Apartments with gas heating: Vonovia lowers the heating temperature at night

Status: 07/07/2022 15:14

Due to the impending gas supply halt, the largest German apartment rental company Vonovia wants to reduce the night-time heating temperature. To “protect” tenants from upcoming costs, as they say. The tenants’ association is sounding the alarm.

The developer group Vonovia has announced that in many of its apartments the heating temperature will be lowered at night. Just over half of the company’s 490,000 homes are heated by gas central heating. “In order to save as much gas as possible in our warehouses, we will successively introduce night-time lowering of the heating temperature of gas central heating systems in our warehouses,” said a spokesman for Vonovia. The group reduces the heating power between 23:00 and 6:00 to 17 degrees Celsius. About a quarter of a million flats in Germany will no longer be warmer. According to the information, tenants could heat normally during the day and in the evenings.

Vonovia justifies this procedure by requiring the federal government to save gas. A company spokeswoman also said: tagesschau.deVonovia wants to “to some extent protect tenants from the horrendous increase in costs in gas bills”.

‘Not acceptable’ according to tenants’ association

Tenants’ carers see things differently. The chairman of the German Association of North Rhine-Westphalia tenants, Hans-Jochem Witzke said at the request tagesschau.de: “This is not allowed.” While there is no legal benchmark, there are several court orders that say the landlord must maintain a temperature of at least 20 degrees. In addition, the owner cannot simply specify how warm the apartment should be.

According to the tenant’s caregiver, people also have different perceptions of temperature, for example, the elderly or infants need warmer in the rooms. Others work shifts or work at night.

Tenants are presented with a fait accompli

Vonovia, on the other hand, refers to “changed framework conditions as far as heating is concerned” and writes in a notice to tenants of the apartments concerned: As a responsible landlord you want to make your contribution “in the interests of the environment and of your wallet. That is why today we have a routine – Maintenance heating is also set so that the heating power is limited to 17 degrees Celsius at night between 23:00 and 6:00. ” The company calls it “transparent communication.” For tenants, however, the procedure also means that they are in fact facing a fait accompli.

Hot water supply is not affected

Tenants’ supervisor Witzke recommends that tenants who feel disadvantaged by the nightly drop in room temperature complain to the landlord. Local tenants’ associations could support this and, if necessary, take action against it with a rent reduction or court order. Especially since, according to the Tenants’ Association, most tenants would still voluntarily save gas.

Vonovia emphasizes that by lowering the temperature at night, you can save up to eight percent on heating costs. The hot water supply will not be affected by this, according to Vonovia. There is no restriction on showering or bathing. A housing association in Saxony ordered it differently at the beginning of the week: in half of the 600 affected apartments, hot water is only available during certain periods.

The reduction starts from the heating season

If Vonovia restricts heat input at night, installers will make this adjustment in the coming months as part of routine heating maintenance. At the beginning of the coming heating season, all heating systems should be operated with a setback night.

The General Association of the Housing Industry, also represented by Vonovia, is now warning of the consequences of rising gas prices for landlords. According to the association, many housing companies have already raised advances for additional costs. Nevertheless, some housing companies may face liquidity bottlenecks that threaten their very existence.

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