Extra "Abrechnung" charges for "Nebenkosten" - Germany

Is this annual utilities payment normal?


Juano
Hi everybody,

We have been renting a flat in Munich since one year already and we pay monthly 590 euros for the "Miete" + 150 euros for the "Nebenkosten", which as far as I knew were the costs for heating and water (we pay the electricity bill separately). A few weeks ago we got the heating and water consumption indicators read, so now I received a letter from my landlord with the annual "Abrechnung", and he is claiming 200 euros extra!

In the bill, the amount for water and heating consumed was far below what we have paid during the year (we were actually hoping to get some money back from them), but now they want to charge us a lot more for some additional stuff like ground taxes, garbage collection and other community expenses (Hausmeister, cleaning personal, ...) that are not specified in the contract and have been added to the "Nebenkosten", so that in the end we still own them 200 euros :S

Is this normal? What would you do in this case?

Thank you very much.
HellesAngel
Sadly this is quite normal, but that doesn't necessarily make what has happened in your case correct. The nebenkosten you pay contain an estimate for how much heating and water you will use, if you use more you will have to pay more. All other costs should be made clear to you before signing as they are predictable. Ask to see all the receipts and how the calculation was done to divide them up.
koala
If your heating and water is oil fuelled, you can expect a large increase. I have had to pay 250 extra this year - for a two roomed flat.
sarabyrd
Nebenkosten are more than utilities. They cover janitors, elevators, communal light such as basements or stairwells etc. aka "Betriebskosten". Take another look at your lease and see if the Nebenkosten are split into these amounts or if Nebenkosten and Betriebskosten are defined.
mrbobke
Another related question: Does anyone know if the owners of a rental flat still have the right to bill me for extra "Nebenkosten" from 2005 and 2006 in the middle of 2007? Moved out of the flat in January, and only got the bill last week via the Makler.
RainyDays
The Betriebskostenabrechnung needs to be sent to the tenant within 12 months after the end of the accounting period (Abrechnungszeitraum), according to § 556 (3) Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch. Only if the landlord isn't responsible for the delay (if, for instance, he didn't receive bills from the energy provider in time), or if the Betriebskostenabrechnung was erroneous with regard to content, can the landlord claim money afterwards.

BGB § 556 (3)

Fragen zur Betriebskostenabrechnung
mrbobke
Thanks, Rainydays... an especially appropriate name for today!
RainyDays
When I chose the name, I didn't expect it to be appropriate on that many days ...
Tim Hortons Man
Thanks, Rainydays... an especially appropriate name for today!
good bye sunshine, nothing official but it looks like we'll be moving back sometime next year, guess I'm going to have to buy a raincoat.

Thanks for the explanation, I never was able to figure out what nebenkosten covered, it's a really weird system, any where else in the world you pay rent plus utilities, only the Germans could come up with such a complicated system. Rents are about the same as Madrid but the housing quality is no comparison. Spanish houses are crap, built to last maybe 20 years tops. Won't miss that. I figure with everything included rent will run about 1200 a month which is about the same as here.
Elfenstar
I searched for Nebenkosten and found this. I got a call from my old landlord. they want to send me a nebenkostenabrechnung from the period from August-October 2006! Um, it's 2008! They want €11 from me. I laughed at the woman on the phone, saying she was joking right, but obviously not.

Isn't there a limit to when she can demand the NK. Maybe I skimmed over it in these threads, but does anyone know the law on this? It's odd. I was on vacation all of October so I am curious to know how much the bill was for 2 months.

EDIT:

Bis wann muss die Abrechnung vorliegen?

Über die Vorauszahlung der Betriebskosten ist jährlich abzurechnen, wobei der Abrechnungszeitraum nicht notwendigerweise dem Kalenderjahr zu entsprechen braucht. Die Abrechnung muss dem Mieter spätestens zwölf Monate nach Ende des Abrechnungszeitraums zugegangen sein.
I just found this. Although it's been nearly 2 years since I moved out, I am assuming that this means they, meaning the building management might not have gotten their bill from the utility company for the whole building until sometime in 2007?
Gorgo
you usually only get the bill once a year, so that might be possible.

I also don't see a point in fighting over 11 eur ... but then it IS a crate of beer
Elfenstar
...I also don't see a point in fighting over 11 eur ... but then it IS a crate of beer
I'm not gonna fight it, I just think it's hilarious I get a bill from 2006 for 11 Euros!
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