Although everyone knows where the water comes out of the tap, only a few people know how water is billed. In the case of lettings, water is apportioned to the tenant on a pro rata basis according to consumption when the ancillary costs are settled.
How water is billed
According to the Operating Costs Ordinance, water costs are among the operating costs that can be apportioned. They are calculated according to consumption.
- When billing the costs for water, a distinction is made between the costs for hot and cold water.
- The operating costs for water include the costs for drinking water. This includes the basic charges, the use of water meters, the calibration of water meters, billing by billing companies, maintenance work and water treatment.
- In addition, the costs for water include the charges for wastewater, which include the charges for house and property drainage as well as the costs for the operation of a drainage pump.
- Which costs are passed on to you as a tenant in the operating costs is usually set out in the tenancy agreement, as otherwise they may not be passed on to you by the landlord.
- If no allocation formula is specified in the tenancy agreement, i.e. if it is not specified that the water costs are calculated according to the number of persons, the operating costs must be allocated to the number of square metres.
- The fixed allocation formula cannot be adjusted subsequently to the agreements made in the tenancy agreement without the consent.
- In new buildings and existing properties, the installation of hot water meters is mandatory nationwide.
- For cold water, the regulations of the individual federal states apply. Here, too, almost all federal states require the installation of water meters for new buildings. Exceptions are Bavaria, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt. Only the federal states of Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein implement a consumption-based billing obligation.
- If all parties to a property are equipped with water meters, there is an obligation to charge for consumption based on consumption.