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Posts posted by FlatronL1917

  1. I am looking for an informed opinion on our Indexmiete clause. Yes, I am a member of the local Mieterverein and yes, I will talk to an attorney in the near future. But I have learned a lot through TT and I believe it is worth asking here too.


    We entered our apartment in April 2021 with a typical renting contract. In October 2022, the landlord transferred the ownership of the building to his children through founding a separate GbR and sent us a new contract with Indexmiete to fight the rising inflation. What rubbed me the wrong way was a phrase he added in a letter accompanying the contract: "Wir möchten, dass sich für Sie als Mieter nichts ändert und schicken Ihnen daher einen Mietvertrag zu, damit das Mietverhältnis mit Ihnen weiterläuft.". I found this sentence indirectly threatening and very manipulative, but I was not a member of the Mieterverein back then, did not research enough and decided to sign the contract after a lot of stressing about it. Even though it should not be this way, I admit it got a bit personal for me.


    A summary of the relevant clause in the contract:

    (1) The rent increase is applied from the 01. January every year

    (2) Last year's consumer index is published around February, but we are supposed to pay retroactively the difference for the weeks from 01. January up to February and the new rent for the rest of the year


    Yesterday (February 2023, about 5 months after signing the new contract) we received notification that the rent was supposed to rise according to the new consumer index. I am now very annoyed about it and researched the hell out of this topic. I was wondering if someone could confirm / deny the following points / theories:

    (A) The rent cannot be increased at the moment, because it has not been 12 months since we signed the new contract [1]

    (B) Even if he could raise the rent, he could only do that 2 months after communicating this decision, so starting in the beginning of May [2]

    (C) Point (B) also implies that the process described in the contract is invalid. He cannot increase the rent every 12 months, because there has to be 12+2 months (for the communication, according to (B)) between each rent increase; all agreements that diverge from the law and are against the tenant are invalid [1]

    (D) The final question is if (C) invalidates the Indexmiete clause completely or if this means that we will continue our tenancy with a normal Indexmiete clause, in the proper way described by the law



    [1] BGB 557b

    [2] BGB 558b


    The lawyer of the Mieterverein did not seem to want to spend a lot of time on my case when I told him we had already signed a contract with an Indexmiete. I also had not thought of all these fine details back then and you only get a 20 minutes talk with him, so it is kind of understandable. A new appointment for a short talk is being scheduled.

    My plan is to talk to other tenants as soon as possible and coordinate against the increase.

    Thank you for reading my post. I will gladly answer any questions.


  2. I think it all depends on your definition of "taking leadership". Are you trying to be a leader or a manager? The way you describe the situation, it sounds like you have reached a dead end during a brainstorming session and while people are trying to come up with solutions, you suddenly start giving commands to people for further investigations. Nobody likes being bossed around, especially by people who are supposed to be your equal. In my experience, Germans react to being inspired by fresh (but reasonable) ideas and proper organisation. This is the value that you bring to the group. You can use ideas to stimulate the discussion and include part of their own ideas to the plan while praising them. Then, once the whole plan seems to be robust and low-risk, you can suggest a course of actions and indirectly assign tasks to people. You said so yourself, you need to "get people to follow you". It's just done in a different way. You need to earn the leadership role and not (only) by being the loudest person in the room.


  3. A young couple left a bunch of (full) yellow garbage bags in front of our building and drove away!

    The garbage collection for the yellow bags unfortunately takes place in a couple of weeks.

    I did not think fast enough to take a picture, but I did memorize the licence plate.

    Can I do something about it by reporting it somewhere? Or is my word not enough proof for something like that?


  4. 11 minutes ago, catjones said:

    From what you've said, the ex has asked for a temporary freeze.  If that's because his income is reduced or ended then that makes sense.  It sounds like he made payments up to that point.  Since the bank allowed his freeze, it's only natural it would turn to the next in line for payment.  The fact that he and the guarantor are no longer together is irrelevant.

    You don't say how much of the loan is left unpaid.

    Your girlfriend should notify the guy that she is now making payments and that the freeze did not cover her as well.  Ask how long this 'freeze' condition will last and ask that if the loan benefitted only him (you don't say that in your note above) will he repay her?  If she also benefited from the loan...



    His income was indeed reduced during this time, but I do not see this as an excuse. He was in a very highly paid position before Corona and the monthly payment was about 5% of his income. I would rather not go into more details about that. She has notified him already, he just blocked her. She did not benefit from the loan at all.


  5. So, my girlfriend is in a quite awkward situation at the moment and I was wondering if you could give us some advice.


    Some years ago her ex-boyfriend borrowed around 10.000 € from the bank for some personal expenses with her signing as a guarantor. About a year ago she broke up with him and we have been together for some months now. The break up was not very pretty, so she left their house without taking some of her things (including documents, such as the contract for the loan). I do not know if he purposely withheld them or whether she did not ask him about them until a few months ago. What I do know is that for the last couple of months he has stopped paying for the loan and eventually the bank started asking for my girlfriend to pay for the loan. The payment might in fact be deducted directly from her salary (at least, this is what is stated in the letter by the bank; her job is in the public sector). In his first messages, he claimed that he has asked for a payment freeze.


    What she did was to ask for a copy of the contract from the bank, which was unfortunately sent to the ex's apartment. He was obviously not happy about this. When the letter for the second delayed payment arrived, he blocked all communication. As far as we know, he is currently working in Switzerland for a few months, but is still registered in Germany. The positive thing is that we have now verified that he did apply for a payment freeze, so at least he was not lying about that (but the process was very delayed, so it might have been a reaction to her request for a copy of the contract).


    This was a rough description of the situation. There have been other things he has told her in the past that were clearly lies and show that he is manipulative, so it would be best to proceed with caution.


    As a preparation in case things go worse, she has documented the story from her side (including dates, his responses, etc) and will now choose communication channels where everything is recorded (written and audio messages). We will visit a lawyer when the copy of the contract has arrived. My questions:

    1. Is there a competent lawyer about loans or are there other relevant services in Stuttgart that you can recommend?

    2. He does not seem to be defaulting at the moment, he is just being uncooperative. Can she be relieved from her guarantor duties if it is shown that he is using it as a means of pressure/power over her to avenge their break up? (she was the one who left him)

    3. Are there any other options for getting out of this situation, even with some legal expenses? (within reason, not disproportionately high in comparison to the loan itself)

    4. Can there be other consequences for her? (e.g. bad Schufa rating)


    Thank you very much in advance :-)


  6. A friend of mine moved to Germany a few years ago. During the first couple of years, she worked as a freelancer but did not make any steps towards paying taxes. To be honest, I am not even sure if and what she had to pay, maybe her income was way too low to even pay anything. She has now been working as an employee of an organisation. It seems that there have been no consequences, but there is always the fear of getting caught or of having further complications down the road.


    It is clear that the decision of not researching this lead to stress, so let's please keep this out of the discussion. My question is, how would you go about correcting this? Should she consult an accountant / a lawyer / both? Would there be any consequences? Is this going to stay in her record or can she get away with it? Could this information reach her current or future employers?


    Thank you for your time and answers.


  7. Thank you for your answer, I had totally forgotten about the health insurance part. Is this also required from mini-jobbers?


    Some additional info:

    He already has a stable job in Greece and will be using his vacation to do that (it is fine for his employer), so he is already working his butt off. The plan is to take an unpaid sabbatical leave for two years and join her as soon as his German improves. What happens after these two years remains to be seen. The things we do for love…


    EDIT: His girlfriend is Greek.


  8. A friend of mine is chasing his dream of relocating to Munich from Greece to join his girlfriend. He has been learning German non-stop and occassionally visits her and attends language classes. Ideally, he would like to find a job he could do every time he is there (say 2 weeks every 2-3 months) to cover some of the costs and improve his language skills.


    Does anyone know if this is possible at all? We are talking about jobs without high education requirements, like delivery service, waiting tables, etc. Does he need to be registered in Munich? Does he need a bank account or can the money be deposited to his girlfriend's account / to his account in Greece? What about any complications with the tax office?


    Sorry if it has been asked before, but I could not find anything directly related to my question.


  9. The way to socialize in Germany is by joining various activities, like sports clubs, dancing groups, expatriate groups etc and gradually getting to know people there. I mean, you can also visit a bar and try to get to know the locals, but I never managed to do that very successfully. As a workaholic introvert from a mediterranean culture with very little knowledge of German when I arrived, I had plenty of difficulties adjusting, apart from a period of unemployment when I could dedicate a large portion of my time in socializing. The feeling of "boredom" you mentioned never goes completely away. If you go from working alone at home 12 hours/day to working 8 hours/day at an office trying to achieve the same level of performance while also keeping up with your colleagues' expectations of office socializing, you might be in for a shock (but this depends heavily on your work environment). Flirting is also very different in the north. Your case might be different, but I suspect you will have some similar experiences. 


    My question: What are the chances of somehow generating a significant passive income within the next couple of years? Either by investing or by automating part of your work or by hiring somebody else to do the work for you. I understand that you enjoy the challenge of living in a foreign country and in my opinion this is something that everybody should experience. Moving to Germany was certainly a very important and mostly pleasant stage of my life. But hey, if you can get off the rat race before going abroad and becoming a "normal worker" like the rest of us... I guess that's a dream for many people.


  10. Sorry for the digression, but are you aware of the laws concerning the maximum number of work hours per week? Your supervisor may not be particularly happy to hear for example that you are spending an extra X hours/week on a side project, because it will lead to a drop in your productivity. It might also lead to safety issues, if you have to handle anything that could under certain circumstances injure someone. The upper limit might be higher for 100% freelancers, but your case might be more complex, so you should check that out.


  11. Thank you very much for your answer. I was talking about Elterngeld, I had just forgotten the appropriate term.

    A rough online research seems to show that you are right, she just needs to live here.

    As far as I know, she made around 4k/month netto at her job. She is a citizen of another EU land.

    I suppose/hope that she just misunderstood the social services. Thanks again!


  12. My flatmate (also an expat) is currently in the 7th month of her pregnancy. She has been living in Germany for the past 4-5 years and her job is in a high salary scale. The father lives abroad and is unwilling to help in any way. For the past few months she has been trying to move to a new apartment for more privacy and space, but finding an apartment in this area is extremely difficult and/or expensive. It also does not help that she is pregnant and it shows. She claims she has extended the apartment search area.


    The problem is that she has been told from the social services that in order to get benefits after she gives birth, she will need to have an apartment contract on her name only (note: there is a significant probability that she missed something because of the language barrier). This is a new parameter for me, I only heard it from her yesterday. I have also been trying to find a place to move with my girlfriend and her two children, with very little success so far. Therefore, the only option for me at the moment is to stay right here (we are still in a transitional phase with her children and there is not enough space in her place, so I can't move in).


    My flatmate proposed an "informal" agreement of transferring the contract 100% to her name and living where I am currently unofficially. I am not comfortable at all with the idea of not having a housing contract, especially since we quarrelled a bit in the last few months and I have learned to trust only written agreements in Germany (thanks TT).


    Could somebody answer these questions?

    1) She claims she will get no benefits if she goes back to her country. Is this true? In the past she said that she will just not receive enough money to cover the birth costs, so I don't know what to believe anymore. Granted, this would be hard in her current condition, but it would be important to know if this is true.

    2) She claims she needs to have an apartment contract on her name only. Is this true?

    3) Is there another solution that I am currently missing?


    Thank you for your time and answers.


  13. OP, I feel sorry for you, you have a hard time ahead of you with this mentality.

    You might have some luck, because IT is a field in high demand at the moment.

    But if you don't get any interviews for a few months, you might need to re-evaluate your way of thinking.


    It does not matter how clever you are: if you get hired, you will need to study and learn new tools intensively for the first 1-2 years.

    This is not a good selling point for a manager, because they want to maximize profits and need to justify why they hired you to their bosses.

    So you have very low chances compared to a native speaker who already has the skills the company needs.


    Good luck with your job search anyway.


  14. I would like to give a less touristic route, which works very well if the weather is sunny:

    1) Start from Warschauerstr., walk along the Oberbaumbrücke until Schlesisches Tor - enjoy the view from the bridge and the graffiti on the way

    2) Walk parallel to the river (direction east) until you reach Badeschiff - Have a soda or something, enjoy the summer weather and possibly go swimming!

    3) Walk along Spree and enjoy the close view of the Molecular Man

    4) Keep walking along the river and enjoy Treptower Park

    5) Cross the street to the awe-inspiring Soviet Memorial (Sowjetisches Ehrenmal)

    6) Return to the river side of the park and visit the Insel der Jugend for the beach bar / Biergarten - you can have a Flammkuchen and watch the boats passing by



    -Start from Janowitzbrücke and walk along the East Side Gallery until you reach the Oberbaumbrücke - it is a loud and busy street, so this step is optional

    -Rent a bicycle instead of walking; you will probably save time and energy


    At least this is what I always show to visiting friends, when I go back to Berlin from time to time, and they love it because it combines fun with history and nature. It takes around 5-6 hours, depending on how long your stops are, maybe down to 3-4 hours with a bike. Have a good time in Berlin!