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How does the calculation of living space take place?

In the context of property valuation, the term "living space calculation" is often used. The correct specification of living space is essential for the tenant of an apartment as well as for the buyer or seller of a property. There are several things to consider when calculating living space.

What is the living space calculation of an apartment needed for?

The calculation of living space can be advisable or necessary in many situations - for example, when applying for a building permit for a house and when buying or selling a property. The exact area of an apartment is also required for various insurances such as household contents insurance. If you are a tenant, you can calculate the exact living space to make sure that the rent for your apartment is calculated correctly.

Because with the rental contract the exact number of square meters is important: If the floor space is at least ten percent smaller than it was assured, the tenant may reduce his rent. If an incorrect living space is mentioned in a sales contract for a real estate purchase, claims for damages can be asserted under certain circumstances.

What is the difference between floor space and living space?

For the calculation of a living space in Germany the WoFlV-regulation is usually used. When calculating the living space of a property, it is important to distinguish between the floor space and the actual living space. Floor space usually refers to the built-up area - i.e. the area occupied by the entire house on the property.

The floor space can be smaller than the living space, for example in a multi-storey building - because here the sum of the square meters of all floors is larger than the built-up area. It can also be larger than the living area, for example in the case of a bungalow that has some rooms that cannot be considered as living area.

Which rooms are included in the calculation?

Not every room of an apartment or house may be considered as living space - and not every room may be considered with its total area in the living space calculation. According to the WoFlV-regulation, rooms and areas in an apartment can be counted as follows:

  • 100 percent chargeable: WC and bathroom, hallways, bedroom, living room, kitchens, dining room, guest rooms and adjoining rooms such as storerooms, heatable winter gardens and swimming pools. Only the following are fully chargeable Parts of the rooms that have a height of at least two meters. Niches must reach to the ground and be at least 13 centimeters deep, so that they can living space belong.

  • 50 percent chargeable: The parts of all the above-mentioned rooms that have a room height of one to two meters (e.g. with pitched roofs) as well as unheated conservatories and swimming pools.

  • 25 per cent chargeable: balconies, terraces and roof gardens.

  • Not chargeable: cellars, laundry rooms, boiler rooms, sheds, garages, hallways and areas less than one meter high.

Which rooms belong to the usable floor space?

According to DIN 277, usable space includes not only living space but also rooms that serve a different purpose. This includes, for example:

  • Office space

  • Production rooms

  • Storage rooms

  • Salesrooms

What methods are there for calculating living space?

There are basically two different ways to calculate living space: The WoFlV-regulation and the DIN standard 277.

These differ as follows

  • WoFlV-regulation: This method of the living space calculation is considered the first choice and is also used by courts. For the calculation, the chargeable areas of the rooms belonging to the living space is considered. These are offset against various extraction areas, for example, pillars, brick walls or cladding with a floor area of more than 0.1 square meters. Also window and wall niches as well as stairs with more than three steps and areas with roof slopes below one meter room height are deducted.

  • DIN Standard 277: This standard describes the "floor areas and volumes of buildings in building construction". Functional, usable and traffic areas are determined and balconies, terraces and loggias are also fully taken into account, but are shown separately.

Anyone who wants to assess a living space should always ask which of the two method it was determined. Since with the DIN 277 for example also terraces are included, a higher floor space can come thereby than with the method of the floor space regulation. In order to go really on the safe side and receive a right-safe floor space calculation, one can assign an appraiser.