ExPattheDog

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About ExPattheDog

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  • Location Berlin
  • Nationality American
  1.   No way, I've spent thousands installing the sink and getting other items build to fit the space. ESPECIALLY going through all the trouble of lost time and lost money simply because someone feels like they have the right to discriminate. By moving I'm essentially condoning a system of discrimination. It is my right to be here, and they signed the tenancy agreement too...   Yes, I inspected the place before signing and noticed some defects which they promised to fix but months later they still haven't. I notified them several times the pipes didn't drain properly and all outside consultants told me the same thing - the hausmeister needs to fix it. After his second visit he not only didn't fix it, but several items broke while he was here: 1. the toilet before barely flushed, but after he flushed it repeatedly again and again it stopped flushing altogether. 2. the mailbox stopped opening and the door lock was jammed -- I don't know if these two breakages are coincidental or not. In any case, it is the landlords responsibilities to fix blocked pipes, and to repair anything broken in the common area such as the mailbox.     
  2.     thats what I thought too. even though I try to communicate in German and do all correspondence in German, is me not being fluent somehow enough of a reason? it's true I struggle to speak over the phone so I always prefer to communicate in writing (always a good idea anyway when dealing with creepy landlords) ... but I'm worried there is some loophole that allows them to discriminate on language proficiency even if discriminating on national origin is illegal.. 
  3. Before anyone says - yes! I am joining a mieterverein, and have an appointment on tuesday. But before my appointment I wonder how much I have to worry about this...   I moved in January, and have a 4 year rentals lease. Since moving, I have had a few problems with the pipes (toilet and sink not draining properly) plus a new problem where my mailbox won't open. The hausmeister and landlord refuses to fix it because I do not speak German. Today he finally called me back after endless chasing because the flat is not really liveable right now (no access to mailbox, no working toilet, no working sink...) and he said he a) won't help because I don't speak german, and b ) he will get a lawyer involved because he thinks I shouldn't live there if I don't speak german. I said to him this feels discriminatory, and he then yelled at me and said I shouldn't insult him (a bit ironic considering he is threatening me simply because I'm not a german national?).    I should mention, in every correspondence I have had, it has been in German -- I have written to them in German, worked with the german contract, always communicated with them in German, and when necessary asked friends to help translate. To be clear, I have never insisted they speak english, and rather I make every effort to speak with them in German... Nonetheless, despite my efforts to communicate with them in German, he says because I'm not German myself he doesn't want me as a tenant.    I just moved and spent loads fixing this flat up and I would rather not move... does he really have the power to refuse help or worse to evict me just because I am not fluent yet? 
  4. Hello  please excuse if this is a dumb question, but...   I moved into a new flat at the start of the year, but I have continually had problems with the pipes. First, when I had my washing machine installed, the technician said he did as much as he could but there was a part missing in the wall itself which prevented the full connection and he told me to contact me hausmeister for it. So I did, and the hausmeister added something to the wall, but then told the landlord (falsely) he had done the whole installation. Then, I had my kitchen sink installed, and again the technician said something is not right with the pipes in the wall, and so the sink water doesn't drain properly and the pipes leak. Meanwhile, the toilet has never flushed properly and it requires a plunger every single time. I have contacted my landlord, but the hausmeister has falsely said there is nothing wrong with the pipes.    Essentially, I have the word of 1 creepy hausmeister against 3 independently commission technicians/repairmen -- the independent ones all say only the hausmeister can fix it, and the hausmeister falsely says nothing is broken. I get the feeling the landlord is just trying to skimp on the cost of repairs, because it was similarly an uphill battle to get other damages fixed which occurred before I moved in   What can I do in this case? I haven't had a working sink or toilet in 2.5months and I'm really quite fed up. I would now rather pay an independent contractor to fix this ASAP for the sake of time, but I wonder if I can then bill my landlord for it? Surely, they would refuse paying it but legally what is my recourse? I really believe working pipes in the building is a basic minimum. If I go about the route of hiring someone else and then holding them accountable for the costs, what are the legal steps I would need to take to do so?
  5. Hey all   My visa doesn't expire until December, but I'm hoping to get an appointment sooner and not wait until the last moment. I currently have a work permit, but for the last year I have qualified for a blue card and I prefer to change so I can get permanent residency sooner. However, for months every time I check for an appointment there are none available.    is there some other way to get one? in normal times I would just get up suuuper early and get a walk in appointment, but obviously that is not possible now   I'm always worried something could happen that means I can't get an appointment and (who knows) the economy tanks again, I loose my job (unlikely, but thanks anxiety!) and then have to leave because my visa expired and I couldnt renew it in time... so just for my nerves, I prefer get it taken care of as quickly as possible   thank you!
  6. Inkasso erros

    Hey all, I have a few questions about german finance    I've been in Germany 5 years, but I'm still struggling to wrap my head around 2 specific questions: - is there someplace you can (for free) access your detailed credit report, and any explanation of any derogatory remarks?  - how can you effectively fight false claims   Explaining question 1 in more detail - when I get my schufa, it simply says its good there's no comments. But I have also heard there should be a score attached, and I have never seen this. All I know is my score must be good enough to get a flat, get a phone contract, etc. but apparently not good enough to use Klarna, etc. I want to get a clear picture of my financial / creditworthiness in Germany, but I can't seem to do so. I generally pay bills on time, yet (for example) yesterday my N26 account said they can no longer offer me overdraft because of a change in my credit rating - could be related to the second point   Second question, since being here I have had 3 frustrating cases related to Inkasso: 1. I ordered from Zalando and the order never arrived. I spoke with them, filled out a report, etc. and they promised to get back to me. Then instead all of a sudden they sent it to collections. After months of explaining it to Collectia, I eventually gave up and paid the 400 or so euros for the order even though I never got the items. That was a year ago, and Zalando customer service seems to care less, and obviously Collectia doesn't bother to respond either.  2. I had a contract with FitX and cancelled it - first in person but they said I had to also mail the letter so I did, and then said they never received it... fast forward, sent me to collections, I gave up after months of trying to explain to them I cancelled (I had proof and showed them, they never responded) and finally paid the 300 euros though I felt that was unfair just to stop the legal proceedings.  3. Now today I'm afraid I have another experience and I am absolutely fed up. I got a letter from Inkasso claiming they sent prior letters (this is the first I received, and I check my mail regularly) on behalf of Vattenfall. Here's the thing -- I have NEVER had a contract with Vattenfall. I have been here 5 years - 2 years in WGs and the contract was in my roomates name, and 3 years in serviced apartments (Orbis/Wunderflats) where electricity was included. So now, even though I never had a contract, Vattenfall is demanding 400 euros by Monday. I have the money and I can pay, but I am getting incredibly frustrated with this pattern here of errors on companies side and collections agencies not caring if the claim is legally valid or not. If I pay this, I will be in the hole of 1,1k euros for products & services I never received or never agreed to. It blows my mind this is actually legal, and I honestly feel extorted at this point.  - Is there a way I can more effectively fight these claims? emailing & writing letters doesn't work, and because my german is bad, I almost always get hung up on by these companies when I call.    I am especially frustrated these errors seem to have damaged my credit, and that there's essentially nothing I can do about it. Is it the reality that even if a company doesn't provide the products or if you never even agreed to the service, they still have full control over you and can demand money whenever they want? There must be some way for people to flag incorrect claims?  And anyway I can now restore my credit after these frustrating experiences? 
  7. Delivery in times of COVID

      yea just seems so sad to need to bribe them when I'm already paying for delivery service haha
  8. Delivery in times of COVID

    Hey all   I recently moved and so I am now getting things delivered, and I'm trying to figure out what to do.    It seems like even when paying for installation, etc. companies are now refusing to bring items inside. This is fine for smaller items, but for stuff like big refrigerators, washing machines, etc, and other big items that are impossible for me to lift, I don't know what to do when the delivery guys say they will only leave them outside. I understand this is officially because of COVID, but what I find especially weird is that the guys have no problem coming inside themselves (without the stuff they're delivering) without masks (and refuse to wear them when I ask them to put them on) for signing... bizarre. I'm caught in a place where I don't feel safe because they refuse to wear masks and am frustrated they only come inside to sign stuff while leaving heavy stuff I cannot lift outside  (physically impossible, I tried)    Any companies anyone know of who can deliver things safely & properly? No idea what to do with large electrical appliances right now...   Before anyone suggests having a friend here to help, because the delivery guys a) give big delivery windows (12hrs or so sometimes), and b ) they're left outside so not safe to just leave until they come over post delivery and my neighbours would probably be annoyed too, c) of course, everyone has meetings during the day and I can't ask them just to sit here 12hrs and be prepared to spontaneously hop off a work call (potentially with a client) at a moments notice... so that is unfortunately not an option. I really need professional delivery people to do this   Thank you!
  9. hahahah BRAVE    after reading this myself, I will probably wait a while because I don't feel an immediate urge to make this topic a big deal between him and I (I know he cares through his actions, and that's what matters most), and after some time whenever it is a natural feeling moment, I will probably ask him directly what the words mean for him individually, and what he needs to feel to know he's in love... and kind of take it from there. I think after reading this I've learned there's no one size fits all German when it comes to saying these words, so I should just ask him specifically when the time is right   I did ask before if he's ever been in love and both times he made this big face and said "ooof" like clearly its a rare and big deal to him, so I feel like I only know that when he says it he will really mean it, and I would rather not put him on the spot or pressure him to say it until he is truly ready 
  10.   That's a really good point about the language used. We communicate in English, since my German is basically the same level of a 4 year old... I would feel comfortable saying "I love you" now if I felt really moved to (but I don't plan to, I like to show rather than tell for now) but I wouldn't want to say "Ich liebe dich" because I really don't know what those words mean, I just know its much bigger than "I love you" (or so I've been told by my German friends)    We are both extroverted, but I would say I much more so than him. I'm kind of classically American where I'm bubbly and outgoing on the surface, but there's a locked door to go deeper unless I really know someone. For him it seems almost reversed - it comes across as shy at first but is very warm, open, and truly the opposite of shy once you get past the first moments. Nonetheless, he is a "keep the peace" and "don't rock the boat" type person, while I tend to be a bit more verbally expressive
  11.   Super wise, that's what I was thinking about and why I didn't want to rush saying it to him and risk making him feel uncomfortable. When I look at his actions, I "feel loved" even if we haven't said it yet, and so I'm not really in a rush because I feel like actions speak louder than words anyway    I guess what I'm reading is that there's a huge variation within Germany. Some people say it quickly, some people say it not all, even if they feel it - that's helpful to understand already   
  12.     No worries, thanks for the kind words. and to be fair, I probably came across a bit rude too for saying maybe it was a projection, I apologise about that too! kudos to you on leveling it out with an even tone in the last post, I admire that
  13.   I would disagree entirely the false assumption it is about security As you can read from my explanation, I'm trying to figure what is culturally appropriate out of respect for him. It could be you assumed otherwise as a projection, I don't know, but that's up to you to decide for yourself   I do think it is very outdated to always wait for the man to make the first move on major milestones, and I pride myself on being confident enough to not default to this. Plus, it's always crazy to think two people could be waiting for the other - someone has to be bold enough to do it first, right? And why must it always be the man?    In short, even though I think its too soon for me just yet and will likely not say these words for more months, there is a 50% chance I will be the one to do so first (simply because I'm 50% of the relationship).    So I am wondering equally, if now is too soon for both of us (I am not ready myself, that assumption wasn't correct), when is the point he might be filled with insecurity as well if I wait too long, if it ends up I am the bolder of the two of us and he is waiting for me to say it first. I think considering all these points and understanding the cultural meaning is just about respect. I care for him deeply and we're both cautious people with each others feelings   It's more about understanding the interpretation of these words. Communication is two sided: speaking, and hearing. So I understand the meaning of the words I speak might have a different meaning for him when he hears it.    It sounds to me then from your post like anything after 6 mo is in the realm of culturally appropriate -- thanks for that! I appreciate the clarification based on your experience  
  14. Taxation on Sales Commissions in Germany

      I've been in sales for 4 years in Germany and a large part of my total pay is in commission.  The finanzamt just calculates it based on the total of each payslip. For example, for payslips including commission, you will be on a higher tax rate than normally for that one payslip, but if it ends up at the end of the year that you paid too much taxes, you will get it back.    Generally, if you're on 100k, assume to get about 1/2 of what you're expecting after taxes, health insurance, etc. 
  15. So first I would start by saying, every relationship is different so I recognise what the cultural standards are might not apply directly to my individual person. However, I'm curious about the cultural context so I can better understand the right time to express these words.    I've been seeing a guy for only 6 months. We spend most nights together, have met each others friends, and have gone on holiday together twice. I have no doubt from his actions (he is consistent, caring, and honest) that he genuinely feels for me. Although we have only spoken about it lightly, I think we both believe there is potential for this to evolve into the "real deal." That being said, we've known each other for only 6 months and nobody is rushing. We both prefer to take things slow, which I appreciate, because I know every step we take we are really ready for.    Some cultural context: He's German, I'm American, and we're both in our early 30s.    In the States, we have a very different meaning of the words "I love you" (or at least I think we do, based on what I have heard). In most of my relationships in the US, people typically say "I love you" after only 3 months. This is because in the US "I love you" means more something like "I am passionate about you" rather than "I am confident I see myself committing to you forever."   I realise this does not apply here, at all, and it is quite normal for couples to wait a while because "Ich liebe dich" means something more like "you're the love of my life, and I plan to commit to you forever."   As an American, I keep feeling the urge to tell my boyfriend "I love you," but I have held off because I realise these words carry much more weight here in Germany, and I care about him deeply so I don't want to make him feel uncomfortable by me using words he will interpret too strongly.    I did say "I am starting to fall for you, does that scare you?" and he said it does not and he is as well, so I feel very emotionally secure. I am just asking this out of respect to him because I want to understand his culture better before dropping the "L bomb"   My question is: When do couples in their 30s in Germany typically begin to say "Ich liebe dich" - again, every couple is unique! I'm just curious about the culture standard. I have a feeling if I said these words now it would be shockingly too soon, so I'm asking when it becomes culturally appropriate.    I'm guessing its something like 3 mo: probably crazy and/or emotionally immature 6 mo: could happen, but probably too soon unless you knew someone for a while before starting to date because how well can you really know someone by then enough to know you want to commit to them? 9 mo-12mo: probably the right time More than 12mo: something could be missing if people don't feel the meaning of "Ich liebe dich" by then   What do you all think? When did you and your German SO exchange these big words?   Cheers