Berlin (dpa) – Are tenants not complying with the extra CO2 costs for heating? So far, opposition in the CDU/CSU faction has prevented landlords from participating.
Now, however, Chancellor-candidate Armin Laschet is on the scene: “The current solution that the landlord does next to nothing will not last,” Laschet said in the ARD’s “summer interview.” But whether anything will happen before the election seems doubtful.
That’s the point: since the beginning of the year, a CO2 price in the transport and heating sector has made fossil fuels such as oil and gas more expensive. For the apartment this means that heating with, for example, an old oil heater will become more expensive. The CO2 price is currently 25 euros per tonne and will increase in the coming years. As calculated by the Check24 portal, the CO2 price of 25 euros for a family with a rented apartment and a consumption of 1000 liters of heating oil per year results in additional costs of almost 79 euros. A family with a house has to pay about double that.
According to calculations by the Verivox portal, heating with gas costs tenants 54 euros extra with a CO2 price of 25 euros and a consumption of 10,000 kilowatt hours. Tenants of old buildings that have not been renovated in particular would have to pay considerably more in the coming years.
Mainly at the urging of the SPD, the black-and-red federal government reached a compromise in May: in the future, landlords should bear half the cost of the CO2 heating surcharge. But then came the veto of the Union faction, which did not want to participate.
For a long time nothing was heard of Laschet in the debate. Now he said on ARD that a solution was needed that would do justice to both. He also pointed out that landlords are often people who have one house. “That’s their old-age provision and that’s why it needs to be solved in a socially just way.”
Trade union faction Vice Thorsten Frei told the German news agency on Monday that Laschet was right that a social component had to be taken into account. “A 50-50 split of CO2 costs between tenants and landlords would not have been a good solution.” For example, it would have played no role at all what consumption the tenant caused himself and whether the landlord had already implemented energetic improvements. “That’s why we mainly focus on incentives for landlords, on the one hand with subsidy programs and on the other hand with improved depreciation options.”
Frei continued: “If we then see that further controls are needed, we need to find solutions that gently balance the interests of tenants and landlords.” For example, he could personally imagine that the state – if necessary – would share the modernization allowance for a limited time to relieve tenants.
The SPD was skeptical. Group Vice Sören Bartol, told the German news agency: “I don’t trust Armin Laschet on the road. We could have divided the additional costs for quite some time. Until recently, the real estate lobbyists within the CDU faction fought against a fair distribution.” Union ministers were also in favor of a 50/50 split. “I wonder where Armin Laschet has been in recent months. And where this change of heart suddenly comes from. To me it is nothing more than a smoke candle,” says Bartol. “The real politics of the Union shows: Armin Laschet has nothing to do with tenants, they are only with the costs. His CDU is responsible for this.”
The chairman of the German tenants’ association, Lukas Siebenkotten, called on those responsible in the parliamentary group of the Union to correct their blockade attitude. The Tenants’ Association wants tenants to be fully relieved of the costs of CO2 pricing with retroactive effect from January 2021. The intended steering effect towards more environmentally friendly heating systems can only be achieved with the landlord.
The association of owners Haus & Grund, which criticized Laschet, sees it very differently. “A relaxation of the principle that the polluter pays for the CO2 price in the rental law would be wrong,” said Gerold Happ, member of the federal directorate of the German news agency. “Landlords have no influence on the heating behavior and hot water consumption of the tenants.” Both determine CO2 emissions and the resulting costs.
Landlords would still feel pressure to modernize, according to Happ. “The more expensive heating becomes, the less tenants will ask for apartments with high heating costs. In the future, landlords will modernize energetically in order to survive in the market, or they will have to lower the basic rent.” .