Law will forbid landlords from imposing cable TV costs on Germany’s renters

Law will forbid landlords from imposing cable TV costs on Germany’s renters

Plans to scrap a law introduced in the 1980s will see renters in Germany newly able to determine whether they want to continue paying for cable TV access as part of their utility bill.

Germany to scrap Nebenkostenprivileg for landlords

Soon, anyone who is renting a house in Germany and is obliged to pay for a cable TV connection through their home utilities (Nebenkosten), will no longer have to cough up the money each month. The new rules have to be adopted by landlords by July 1, 2024.

This is because the second part of a law to scrap the Nebenkostenprivileg (utility bill privilege) policy, will be implemented. Since the Nebenkostenprivileg was introduced, landlords who own a whole block or several flats were able to sign a deal with cable TV providers and charge all of their tenants for cable access via their utility bill. Tenants were not able to opt out of this deal, even if they didn’t want cable TV access.

Since December 2021 landlords have no longer been allowed to sign new cable TV deals with providers. But to protect landlords who had ongoing contracts with cable TV companies, a window was opened to let those contracts expire. That window is now about to close.

Check your utility bill carefully to avoid extra TV costs

This window closing means that anyone in Germany who wants to keep using cable TV with the same provider originally chosen by their landlord has until July 1, 2024 to sign a personal contract with the provider.

However, since communications companies are set to lose millions of customers as the new law comes in - Vodafone alone expects to lose 13 million - it may be the case that a third path is found if enough tenants say they want to keep paying for access. This means that if you still want cable, it is best to ask your landlord what their plan is before you sign a personal contract.

One possibility is that landlords introduce an opt-in or opt-out clause in rental contracts, or as Vodafone has already done with its new “TV Connect Start” deal, companies will offer a new service specifically for customers who previously paid through their landlord. Whatever path your landlord decides to take, they are required to inform you.

If none of this sounds appealing and you just want to keep your money, it is advisable to check your Nebenkostenabrechnung carefully to make sure your landlord has removed the extra cost from the July deadline.

Thumb image credit: 0meer /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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