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About Shenandoah

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  • Location USA
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  1. Need US SIM card for receiving bank SMS verification

    Folks,   Another option might be a Truphone prepaid sim card.  You can get one with a US phone number.  Incoming calls and texts are usually free.       Check their website for more information:   S.
  2. hellotoy,   Interesting.  Sounds like you do NOT have collective heating.     I have an apartment in Berlin that has collective heating:  There is a main boiler for the entire house (which has 21 apartments) located in the cellar.  Each of the radiators in the apartments have a meter on them that measures usage.  At the end of the year I get a bill from the Hausverwaltung for my shared cost for heat based on the meters on the radiators in my apartment.     The same is true for Warmwasser.  There are water meters on the warm and cold water lines where they come in each apartment.  Each year the water meters are read and I am charged for my Kalt and Warmwasser usage.     S.
  3. Hellotoy,   Are you renting a house or an apartment?  You mention apartment in your first post but house in your second post?   Heat:  do you have hot water radiators?  radiant floor? other?     Hot water:  is the hot water heated by electric?  gas boiler? other?   If you're in an apartment, most likely you have collective heating.  There just isn't enough information in what you've posted to figure things out.    S.        
  4. HelloToy,   It's not clear in your post what type of heat and hot water you have in your apartment?  What does the gas meter run/supply that you had installed?  More information is needed.   S.  
  5. German Tax Question HELP!

    Valencia,   I recently signed up for (I'm in the US) and use the elster app on my phone to verify my login.  Using the app, I go to on my computer and choose Mein ELSTER; I select Mobiles Login;  A QR code is generated on my computer; I scan that with the app on my phone; I enter my certificate password in the app on my phone; a TAN code is generated on my phone; I enter the TAN code on my computer; a number is generated on my phone that I compare to on my computer; they should match and then click on login.    At this point I am logged in to elster.  This will be the first year I "try" to use elster to file my German taxes.     I followed the instructions that PandaMunich provided in this post:   S.
  6. Am I getting overcharged for water utilities?

    SteveHarris,   Here are the numbers from my apartment in Berlin. I did not include my usage and size of apartment as it’s not used full time.   WARMWASSERKOSTEN 30% Grundkosten = 0.9222774 euro/sq meter 70% Verbrauchskosten = 6.699338 euro/kubikmeter KALTWASSERKOSTEN TOTAL (including water service, waste water, etc.) 4.494583 euro/kubikmeter   Warmwasser is central and heated from natural gas.  Your usage seems high, but if you're using water like you're back in the US, then maybe not?     You should have a breakdown of Kalt and Warm water on your annual bill.  Cold water charges are the sum volume of cold and warm water.  Using your numbers, your cold water meter should show 90.88 cubic meters and the warm water meter should show 51.12 cubic meters with a total of 142 cubic meters (warm + cold) water.     142 cubic meters of water works out to 37,500 gallons.  If you were there for 8 months, that's roughly 240 days using 156 gallons of water a day.   You might try to read your water meters each week to keep track of your useage.  I always take a picture of mine with my phone, so I know the date and time.     S.  
  7. I went through a similar "ordeal" trying to find a manual for Privileg washing machine that a family friend in Berlin has owned for decades.  I couldn't find the manual but I was able to find the parts/switch to fix the machine.     S.
  8. princesscarolyn,   Speaking from my experience when I bought a rented apartment in Berlin:  The deposit from the tenant was transferred to me from the previous owner as part of the contract when read at the Notar.  If/when my tenant moves out, I am responsible for his deposit.     It sounds as if the original owner (not her daughter) is responsible for your deposit as that is who owned the apartment when you left.     S.
  9. Help: blue lint/dust is everywhere

    Lokk,   Did you try to see where the dryer vents to in the basement?  Although it's hard to believe (dryer in the basement and you live on the 2nd floor), it sounds like the dryer vent some how is getting in your room?  Do any of your neighbors have a dryer that could possibly be venting in to the wall cavity between you and them?   S.
  10. Post delivery times from Germany to the U.S.

    Acton,   The relatives in Berlin do not have a computer or a smart phone, so email and texting are not possible.  I did bring over a laptop for them a couple years ago.  It's still sitting in the laptop bag.  They're in their 80's and do not have any desire to 'figure out" how to use a computer.    Yes, I do call at least once a week but when they need to send something, it takes forever.   S.
  11. Post delivery times from Germany to the U.S.

    RedMidge,   It was only a letter, not a package.  Same situation earlier in the year.  A friend in Berlin mailed a letter late March and it didn't arrive until mid May.  Prior to COVID it would take three weeks or so for a letter to arrive from Berlin.  I don't know where/why there is such a delay in mail coming FROM Germany.  As I mentioned, I can send a letter to Berlin from the US and it arrives in six days or so.     S.
  12. Post delivery times from Germany to the U.S.

    Folks,   I'm in the US and send letters to a couple relatives and friends in Berlin.  It takes about six days for a letter sent from the US to arrive in Berlin.  The last letter I received from Berlin was mailed on June 28th and arrived on September 8th!  Two and a half months!  I do not know why there is such a delay in mail coming from Germany to the US.     S.
  13. Rica aciR,   Thank you for posting what you found out.  Too often questions are asked on the forum, but the answers are rarely shared.  Thanks.   S.
  14. Illegal Subrenting

    firefish,   Why not just change the lock on the door temporarily?  You can get a lock cylinder at Obi or BauHuas for about 35 Euro.  Most have 5 keys.  It's one bolt to remove the lock cylinder and replace it with a new one.  If you can't figure out how to change it, I'm sure there is a video on YouTube that shows.     S.
  15. SZJX,   Sorry, I don't have the answers to your questions.  I am not really sure what can and cannot be done regarding the Mietendeckel and current rents.  I think they are still working the issue in courts and haven't come to a final ruling?  I too am waiting to see how this play out.   If you're not a member of the Mieterverein, you should probably join one.  They will be able to answer questions on the Mietendeckel and what you can do.   S.