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Tenants' association: Operating costs remain the number one topic of dispute

Tenants must be prepared for high additional payments this year. This can lead to disputes between landlords and tenants.

Living - Tenants' association: Operating costs remain the number one topic of dispute

According to the German Tenants' Association, operating costs remain the most frequent topic of dispute between tenants and landlords. More than a third of the topics discussed by the association (37 percent) last year were related to operating costs, including heating costs, according to the tenants' association in Berlin. "This is not surprising, especially in light of the significant rise in energy costs," explained Federal Director Melanie Weber-Moritz. "The expiry of the energy price brakes, energy prices remaining at a high level and the rising price of CO2 will unfortunately mean that many tenants will probably have to make back payments in the three-digit range this year too."

Operating costs were followed in 2023 by the other consultation topics of housing defects (18.2 percent) and general contractual matters (12.4 percent). According to the tenants' association, the latter include questions about rent control, graduated or index-linked rents, shared flats, but also whether pets are allowed in the apartments or whether solar panels can be installed on the balcony.

The need for advice on the topic of "rent increases (comparative rent)" has increased compared to the previous year. While the proportion was 7.9 percent in 2022, it rose to 9.2 percent in 2023. "This increase indicates that the pressure on tenants in existing tenancies has increased," said Weber-Moritz.

In total, the lawyers at the 300 or so local tenants' associations in Germany provided around one million legal consultations in 2023. Over 98 percent of cases were settled out of court.

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