Portfolio Maintenance and Tenant Health

Objectives, Measures and Indicators

Increasing Portfolio Quality

Portfolio quality means:

  • ensuring the sound structural condition of our buildings through maintenance and modernization work,
  • guaranteeing our tenants’ safety and health,
  • achieving value and return from the portfolio, which we aim to improve through new constructions, holistic neighborhood development and targeted acquisitions and sales.

Our maintenance and modernization measures are based on operational and strategic considerations, with a particular focus on increasing customer satisfaction.











Long-term preservation of the building stock.


Increasing the standards and value in use of buildings.







Regular economic expenses planned over the long term, which allow us to avoid peaks in spending and additional costs


Measures to improve standards of living within closed apartment spaces (e.g., new balconies and kitchens, bathroom modernizations, senior-friendly conversions)

Planning oriented toward long-term and short-term needs


Energy-efficiency measures on building shells or supply infrastructure (e.g., apartment insulation, window and roof replacement, modern heating units)

Employing economies of scale to reduce costs



In 2018, we once again exceeded our target of 3% and achieved a rate of almost 5% with our energy-efficiency program in Germany, which equates to approximately 18,000 apartments.

In 2018, we conducted measures to raise the standard of living in a total of 15,000 apartments (2017: 11,000). In the coming years, we will strive to maintain this level of work to improve standards of living, or even increase it.

In the reporting year, we continued to improve the green spaces belonging to our properties, for instance, by converting old wooded areas into lawns. This has allowed us to create leisure spaces for our customers in their neighborhoods, increasing the quality of our leisure spaces in external areas.

Expenses for Maintenance and Modernization

Vonovia is maintaining its high level of investment. The key areas of focus are improvements to existing building stock, new construction and adding extra stories to existing buildings.

We made the following investments in 2018:

Maintenance and Modernization

in € million













Incl. new construction: 2018: € 234.3 million, 2017: € 65.7 million.


The scope covers Vonovia Group’s complete scope of consolidation.


This includes measures requested by existing tenants.

Maintenance and ongoing maintenance2)






Intensity of maintenance (€/m2)2)












Intensity of modernization (€/m2)2)












Total (€/m2)2)






Measures to improve the standard of living3)






Health Safety of the Building Materials

It is important to us that our customers live in healthy homes. We therefore carefully select materials that meet modern standards for our construction work. This means that we exclusively use safe materials in our apartments and take meticulous care to prevent mold. If mold should be discovered in one of our apartments despite our meticulous care, the technical service eliminates the mold and launches prevention measures – immediately and without appointing blame.

In agreement with portfolio management, the procurement department decides which materials are used for work in the Vonovia buildings according to precise process guidelines laid out in our product manual. This allows us to react rapidly to legal changes and take the corresponding measures. We expect our subcontractors to strictly adhere to all of our product guidelines so that we can ensure all measures exhibit the same quality.

All materials must:

  • pass various quality controls taking into consideration their potential impact during the life cycle, and
  • meet the applicable safety, health and environmental standards.

In 2018, we decided that we would increase our use of mineral fiber as an insulation material in future energy-efficient modernization measures on facades. When selecting products, we also look at energy efficiency – for instance, in choosing boilers – and pay particular attention to water quality in the portfolio properties, e. g., by installing special filter systems (see chapter Environmental Protection in Connection with Conversions and New Construction).

There was no need to conduct any special health and safety checks in connection with the materials used in the reporting year.

Safety Concepts and Other Measures

Safety Concepts

We strive to ensure the safety of our tenants both in and around their homes because it is a fundamental prerequisite for personal well-being. A subjective sense of safety also plays an important role in establishing this feeling. 102-15

We therefore ensure that:

  • there are no “scary spaces” – such as unlit parking lots or paths,
  • there is sufficient lighting on paths, parking spaces and in foyers and halls,
  • we test and offer safety solutions to improve protection against burglary, in cooperation with the State Office of Criminal Investigations in North Rhine-Westphalia, such as reinforced bolts and burglar-proof apartment entrance doors,
  • we identify hazards by physically inspecting all open spaces and playgrounds every two years,
  • we adhere to all traffic safety obligation regulations without exception in order to minimize hazard risks in the long term,
  • we initiate measures immediately on identifying defects or risks in order to prevent accidents in open spaces on our properties.

Safety inspections



Inspection schedule


Total inspection list


Target inspections 20181)


Actual inspections 2018 (EPRA H&S assets)










Vonovia has established standard processes for handling defects discovered as a result of inspections, which provide for prompt handling. These processes continued to function perfectly during the reporting period (EPRA H&S-Comp).


The checks are conducted every two years from the date of the first inspection; the annual certificates are therefore not distributed exactly equally. (50%–50%).


Missing inspections were caught up on at the beginning of 2019.



Every 2 years







Open spaces with buildings


Every 2 years







Open spaces without buildings


Every 2 years









Depending on type of tree and pre-existing damage every 1, 2 or 3 years









Depending on playground equipment category 1 to 4 times a year







Reducing Noise Pollution

Noise pollution can come from a variety of our sources in our neighborhoods – but it always impacts the well-being of our tenants. We want our tenants to live with as little noise pollution as possible, and therefore install sound-proof windows along streets with heavy traffic, for example. Complaints are often made about noise caused by other tenants. In these cases, Vonovia acts as mediator and strives to find a solution that is mutually acceptable to both parties. House rules in different languages serve to create a common understanding of living together.

Noise caused by construction work cannot be prevented. We aim to foster understanding for this among residents by announcing construction as early as possible at tenant assemblies and during office hours as well as through small gestures such as tenant parties. We endeavor to keep the disturbances caused by construction work as low as possible, because in certain cases, such as vertical expansions, apartments in the building remain occupied by tenants. Modular approaches for new construction work enable us to keep construction times to a minimum as the prefabricated residential modules only need to be put together by technicians and finalized with interior fittings.