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About Brockman

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  • Location Kreuzberg, Berlin
  • Nationality US
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth
  1. House renting situation in Berlin

    Put together a 'PDF packet' including your photos, intro letter (in German), Schufa, letter of good standing from employers confirming hours and salary, last 3 paystubs, and a letter of reference from a current or previous landlord so you have it on hand to send to any potential landlords / agents. Only send it after a viewing when you are interested with a note that it is confidential and may only be used for the purposes of renting that property.   Also, you need to call to reply to adverts. If your German is not up to scratch, then get someone you know to call and arrange viewings / follow-ups for you.   Best of luck!
  2. I could be wrong but I've read that in Berlin Mietenspiegel or Mietendeckel only apply to buildings built in 2014 or before. I also read that there are ways around it, for example, providing a furnished apartment, but I have no direct experience with this.   I think it's safe to assume that in any of those scenarios, if you bring up the Mietenspiegel or Mietendeckel with any prospective landlord, that it would be a red flag, and they won't want to rent to you. You can also probably be sure that any halfway intelligent landlord would have a lawyer with expertise in the area review the lease and rent amount before renting the apartment out, to ensure what they are renting it for is legal.   In Berlin, landlords have the luxury of being choosy about to whom they rent to. A friend of mine recently had to hand over Schufa, 3 payslips, a bank statement, and a reference from a former tenant for both him and his wife before a viewing was even scheduled. This means that the landlord is going to have a clear picture of your financials, what type of tenant you will be, and will likely be working diligently on finding someone who won't have any issues paying the rent on time, and they'll likely get that if their apartment is in a sought after area.   I always see these ads for 'lower your rent' in Berlin and they claim to have helped a lot of people, so you can also try there. And of course as mentioned, the Mietverein will probably have a lot of info on these topics.   Best of luck!
  3. Berlin restaurants reopen

    I was out at a Beer Garden Friday night. It was definitely possible to social distance. The 'rules' at the door said only people from max 2 households were allowed at a table and that 1.5 m distance needed to be maintained between guests, but this was clearly not being enforced as some tables had 7-8 people. I myself was with one other friend, and we had to fill in a form with our names, phone numbers, and addresses, in case we needed to be contact traced.   There was table service only, the waitrons had masks and gloves on, and there were a few hand sanitizer dispensers around. Masks were required to use the toilet, and only 2 people at a time were allowed in. The weather was not great, so it wasn't packed at all. I felt totally comfortable.   Of course, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the overall situation, but I am optimistic. Official reports show there were under 500 confirmed active cases of COVID in Berlin, and the number of new cases is very low (+ 11 since yesterday according to RKI).   That said, I'll be taking Dr Christian Drosten's advice and I won't be going to an indoor establishment unless the new case rate continues to remain low, but I'm fine with outdoor (and drinking from the bottle, as Dr Drosten suggests).