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  1. Last night I had a pretty nasty visit from the landlord of the flat I'm renting. He showed me that a corner of the granite on the doorstep outside the building has been knocked off, and he's sure that I did it because "we saw you drive up to the doorstep the other day and no one else drives here". This is nonsense because there's another neighbour who parks inside and drives past the doorstep on a daily basis. Occasionally postmen pull up there too, not to mention the landlord himself also parks just outside the door.   We checked the car together and didn't find any scratch marks (I took some photos of it today), and there's no camera footage showing anything, so he has nothing to back up his claim. But he's insisting that I pay for damages because "I cannot prove that I didn't do it". I'm going to contact the Mieterverein today. What would my best course of action be? I'm worried that the landlord will try to get some outrageous estimate and take it out of my Kaution if I don't pay up now. Should I just try to de-escalate and pay with my Haftpflichtversicherung, even though he has no proof that I did anything?   Thanks in advance! 
  2. Hi all,   I moved into an apartment in Bavaria last October. My rental contract has a clause saying that I cannot move out within the first 12 months, i.e. until the end of this September. I showed the contract to my local Mieterverein and they said that this clause is "most likely" invalid because for a fixed-term contract, the landlord needs to either give a specific reason for it or explicitly say that it goes both ways (the landlord cannot kick me out before October either). I recently looked for a new apartment to move into because my current landlord is an absolute nightmare (he's sent some pretty nasty emails in the past accusing me of random things, like parking in a spot he himself once told me I could use). The new apartment I found has an early move in date, but it was a nice place, so I signed it. At the end of May, I sent my move-out notice to my current landlord by Einschreiben, stating that I intend to move out on August 31. He sent me an email later saying that he got my notice, and that he would only waive my rent for September if he can find another tenant to move in on September 1.   What would happen if I insist on moving out by the end of August and don't pay rent in September, citing what the Mieterverein told me? Could the landlord deduct my rent from my Kaution or sue me over it? I do have legal insurance through the Mieterverein, but it would still be a pain.   Another complicating factor is that there are two landlords on my contract: one who owns the place and I pay rent to, and another who signed the lease and handles all communication with me. I only sent the notice to the guy who signed my contract, but the Mieterverein said this might give them some wiggle room to argue that I didn't address my notice to both of them.   Any insight or advice would be appreciated. And knowing this landlord, he'll probably try to screw me over with the Kaution regardless. Is it necessary to have a lawyer do the final walk-through with me?   Thanks!
  3. Hey guys, we have been living in a little village near Rosenheim since 2007. We lived in an apartment until 2018, then we found a wonderful house to rent until now. The owner just told us last week that his son wants to move in. It was quite a shock for us, because it is a very rich family with lots of property, and they work in Munich. So we didn't think they'd ever move back here to a little Kaff.   Now we have 3 months to find something, and there's pretty much nothing available to buy or rent with 3 bedrooms.    I made a video about it. In fact, I have decided to start a YouTube series about life in Germany as an American.   I tried to make the video a little humorous. Check it out if you like:   How many of you have dealt with this, and did the landlord give you more than 3 months? The last time we looked, it took us years to find this home. With 20-50 applicants, and a lot of crap apartments on the market, it just took so damn long. Hopefully we can find something quick this time!
  4. UK rental income on German tax returns

    Hi all, I'm new to the forum and have a question about my tax returns.   I am employed in Germany and pay taxes here. Last year I started receiving rental income from my UK flat. I have declared this income in the UK and do not need to pay tax on it as it falls under the tax threshold.   My question is - when I declare this to the Finanzamt, what will happen? I read that the UK has a double taxation agreement with Germany and I cannot be taxed twice on the UK income, but will the Finanzamt add the UK income to my German income and tax me on the total amount?   I live in Germany for more than 180 days in the year, but still have a registered address in the UK.   I plan to become a German citizen this year (and keep my UK passport). Would that put me in a different tax position? Any help is greatly appreciated. xxxx
  5. Hello everyone,    Recently I have experienced a really bad situation, and just want to share this with us, and hope you can help me to think about it, what's the best way to proceed.    So the background is I was looking for an apartment to stay in for 5 months in Munich. I contacted a lady (she is not the owner of the apartment, she is the renter) and checked the apartment on April 7th. I told her that on WhatsApp call that I like the apartment, would like to take it please send me the contract. She sends me the draft contract and I found some mistakes, so I asked her to change that, plus the rental date wasn't defined in the contract, the reason is the need to talk to the current talent to figure out the exact date. Then I asked her 2 times to please send me the contract, she still didn't send it in a week. So on April 14th, I cannot wait - because I cannot depend on sth oral and I have no idea whether she will send it to me or not. I visited another apartment and I immediately like it, so I signed the contract with the new apartment.    On Saturday I communicated with the first apartment lady that I am sorry I will give up the apartment, but she told me no, that we have a strong commitment on the oral contract, the price, kaution and rental period were discussed, so it is a contract between us. For her, it is a contract. I looked back at all our WhatsApp messages and emails, there are no sentences written like - I will take it, but indeed I said the price is fine and I agreed with the moving date. She told me we need to find a new talent so I can get out of our contract. I feel really bad and we still have 2 weeks until May, so now I am also trying to find someone for this apartment. I have no idea if this will possibly help me in the future if we are going to court or not.   From my perspective, I partly understand her situation, but I was also in this uncertainty for a long time. I cannot depend on sth not signed, so that's why I went for another apartment. At the moment, she hasn't said she will sue me or so, and what will be the possible action for next? And how shall I deal with this for the next few days? To be honest, I can only accept to give an addition of half month, and paying the whole 5 months is not fair, I haven't even sign anything...Btw, in 5 months I will move out of Germany, I just don't want myself to run into any trouble.    Do you have any advice from here?    Thank you very much,     
  6. 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!!
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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?
  10. 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)