Real Estate

Energetic renovation measures – these factors must be taken into account

When it comes to energetically motivated renovation work on facades of real estate, it is important for builders to follow the specific requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance in order to avoid fines and possible rent reductions.

Energy saving regulation regulates energetic renovation measures

Property owners who modernize the building and carry out insulation work as part of renovation measures must observe the statutory provisions of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV). The EnEV regulates the prescribed energy efficiency of new and old buildings.

In addition, a new draft for the Building Energy Act (GEG) was adopted in October 2019, which only declares the installation of a new oil heating system to be permissible if renewable energies already contribute to the heat supply to the property. The legislative change has little impact on insulation work, since the energy standards established in 2014 and 2016 continue to apply to existing properties and new buildings.

Refurbishment work is therefore still regulated by the EnEV, because it has only been integrated into the new GEG.

Refurbishment costs can be passed on to the rent

An exchange of 30 year old or older boilers is legally required by the EnEV, whereby not all models are affected here, too, so homeowners should get extensive advice in advance of the renewal.

In addition, homeowners who do more than just make minor repairs to the outer wall, i.e. renovate more than 10 percent of the entire facade, are subject to energy renovation requirements on the outer wall. If owners fail to comply with the EnEV regulation, they can face fines of up to EUR 50,000.

The scope of energy-related renovation work is also determined by the EnEV through various regulations, specifically regulating how efficiently the insulation on windows and facades has to work.

If the property is rented out, the client is allowed to allocate up to eight percent of the costs incurred to the rent each year. However, the rent increases may only amount to a maximum of three euros per square meter per month and a maximum of two euros per square meter if the rental price is less than seven euros per square meter. Any maintenance costs that may arise cannot be passed on to the rent.

The landlord also undertakes to have an energy certificate issued for the property. This is to meet the tenants’ right to information so that it can be estimated how the heating costs will develop after the renovation measures.

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Tenants’ rights

Landlords are obliged to notify the tenant in writing of the corresponding conversion measures within a reasonable period of three months in advance. The type and scope of the refurbishment must be shown in the core, and the tenant must also be shown an estimate of the new additional costs and the specific rent increase.

As a result, tenants have the right to object to the renovations within one month of receiving the letter. The basis of the contradiction can be social hardship cases, for example, if a tenant is seriously ill in the long term and the renovations are an additional burden on health.

Furthermore, the rent increase does not have to be tolerated in full if the rent is no longer affordable for the tenant. This also falls under the category of social hardship, in which case the conversion measures must be tolerated, but the rent surcharge must no longer be as high.

The tenant is also legally granted termination of the lease without notice at the end of the month if the rent increases by more than five percent.

If the conversions last longer than three months, you may also be entitled to a rent reduction.

Construction measures could cross property boundaries

Insulating the facade usually makes the outer wall thicker, which means that the distance to the neighboring property is reduced by a few centimeters, or the borders are even blurred. If it concerns renovation work on an existing property, this must usually be tolerated by the neighbor.

However, if you do not take this distance into account when planning a new building and let the facade protrude into the neighboring property, you give the neighbor a right to compensation. Because already in the planning of the building a plot penetration of the outer wall could have been avoided.

Image sources: Archi_Viz /

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