New year, new laws and rules: landlords and tenants will again face some changes in 2021. An overview of the most important changes.
Rising heating costs
Drivers should have already noticed that a CO2 tax on fossil fuels has been in force nationwide since January 1, 2021. This not only increases the price of petrol and diesel, but also increases heating costs. The CO2 tax of initially 25 euros per ton increases the price of a liter of heating oil by eight cents per liter according to calculations by the German emissions trading office. Those who operate their heating with natural gas must expect a surcharge of a good 0.6 cents per kilowatt hour. The fixed price for CO2 certificates is to increase gradually to 55 euros by 2025. It is still unclear whether landlords can pass the costs on to tenants in full or whether they have to bear part of them themselves.
More housing benefit
The new CO2 pricing is a burden, especially for people with low incomes. In order to relieve them, the state has increased the housing benefit in the new year. The funding is to increase by an average of around 15 euros per month and household. For each additional household member, up to 3.60 euros are added. Around 665,000 people in Germany should benefit from the increase.
Higher home construction premium
There is also more money for everyone who saves on their own four walls with a home loan and savings contract and does not earn too much. The state pays them a higher home construction premium in the new year. Until the turn of the year savers received an allowance of 8.8 percent on their building loan contributions. This bonus was available for investments of up to 512 euros for single people and 1024 euros for married people. Singles received a premium of 45 euros per year, couples 90 euros.
In the new year the allowance rises to ten percent. In addition, the maximum allowance-based savings amount for single people increases to 700 euros per year, for couples it rises to 1,400 euros. Singles with a taxable income of up to 35,000 euros or married couples with a total income of up to 70,000 euros are entitled to the bonus. This limit has also risen significantly, it was previously at 25,600 euros and 51,200 euros.
Shared brokerage commission also when selling
Whoever buys a house or an apartment only has to pay a maximum of half the brokerage fee. The new law, which the Bundestag and Bundesrat approved in May and June of last year, came into force on December 23, 2020. Previously, the buyer usually took over the commission, even if the seller had hired the broker. The amount of the commission varies depending on the federal state and can be up to 7.14 percent of the purchase price including VAT. In popular locations, in particular, five-digit amounts can be accumulated.
EEG surcharge falls slightly
In hardly any other country in the European Union do citizens pay as much money for electricity as in Germany. The so-called EEG surcharge recently accounted for around a fifth of the price. It is used to promote renewable energies and last year amounted to 6.76 cents per kilowatt hour. With the turn of the year, the surcharge drops to 6.40 cents per kilowatt hour. However, since other factors also influence the electricity price, this does not necessarily mean that the bottom line is that end consumers pay less. Market observers assume that the electricity price will stabilize at the previous level.
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