Nebenkosten | The Devil is in the Details

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Nebenkosten | The Devil is in the Details

What is Nebenkosten

Does Nebenkosten include heat

Kalt vs Warm rent

Places in Germany are rented “Cold” (Kaltmiete) and “Warm” (Warmmiete).  Kaltmiete is simply the cost or rent while Warmmiete means the rent plus Nebenkosten (NK). This is more than just utilities. It includes things like waste disposal, property tax, chimney-sweeping. Generally speaking it covers all aspects of building maintenance.  Elsewhere those costs would be absorbed by the landlord, but in Germany, they are passed on to the tenant.

The charges go this way

Service provider => Management Company (WEG) => Owner => tenant.

While the payment goes this way

Tenant => Landlord  => Mangement Company (WEG) => Service provider

Utility costs are also just an average of the previous year’s usage while running costs are set each year in the wirtshaftsplan. (budget) The “warm” rent is just an estimate of what those costs will be. At the end of the year, the landlord will receive a statement from the management company (WEG) and will then settle the outstanding costs with you. If you over paid then you will receive a refund, if you underpaid than you will owe some money.

Utilities are usually water and heat and occasionally electricity

Running Costs usually include the following

  • Heating -Heizkosten
  • Rainwater/ sewage Niederschlagswasser
  • Garbage -Abfall
  • General electricity -Beleuchtung Storm
  • Winter maintenance – Winterdienst
  • Caretaker – Hausmeister
  • Cable TV Breitbandkabel (yes this separate from the ARD fee)
  • Cleaning of the stairwells – Hausareinigung
  • Other heating costs – Wartung Heizung
  • Property taxes – Grundsteuer

FAQ

 

The landlord has suddenly increased my NK by 150€.

He has the right to do this as it is just an estimate. If you over pay then you will receive a refund. If you underpay than you will owe money. The amount you pay for NK does not affect the rent paid.

It is almost summer the landlord still hasn’t told me what my costs were for last year.

The landlord has until the end of the following year to settle bills. For some reason, most management companies don’t actually send out the summary of costs (Betriebskostenabrechnung) till about the 2nd week of December.

As a landlord what costs do I pass on to the tenant and what costs am I responsible for.

When you get your Betriebskostenabrechnung it the costs will be broken into two parts – “umlagefahige kosten” and “nicht umlagefahige kosten”. The first part is what gets charged to the tenant (plus property taxes) the later is your responsibility.

Utility costs are also just an average of the previous year’s usage while running costs are set each year in the “wirtshaftsplan” (budget).  The “warm” rent is just an estimate of what those costs will be. At the end of the year, the landlord will receive a statement from the management company (WEG) and will then settle the outstanding costs with you. If you over paid then you will receive a refund, if you underpaid than you will owe some money.

 

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