landlord living in the flat with tenants: what can i claim back on tax return?

2 posts in this topic

  1. If I am a ‘live in landlord’ what bills am I entitled to claim back on my tax return when declaring my rental income? 
    i live in my flat and this year took in two housemates who pay rent. I pay all bills directly in the Flat: Internet, Gasag, Vattenfall; Hausverwaltung.
  2. In 2019 there were some months with only two of us, some months with 3 of us. Should I claim only for the share that the other one or two housemates use and that I pay on their behalf? Or can I include the whole bill even though I benefit from it because I live there too? 
  3. The same question applies to the Hauswerwaltung. My housemates (tenants) are my friends and just pay a lump sum that is almost a made up number, a flat fee for them. So there is not specific cold or warm rent breakdown.  Should I retrospectively create a more solid contract and ‘make up’ a cold rent price? The monthly Hasgeld costs are 239€ total. Can I submit 450€ per room as cold rent, and then just claim the entire €239 of the hausgeld? 



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Essentially you can deduct your expenses pro-rata based on a division of floor area but I strongly urge you to seek out either a Steuerberater or a Lohnsteuerhilfeverein (the latter only assuming you are an employee somewhere and your only additional income is this rent and it's less than 13k, otherwise you will need a Steuerberater).


They can do your first return for you and you can see exactly what is being deducted. You can ask them where their figures come from if it's not clear.


You have not mentioned for example your Anschaffungskosten (purchase expenses) like the purchase price and even the Maklergebühren! In Germany you can fully write off the cost of the rental property (in your case pro-rata) over either 40 or 50 years, depending on when it was built. Costs such as extensive repairs may also be considered in certain circumstances, especially if they were incurred shortly after purchase.


So it's not just about your current expenses. The deduction of these Anschaffungskosten can significantly reduce your tax liability. It is important to get absolutely everything recognised that you possibly can by the Finanzamt in your first return. A professional will help here no end.


You should have a more solid breakdown between cold rent and nebenkosten, even if it's "Pauschal". The reason being if your nebenkosten go up dramatically you can legitimately pass the increase on. The figures should be based on the reality of your expenses. At least I think that's what my tax advisor told me.


Summary: don't rely on a few posts here for your first return. You stand to lose a lot of money if you don't get this right.



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