Within around four months, a total of around twelve million tenants will have to make new agreements in order to be able to continue watching television. A legal deadline that previously allowed landlords to pass on the costs of cable television to additional costs expires on July 1st. This affects around twelve million tenants who have benefited for years from the so-called additional cost privilege, which is now expiring. What will soon change for them.

Previously, tenants whose landlords included cable television in their rental agreement often had to pay for an unused cable connection. With the abolition of the cable privilege, this payment obligation no longer applies. Tenants now have the opportunity to use alternative transmission channels such as Internet television. This could lead to increased demand for such offers.

The abolition of the additional cost privilege took place as part of the amendment to the Telecommunications Act (TKG). The new regulation comes into force on December 1, 2021. However, there is a transition period until June 30, 2024. The new law will apply definitively from July 1.

Large cable providers such as Vodafone and Tele Columbus are therefore already offering new contracts and agreements in order to continue to supply tenants. These new agreements are often based on collaborations with housing associations.

The cable network operators and cable associations were against the planned change in the law. They fear that many tenants will cancel their cable connections. They are therefore trying to convince politicians not to implement the planned change in the law with warnings about expensive cable connections.

However, the consumer advice center considers these warnings to be “exaggerated”. Although the cable connection will become slightly more expensive, the increase will probably be in the range of a maximum of two to three euros per month. Initial experience shows that when multi-user contracts are terminated, the price for the single-user contract is around eight to ten euros per month.

For condominium owners, the situation is a little more complicated. What the owners’ association decides still applies here. As part of the amendment to the law, there is a special right of termination as of June 30, 2024, with which current multi-user contracts can be terminated by resolution of the owners’ association. However, if the owners’ association does nothing or decides against termination, the contracts will continue to run. Apartment owners then have to continue to pay the costs for TV reception through the house fee, but are no longer allowed to bill it as additional costs.

In addition, the consumer advice center warns against dubious media representatives at the front door. If they threaten to switch off the TV connection, the following applies: do not sign anything directly at the front door and certainly do not allow anyone access to the apartment. If the latter confesses without consent, tenants should not be afraid to go to the police and file a report. The state and federal police crime prevention agencies point out that so-called “doorstep transactions” are generally legal, but warn: “If you are confronted with intrusive behavior or requests for immediate payment, do not sign anything and inform the police.”