In the case of energetically motivated renovation work on facades of real estate, it is important for builders to follow the specific requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance in order to avoid fines and possible rent reductions.
Energy saving regulation regulates energetic renovation measures
Property owners who modernize the building and carry out insulation work as part of renovation measures must comply with the statutory provisions of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV). The EnEV regulates the prescribed energy efficiency of new and old buildings.
In addition, a new draft for the Building Energy Act (GEG) was adopted in October 2019, which only declares the installation of a new oil heating system to be permissible if renewable energies already contribute to the heat supply to the property. The legislative change has little impact on insulation work, since the energy standards established in 2014 and 2016 continue to apply to existing properties and new buildings.
Refurbishment work will continue to be regulated by the EnEV, because it has only been integrated into the new GEG.
Refurbishment costs can be passed on to the rent
An exchange of 30 year old or older boilers is legally required by the EnEV, although not all models are affected here, too. Homeowners should therefore be given extensive advice in advance of the renewal.
In addition, home owners who do more than just make minor repairs to the exterior wall, i.e. renovate more than 10 percent of the entire facade, are subject to the obligation to renovate the exterior wall. If owners fail to comply with the EnEV regulation, they can face fines of up to EUR 50,000.
The scope of energy-related renovation work is also determined by the EnEV through various regulations, which specifically regulate how efficiently the insulation on windows and facades has to work.
If the property is rented out, the client is allowed to allocate up to eight percent of the costs incurred to the rent each year. However, the rent increases may only amount to a maximum of three euros per square meter per month and a maximum of two euros per square meter if the rental price is less than seven euros per square meter. Any maintenance costs that may arise cannot be passed on to the rent.
The landlord also undertakes to have an energy certificate issued for the property. This is to meet the tenants’ right to information so that it can be estimated how the heating costs will develop after the renovation measures.
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Landlords are obliged to notify the tenant in writing of the corresponding conversion measures within a reasonable period of three months in advance. The type and scope of the renovation must be presented in the core, and the tenant must also be shown an estimate of the new additional costs and the specific rent increase.
As a result, tenants have the right to object to the renovations within one month of receiving the letter. The basis for the contradiction can be social hardship, should a tenant, for example, be seriously ill in the long term and the renovations put additional strain on health.
Furthermore, the full increase in rent does not have to be tolerated if the rent is no longer affordable for the tenant. This also falls under the category of social hardship, in which case the conversion measures must be tolerated, but the rent surcharge must no longer be as high.
The tenant is also legally granted termination of the lease without notice at the end of the month if the rent increases by more than five percent.
If the renovations last longer than three months, you may also be entitled to a rent reduction.
Construction measures could cross property boundaries
Insulating the facade generally makes the outer wall thicker, which means that the distance to the neighboring property is reduced by a few centimeters, or the boundaries even become blurred. If it concerns renovation work on an existing property, this must usually be tolerated by the neighbor.
However, if you do not take this distance into account when planning a new building and let the facade protrude into the neighboring property, you give the neighbor a right to compensation. Because already in the planning of the building a plot penetration of the outer wall could have been avoided.
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