Smoke detector: Tenants only have to pay for maintenance after notice

Tenants have to bear the maintenance costs for smoke detectors - but only if the landlord has expressly pointed this out in advance. That was decided by the District Court of Munich I. "In principle, operating costs can only be passed on to the tenant if this has been agreed in advance in detail," says a judgment of the court that was published on Friday. "Since it must be made clear to the tenant which operating costs are passed on to him, it is necessary to also state the 'other operating costs' in detail."

The judgment is final and could mean that tenants can claim back any maintenance costs already paid for smoke alarms from the landlord, if the item was not expressly listed in the rental agreement under other operating costs or if the landlord did not explicitly point this out in any other way.

The proceedings had gone through two instances. After the Munich District Court had awarded the complaining landlord in the dispute with his tenant outstanding operating costs including 16,35 euros maintenance costs for smoke alarms, the Munich I Regional Court decided differently: According to the judgment, the tenant does not have to assume the costs for smoke alarm maintenance.

File number: 31 S 6492/20