Additional expenses and periods of notice
In addition to the living spaces, the landlord gives the tenant the right to use the infrastructure. According to tenancy law, these costs are covered by the rent. Therefore, a special agreement is necessary if these are to be paid in addition to the net amount of rent.
An agreement pertaining to additional expenses should always be a part of the main contract form where the agreed rent is stated. If payments on account are anticipated, when concluding the contract you should ask about the exact amount of the additional expenses or ask the landlord.
On the invoice of additional expenses, the individual items must be broken down in detail by the landlord and named in the same way as in the rental contract. In addition, you must be able to see on the invoice how the total additional expenses are divided up among all the individual rental parties. If you cannot understand such an invoice, you should not pay it but rather ask for clarification with a registered letter.
Often in the small print of a rental contract it states how much time the landlord has to invoice additional expenses. This generally involves regulatory guidelines and not a mandatory legal provision. This means that you must also make any retroactive payments even if the landlord exceeded the defined period.
In certain rental contract forms it can specifically state that retroactive payments of additional expenses are no longer required if the invoice does not arrive with a specified period. In this case, you really don't have to pay any late arriving invoices any more.
Statute of limitations on additional expenses
By law, additional expenses exceed the statute of limitations five years after the corresponding invoice period or five years after moving out of an apartment. But watch out: If the landlord initiates legal proceedings to assert his claims for payment of additional expenses which are past the statute of limitations, you must expressly call attention to the statute of limitations with the rental conciliation authorities. Otherwise you can be obliged to pay despite the statute of limitations.