Showers only at certain times: landlords in Saxony restrict hot water

Energy costs are rising, landlords have to make advance payments to the suppliers - and often have to struggle with this.

Showers only at certain times: landlords in Saxony restrict hot water

Energy costs are rising, landlords have to make advance payments to the suppliers - and often have to struggle with this. A housing cooperative in Dippoldiswalde, Saxony, is therefore taking a drastic step. It turns off the hot water for the tenants at certain times of the day without further ado.

A housing cooperative in Dippoldiswalde, Saxony, is reducing the supply of hot water due to drastically increased energy prices. During the main times of use in the morning (4 a.m. to 8 a.m.), midday (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and evening (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) it remains available, at night and in the meantime the water comes cold from the tap. In addition, the heating is not turned on until September. The cooperative in the Saxon Switzerland-Eastern Ore Mountains district is likely to be one of the first companies in Germany to react to the extremely high prices in this way.

"It's not about annoying the tenants, but about adjusting to what we might not be able to pay for next year," said board member Falk Kühn-Meisegeier. It's just a matter of limiting yourself a little: "We want tenants to get through this crisis well. Life is expensive enough as it is." According to Kühn-Meisegeier, the cooperative with 600 apartments had already doubled the amount of advance payments for operating costs in April. The cooperative had to pay the local energy supplier in advance. Instead of the previous 100,000 euros, 400,000 euros are now due.

The tenants also understand the reduction in hot water supply. However, the cooperative is currently receiving “viral thrashing” on social media. "We don't have any income millionaires. People simply have to be able to cope with the price spiral," the board explained the step.

However, the tenants' association in Saxony sees the approach as more than critical. "It doesn't work that way," said spokesman Florian Bau. A landlord should not unilaterally decide to turn off the hot water. "An apartment is free of defects if hot water is available 24 hours a day," explained Bau. If this is not the case, residents could possibly reduce the rent. In any case, they would have a legal right to hot water.

The tenants' association sees the hardships of the landlords because of the increased gas and electricity prices. You have to pay in advance and will only get the money back via the 2022 utility bills. But most of them won't be sent out until autumn of next year. In the past few months there have been several appeals from the housing industry to tenants to voluntarily increase the deductions now. It is now a "coexistence of tenants and landlords" necessary. The tenants' association also advises this - to avoid enormously high additional payments that would be due in one go.

Turning off the hot water by the hour could theoretically be regulated on the basis of a joint agreement between the cooperative and residents, said tenants' association spokesman Bau. "But everyone has to participate." He also doubted whether it makes any energy sense at all to turn the hot water supply up and down several times a day.

The President of the Central Association of the Housing Industry GdW, Axel Gedaschko, explained on request: "The currently difficult times also require difficult decisions that will not always be met with approval." Depending on the local conditions and the cost situation, individual solutions are required. He pointed out that the members of the cooperative in Dippoldiswalde supported the savings, according to the board.

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