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Various legal and other problems while in Germany

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Posted

My husband and I lived in Germany now for almost 2 years and we noticed to have numerous problems while living here.

Just to name a few:

1. We pay our bills on time but have received a few letters from doctors/dentists that they have not received payment.

2. Landlords want the tenant to do exactly what is expected from them, but when it comes to moving out with all things properly done by the tenant, the landlords somehow find an excuse to hold on to the deposit and just in general are very rude.

3. Various public offices ask for copies of something, we mail them or drop them off, a few weeks later they want the same paperwork again.

The list goes on...

We can't remember having constant problems like that living in the US. Anyone else noticed that? Is it just us having a "bad luck" streak? :angry:

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Posted

(1) & (3) never; (2) does not happen only to us furriners! OK - the first two apartments I had were arranged through the DESY Gästehaus & they ran things properly. Then I moved into the very small flat that my then GF had already had for 5+ years (so contract was in her name). When we subsequently got married & then bought a house the landlord (it was a company that owned many buildings) went into unhelpful mode. In fact the value of the deposit was by then not much so we sat it out until they paid almost all of it back.

We're thankful that we have been in our own house since November 1989 (moved in days before the Berlin Wall fell).

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Posted

Thanks for your reply ruapehu!

Lucky you! :lol:

Every bill that is paid by Ueberweisung through our bank (other then Bankeinzug or Dauerauftrag) was/is always paid within days of receiving a doctor bill, so it can't be that somehow the letters cross or something. Matter of fact, my husband visited two doctors that took 6 weeks before they even sent out the bill. But when it arrived, it was paid right away. A year ago, my husband had something done to his tooth by a dentist, the bill was paid. A week ago we receive a reminder to pay the bill (after one year) and when I called and told them it was payed by Ueberweisung and sent a copy of it, they still insist of paying the bill. The bank employee checked to make sure the amount went into the right account, and it did. So now, we have to fill out a Nachforschungsantrag, so the bank can look into it. The money was paid into the right account...

We lived in two different places before moving where we are now. Everything was taken care of properly, but in the first case we had to contact an attorney and still working on getting our money back. In the second case with proper notice given, apartment sparkling clean, helping them find a Nachmieter etc. and being nice tenants, they didn't like us leaving and gave us hell when they found out we were moving. (taking care of my father now in Bavaria, so we had to move 5 hours away).

It just seems like we have a part-time job babysitting people, contacting Mieterverein and doing unnecessary work due to other people neglecting their duties.

Okay...rant over!

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Posted

I agree with the OP. I think you need to learn how to grow a thick skin here and how to stand up for yourself.

Somebody always seems to be trying to squeeze you for money somewhere along the line

Rechtsschutzversicherung is money well spent. People tend to back off when your solicitors letter comes in the post :D

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Posted

(1) & (3) never; (2) does not happen only to us furriners!

(2) does happen to Germans too! But maybe I am just an exceptionally unlucky German. Anyhow, my last landlord didn't return my deposit for over 8 months, I phoned wrote letters, nothing, than I had enough, phoned my lawyer, he wrote one letter, deposit in my bank account.

(1) & (3) never happened to me in Germany. (3) happened to me a lot while living in the US. I don't know how many times the Americans lost my fingerprints and how many times I had to resubmit forms. They also lost my whole bloody immigration file one time.

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Posted

No to 1 & 3.

But YES to 2. The landlord when we lived in Lubeck kept our deposit and it took 18 months to get it back. What a jerk.

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Posted

(2) Not returning the deposit is very common. Being a member of one Mieterverein before the problem arises can help you. I know that Germans are also affected by this problem, but if you are returning to your country after moving out then you are not in a good position for sueing the landlord.

(1) and (3) happen sometimes, in Germany and elsewhere, but I do not recognize bad faith or a damage here.

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Posted

Well, I am in the middle of a battle trying to get one service provider to correct my company details in their system so they can invoice me correctly...

They used to do this, but 5 months ago the started sending bills to an adress that i havent been at for 4 yrs!!

Wankers!

Oh... and my local McDonals actualy expects me to pay before I get any product or service!!! What sort of restaurant does that??

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Posted

I understand that at McDonalds it doesn't matter. (Seriously, it's not really a proper restaurant). You order, they go fetch it, you pay. Or you order, you pay, they go fetch it. I don't see the difference. Compare that with getting your deposit stolen by the landlord.

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Posted

But if you put the money in a Joint account with 2 signaturies... then the Landlord dosent get the money either!

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Posted

1) Hasn't happened to me. Are you writing your bill number in the Verwendungszweck when you pay it?

2) Happened to me in Canada but I haven't moved here yet so I haven't had a chance to test it out.

3) Haven't had a problem with that either.

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Posted

expects me to pay before I get any product or service!!! What sort of restaurant does that??

Any restaurant with an open or all-you-can-eat buffet?

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Posted

Thank you for all of your responses!

I am very detail oriented and especially in Germany I make sure I send important things per Einschreiben with signature etc.

That just reminds me of another case a few months ago. My husband had to cancel his flight to the US due to my father's illness. He had purchased a ticket with insurance, where, if he can't go he gets his money back. We filled out the form, included everything they wanted, sent it by Einschreiben with signature right away...and guess what?

We waited 3 weeks, didn't hear a sound and spent the next 7 weeks calling the insurance until after over 2 months we finally received our money back into our account. The last point of contact told us it usually takes a few days :lol:

The first time I called the insurance they told us they have NO paperwork, the postoffice said, yes, someone signed for it...

I organize paperwork and make copies etc. like my life depends on it, but somehow the other end still doesn't deliver.

Right now we are waiting on our second previous landlord to communicate with us. Something to the effect of: "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Lalala we did the Wohnungsuebergabe, everything was great, since it is the end of the year we wait until the annual Nebenkostenrechnung comes in, deduct (if any) the money from your deposit you paid when you moved in and then send the remaining money into your bank account.

When we did the Uebergabe we were told by the landlord he has to do some figures and he would contact us. Nothing had happen in weeks now and after sending him an email 2 weeks ago, he is still silent.

Is it that hard to be professional, and have the courtesy to contact a good tenant for a minute to communicate regarding getting your money back? I think not!!!

We are members of the German Mieterverein, and it looks like I have to have someone send a letter there.

For any new expats in Germany:Legal insurance, renters insurance, Haftpflicht and Hausrat are a must if you live here. Depending on the insurance/services the annual fee for all of these should run around 300 Euros.

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Posted

I think you need to be a little bit aggressive, example: if you send the Überwiesung, phone your doctor and tell them you did and make sure they notice.

Public employees: I believe that's the norm in Europe. You shouldn't really expect public employees to do things quickly and efficiently.

Generally, you should think that you are always in the right (if you haven't clearly forgotten something) a be a bit forward about it IMHO. Yes, it's not so nice from a human relations perspective.

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Posted

Thank you for all of your responses!

I am very detail oriented and especially in Germany I make sure I send important things per Einschreiben with signature etc.

That just reminds me of another case a few months ago. My husband had to cancel his flight to the US due to my father's illness. He had purchased a ticket with insurance, where, if he can't go he gets his money back. We filled out the form, included everything they wanted, sent it by Einschreiben with signature right away...and guess what?

We waited 3 weeks, didn't hear a sound and spent the next 7 weeks calling the insurance until after over 2 months we finally received our money back into our account. The last point of contact told us it usually takes a few days

The first time I called the insurance they told us they have NO paperwork, the postoffice said, yes, someone signed for it...

I organize paperwork and make copies etc. like my life depends on it, but somehow the other end still doesn't deliver.

Right now we are waiting on our second previous landlord to communicate with us. Something to the effect of: "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Lalala we did the Wohnungsuebergabe, everything was great, since it is the end of the year we wait until the annual Nebenkostenrechnung comes in, deduct (if any) the money from your deposit you paid when you moved in and then send the remaining money into your bank account.

When we did the Uebergabe we were told by the landlord he has to do some figures and he would contact us. Nothing had happen in weeks now and after sending him an email 2 weeks ago, he is still silent.

Is it that hard to be professional, and have the courtesy to contact a good tenant for a minute to communicate regarding getting your money back? I think not!!!

We are members of the German Mieterverein, and it looks like I have to have someone send a letter there.

For any new expats in Germany:Legal insurance, renters insurance, Haftpflicht and Hausrat are a must if you live here. Depending on the insurance/services the annual fee for all of these should run around 300 Euros.

Just trying to be helpful here, germanyherewecome! Your last point: renter´s insurance..Hausrat insurance: they´re the same! Renter´s insurance is the American term, Hausrat the German one. You only need one!!!

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Posted

Just trying to be helpful here, germanyherewecome! Your last point: renter´s insurance..Hausrat insurance: they´re the same! Renter´s insurance is the American term, Hausrat the German one. You only need one!!!

John, surely a renter's insurance is a Mieter Versicherung and a Hausratversicherung is a home contents insurance. Is it really the same?

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Posted

"Mieterversicherung" is just a moniker for various things your insurance agent will try to sell you. Quite often this is something like fire insurance, or some sort of financial product (especially in Switzerland).

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Posted

Ah, bramble, Mieterversicherung is meant here as the part of the Haftpflicht insurance which lets the landlord know you´re insured in case you damage his property.

Renter´s insurance is the American term for ( British ) home contents insurance..I learnt that from American clients the past couple of years! We´ve updated our website accordingly!

Edit: Kato..no idea about Switzerland, to be honest..but I wouldn´t put it past them!! :)

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Posted

Germanyherewecome... I think you're jinxed.

I've never had any of the problems you describe apart from one landlord who took his time repaying the deposit (and he was a lawyer). I joined a Mietverein, they sent one letter, I got the money back.

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Posted

Any restaurant with an open or all-you-can-eat buffet?

Not in My local chinkie...

otherwise you wouldnt get served drinks etc!

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Posted

@ John G. :lol: Dealing with all these insurances will make you psychologically challenged AND insane.

This is what I am paying for: 1. Hausratversicherung for my contents to be insured for break-ins, fire, lightening etc.

2. Haftplichtversicherung for my guests when they knock out a lamp in the hall way of my landlord,

if I have a child that breaks my neighbors window with the ball etc.

I am paying two bills for two different insurances.

@Nina :ph34r: After one more attempt to write a letter per Einschreiben with a 2-week window to respond, I will also contact the attorney at the Mieterverein and ask to write/send a letter. Thanks for the tip!

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Posted

Now I know why I am psychologically challenged AND definitely insane, germanyherewecome! Try working in that field...I promise..it´s even worse than being a customer of an insurance company!! :)

By the way: if your guests knock out a lamp in the hall of your landlord - it´s not YOUR Haftpflicht that pays..it´s your guests´!

We had a client who got so drunk at a party he smashed his face onto the host´s toilet seat, damaged it..and ( full of shame and embarrassment ) put in a claim! The insurance paid!

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Posted

1) Only happened once, but we had genuinely forgotten to pay the dentist so can't complain! :rolleyes:

2) Happening right now. If we haven't had the deposit back by January then our former landlady will be getting a letter from the Mietverein. However, I don't know anyone here (German or Ausländer) who doesn't have a landlord story to tell. I think that's life.

3) The Finanzamt lost my OH's tax return last year. They contacted us to say that they'd lost it though, and were very apologetic about needing another copy (yes, I was surprised! :lol: ). So I don't think that counts.

Sometime something goes wrong and you start noticing every little thing that goes wrong more and then it seems like everything's going wrong at once. I think you sometimes notice things more when you're in a different country. Maybe that's what's happening here?

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