Smoke detectors

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... but I can't work out whether its a legal requirement for the landlord to fit them or if tenants are supposed to do it.  

 

It's a legal requirement for the landlord to fit and maintain them (Eigentümer/Besitzer/Vermieter in the table that Snowingagain linked to).

 

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Thank you so much. My German is improving but it all goes south when faced with that much text... :unsure:

 

We're moving out shortly but I will pocket that information (along with the minor repairs that they promised would be done and haven't) in case they play silly buggers at the handover. 

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That's really helpful, thank you.  So it seems that houses in my state should have smoke detectors, but I can't work out whether its a legal requirement for the landlord to fit them or if tenants are supposed to do it.  

You are in Berlin I think?  If so, it looks like the smoke alarm rules are still be planning stage.

 

But I would not be happy without them!

 

 

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You are in Berlin I think?  If so, it looks like the smoke alarm rules are still be planning stage.

 

But I would not be happy without them!

 

 

No, currently in B-W. Heading to Berlin in a month.  Eep!

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Regarding fire alarms in Berlin... Anyone know if they're required for the landlord to service / maintain / install? 

We've been taking care of our own fire alarm since we moved in, and might be able to get all the tenants to sign an affidavit saying that they have fire alarms in their flat if we could all save a couple bucks from our landlord.  I'm sure that a pro could install fire alarms really well, but I've been doing all right all my life installing working fire alarms and replacing the batteries when needed.  I don't really want people coming into the flat on some random weekday when I'm not around, and I (as well as the other tenants) are pissed with the costs that the landlord is suddenly throwing into nebenkosten, inlcuding things like gardening work when there is no garden.  

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Not sure about Berlin but here in Munich my landlord fitted all the apartments in the house with a smoke detector near the entrance door and one in every bedroom last year, the installer told me they were now required by law and he would be servicing them once a year.

BTW that is in addition to the one I had installed and a Carbon Monoxide alarm (we have gas heating).

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German federal law made smoke detectors mandatory in rentals.

That applies to Berlin, too. ;)

 

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14 hours ago, jbabel said:

I don't really want people coming into the flat on some random weekday when I'm not around, and I (as well as the other tenants) are pissed with the costs that the landlord is suddenly throwing into nebenkosten, inlcuding things like gardening work when there is no garden.  

 

They will make an appointment, just like the chimney sweep and everyone else and you will have to take a half day off work or work from home or whatever.

 

The nebenkosten are likely to be small, I pay something like 15 euro per year for maintenance and 5 euro per month rental for the alarm.  Im sure you could do it cheaper, but I cannot imagine its worth fighting with the landlord about, especially as its his legal duty.

 

If he is charging you for gardening of a non existant garden Id suggest thats an area where you can start a meaningful fight.

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10 hours ago, zwiebelfisch said:

The nebenkosten are likely to be small, I pay something like 15 euro per year for maintenance and 5 euro per month rental for the alarm

 

While 15 a year for maintenance sounds somewhat reasonable, I can definitely handle replacing batteries when the thing starts beeping.  And 5 euro a month to rent a few smoke detectors sounds like you're pulling my leg.  The first hit on amazon.de for "smoke alarm" shows a 20€ smoke alarm with a purported 10 year battery life.  If you've got 6 rooms, that pays itself off in less than two years.  And for the next eight years, you could save a vacation day by doing the test yourself on a weekend and signing an affadavit saying that you tested fire alarm and it works.  

 

10 hours ago, zwiebelfisch said:

start a meaningful fight.

 

 

That's the thing.  Garden charges when there's no garden sounds outrageous.  Better just to check everything.  I'm going to call the company doing the installing and ask them to give me a quote for a similar sized building.  

 

10 hours ago, fraufruit said:

NK didn't go up

Fingers crossed.  

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11 hours ago, Metall said:

German federal law made smoke detectors mandatory in rentals.

That applies to Berlin, too. ;)

 

 

Actually it's not federal law but state law. In Berlin, Brandenburg and Hesse, however, there are still transitional regulations - existing buildings in Berlin do not have to be equipped until after 31.12.2020; they have been mandatory for new buildings and conversions since 1.1.2017. (see)

 

23 minutes ago, jbabel said:

 

While 15 a year for maintenance sounds somewhat reasonable, I can definitely handle replacing batteries when the thing starts beeping. 

 

That's fine, but this is about liability issues. If the landlord has the legal obligation, he has to make sure that the parts work. He cannot hand the responsibility over to the tenants.  

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1 hour ago, someonesdaughter said:

liability issues.

Understandable.  

Part of me sees the Germanity here as the 'everything must be logged and written down', which I'm used to.  

The other part of the equation I feel like I'm missing though, is the devotion to frugality.  We're all lacking the insurance data here.  Yearly check-ups by 'professionals' probably do decrease the loss of life or property in fires.  Not knowing the stats, I'm just positing that it might be cheaper to spend that money and energy elsewhere, where the return is greater.  In this economy, I'm sure the landlord doesn't care.  

I am, however, going to lawyer up if they're going to tack on rental fees for the smoke detectors.  IMO that's a despicable practice that the internet companies started and should have been stopped long ago.  And no, I'm not writing behind a 3€ a month router.  

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This is not only a German thing. In the US, logging and inspecting of smoke detectors is also required in any HUD funded or operated properties. Germany rightly considers this  now an obligatory process since renting is not optional for most of the population.

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11 hours ago, jbabel said:

 

Part of me sees the Germanity here (...) I am, however, going to lawyer up (...) IMO that's a despicable practice (...)

 

Just another "despicable practice", this screaming for the lawyer and blocking the local courts with nonsense. 

 

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On 03/11/2015, 17:23:44, emkay said:

Thank you snowingagain, I'll have a look through the link you posted.  Whilst searching, I thought I'd ring any one of our nearest fire brigades and was astonished to find that most are freiwillig. I had no idea that so many were voluntary and I just wanted to say how amazing these volunteers are and what a brilliant job they do.

 

 

My wife has become active in politics on our town and apparently it's getting more and more difficult to get volunteers for the freiwillig Feuerwehr. In the past, I believe it was popular because you got an exemption from national service if you were a member. 

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I'm mid-30s and grew up in Canada, and for as long as I can remember (late 80s) smoke detectors were on at least each floor of our house (typically on the landing, not every single room). It's now legal as well, but I think my father as a natural worry-wort was an early adopter. Replace the battery every other year as necessary, done. Never had a problem, the house is still standing.

 

The hullabaloo here about all this genuinely amazes me. Like how many Germans does it take to install a smoke detector?

 

When the law came in to effect, our then landlord (we rented a flat in a condo building where most were owners) said we should just buy smoke detectors ourselves, install them, and take it off the rent for that month. We asked him if he wanted the bills, but he waved that off with an 'I really don't care' shrug. (He was a Greek gentleman in his 80s, a rare breed operating on a verbal-only honour system, for mostly better or a few times worse).

 

Our new apartment now has a detector in every single freaking room and hallway (except the bathroom and not immediately in the kitchen nook). Some are just two meters apart. I shook my head at the absolutely silly overkill when we first looked at the place, but my wife (German) and the landlord seemed to think this was a great selling point.

 

Anyway, paying rent for a freakin' smoke detector is, I would agree, despicable. Passing the costs of procurement and installation to renters is in bad faith IMO, but still understandable. But continual payments?? For what? We can all agree on the practicality of a smoke detector (and a CO detector perhaps), but this is pure headshake material for me.

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1 hour ago, alderhill said:

Our new apartment now has a detector in every single freaking room and hallway (except the bathroom and not immediately in the kitchen nook). Some are just two meters apart. I shook my head at the absolutely silly overkill when we first looked at the place, but my wife (German) and the landlord seemed to think this was a great selling point.

 

Based on the conversation I had with the smoke detectors installer for our apartment it seems the law requires one to be in the hallway near the entrance door and one in each bedroom. If you rent a new unfurnished apartment then other than the bathroom kitchen and hallway I guess any/all the other rooms could be bedrooms, hence the overkill.

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