Rent: utility bills: How to save money with an audit

When it comes to utility bills, many face a hefty back payment. Exact checking is worthwhile – because if there are mistakes, the tenants save money.

The fear of high additional costs has been around for months. Many tenants worry about being able to cope with a high back payment, especially just before Christmas. Because some are only getting them now utility bill 2021 by her landlord. Quite late, but still in time, because the statement has to be in by December 31st. Few can look forward to a refund, most have to pay extra.

But one way could lead to high additional payments: The money guide “Finanztip” recommends that all tenants settlement of operating costs to check for the most important errors. It’s not that difficult and often worth it. Because what has been billed incorrectly, tenants do not have to pay.

Utility bill 2021: Take a close look at hot water

In 2021, heating costs rose for most tenants compared to the previous year – even if the price shock will not come until 2022. Nothing can be done about that. But at the position hot water Renters should pay close attention.

An investigation by “co2online” and “Finanztip” showed that 60 percent of the bills for hot water were wrong. The consumption was only estimated or calculated according to a formula, which according to the Heating Cost Ordinance is not allowed. If the bill was incorrect, tenants can reduce the hot water item by a flat rate of 15 percent.

Service charge settlement: No rental costs for smoke alarm devices

In addition, there are always costs in the bills that landlords are not allowed to pass on to tenants. In the past year, important judgments were made that tenants can refer to. For example, landlords may charge the rental costs for smoke alarm no longer passed on to the tenants. This was decided by the Federal Court of Justice in May 2022 (Az. VIII ZR 379/20).

General costs for “house electricity” are also non-recoverable, as are costs for the regular cleaning of water pipes. Also repair costs, costs for the property managementfinancing costs, account fees or premiums for legal protection insurance do not have to be paid by tenants as ancillary costs.

Anyone who finds such items in the statement can complain. “Finanztip” provides one pattern contradiction to disposal.

Check ancillary costs: tenant associations and service providers can help

who his invoice for additional costs If you do not want to check yourself or are unsure, you can contact one On-site tenant association turn around. The professionals there recognize expensive items and whether things are on the invoice stand that don’t belong there. However, they only advise members.

For a fee, specialized legal service providers or lawyers also check utility bills. who one legal protection insurance with the building block Rental legal protection can have their utility bills checked at no additional cost.

High additional payment: Low earners get support here

Renters who, even after verification, have so much back payment that they cannot afford it should speak to their landlord and have a installment payment to offer. If you have a low income, you can apply to the job center or social welfare office to have the costs covered, even if you don’t otherwise receive unemployment benefit 2 or social assistance. This applies to pensioners as well as to students.

Even if tenants already housing benefit refer, is an application at Job centre makes sense, as the costs for heating and electricity have not been included so far. It is important to submit the application in the month in which the statement came or the additional payment is due. If time is short, an informal application by e-mail is sufficient.

Relief beckons: Tenants will soon no longer bear the CO2 price alone

If you have to pay a lot in arrears, you will probably have to make a higher upfront payment in the future. This is reasonable in itself, because energy will still be expensive in 2023, even if it is already then Gas and electricity price brake prices will cap.

But there is also good news: in future, tenants will have to carbon price no longer carry alone. The less climate-friendly the house is, the more the landlord has to take on. This relieves tenants in many cases.

More information about the operating costs, a checklist for examination as well as a model objection, has Utility billing guide compiled.

This article appears in cooperation with The money guide for consumers is part of the Finanztip Foundation.

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