Tenants complain about incorrect billing. Apparently rightly so, as an evaluation of thousands of documents suggests.

Exactly how big the apartment is plays an important role in calculating the operating costs.

FThe rental contract and the ordinance on operating costs, in which the apportionable costs are listed, regulate the additional costs a tenant has to pay. The transparency of this “second lease” is a hot topic. Tenants and landlords argue so bitterly about no other topic, even before the courts. According to the German Tenants Association, every second service charge statement is incorrect or at least needs clarification. An analysis of thousands of bills from five major German cities shows that the rate could be significantly higher and that housing groups and private landlords could collect up to five million euros a year too much. The Berlin start-up Mineko was able to prove errors in 73 percent of all cases. On average, the wrong bills were 248 euros too high, according to the analysis that the FAZ had in advance.

Legaltech, founded in 2014, which takes action against incorrect bills on behalf of tenants, has selected a total of 8,724 bills from the past two years. Almost 52 percent of these were created by private landlords, the rest comes from the pen of professional property managers. The information for the big data analysis was provided by tenants who had previously suspected errors in the billing. According to its own information, Mineko has checked more than 10,000 invoices – on average, that saved each customer 221 euros.