Living space

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The living space denotes the sum of the countable floor space of the living spaces that belong exclusively to an apartment .


The total living space forms an important basis for calculating the rent for rental apartments, the purchase price for real estate purchase of condominiums and the earnings value for the valuation in the context of real estate financing of apartment buildings . The use of living space also plays a major role in building and household contents insurance .

The ratio of the living space to the gross volume is called the expansion ratio .

Calculation basis

Legal basis in Germany for the calculation of the living space constituting living space Regulation (WoFlV) which Housing Act (WoFG), the DIN standard 277 as well as the DIN standard 283 . The calculations come to different results.

Choice of calculation basis

Depending on the area of ​​application of the area calculation, a type of calculation may be required by law in accordance with the Living Area Ordinance. When calculating the living space of publicly funded apartments, for example, the calculation according to the living space ordinance is mandatory (see § 1 WoFlV).

In the free, privately financed housing market , however, other calculation bases can be used to calculate the living space and there is no legal need to apply the living space ordinance. It is recommended to agree in writing the basis for calculating the living space when concluding the contract under tenancy law.

Living space regulation

The use of the living space ordinance to calculate the living space in the publicly subsidized housing market according to the Housing Promotion Act is mandatory according to § 1 WoFlV.

To calculate the living space, the floor space belonging to the living space must be determined and added to the living space ( Section 1, Paragraph 2 WoFlV). The living space of an apartment according to § 2 Paragraph 1 WoFlV includes the floor space of the rooms that belong exclusively to this apartment. The living space also includes the areas of winter gardens , swimming pools and similar rooms closed on all sides as well as balconies , loggias , roof gardens and terraces , if they belong exclusively to the apartment § 2 . The living space does not include the floor space of the accessory rooms (in particular cellars, storage rooms and cellar replacement rooms outside the apartment, laundry rooms, floor spaces, drying rooms, heating rooms and garages as well as business premises).

Exemplary sketch aid for calculating the living space according to the living space ordinance

The base area is to be determined in accordance with Section 3 (1) WoFlV according to the clear dimensions between the components; the front edge of the cladding of the components is to be assumed. If there are no limiting components, the structural closure must be taken as a basis. According to § 4 WoFlV, the floor space of rooms and room parts with a clear height of at least two meters is 100%, of rooms and room parts with a clear height of at least one meter and less than two meters are 50%, of unheatable winter gardens, swimming pools and similar rooms closed on all sides are 50% and balconies, loggias, roof gardens and terraces are usually 25%, but not more than 50%.

Housing Promotion Act

According to Section 19 WoFG, the living space of an apartment is the sum of the countable floor space of the rooms exclusively belonging to the apartment. The state governments are authorized to issue regulations for calculating the floor area and for crediting the living space by means of statutory ordinances. The state governments can transfer the authorization to a supreme state authority by ordinance. According to Section 8 (1) of the Act on the Promotion and Use of Housing for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (WFNG NRW), living space is a built-in space that is actually and legally suitable for permanent residential use and is intended for this purpose by the person entitled to dispose of it. Living space is considered to be ready for occupancy when it has been completed to such an extent that future residents can be expected to move into it. The living space of an apartment is the sum of the chargeable floor space of the rooms exclusively belonging to the apartment (Section 8 (2) WFNG NRW).

DIN standard 277

DIN 277-1: 2016-01 ("Floor areas and volume in construction - Part 1: Building construction") in the version of January 2016 specifies terms, definitions, terms and rules for determining floor areas and volume. DIN 277 defines the basis for a comparison of buildings and properties as well as for determining the costs according to DIN 276-1 and the usage costs according to DIN 18960 .

When calculating the size of the "living space" according to DIN 277 ("Base areas and volume of buildings in building construction"), general living areas are not determined directly, but separate functional , usable and traffic areas . The calculation according to DIN standard 277 can be used to determine the living space or the rental area.

Exemplary area calculation according to DIN 277-1 from January 2016

Balconies, terraces or loggias can also be shown separately and counted up to 100%. Another difference to the calculation according to the living space ordinance can be found in the crediting of sloping ceilings below a height of 1 or 2 meters, which in DIN-277 must be fully taken into account but must be explicitly shown.

Unless contractually stipulated, DIN-277 may be the more obvious calculation method due to the type of apartment. In some places the calculation according to DIN-277 can also be the local calculation basis

DIN standard 283

The DIN standard 283 came out in March 1951 and consisted of two parts. Part 2 of DIN 283 ("Apartments; Calculation of living space and usable areas") was withdrawn without replacement by Beuth Verlag in October 1983, Part 1 ("Terms") in August 1989 after a controversial judgment. The calculation according to DIN 283 will, however, continue to be used due to the lack of new regulations and has developed into a recognized rule of technology .

In practice, two parties in the privately financed rental property market can expressly agree on DIN 283 as the basis for calculating the living space.

In contrast to the other calculation methods, DIN 283 does not contain any regulations for terraces, boiler rooms or garages, for example. In contrast to the currently valid living space ordinance (WoFlV), in DIN 283, for example, the floor space of uncovered terraces and outdoor seating is not taken into account when calculating the living space.

Legal issues

There are often disputes about the actual living space. The deviation of the actual living space from the living space specified in the rental agreement represents a defect in the rental apartment within the meaning of Section 536, Paragraph 1, Clause 1 BGB . If the apartment is actually more than 10 percent smaller than specified in the rental agreement, the tenant can terminate the rental without notice and reclaim overpaid rent. It makes no difference whether the rental agreement specifies the exact size of the apartment or an approximate area. The extent of the rent reduction or the repayment claim depends on the extent of the area deviation. If the apartment is actually 15 percent smaller, the rent can be reduced by 15 percent. If the apartment is 20 percent smaller than specified in the contract, the tenant can claim 20 percent back. When rent increases, the actual living space counts in future, regardless of what is in the rental agreement.

There is often a lack of clarity as to which calculation basis must be applied, unless otherwise contractually stipulated.

The Second Calculation Ordinance (II. BV) is to be applied in accordance with Section 1 (1) II. BV if

  • the economic efficiency , load , living space or the appropriate purchase price for publicly subsidized living space when applying the Second Housing Act or the Act on Housing Commitments,
  • the profitability, pollution or living space for tax-privileged or privately financed living space when applying the Second Housing Act or
  • the economy, living space or the appropriate purchase price is to be calculated when applying the ordinance for the implementation of the Non-Profit Housing Act.

The calculation of living space is regulated in Section 42 Paragraph 3 II. BV. The floor space of the rooms can be determined either from the shell or finished dimensions. If the shell dimensions are used as a basis for the calculation, the calculated areas must be shortened by 3%.

The II. BV was only legally valid for price-controlled living space. After DIN 283 was repealed in 1983, Sections 42–44 also continue to apply for determining the living space in privately financed housing construction.

It is disputed whether the calculation of living space inevitably after the Second Calculation regulation or applicable since 1 January 2004 Living Area Regulation should apply generally rental properties in privately financed (not publicly subsidized housing), unless stipulated otherwise specified.

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) considers it conceivable, for example, that in the case of attic maisonette apartments (with developed pointed floors), the pure floor space of the apartment can be used as living space in accordance with DIN 277, without deducting areas with a clear height of less than 2 Meter. This is in contrast to the calculation of the living space according to the Living Space Ordinance, in which a deduction is made for sloping ceilings according to § 4 WoFlV. Particularly in attic apartments with sloping ceilings, there can be significant computational deviations depending on the calculation method.

Structural analysis

From a structural point of view, living spaces in Germany must be designed according to DIN EN 1991-1-1 and DIN EN 1991-1-1 / NA for a payload of 1.5 kN / m². Only ceilings with insufficient lateral distribution, e.g. B. wooden joist ceiling are to be measured for 2.0 kN / m². For rooms that are only used occasionally, for example pointed floors (not suitable for residential purposes, but accessible roof space up to 1.8 m clear height), a payload of 1.0 kN / m² is prescribed. It is often not economically feasible to reassign these usable areas to residential areas.

The above-mentioned terraces, balconies and loggias must be dimensioned according to DIN EN 1991-1-1 and DIN EN 1991-1-1 / NA with a payload of 4.0 kN / m². Until the introduction of DIN 1055-3 in 2006, these areas were measured at 5.0 kN / m² or, for an area over 10.0 m², with 3.5 kN / m². The subsequent installation z. B. a loggia in the attic is therefore very expensive in most cases.

Average living space

  • In 2015, every citizen in Germany had an average of almost 47 m²;
  • In 2013 it was 45 m².
  • In 2006 every citizen in Germany had an average of 43 m² available, in West Germany 44.1 m², in East Germany 38.6 m². The apartments had an average of 90.4 m², 94 m² in the west and 77 m² in the east. In 2006 around 8% of the apartments in Germany were vacant, 7% in the west and 12% in the east.
  • In 1998 it was 38 m² of living space per citizen
  • In 1990, 28.2 m² per person were available in East Germany and 34.8 m² in West Germany.
  • In 1972 it was 26.4 m².
  • In 1965, 22.3 m² per head were available.

Reasons for the increase in living space include an increase in disposable income and an increase in the number of single-person households . The number of apartments per 1,000 inhabitants rose from 214 (in 1972) to around 500 (2016).

See also


  • Hans Otto Sprengnetter (ed.): Living space and rental value guidelines (WMR) - guidelines and comments. 2nd Edition. Sprengnetter, Sinzig 2008, ISBN 978-3-937513-31-7 .
  • Thorsten Vehslage: Legal consequences of incorrect living space information. In: German Housing Industry. No. 8, 1998, pp. 227-229.

Web links

Wiktionary: Living space  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Stefan Haas: Model for the valuation of residential real estate portfolios considering the risk . Gabler Verlag, 2010, ISBN 978-3-8349-6056-6 , pp. 215 ( - Dissertation Bergische Universität Wuppertal, here on living space as the basis for rent).
  2. Hanspeter Gondring, Eckard Lammel (Ed.): Handbook Real Estate Management . Gabler Verlag, 2001, ISBN 3-409-11430-0 , p. 532 ( [accessed on January 27, 2019] on the living space as the basis of the purchase price).
  3. a b c d BGH judgment of March 24, 2004 - VIII ZR 44/03 Federal Court of Justice, Karlsruhe
  4. a b c d DIN 277-1: 2016-01 - Floor areas and volumes in construction - Part 1: Building construction . Beuth Verlag, January 2016 ( [accessed January 27, 2019]).
  5. a b BGH judgment of May 23, 2007 - VIII ZR 231/06 Federal Court of Justice, Karlsruhe
  6. DIN 283-2: 1962-02 Note from Beuth Verlag, accessed on April 2, 2018
  7. DIN 283-2: 1962-02 - apartments; Calculation of living areas and usable areas . Beuth Verlag, February 1962 ( [accessed January 27, 2019]).
  8. ^ BGH, judgment of April 29, 2009, Az .: VIII ZR 142/08
  9. ^ BGH, judgment of March 10, 2010, Az .: VIII ZR 144/09 = BGH NJW 2010, 1745
  10. BGH, judgment of November 18, 2015, Az .: VIII ZR 266/14 = BGHZ 208, 18
  11. ^ A b c Jan Grossarth: Lack of space: Cheers to the small apartment. FAZ.NET , June 27, 2015, accessed on July 22, 2015 .
  12. a b Per capita living space reaches a new high of 45 m². Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) , July 24, 2013, accessed on January 27, 2019 (Graph of the Month - July 2013, probably earlier press release No. 9/2013).
  13. Norbert Schwaldt: Six square meters more living space in the west. In: Welt Online . March 4, 2008, accessed January 27, 2019 (with data from destatis ).
  15. a b Guido Mingels: Everything used to be worse: living space . In: Der Spiegel . No. 22 , 2016, p. 66 ( online ).