The owner of a house that uses natural gas for heating does not have the right to conclude an agreement for the supply of gas with any supplier without taking into account the financial interests of the residents of this house. But this does not mean that the owner of the home has to analyze and compare the services of different providers all year …
This conclusion can be drawn from the decision of the Federal Court of Justice, which ruled that the owner of such a house during one heating season should only monitor changes in natural gas prices and make a decision once a year: change the gas supplier or maintain a relationship with the old supplier. But the tenants of such a house have the right to demand from their landlord the timely filing of an objection against an unjustified increase in the gas supplier’s tariffs (decisions of March 14, 2012, Az .: VIII ZR 93/11, Az .: VIII ZR 113/11).
Following numerous complaints from taxpayers about the homeowner’s accounting for heating costs, the Federal Court of Justice ruled (Az .: VIII ZR 156/11) that such costs should henceforth be incurred not on the basis of accounting for total consumption of funds and materials (Abflussprinzip), but taking into account the actual costs in this heating period (Leistungsprinzip).
For example, if the owner of the house bought fuel oil for the boiler house at the rate of a reserve for three years in advance, then he does not have the right to shift the entire cost of raw materials to the residents of the house in the year of purchase, but must include in the heating bills for this reporting period only the cost of that part of the fuel oil that was actually spent in this heating period.
The same decision also applies to payments for electricity: the homeowner no longer has to issue invoices for electricity, based on their preliminary calculations, but must indicate only the actual consumption for the reporting period.
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