Living space: measuring can generate money

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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If, when remeasuring an apartment, it turns out that it is more than 10 percent smaller than agreed in the lease agreement, tenants can reduce the rent. This continues even years after the move, as a recent decision by the Federal Court of Justice states (Az. VIII ZR 61/23). Example: A woman moves into an attic apartment that, according to the lease agreement, has 64 square meters. She then measures the usable area and, taking into account the sloping ceilings and the balcony, calculates what legally counts as living space according to the Living Space Ordinance. It is only 55 square meters, 9 or 14 percent less than what is stated in the lease agreement. She reduces her rent by 14 percent, from 770 euros to around 662 euros per month.

The legal experts at Stiftung Warentest explain what counts as living space, how best to measure it and when a deviation has consequences.

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