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Obscene utilities bill from landlord (Germany)

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  • Obscene utilities bill from landlord (Germany)

    I live in Germany with my family and have just moved to another apartment in Germany. After the end of my rental contract with my previous landlord, I was given a bill for utilities charges that are more than likely excessive for the size and electricity/water uses of a 3 room apartment. The landlord as supplied me with a workup that includes the electricity/water meter readings from the beginning and ending of my lease, along with the rates. The math is correct, but I'm afraid that I'm being charged for electricity that I wasn't using or perhaps an error was made at the first reading of the meters, which I did not check. There was an estimated utilities cost attached to my rent which I was told was the average utlities usage for the unit. Clearly something is wrong since I am basically being charged double the projected amount. What kind of information is required of the landlord to supply to me. Am I protected in some way against this excessive charge?

  • #2
    Re: Obscene utilities bill from landlord (Germany)

    Call the utility firm as a first step and get all records. If those records show a problem or unexpected increase etc. you can demand a refund or take legal action.

    Ask to see all usage and billing records for the months prior to your arrival.

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    • #3
      Re: Obscene utilities bill from landlord (Germany)

      Where did you get the projected amount for utilities? From the utility company? If so, it may have been an average or "budget" amount which varies from month to month. If the months you lived there included a cold winter or hot summer which required more heat or A/C, your bill could be much higher than a budget plan. If you got these numbers form the utility company, call and ask them what those number were - a budget plan, or an average based on the last few months of usage (if the unit had been empty, that number would have been artificially low). See how they compute these figures.

      If the projected figures came from the LL, what did he base them on?

      Call the utility and check on the beginning and ending readings for that period. If they are correct, check the energy cost to be sure that is not being inflated (cost per ccf for gas, cost per kwh for electric, cost per xxx gallons of water for the hydro, etc.) If these are all correctly listed by the LL, you owe the bill.

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