Landlord asking for back payment of rent due to his calculation mistake

32 posts in this topic

Hi All,


Can I get some feedback please? We moved into a rental apartment 2 years ago. In the agreement, was a provision that we pay 80 EUR monthly for a parking spot that comes with the apartment. We were fine with it even though we don't have a car. We had the option to rent it out, which we've (stupidly) never done. 

 

Fast forward to today. Landlord has contacted us saying that he's mistakenly forgotten to charge us the agreed parking spot sum for the last 24 months and that we therefore owe him almost 2000 EUR. He wants to add it onto our monthly payments, so that we effectively pay it in installments. 

 

Do we have any legal recourse here? Or do we just have to suck it up? 

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how is he "charging" you and why didn't you double check the amount you were effectively paying against the costs outlined in your contract?

 

isn't it your responsibility to pay the correct amount via überweisung?

 

eta:  definitely a case for the mieterverein but he *may* be limited to undercharges for the last year only.  I know with nebenkosten they have a time limit but no idea what happens with parking spots.  Bottom line though is you agreed to pay a certain amount for your rent and parking, and you didn't do that for whatever reason.  I'd tread very carefully and consider his willingness to let you pay it in installments pretty reasonable.

 

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Essentially he messed up the calcs when balancing Nebenkosten at the end of each year. We left the calcs to him. He had all the figures. He just told us what the new monthly payment total was and we paid that amount. He told us that our energy use was low and therefore our monthly payments were significantly lower. We didn't question it. It seemed to make sense since we don't use the heating much and have timers on all the heaters to avoid them running when they don't need to. We just paid the lower amount that he told us to. Now he realises that he forgot to account for this 80 EUR each month and actually he should have been gettng us to pay more. Which means we now have a significant debt. He's a decent guy so we're not wanting to mess him around, but I'd still like to know what our legal rights are before proceeding.   

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It's a rent though, isn't it, either in one contract with the apartment or with its own rental contract?  It's absolutely nothing to do with Nebenkosten (service charges).

 

When I had one (ages ago now),  it was just part of the rental payment.  Due on the third day of the month or whenever.   You would not normally expect the landlord to "bill" you.   Look at what your contract says about paying for it.    It is likely an obligation on you.  No "calculation" is needed.  Their "mistake" would be they did not collect it promptly - now they are trying to collect it.

 

I have rented out my own space.  The obligation is on the renter to pay by the due date (as above).  I never billed them.  It's their obligation to pay according to the agreement they signed, and, in the event they do not but then I had to chase it, the laws about it.

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You Ll´s claim hasn´t reached the statute of limitations yet which is 3 years . So my guess is you´ll have to pay.

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This is slightly confusing as you wrote there was a provision that we pay 80€ monthly for parking and that the LL mistakenly forgot to charge you. 

Parking has nothing to do with Nebenkosten.  Parking costs will be listed in the contract.  Seems like your decent guy LL is messing about.  Is the parking cost in your contract?  Should be.  And you've been paying for the parking space.  Correct?  Have you also been transferring the money from your bank account to his or has this been a cash handover each month?  If a transfer from account to account, then you are on firm ground.

Cold rent + nebenkosten + parking = transferred amount.  Showing your bank records will prove you've been paying.  If he's telling you that the parking is part of your nebenkosten, he's incorrect.  As has been mentioned and is highly recommended, get with the Mieterverein.

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Its not really that confusing. With simplified numbers it was like this. Original quoted monthly rent = 1020 + parking 80 + nebenkosten 100 = total of 1200 EUR to be paid monthly. 

 

Thats exactly what we paid monthly, by direct transfer to his account.  After a few months, the end of financial year arrived, and calcs were done by landlord to adjust Nebenkosten (as is the case with every "warm" rental agreement) to see whether we had to pay extra, or were due a rebate. Landlord told us that we'd used much less energy than anticipated and therefore our payments for the following 12 months would be reduced to 1025 EUR monthly.  So we took him at his word (how could he be doing us down by asking us to to pay less each month?!)  and paid the new lower rate each month for 12 months. Then the next year end arrived and he again adjusted our payments, although this time they were adjusted upwards, but were still less than the original quoted warm rental rate of 1200 EUR per month so again we just adjusted our monthly transfer to match what he asked. As I said in earlier, he's a nice guy and he's not looking to take us for a ride. It was clearly an honest mistake but the upshot is we're now left with a significant debt.  

 

 

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This is Clearly your landlords error... 

 

You should not be penalised...

 

Ask him to openly put the Garage parking space for rent. 

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In that case, you have paid the parking rent.   That is all you need to say on that.   There is no more discussion to be had.

 

The Nebenkosten statements you get should only be Nebenkosten.  The rent is nothing to do with that.  Sounds like he is either confused / inept or deliberately trying to muddy the waters. Anything to end 2016 is now dead usually as only he has till 31.12.2017 to bill you.   The 2017 may still to be settled (but none of us here really know that for sure as we do not know full situ) but that's all.  He still has to provide details of charges etc.

 

When I rented, locals always told me it is advisible to send the payments for rent and nebenkosten separately - not one lump.   If you do not do that, you might want to change your payment instructions.

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I still don't understand why he would factor parking into the nebenkosten ever, since it's a flat fee added to your rent under the contract - so yes, it's still confusing.

 

the basis for nebenkosten is the jahresrechnung.  That's it.  he can't add on or subtract other fees or charges unless they appear in the rechnung. He has to provide you with a copy of that.  THAT is not confusing at all.  

 

what you describe makes little sense.

 

 

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The LL hasn't put parking into the nebenkosten. OP said so:

 

"Original quoted monthly rent = 1020 + parking 80 + nebenkosten 100 = total of 1200 EUR to be paid monthly."

 

This was a pure fuck up. From both sides to be honest. The cold rent is  1100 (1020 + 80). But, due to said fuck up, they were asked to pay a warm rent of 1025 for 2 years (OK, a little bit more for the second year).

 

So they were paying warm rent that was actually even lower than the cold rent. How that goes on for 2 years I dunno, but in my opinion, as sucky as it is, 1100 is what is in the contract and they have been underpaying for 2 years. So now it's time to catch up.

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16 minutes ago, swimmer said:

In that case, you have paid the parking rent.   That is all you need to say on that.   There is no more discussion to be had.

 

The Nebenkosten statements you get should only be Nebenkosten.  The rent is nothing to do with that.  Sounds like he is either confused / inept or deliberately trying to muddy the waters. Anything to end 2016 is now dead usually as only he has till 31.12.2017 to bill you.   The 2017 may still to be settled (but none of us here really know that for sure as we do not know full situ) but that's all.  He still has to provide details of charges etc.

 

 

He's not claiming that the backpayment is for the parking spot.  He's simply said that he made a mistake in the calculation. The mistake happens to arise from him forgetting to account for the parking spot rent when doing his calcs but that isn't really relevant, is it? 

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If you've been paying 1200€ per month (1020 cold rent + 80 parking + 100 nebenkosten) than you are on firm ground, so long as this is exactly what is written in your rental contract.  If he is telling you that he failed to calculate in the parking, then he is fiddling about.  Again, as has been written here, parking has nothing to do with nebenkosten.  Cold rent and parking are fixed costs.  Nebenkosten are fluctuating costs:  rubbish, heating, taxes, insurances, water, etc.  Parking is not a part of the nebenkosten.

Has your LL provided you with a written Nebenkosten Abrechnung?  If he is merely verbally telling you the difference you owe or he owes you, demand that he provides you with a written Abrechnung.

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15 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

I still don't understand why he would factor parking into the nebenkosten ever, since it's a flat fee added to your rent under the contract - so yes, it's still confusing.

 

the basis for nebenkosten is the jahresrechnung.  That's it.  he can't add on or subtract other fees or charges unless they appear in the rechnung. He has to provide you with a copy of that.  THAT is not confusing at all.  

 

what you describe makes little sense.

 

 

 

As I said above, the exact source of the miscalculation is of little consequence to us. Nebenkosten, parking spots, whatever. The upshot is that we've paid less than agreed in the contract, we owe him money and its just not optimal to be presented with a 2000 EUR bill. We likely just have to suck it up. Thanks for the input, all. 

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4 minutes ago, CustomX said:

The mistake happens to arise from him forgetting to account for the parking spot rent when doing his calcs...

 

I don't think it's even that. If you were paying 1025, even taking out the parking, then you were only paying 5eur nebenkosten. It's just a proper screw up.

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5 minutes ago, theGman said:

 

I don't think it's even that. If they were paying 1025, even taking out the parking, then they were only paying 5eur nebenkosten. It's just a proper screw up.

 

I altered the numbers ot make it simpler to explain. it wasn't as blatant a mistake as us only paying 5 EUR Nebenkosten

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14 minutes ago, CustomX said:

 

I altered the numbers ot make it simpler to explain. it wasn't as blatant a mistake as us only paying 5 EUR Nebenkosten

 

OK fine but the nebenkosten are essentially irrelevant. You have to pay what is in your contract (Cold rent + Parking) plus your nebenkosten invoice each year. You can work it out yourself. How much should you have paid in that time and how much did you pay in that time? At the end of the day, it is very black and white.

 

ETA: actually, to be fair you just said that...

 

16 minutes ago, CustomX said:

The upshot is that we've paid less than agreed in the contract, we owe him money and its just not optimal to be presented with a 2000 EUR bill. We likely just have to suck it up.

 

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7 minutes ago, CustomX said:

 

As I said above, the exact source of the miscalculation is of little consequence to us.

 

you didn't say that and honestly, it SHOULD be of consequence to you as it's the only way to determine if you are actually on the hook for back payments.

 

but I agree with theGman - you can do the math.

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It should also be of consequence in that anyone suggesting we have not paid almost two years of rent (not service charges) when we have is a potential risk to us, especially if they start legal action, or recovery.   I'd not see it as acceptable.  I'd tell them to get lost on the rent.   Don't even suggest I'm a rent dodger - when I am not :huh:.

 

Not sure accusing you of not paying your rent is actually that "nice", myself. 

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