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  1. Hello!   Would love some advice on a slightly unusual situation. Some friends (a couple) are splitting up six months into their year-long termination waver on an apartment. We are desperately trying to find an apartment (Berlin's rental market is a disaster at the moment) so it would be mutually beneficial if we move in to their apartment. They have found their own places to live.    Because of the termination waver lasting until October, we are trying to do this in two stages. Stage 1: it seems it's quite straightforward to change one name on the contract now (the landlord has agreed in principle), so we are looking at keeping one of them on the contract until October, and adding me by addendum. This suits us because my partner will be working away a lot until then, so won't ever be more than a visitor for this period so we won't be doing anything untoward in terms of un-contracted people living in the apartment. Stage 2: in October, we want to become the main renters of this apartment.   My questions are: 1) what is my status on this contract until October. Am I an equal Hauptmieter?  2) is there anything stopping the second name being changed by addendum in October to add my partner to the contract? Or will it need to be a whole new contract between the landlord and me and my partner? 3) what is the risk that the landlord will refuse to swap out the second original tenant/start a new contract with us? On what grounds could they refuse, and how can we best avoid this situation? We have told him that I would like to stay on beyond October.  4) we need to come up with an agreement between the original tenants and us about how the deposit is handled. Does anyone have any experience regarding transferring deposits as a nachmieter? 4) any other big risks we are walking into?  Given how terrible the rental situation in Berlin is, with the Mietendeckel and covid, I don't think there are any rental situations that are entirely risk free, especially for relatively recent arrivals in Berlin. As freelance artists, we are unlikely to win a flat on the open market (even though we have steady incomes, and own a flat in London which is rented out), so finding a solution like this through friends and acquaintances is really our only option. So a little risk is fine. I just don't want to do anything illegal, or anything that might prejudice the landlord against us and damage our future relationship with them. We love the apartment, can see ourselves staying there for a good period of time, and can easily afford it, and I wish we could just declare this to the landlord and take the whole rental contract over now, but lots of people have told us they are very unlikely to accept this, and so this two-step approach seems preferable.  Any thoughts greatly appreciated!!
  2. Hello!   I have a question regarding the betriebskosten. We recently moved into a Reiheneckhaus, previously always having lived in apartments. Now, there is no Hausverwaltung that sends a yearly bill, so I am wondering how the nebenkosten is calculated.   We had the following in our rent agreement:   Vorauszahlung auf die Betriebskosten für Heizung und Warmwasser:  100 EUR Vorauszahlung auf die übrigen Betriebskosten gemäß §2 Betriebskostenverordnung:  110 EUR   But just 1 month into our contract, the landlord has sent us this additional agreement to sign:   Die im Mietvertrag vereinbarte monatliche Vorauszahlung auf die Betriebskosten für Heizung und Warmwasser über 100 € wird einvernehmlich geändert in Folgendes: Die Betriebskosten für Heizung und Warmwasser werden monatlich pauschal mit 176,25 € abgegolten. Es wird weiterhin vereinbart, dass die hier getroffene Vereinbarung über die Zahlung der Betriebskosten für Heizung und Warmwasser in Form einer monatlichen Pauschale über 176,25 € durch die Vermieter nach dem ersten Abrechnungszeitraum des Gasanbieters in eine verbrauchsabhängige Vorauszahlung auf die Betriebskosten für Heizung und Warmwasser geändert werden kann oder eine Erhöhung/Anpassung der Pauschale für die Betriebskosten für Heizung und Warmwasser erfolgen kann.   I asked her to give us an explanation, and also send us the previous invoices from the gas provider. From that, it does seem like the costs are higher. She replied:   Gerne teile ich Ihnen mit, dass die 100 € ursprünglich als Vorauszahlung vereinbart waren, sodass entsprechend höhere oder niedrigere Kosten nach der Jahresmessung des Verbrauchs durch uns zurück gezahlt oder durch Sie nachgezahlt werden hätten können. Mit einer Pauschale sind die Kosten verbrauchsunabhängig abgegolten, weshalb eine Schätzung der kommenden Kosten vorgenommen werden muss. Ich habe den Wert anhand der letzten Verbrauchswerte (Durchschnitt errechnet) und Ihrer Wohnfläche ermittelt.   What "pauschal" is she talking about? Is it something different from the standard rent agreement, where we would get some money back, or pay extra once the yearly costs are determined (based on usage)? Is she expecting a flat payment regardless of usage?   The other question I would ask is - what are the "übrigen" costs usually for a house.   I do not think she is trying to rip us off. On the contrary, our interactions have been quite pleasant until now. Moreover, she is a first-time landlord.   Any tips would be very helpful.
  3. Tenant subletting for profit

    Hi there, trying to help out my brother who owns a flat which he bought already rented to a German girl for a very low sum. He's recently found out that her housemate, who's not in the contract, pays to her for his single room more than the whole rent. She pays to my brother 385 Euro Kalt + 50 Betriebskosten while charging this guy 500€. She's not allowed to sublet the whole flat but only one room. Let me admit that my brother does not have a great relationship with this tenant and mostly has a strong feeling she doesn't even live in that flat anymore (she seems to be never there..) so we're trying to figure out if this could be enough to kick her out for breaching the contract.   Thanks in advance for any advice
  4. Good morning!   In Winter 2019, me and my partner signed a rental contract for an apartment. As we just came to Germany, we weren't in position of choosing and we needed something fast, so when current furnished apartment came up, we immediately agreed to sign for it. The landlord was Company A.   The contract had a clause for limited term for 1 year, but we didn't think anything of it at the time - in fact, in Israel, where I came from, limited term contracts are the norm and are just being renewed every year. So I thought it's the same here.   I've also personally checked with our manager at Company A, and he told that he will have no problem renewing with us if we cause no trouble (rent on time and no complaints for us), then he'll have no problems renewing our contract.   Some time pass, we ask for renewal, and we get it. Some time later, Hausverwaltung company changed to Company B, and new company for some reason went absolutely nuts when asking for renewal - they refused, and then accused us of breaching the contract and told us they'd kick us immediately, but on their "goodwill" we can stay until the end of our extension.   We then ran the contract by a lawyer, and he told us that there's a claim in the contract that it is WE who asked for limited term. He asked if we did it, which, of course, we didn't, and then he replied that thus Section 549 (2), 1 does not apply since temporary use reason was only fictitious, and consequently, Section 575 applies, which lists only three acceptable reasons for limited rental contract - none of which were in our contract.   The company then replied that we still should move out since "they have documents which prove that the clause was adapted to our circumstances, thus it's not fictitious", thus the apartment is a temporary housing according to Section 549 (2), 1. We ran their response by our lawyer again, and he responded that it changes nothing, and if I haven't requested the rental to be temporary, the claim is still fictitious.   Yet our circumstances were not that we needed temporary apartment - we only had a need for any apartment as soon as possible. We also both had intention to stay here long-term: - I had BlauCard visa at the time of signing (which was pending for exchange to residence permit) - I also had unlimited work contract and had already started working for the company - I also had applied for exchange of my foreign driver license to German one (if I had intended to stay for only one year, I could've just ask for extension of my foreign one for one year) - My partner had a student visa (which she hadn't exchanged yet because Termin at Auslanderbehörde was a bit later)   So in my opinion, these documents already prove we were intending to stay here for quite some time - I don't know what they have that can prove we needed a temporary one, since they at most have only the things I've listed. I suspect they're bluffing and are trying to scare us into leaving, since they also mentioned risk of us owing them legal fees in case they need to evict us.   What are we chances we lose in court against their argumentation and will get evicted?
  5. Hi TT Germany,    I’m looking for someone responsible and trustworthy, preferably who speaks German, to help me end my apt lease in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, near Kollwitzplatz. I’m in the States and due to the pandemic I’m unable to travel there to do it myself.   If you have any opinions on what would be fair compensation for this job I’d love to hear from you as I’m not sure what to pay.    The tasks would consist of the following: 1. Go to the apartment and take photographs of its condition. It should be very good.  2. Help me dispose of my belongings. There’s a van service I can hire so you’d just need to let them in and oversee it. I don’t have much, it’s mainly a few pieces of furniture, some clothes, appliances (fridge, washer), kitchen things, all of which you’d be welcome to sell and keep the proceeds.  3. Go through my belongings with me over Skype and put aside the few personal items I’d like to keep. You would either put them in storage, give them to someone to keep or mail them to me if the cost isn’t prohibitive.  4. Ensure the apt is acceptably clean for the walk-through by management. As I mentioned it should already be in good condition.  5. If necessary, help me end services (Vattenfall, Gasag, internet..). I may be able to do this from here. 6. Do a walk through with management, return keys and email me any documents ending the lease.    This may not cover every little task but these are the main ones. In addition, you may be able to apply for the lease before it officially goes on the market. It’s a 1.5 Zimmer about 45sqm, good for a single person or couple, located in a Prenzlauer Berg Altbau at a good price.  I’m giving notice tomorrow so I’m looking to get this done in late February- March. I would be paying you in euros via Transferwise or direct bank transfer.  If you’re interested, tell me a little about yourself or send me your resume. You are welcome to let me know what you think is fair compensation for the job. I’ll be interviewing people over Skype.    Thanks! (And my apologies in advance if I’m posting this in the wrong place)
  6. policeman overreaching himself

    I have 3 apartments at in Nürnberg Apartment A has been occupied for 1 year by a Handwerker M who is supposed to have done a massive renovation, stripping the floors, walls, completely redoing the floor and eventually new Einbaukuche. The deal allowed him to live rent free until the eof 2020 and gave him the option of becoming a tenant at a rather high rent. However the work was supposed to be completed in Sep 2020, and has been delayed because of Covid and other problems He hasn't sent me photos because his iphone is broken. He is also demanding to live rent free until May 2021 on the basis of an invoice he created that has no basis.   M swings from being my best buddy to swearing I'm going to be ass raped in prison for all my crimes. Right now he's in the 2nd phase and there shall be no reconciliation. He has gone too far this time.   Apartment B was occupied by D since 2 years. D last paid rent in October 2020. The Hausmeister S entered the apartment to check if the tenant was dead or sick, and also checked the contents of the fridge which showed he hadn't been there for weeks if not months.   M entered on 4 Dec and photographed a letter from Inkasso to D giving D's Berlin address (at my request).   M called me on 9 Dec at 20:16 extremely drunk to tell me he had a tenant for B. I had no interest in M being a rental agent and I told him great, but hc24 is administering the apartment as always and his friend should contact hc24. No I want to deal with you! hc24 is my rental agent. I always go through them. After he started shouting at me I hung up, and told him by whatsapp to contact me when sober.   Then it occurred to me to warn Hausmeister S, and tell him under no circumstances to give M the key. I rang S only for him to tell me a drunk and aggressive M was outside the front door arguing with his son.S then hung up (understandably) and I waited 1 hour and called again.   This where it gets interesting. I heard a young man ask "Is that the Vermieter". He then came on the phone, told me he was a policeman and I could not speak with S. This freaked me out as I though this meant S was badly injured. I started asking what happened, how bad is he. The policeman just told me I was not allowed to enter B, then heard him ask S if had been in B . S answered not today, and the policeman hung up the phone.   It transpired M had called the police to complain about S illegally entering apartments at my direction. The policeman, and a policewoman had first gone to M, talked to him for 20 minutes and then went down to speak to S just as I called. Now I have a number of questions about the policeman's actions:   Why did he even talk to S. It is not a police matter if the 1 tenant complains about a landlord illegally entering apartments. That's a civil matter. If the tenant had called to police to complain that would be different. But it was a 3rd party complaint.  Did he have the right to refuse to allow me to speak to S? Not really a question, but if the policeman listened instead of ordering he would have found out that D had just exited prison, wanted to be free of the apartment ASAP, and has signed an Aufhebungsvertrag giving up B on 15 Dec, but asked us to pack up his stuff as he didn't have the resources to get from Berlin to Nürnberg.   He would also have found that M calling the police was an act of revenge because I was not going to pay him 1000s to replace the floor, paint the apartment etc, and let him act as rental agent. hc24 says they can fix it all up for 3 to 400. One of hc24's employees moonlights as my cleaning lady with hc24's blessing.    Now I don't think the policeman is guilty of anything other being an over enthuiastic idiot drunk with power and trying to impress his female colleague. He's not corrupt and probably not racist.   My objective in call him is to to piss him off against M, have him warn M about wasting police time, although ideally "zeig ihm an" for that and most importantly inspect apartment A confirm M is illegally using a gas cooker, and explain to me what steps he will take if this is true to secure the safety of the building.   So when I call this policeman I will have a number of specific talking points.   Does he agree to my recording the conversation? I'm happy to email him a copy at the end. He will obviously not be enthusiastic, but does he have the right to refuse? I know in the USA the police will lie and order bystanders/victims to turn off cameras, but they have no right to do this. Why did he even visit S. There was no criminal activity Why did he think he had the right to forbid me to speak with my Hausmeister Why he harass 2 Auslanders on the basis of what a drunk, tattoed, very rough looking German said? Was he aware that M was in apartment with S. So M called the police on S for exactly the same "crime" as M had committed. Why did he tell me I could not enter the apartment? What kind of "Beweiss" does he have that I was acting illegally in sending S in 6 is an interesting point. He could well ask me for a copy of the Aufhebungsvertrag which I'm happy to send. But the point is he had to prove me guilty, I don't have to prove my innocence. Furthermore if he has asked instead of lecturing he would have learnt instead of making a fool of himself.
  7. I moved here in Oct 2015 and started working immdiately and earned a full time wage in (42k)   From Jan 2016 - May 2017 I received rental on my primary residence totalling 12k.   I sold the property in June 2017.   I competed tax returns in the UK, and was told I didn't need to pay tax on the rental income I received.   However since living in Germany I have never completed a tax return.   From reading other posts, I think UK rental income does not need to be included in the German tax return. However worldwide income should be declared as it may impact the amount of social insurance you should pay.   So I think I should complete a tax return for 2016 & 2017.   I think I am also going to call a family friend tax accountant tomorrow to help me with this.   I assume I will get fined. Do people go to prison for this type of thing?