Energy – Kiel – Associations warn against unilateral burdens on landlords – the economy

Kiel (dpa / lno) – The housing industry and private homeowners have asked the Kiel state government not to unilaterally burden landlords with the drastic increase in energy prices. They should not become losers in the energy crisis, because they are also not responsible for it, explained Andreas Breitner, director of the Association of North German Housing Enterprises (VNW) on Tuesday during a round of discussions between the housing industry and the state government.

“From the point of view of the state government, it may be tempting to throw a large share of the burden on the owners.” But that wouldn’t be appropriate and would lead to a further rise in housing costs in the medium term, Breitner said in a statement. Landlords are also unable to make short-term changes to buildings or heating systems to overcome the current emergency. Hydraulic heating regulation or replacement of old radiators with new ones would already be performed as part of maintenance and modernization. Anyone who thinks that the whole thing can be accelerated overnight is wrong. There was also a shortage of skilled craftsmen.

The Ministry of the Environment, which is also responsible for energy, explained that further austerity measures and incentives should be used to keep cost increases for people as low as possible. “The situation is serious, we are preparing for difficult times,” said Secretary of State Joschka Knuth after the exchange of views. The most important thing is to make the public even more aware of the need to save gas. Rising energy costs presented many people with enormous challenges. Short-term measures that contribute to small-scale energy savings are needed. This included water-saving shower heads and the installation of smart thermostats. Moreover, consumers could save energy and costs through their behavior.

It is not enough just to replace the radiators, for example, said Breitner, director of VNW. “Revised heating concepts are necessary and cannot be created overnight.” Breitner warned politicians against playing tenants and owners. One-sided support of tenants will not solve the current problems. “Anyone who does not start saving individually will face a very heavy burden on heating bills in the coming year.”

The owners association Haus & Grund is demanding the right of owners to increase advances on heating costs, such as energy suppliers. “Otherwise, conflicts due to high subsidies after another heating bill are inevitable,” explained state president Alexander Blažek. Under current law, landlords may raise advances only after the settlement. “Due to the explosive situation, this is no longer appropriate,” said Blažek in the face of drastically increased energy prices.

For owners, energy costs are an ongoing item. If the current legal status persisted, landlords would have to finance the soaring gas prices for tenants in advance. “This can create financial difficulties for small private owners who cover about two-thirds of the housing market.”

Blažek accused the Ministry of the Environment of a one-sided attitude towards tenants. “A lot of people in their own four walls don’t know how to pay the gas bill with their little pension.” The state government should not disappoint this group. “In the current emergency, homeowners, landlords and tenants are in the same wheelchair,” explained Blažek. “The country has the task of maneuvering this boat through rough seas to a safe harbor.” State security systems would have to operate to help tenants.

The country must immediately promote independent energy advice to homeowners, Blažek said. “A heat pump is not suitable for every home.” The municipalities would have to develop heat plans as soon as possible. “Anyone who installs a heat pump now, even though the municipality wants to build a local district heating network, has lost tens of thousands of euros.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220719-99-78747 / 3

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