Heating Supply Contracts Uneconomical When First Moving in?

Landlords have the legal duty to keep the auxiliary costs of renting, that the tenants have to pay, economically as low as possible "(Principle of cost effectiveness [Grundsatz der Wirtschaftlichkeit]). Can this principle be violated when the proprietor changes from a traditional in-house heating to an external heating provider? The Federal Court of Justice (re VIII ZR 243/06) answered this question on November 28, 2007.


The plaintiff sued for back payment of heating and warm water costs for the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. The proprietor first heated the house with a central furnace in the cellar and switched to a heating provider in 1999. The tenant signed the rental contract in 2000.

BGH judged that the landlord did not violate the principle of cost-effectiveness because there was no change in a running contract. When the apartment is rented out anew after a change in the heating system, the tenant always has the possibility to inform himself on how the house will be heated. He therefore has to accept this or rent somewhere else.


Whenever the landlord infringes the principle of cost effectiveness, the tenant can claim damages to be kept exempt from inflated costs. It is possible that the landlord could be obligated to change the provider.




Published on the old CMS: 2008/3/31
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 1,991 reads



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