What does paid ancillary costs mean
Service charges incorrect and already paid
Even if, after unconditionally paying your utility bill, you discover that it was incorrect, it is not too late to react in order to get back any overpaid costs. In the following article we will explain how they do this.
How do I get my money back?
There are several ways to act after discovering that your utility bill is incorrect and you have already paid it. Probably the easiest way is to make the landlord aware of his mistake by phone, email or letter. In many cases, errors in the utility bill are caused by simple ignorance and not by the malicious intent of landlords. So if it is only a matter of a small mistake, such as rotating numbers or something similar, this method is highly recommended because it is quick and easy to carry out.
The situation is different when it comes to serious errors in the utility bill, which in many cases lead to high back payments and increases in the down payments to the tenant. In any case, you should only pay conditionally at first.
If you have already paid and still want to take action against your billing, it is advisable to check the utility bill yourself in as much detail as possible or to have it checked by experts in order to make sure what you are entitled to and possibly already know how you are at best can proceed further.
There is no way around contradiction
After you have found out to what extent and why the billing is incorrect, you should in any case file an objection. So if you now find that your utility bill from 2012 is incorrect, it is often still worthwhile to contradict.
However, it must be ensured that an objection only has a chance of success if it is made within a period of 12 months after receipt of the invoice by the tenant. Exceptions to this period only apply if the tenant is ill for a long time after receipt of the statement or the landlord refuses to inspect the statement of account for no reason.
It is not enough to send the landlord an informal letter in which you declare that you think the billing is wrong. For this reason, it is advisable in most cases to consult experts who can tell you exactly what is wrong with the utility bill and possibly also help you with an objection. If you take it into your own hands, you should always make sure to send your objection to the landlord by registered mail. In this letter you should then clearly explain what exactly you have to complain about in the billing and to what extent you would like to be reimbursed for costs that have been paid too much.
Unconditional payment is not yet an acknowledgment
Due to the contradiction, the landlord is now responsible. He must prove that the statement made by him is correct. For this he is obliged to allow the tenant to inspect the receipts of the operating costs. This has to take place either in the office of the landlord or, if this is too complicated, the tenant can also request that a copy of the receipts be sent to him. However, the tenant has to pay for the resulting costs himself.
If the tenant and landlord still do not come to an agreement in the course of inspecting the receipts, it is up to the tenant to sue for the creation of a correct utility bill and reimbursement of the overpaid costs.
If the landlord should claim that the tenant's unconditional payment already counts as acknowledgment of the billing, he is wrong. Even if the landlord has anchored a clause in the rental agreement or the ancillary costs statement, which says that an unconditional payment would be considered an acknowledgment, is not correct. Because any objections that prevent the tenant from his right to object to a statement and to present any objections will be judged by law to be ineffective.
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