got €169 back from our annual heating cost bill from our landlord.

The OP's increase seems very unreasonable to me. There are limits on raising rents and now I'm interested to know if there are any on raising Nebenkosten.

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Posted

I am very miserly when it comes to looking for apartments and what the Nebenkosten are. Probably unrealistically miserly and am always on the lookout for nebenkosten at around the 60-70 mark

You should also be suspicious if you see apartments advertised with nebenkosten listed much lower than everywhere else. You should ask to see the statement from the last year to verify that the amount is really that low. It happens that landlords estimate the nebenkosten low in order to make the apartment more attractive. At the end of the year, the landlord will pass the actual bill to you and it could be much higher than the estimate.

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Posted

We have a 100 sqm apartment and pay € 160 nebenkosten and up to now every year we have had a pay back amount to us € 310 is way too high for average use.

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Posted

Just as an update to this situation, I contacted the new landlord today by telephone.

He said that I should pay the new amount... still no sign of a new contract though.

He advised that he will make a appointment soon to visit me in person, but that he is waiting for the agent of the management company to return his calls.

I in the meantime contacted the old management company (who incidentally used to own the apartment) requesting the breakdown of the 2012 Nebenkosten. They advised me that the breakdown was not available yet, but to cut a long story short, that the new Nebenkosten amount requested from the new landlord was out of their hands. They are not really offering much help.

The new landlord however, has said that he has the breakdown. Something doesn't sound right to me. Maybe I'm over suspicious.

I will keep updated posted as they happen.

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Posted

You don't have to sign a new contract - in fact, I wouldn't do it. Your old contract remains valid.

You really should read through the answers people have given you - the advice Hazza and Sarabyrd gave you is good. There is no reason for you to get a new contract, on the contrary this could be quite disadvantageous to you.

You will need to pay for the time being, and wait to see the breakdown from the new owner. Not sure why you're puzzled and suspicious, surely it's obvious that the previous owner will not be able to help you with any issues happening with the new owner. I know it's been said before here, but membership of the Mieterverein would be well worth the cost to help you get your questions sorted out, with the support of experts that are on YOUR side.

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Posted

Hi all,

I have been in Germany for little over 8 months and recently received my first water bill. I live in a 100m2 2-bedroom flat with my wife and little daughter (2 years old). When I got my water bill, the verbrauchkosten itself is 10 Euros per cubic metre. This sounds extortionate to me, can anyone shed some light whether if this is normal in Germany?

When I signed up, the Nebenskosten (heating + water) is 210 Euros per month, but now the landlord wants to increase it to 400 Euros per month. Assuming I pay another 100 Euros per month for electricity, this amounts to 500 Euros per month in utility bills for a small family. When in UK, I pay less than 150 Euros per month... and since I don't understand German, it's difficult for me to even communicate with the landlord.

Any advice is appreciated.

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

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Posted

The water price is EUR 2.14 per cubic meter according to Drewag website. The cost of heating the water will depend on the type of heating in your building (gas, district heating). There are also other factors, such as the state of the building, the insulation of the pipes, etc.

Unfortunately, many unscrupulous landlords make apartments look more attractive by lowballing the estimate for the ancillary costs, because they know they can get any difference back from you afterwards.

You might ask your neighbors about their bills for comparison. Or if you want to post the individual items here, perhaps someone could help you decipher them.

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Posted

thats bullshit mate we are a family of four and pay €160 a month for nebenkosten and have laways got some back in the yearly round up

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Posted

Hi El Jeffo,

The water bill is sent by the landlord to me, not from Drewag to me. The landlord owns the entire flat unit (around 15 flats in total, but is mostly rented to foreigners). The bill is sent by a company called Brunata Metrona. There is no mention of water rates in their website.

From the bill, the rates for

Wasser/Abwasser = 4,28 Euros per cubic metre. This is exactly twice the Drewag rate. Does it mean that for every cubic metre of water you use, you need to pay similar amount as waste water, or am I being ripped off?

Warmwasser Verbrauchskosten = 10,01 Euros per cubic metre.

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Posted

The waste water rate for Stadtentwässerung Dresden GmbH is 1.76 €/m³ (for 2013), calculated with the same cubic meters as for fresh water.

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