Dippoldiswalde (dpa / sn) – the Dippoldiswalde housing association (Saxon Switzerland-Eastern Ore Mountains) is reducing its hot water supply due to drastic increases in energy prices. It remains available during the main times of use in the morning, noon and evening, at night, and in the meantime the water flows from the cold tap. In addition, the heating does not turn on until September. The cooperative is likely to be one of the first companies in Germany to react to extremely high prices in this way. This is difficult from the point of view of a tenants’ association.
“It’s not about upsetting tenants, but about adapting to what we may not be able to pay for next year,” said Falk Kühn-Meisegeier, board member on Monday, a German news agency. It’s just a matter of limiting ourselves: “We want tenants to get through this crisis well. Life is dear enough.
According to Kühn-Meisegeier, already in April the cooperative with 600 flats doubled the advance payments for operating costs. The cooperative had to pay the local energy supplier in advance. Instead of the previous € 100,000, there is now € 400,000 to pay.
Tenants also understand the reduction in hot water supply. However, the cooperative is currently in the process of viral thrashing on social media https://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/.
However, the Saxon tenants’ association considers this approach to be more than critical. “It doesn’t work that way,” said spokesman Florian Bau. The owner should not unilaterally decide to turn off the hot water. “The apartment is free from defects as long as hot water is available 24 hours a day,” explained Bau. If this is not the case, tenants may possibly reduce the rent. In any case, they would have a right to hot water.
The tenants’ association sees the difficulties of the landlords with rising gas and electricity prices. You’ll have to pay upfront and you’ll only get your money back through your 2022 utility bills. But most of them won’t be shipped until next fall. Over the past few months, the housing industry has turned to tenants with several appeals to voluntarily increase deductions now. Now it is imperative that “tenants and owners coexist”. The tenants’ association also advises on this – to avoid unusually high extra charges that would be due all at once.
Turning off the hot water by the hour could theoretically be regulated on the basis of a joint agreement between the cooperative and the residents, said a spokesman for the Bau tenants’ association. “But everyone has to participate.” He also doubted whether it made any sense to turn up and cut off the hot water supply several times a day.
Axel Gedaschko, President of the Central Union of the Housing Industry of GdW, explained at the request: “Today, difficult times also require difficult decisions, which are not always approved.” Individual solutions are required depending on local conditions and the cost situation. He pointed out that, according to the management board, the members of the cooperative in Dippoldiswalde had backed the savings.
The Saxon association VSWG could not say on Monday whether other cooperatives have also made similar attempts. A spokeswoman said there is no review of which of the 200 member companies have introduced or planned austerity measures.
In Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt, hot water is supplied to tenants normally. Frank Emrich, director of the Turin Association of the Housing Industry (VTW), said he did not know of any co-operatives that temporarily shut down their hot water due to energy prices. “It is certainly on the list of measures – but I would put it further.” In Saxony-Anhalt, Jens Zillmann, director of the trade association VdW, explains: “At the moment, as housing companies, it is impossible to imagine that we would turn off the hot water for our tenants.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220704-99-902269 / 3