Ancillary costs: The most important thing about your ancillary costs (Nebenkosten) statement


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The utility bill is not always a reason to be happy for tenants. What do you do if an additional payment is due and what are the ancillary costs? Find out here

To save costs, you can now use online tariff comparison sites to compare your ancillary costs (Nebenkosten) directly with tariffs from other providers for electricity or gas.

Ancillary costs (Nebenkosten) in a nutshell

  • The amount of the additional costs must be stated in the rental agreement.
  • The right to any additional payments on the part of the landlord is limited to one year after the end of the billing period.
  • It is possible to change electricity providers.
  • Broadcasting fees must be registered independently. There are only exemptions from this in special cases.
  • Property owners pay house fees (ancillary costs).

Special regulation due to COVID19

Payment defaults that can be traced back to the Corona crisis do not legitimize the landlord to terminate the existing tenancy. This special regulation applies to rental debts from the period from April 1st to June 30th. These must be repaid by the end of June 2022 at the latest.

The associated contracts and services for electricity, gas, water and the Internet may not be terminated either, as according to the Bundestag resolution, these are so-called contracts for services of general interest. There is a temporary three-month protection against dismissal.

ancillary costs

What are operating costs?

Costs that the owner incurs as a burden on the property are called operating costs . The owner must bear these costs. In principle, this also applies if a property is rented out.

The following operating costs are apportionable according to the Operating Costs Ordinance (BetrKV), i.e. the landlord can pass them on to the tenant:

  • Property tax
  • Water costs
  • Change of gas provider
  • electricity
  • Sewage and garbage disposal
  • Chimney cleaning
  • Household contents and liability insurance
  • Maintenance and cleaning of building services
  • Caretaker or caretaker costs
  • Garden maintenance
  • Community antenna
  • Washing facilities
  • Street and building cleaning
  • Elevator costs
  • Internet / phone
  • lighting

The distribution key

The distribution key or allocation key determines how exactly the operating costs are passed on to the tenants.
There are 4 variants, whereby these are used depending on the type of operating costs.

  1. according to consumption, e.g. heating costs and hot water
  2. according to the number of people for other consumption-dependent additional costs such as garbage or sewage
  3. according to living space e.g. for caretaker or garden maintenance
  4. by residential unit, e.g. if a house has several residential units of the same size

The allocation key should already be specified in the rental agreement.

ancillary costs


What does the German tenancy law say?

Not everything has to be paid for:

Property management costs, bank charges and postage are not included in the utility bill. In general, the tenant has to pay what is in the rental agreement as agreed upon. The tenant does not have to accept repairs.

If you doubt the correctness of the allocated operating costs, you can ask the landlord for proof and compare the information in the statement with the rental agreement.

When does the rental ancillary costs statement have to be available?

The landlord must submit the invoice for ancillary costs no later than one year after the end of the billing period . Otherwise he loses the right to any additional payments. However, this does not apply to the tenant, ie existing claims against the landlord can be asserted after the end of the accounting period.

Notes on the license fee

  • Anyone who has a television, radio, Internet-enabled PC or smartphone must pay the device-independent broadcasting fee.
  • You can get exempt from the license fee if you receive unemployment benefit II, social welfare BAföG benefits or benefits from the basic security.
  • If you don’t have a television, just a radio, an internet-enabled computer or a smartphone, you only pay 5.83 euros per month.
  • You are obliged you own the Post Service to register. If you do not do this, radio fees can be charged retrospectively for up to three years.
  • Since November 1, 2019, spouses and registered partners can also apply for an exemption from the license fee for their second home . The only requirement is that they live in a common main residence.
  • Important: In addition to the owner of the place of residence, only the spouse or registered partner have the right to exemption. Other adult roommates are required to pay contributions.

ancillary costs

Additional costs for property owners

What actually is house money?

If you are an apartment owner and live in the property yourself, you do not pay any rent, but you are not exempt from the additional costs. You pay so-called house money every month . The amount of the house money is determined with the help of a distribution key, e.g. B. pro rata to the number of all condominiums in the house.

Think about your financial reserves in good time

Reserves are financial reserves that you as a homeowner should build up early for possible expenses (e.g. repairs). Construction experts advise saving around 1% of the construction costs for maintenance work annually. As a rule of thumb, the annual rate should be around 7 to 8 euros per square meter of living space, and around 10 euros for old buildings.

Major operating costs:

  • Property tax
  • Water costs
  • heating costs
  • electricity
  • Sewage and garbage disposal
  • Chimney cleaning
  • Garden maintenance
  • Broadcasting fees for internet / phone

All about changing providers

Tips on changing electricity providers in Germany

  • Get an overview of consumption and costs over the last few years.
  • Look for hidden costs or increases in offers in subsequent years.
  • Pay attention to short notice periods and moderate terms for your new contract.
  • If your electricity provider increases its prices, there is a special right of termination.

When is a change possible?

  • One-year customers with the current supplier are usually enough.
  • A change can be ordered up to six months in advance.

How to find the cheapest energy supplier

  • Choose the electricity provider in Germany with the best price-performance ratio.
  • Simply conclude a contract with the new provider online.
  • Change formalities are usually done by the new supplier.
  • A change usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks.
  • If you want to change and your notice period expires in the next few weeks, it is better to send your notice of termination yourself so that it does not expire.
Expaturm aims to help educate Expats in Germany on key issues that they will have to deal with while living in Germany by providing everything you need to know about Banking, Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Housing in Germany


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