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  1. Hi all,   I realise there are similar topics in the forum, but I haven't been able to find one that matches the details of my case so well.   In 2018, my family and I moved to Mönchengladbach and paid a €1000 deposit on a flat there. Let me at this point mention that the landlord did nothing to repair any defects with the flat (some shutters did not close, and others would get stuck once down, leaving me and my family sitting in dark, cold rooms in the winter, and hot, bright rooms in the summer; the basement was susceptible to flooding, which we were not warned about, leading to several hundred euro of damage to our property and costs of several hundred more euro to clear out the destroyed items - something the landlord said he would do for us 'als Wiedergutmachung', but never did; the shower basin was leaky, resulting in mould on the tiles and floorboards; the heating did not work for almost two weeks in December, which led to mould behind and on the back of furniture; the front door of the house, which the landlord promised to change when we moved in but never did, was not secure, which resulted in the theft of items from the basement - before the flooding...), which will hopefully explain my reluctance to accommodate his other errors, which I outline below.   In August 2019, we left Germany for Ireland, terminating the lease in accordance with the contract (giving three months' notice) and with a signed Übergabeprotokoll from the landlord's agent showing that the flat had been returned in the expected condition. Between then and the end of last year I repeatedly wrote to my former landlord, requesting that he pay the deposit back into my bank account, and each time I have received no response.   On 6th January 2020, the Nebenkostenabrechnung for 2018 arrived - 6 days too late according to § 556 BGB. As it was late, I initially ignored it, but then in early July 2020 - well within the one-year cut-off - I wrote to the landlord to tell him that I wouldn't be paying his bill as it arrived too late, citing the relevant legal paragraphs, and again requesting that he return my deposit. The landlord did not respond to this letter.   The Nebenkostenabrechnung for 2019 arrived on 5th January 2021 - once again 5 days too late, and again I wrote to the landlord to say I would not be paying it, with a further request to return the deposit. The landlord did not respond to this letter either.   As far as I am aware, the landlord now has no claim over the deposit and is legally obliged to return it in full - plus interest. Therefore, at the beginning of February 2021, I wrote him a letter (subject: Fristsetzung: Rückzahlung der Mietkaution), setting a deadline of 15th February to return the money. As the letter only arrived on 12th February, I extended this deadline to 19th February via a WhatsApp message, giving him an entire week to return the money.   Today I received a WhatsApp message from him, trying to intimidate me into paying these bills, giving the impression that the court would side with him if I were to take legal action.   If the guy had fulfilled his obligations as a landlord while we were living in the flat, I would be more than willing to forgive him a few days and pay the Nebenkostenabrechnungen. However, as life was pretty miserable for me and my family in that flat, am I not inclined to do so. However, before I do take legal action, I'd like to know if anyone here has had a similar experience.   The questions on my mind are: Have I fulfilled all my obligations regarding the Nebenkostenabrechnungen? Did I stick to all the deadlines? Does my move to another EU country count as a "special reason" to justify the landlord's being unable to get the Nebenkostenabrechnungen to me on time (he posted 2018's bill on 23rd December 2019, and 2019's bill on 27th December 2020 - of course they weren't going to arrive in time!)? Ordinarily, if the Nebenkostenabrechnung arrives late due to a delay with the German post, that's something the landlord has to grin and bear... Is there a time limit on the landlord reasserting his claim? (There's the 12-month deadline for the delivery of the Nebenkostenabrechnung, then another 12 months in which the renter can raise an objection to said Nebenkostenabrechnung. But is there a further deadline for the landlord to observe when countering the renter's objection? What is my next step - a letter with the word Mahnung in the subject line, or the Mahnverfahren itself? If I do start the Mahnverfahren, how do I calculate the interest accrued on the withheld deposit? I haven't seen a Sparbuch or anything. Is there anything else I should bear in mind?   Thank you so much to anyone who has any advice! I'm absolutely at the end of my tether with this penny-pinching man and, honestly, just want to move on with my new life now - while giving him a taste of his own medicine, of course!
  2. Construction and renovation works were carried out in the building where I live since 1 year. Many problems occurred because of that, including noise, wholes in the flat, light obstruction because the cover and the security risks that come from the scaffolding...etc. I applied for rent reduction and at the same time sent a notice letter to leave the flat after three months.   Couple of weeks later, the landlord (agency employee) came. I thought he came to verify my claims about the construction damage, instead, he was looking for any damage that I caused. There is nothing significantly wrong with the flat and he did not find any major issues. There was a little bump in the parquet (parkett buche) that he took a picture of.    Today they called me and said there might be water everywhere under the parkett, and the bumps are everywhere (but I really don't see them) and we might have to replace the entire floor, and it's going to be expensive and I have to pay for that. But first they will bring an expert to confirm what they say.   I have two problems with that: - i don't think there is a damage of this magnitude (attached some pictures, maybe I'm wrong) - i don't trust them, and consequently I don't trust there expert   Of course the lawyer option is on the table. But I was wondering if there is anything else I have to pay attention to before I get an appointment with a lawyer.   I have been renting this flat for almost three years.