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Received a Mietmahnung for flatemate's owed rent

19 posts in this topic

Posted

Evening TTers,

 

Couldn't find anything that was specific to this case, so here's a new thread.

 

So, after a few years of sharing a flat with the same flatmate, the room becomes vacant and it's rented out to someone new. We have a joint contract (I think) as the rent sum to be paid to the Hausverwaltung is listed as the full amount and it is split between us. My new flatmate moved in at the end of February, stayed here for a couple of weeks and since then has been on a long training course abroad. This morning I find a Mietmahnung in the letter box saying that half of the rent is unpaid (my half has already been transfered). I'm trying to contact the flatmate but not having any luck. He's due back in Germany after the demand date on the Mahnung.

 

Has anybody out there been in the same situation or has any advice? The Mahnung has both of our names on it even though I've lived here for years and have a spotless record with rent and bills paying.

 

Advice would be welcomed!

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Posted

Firstly, write or speak to your landlord about the situation immediately. Secondly, as soon as practically possible negotiate your own, separate rental agreement.

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Posted

Yep, what AncientBrit said. In my experience, people are much more concilliatory if you take up contact with them early on and explain the situation. Since you've been living there for longer (and paying your rent on time), I'm sure your landlord will be understanding - and also willing to change the rental contract to reflect the two separate tenants.

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Posted

1) If Igelstellung is named as the Hauptmieter (main tenant) in the agreement she is liable for the full rent and has to cover and collect the other tenant's arrears herself.

 

2) If the joint contract (and "I think" is not good - providing all your facts before posting helps us give more precise answers) states that each tenant is liable for the rent as Gesamtschuldner (joint debtors) she has to cover the full rent and collect as stated above.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Please have all legal advice you receive here verified by a legal professional.

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Posted

Hi All,

 

Thanks for the replies. What I meant by a joint contract was that there are two names on the contract but the total amount is listed.

 

Die Miete beträgt monatlich...x Euro

(bits that are crossed through about garages etc.)

Vorauszahlung auf die übringen Betriebskosten gemäß § 2 Betriebskostenverordnung...y Euro

Insgesamt monatlich...x+y Euro

 

This is the full amount that we are supposed to pay monthly and we split in half, i.e I pay (x+y)/2. The Hausverwaltung previously asked me to take on a Hauptmieter role and I declined as I didn't want someone defaulting to me, i.e. to provide protection in case of something like this. I was led to believe that we had a separation in the financial aspect but now I'm not so sure.

 

Thanks again for your feedback guys - it's really appreciated!

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Posted

Hey,

 

as per that contract quoted you and your flatmate are "Gesamtschuldner" as sarabyrd (No. 2)said. That fact doesn´t have to be stated in so many words, it is implied by listing both your names and the full rent, not individual shares. Essentially you and her are a Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts, GbR, as far as your landlord is concerned. That means your landlord can collect the full rent from either one of you. Internally, meaning between you and your flatmate, each one of you can demand the respective other to pay them their share afterwards. So your landlord isn´t doing anything wrong legally.

I agree, talking and explaining the situation helps a lot in many cases. But I wouldn´t expect your landlord to refrain from demanding you to pay your flatmate´s share altogether. He might however grant a deferral for some time and/or instalments.

 

This type of rental contract is very common. Landlords use it to minimize risk of losing money. I wouldn´t expect your landlord to accept a change to that end, especially not now that your flatmate is apparently defaulting on her share. Basically, as you are the one in closer contact with your flatmate, and the one ultimately chosing her, you have to bear the risk of her not paying. Your spotless record with the landlord should however be grounds for some leniency on his part.

 

Take care and best wishes.

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Posted

So, update!

Spoke to the Hausverwaltung this morning and guess what...no leniency whatsoever. I'm liable for his debt. The situation is exactly as you described marc138. :(

At least now I have a promise of money being sent through before the next deadline or I guess I'll have to pony up the rest of the money and then "collect". Even if I pay the whole rent, he still lives there. Now this is an unpleasant situation!

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Posted

Send a court order to the defaulting co-tenant. It will be delivered as a drop-off by the mailman. Send a writ, delivery ditto. Impound the co-tenant's bank account or get a wages garnishing order. Fun and games.

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Posted

I´m sorry it turned out that way for you. That is a bad situation. Here´s hoping your flatmate will come through after all.

In the meantime, maybe you could ask them to extend the deadline just a little and allow you to pay in instalments rather than one lump sum.

 

If you still see a chance for your flatmate to make it right without full force of the law, maybe you should postpone actions as per sarabyrds suggestions just a short while. I´m sure it would make an already unpleasant situation worse.

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Posted

Nightmare! I hope it doesn't come to that and he pays up...

But...say, I move out of the WG and find a nachmieter/in and he defaults on that person too, will there be any consequences as I passed the contract on knowing that there's a possibility of him defaulting?

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Posted

Who Agreed to take the "Mit Wohner" ?

 

Were any back ground checks done? Deposits taken etc?

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Posted

This guy was chosen by my last flatmate and I together. The Hausverwaltung were meant to have credit checks done and called the new guy into the office about it. I didn't ever see the outcome of those checks but he was awarded the contract. I presume that he paid the deposit or I would have seen letters about that.

Now the Hausverwaltung say that I have to bear the cost regardless. Hmmmm.

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Posted

Then if you pay the full rent, then chuck their stuff in the celler and sublet again...

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Posted

Have you actually tried contacting your flatmate while he's away? Do you have his email address? It could be an honest oversight (yeah, giving him the benefit of the doubt...)

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Posted

 

Then if you pay the full rent, then chuck their stuff in the celler and sublet again...

 

The law doesn't work that way. Only the landlord can terminate the lease and choose a new tenant; until then the co-tenant's premises and property are to be kept inviolate under law. Igelstellung also cannot, for example, take the co-tenant's Rolex and pawn it for rent money. That's why finding out about legal measures at an early stage is so important.

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Posted

i have a joint tenant agreement with my roommate, but i want to move out. i have given the required 3 months notice, but the real estate agent has now told me that because my roommate cannot pay for the apartment by herself i am legally and financially obligated to pay for the apartment until she moves out. is this correct? can anybody help me?

 

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

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Posted

Thank you for joining Toytown Germany, a forum that answers a plethora of questions any ex-pat might have. The Search function (top right of your monitor) is invaluable for finding such questions and answers. Do not hesitate to use it, make yourself familiar with the other features of the forum, enjoy your stay in Germany.

 

The real estate agent is correct, and the only person who can help you is your room-mate by paying up or releasing you from the lease and taking over sole responsibility for all obligations arising from it.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Please have all legal advice you receive here verified by a legal professional.

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Posted

Hello TTers,

 

I recently moved out of a 3-people-WG which we signed a joint contract together with the property management (or the landlord) when I moved in. Since I newly arrived at that time, not knowing any German and not having much german friends, I asked my flat-mate if he can translate the contract to me, and he said, there’s nothing important and you only have to know if anyone of us is not paying the rent, the landlord can ask the other 2 to pay for the rent. (Now thinking about it, my bad, I should have asked for a copy of the contract, we only have 1 copy of the contract for 3 of us.)

 

Now the problem comes: I told my flat-mate that I am moving out by the end of May, and telling him I can’t pay my rent from July onwards. I can help looking for someone if they want. He replied, okay, no worries, we will find someone. From then onwards, I asked them a couple of times checking how’s the progress and always tell them if they need help looking for someone, just let me know. They said they are on the way, and they will find someone.

 

Now one week before July, we have this conversation on whatsapp (approx):

Me: How it is going looking for someone to replace me? I really can’t afford the rent for July and it's only 1 week left.

Flatmate A: We are still having a few viewings this week, but we can’t promise if we can find anyone.

Me: So if you can’t find someone by Friday, then I will find someone to replace me, but I also can’t promise if you can get along with that person. I will just give it to whoever would like to take the flat first, I really can't afford the rent.

Flatmate B: Sorry but this won't work, we have to say ok to him/her.

Flatmate A: I get your problem. But we have to live with that person, you cannot just pick someone. You should have told us earlier so we have enough time to find someone. Now we have to find another solution.

Me: I think I told you more than a month ahead, and how could I know if you are not too picky or you start looking for someone too late, so now you can’t find anyone suitable? For me, it never takes me more than 2 weeks to find a new flat, I think it just depends how hard you are trying and how picky you are? I mean be fair, what if you are too picky and can't find someone till the end of the year, am I supposed to pay the rent until then? I kept asking a few times when I saw you both how's the progress, and you replied you are on the way and you will find someone. So an alternative solution I can think of right now is, if you want, you can rent my room and pay for the rent together, so that you have enough time to look for whoever you want.

Then they didn’t (or still haven’t) reply.

 

My question is:

 

What can I do right now?

 

Reading from the above threads, it seems it won’t be possible even if I would like to terminate the contract from my side with the landlord, since it is a joint contract. If I don’t pay the rent anymore, can my flat mates sue me because of this? (I never sign any other paper saying when I have to notify them before moving out the room.) Should I ask for the contract or should I seek for legal advice? Any idea how expensive it will be? I don’t have a legal insurance at the moment.

 

Any advice/experience that can help will be appreciated! Sorry for the long stories and thanks in advance!

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Posted

Would introducing a "limited" time ( for a month or two) replacement flatmate be an option for your ex- flatmates?

 

This would give you some financial breathing space and your ex-flatmates can still continue to be picky for the next one month or two and keep screening more applicants.

 

IMO you will need the contract to seek legal advice. You should be able to get a copy of your rental agreement from the landlord or the rental agency.

 

If you buy legal insurance now, it may still be not that useful to you - there is usually a certain period (3 months or so) where no claims are entertained. Don't take my word for it though!

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