Turn down the heating, take shorter showers, ventilate properly – there is a lot you can do to save energy. But the ancillary costs will still rise sharply. Large landlords sound the alarm and present a shocking bill.
Energy prices pose extreme challenges for tenants and landlords in winter. For this reason, the large housing construction companies are urgently warning against significant cost increases for tenants and are calling for state aid.
“The situation is more than dramatic, and social peace in Germany is in massive danger,” said the industry association GdW (General Association of the German Housing Industry). At the same time, rising interest rates and construction costs are making the goal of building more apartments and thus taking the pressure off rents unattainable.
As a result of the Ukraine war, energy prices rose by 37 percent by May, according to association calculations. For a one-person household, this means an additional burden of 508 euros per year compared to 2021, for four people 938 euros. However, the companies are expecting higher increases and a significant four-digit additional burden.
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According to “Bild”, the following additional energy costs could come to the citizens:
Single household: Additional costs of up to 344 euros per month (229 euros compared to the previous year). In total up to 2749 euros additionally in 2022.
2-person household: additional costs of up to 476 euros ( 317 euros) per month. In total up to 3799 euros on top.
Family with 1 child: There is a risk of monthly energy costs of up to 579 euros (385 euros) per month. Makes up to 4624 euros more per year.
Family with 2 children: up to 635 euros (422 euros) more per month. Adds up to 5074 euros over the year.
As a result of this development, tenants’ association president Lukas Siebenkotten fears according to “Bild”: “It could mean nothing less than ruin for millions of tenants.” and to fear clashes.”
According to Economics Minister Robert Habeck, the federal government will use all means to ensure the gas supply. When asked about a possible collapse of the market, the Greens politician said on Wednesday evening in the ZDF program “Markus Lanz” that that would not happen. However, citizens would have to be prepared for an expensive winter. The price increases in autumn and winter would be in the four-digit range per household. “And that can sometimes be a monthly income for a family.”
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According to Habeck, savings remain the order of the day. In the newspapers of the Funke Group, the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts advocated taking leisure activities off the grid first in the event of a gas emergency. The Federal Network Agency had made a similar statement. Its President Klaus Müller also called for craftsmen to concentrate heavily on heating and hot water supply. House and apartment owners should have their gas condensing boilers and heating systems checked and adjusted.
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The landlords’ association GdW confirmed its proposal to lower the room temperature by two degrees. Landlords would then only have to guarantee 18 degrees during the day and 16 degrees at night. “I think that a lot of companies would actually do that,” said association president Axel Gedaschko.
Landlords also informed their tenants about energy-saving heating and ventilation. It also makes sense to limit hot water to certain times, as long as everyone in the house agrees on this. Such a decision by a cooperative in Dippoldiswalde, Saxony, caused a stir.
Many housing companies have already increased the ancillary cost prepayments. Nevertheless, some of the housing companies could face liquidity bottlenecks that threaten their existence, warned the GdW. Tenants and companies should not be left alone in this situation. “In this emergency situation, the state must live up to its social responsibility.” The association proposed state aid funds to limit additional costs.
The GdW primarily represents cooperatives and municipal housing companies, but also listed industry giants such as Vonovia. The members come to about 30 percent of the rental apartments in Germany. “We mainly rent to people who don’t have that much income,” said Gedaschko. They could not afford the high energy prices.
According to its own description, the industry is in a “hurricane” of supply chain problems, changing subsidy conditions, rising interest rates, a shortage of skilled workers and materials and price explosions. Building is about twice as expensive today as it was in 2000.
In order to earn the necessary money, companies would have to calculate a monthly net cold rent of well over 16 euros per square meter, calculated the GdW. Many members stopped building because of this. “The government targets of 400,000 new homes per year are waste,” said Gedaschko.