Service Charges Rent

Service Charges Rent

If you rent a property, no matter, Whether it is an apartment, a house or business premises, in the lease is usually in addition to the so-called cold rent nor an amount for operating or ancillary costs set, which is payable by the tenant. The amount of the rent and also the amount of the additional costs have to be mentioned in the rental contract, so that the landlord can really transfer the amount for the operating costs to the tenant.

The term "cold rent" only covers the costs of renting the premises or the property named. Operating costs are not yet covered by the basic rent.

Which costs may be declared as incidental costs?

Which costs may be declared as operating costs by the landlord is exactly defined in the provisions of the German Operating Cost Ordinance. For example, the costs that may be allocated to the tenants include the following items:

  • Water and Wastewater Costs
  • Elevator
  • Waste Collection
  • Street Cleaning
  • Property Tax
  • Housekeeping
  • Maintenance of Garden and green areas
  • Lighting
  • Laundry facilities
  • Caretaker
  • Insurance
  • Antenna / broadband cable for collective use
  • Chimney cleaning

The above items do not need to be listed separately in the rental contract
If there are other communal facilities in the condominium, such as a swimming pool or a sauna, the landlord may also transfer the costs of use, care and maintenance to the tenants, but must detail the cost types and disclose them beforehand in the lease.

Read the lease thoroughly before signing and, if you wish, you can split up the additional costs so that you can decide whether you want to pay for the items mentioned.

Operating costs - what exactly is that?

The costs for water and wastewater include the costs for the used water meter, water money, costs for any water treatment plant and fees for the use of the public drainage system. If the property has its own sewage and septic tank, there are costs for cleaning and removal.
If the building has an elevator that can be used by all tenants, costs for maintenance, care, operation, cleaning and testing may be incurred

For landfill and street cleaning, the landlord receives an invoice from the city which may be transferred.
The property tax is levied by the municipality and can also be transferred.

If the corridors, cellars and common areas of the property are cleaned by an external force, the costs can be passed on to the tenants. This also applies to personnel costs and material costs incurred in the care of the green areas or the garden.

The energy costs incurred by the lighting in the common areas, in the stairwell or outdoors are also included in the operating costs.
Returns If a caretaker or caretaker is responsible for the maintenance of the rental property and the care of the green spaces, the costs incurred for their maintenance and care as well as the resulting energy costs may be charged as operating costs

The insurance costs for the building against damage from storm, water or fire, as well as liability insurance can be allocated, as well as costs for a shared antenna or a shared broadband cable, in addition to electricity cost also maintenance - un d operating costs come
If you have concluded a contract with your supplier directly, you can indicate this and possibly delete the cost item from the rental agreement.

The sweeping fees and other costs for cleaning the chimney are also included in the additional costs.

How are the operating costs allocated to the tenants?

The allocation of additional costs to the tenant of the property can be done according to number of inhabitants or inhabited area. Usually, the benefit of a distribution key, in which the costs are divided depending on the inhabited area, is usual. The cost of water and sewage can also be billed directly by means of a water meter, just as heating costs are usually billed to the consumer.

Usually, however, a fixed amount per month is fixed here and transferred together with the rent as total rent. Once a year, the landlord will then determine whether the specified amount is sufficient to cover the costs incurred and, if necessary, the tenant receives a partial refund or has to make a subsequent payment.


The total rent settles cold rent for the mere renting of the premises and ancillary or operating costs, which the tenant pays at fixed intervals, usually monthly. The additional costs can be composed of different types of costs, which are legally stipulated by the Operating Cost Ordinance. The amount of the costs must be specified in the rental agreement, whereby the items that make up the incidental costs do not have to be listed individually. For each year, the tenant has to draw up an expense bill and hand it over to the tenant, who can tell if he has to make an additional payment, if the amounts he has paid monthly are sufficient or if he gets even a refund.

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