Housing group reserves the right to terminate tenants

thermostat of a heater

Due to rising energy prices, utility bills for tenants are expected to skyrocket.

(Photo: dpa)

Frankfurt Many tenants in Germany are burdened by sharply rising electricity and heating costs. The SPD sees an urgent need for action. But the Vonovia housing group is open to terminating tenants in the event of drastic payment arrears. “Last resort: sending out the eviction notice,” says documents for an investor day that Vonovia presented on Tuesday. Vonovia boss Rolf Buch emphasized that tenants who approach the group in the event of financial difficulties could stay in their apartments.

Defaulting tenants of the Bochum-based company, the largest private landlord in Germany, can therefore not feel completely safe in winter when they can no longer pay their bills. In the event of a delay in payment, the Dax 40 group proceeds according to a stage model. However, the group emphasizes that termination is only the last resort. “We support a temporary moratorium on termination for tenants right from the start and without restriction,” emphasized a spokeswoman for the group.

The top rule at Vonovia is: If someone cannot pay a rent increase or the ancillary costs, “we will find a solution,” she added. The company will contact affected tenants to find out the reasons for non-payment, according to the presentation. If the tenant can get help from the state, Vonovia will inform him how he can get it so that he can pay.

If the tenant still fails to meet his obligations despite an offer of individual solutions from Vonovia, the Group will send him a formal payment request. If the arrears added up to the value of two months’ rent, the last step would be an eviction action. After that, the affected apartment can be rented again.

Top jobs of the day

Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email.

More tenant protection called for

The SPD insists on more tenant protection for this winter. A few days ago, the legal policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group, Sonja Eichwede, spoke out in favor of reducing the burden on tenants and preventing terminations due to payment arrears.

Federal Building Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) also wants to better protect tenants from terminating their contracts due to arrears in view of the rapidly increasing electricity and heating costs. “In the case of ordinary terminations due to rent arrears, we need the possibility that the amount due can be paid by the move-out date in order to cancel the termination,” Geywitz recently demanded. So far, the grace period has only applied to terminations without notice.

Parts of the housing industry have already signaled concessions in terms of protection against dismissal. “As in the course of the corona pandemic, the socially oriented housing companies will not terminate their contracts due to late payment of utility bills during the energy crisis,” Axel Gedaschko, President of the Federal Association of German Housing and Real Estate Companies (GdW), recently said.

Nobody should lose their apartment because of crisis-related payment problems. Installment payments should be arranged in consultation with the tenants. However, Gedaschko also emphasized that the consequences of the energy crisis could not be solved by means of tenancy law. The government should introduce a gas price cap.

More: Heating with gas: What additional costs consumers have to be prepared for.

source site-14