Dealing with a bullying Hausmeister

26 posts in this topic

My wife has lived in the same apartment complex for about 4 years, I moved in with her about a year and a half ago. Up until 3 months ago, neither our landlord nor our neighbors have had problems with us.

 

That is, until our landlord decided to appoint a new tenant as the hausmeister since he was becoming too busy to frequently come fix maintenance issues. This hausmeister is a 63 year old geezer who always has a chip on his shoulder.

 

In the 3 months he's been here he's:

 

- Screamed at an 8 year old girl for leaving the main door open

- Shouted at my wife for leaving bags of groceries outside (Is she supposed to be an octopus?)

- Confiscated our stepdaughter's bicycle after she left it in the hallway

 

Across from us is a hair salon, where the owner of that business has a small dog that frequently sits outside the door or plays around in a grass patch next to the business. This fool actually went over across the street, removed the dog from the premises, detained it in his apartment, and then left her a note the following day informing her that he took the dog because he was "annoying the pedestrians." He warned her that she could come pick up the dog from his house then, but if he found the dog outside again, she'd be picking him up from animal control. Mind you, the business is across the street from our apartment.

 

Today, we received a notice from him claiming that he had taken the liberty to go in our basement storage compartment underneath the complex. In the note, he complained about us keeping our yellow plastic bags and plastic bags full of paper--it's only once a month the service collects the plastics and paper, and we can't keep that in our apartment. He also went on to state, "I also briefly looked through the stored boxes, and I can't understand why you feel the need to keep letters that are 15 years old, stacks of magazines, pictures of yourself acting like an idiot with your college friends, toys your daughter probably has forgotten about, books you probably don't read, or these ridiculous looking outfits. You have exactly 30 days to clear this storage unit out, or I will personally decide what is trash and what isn't, and will remove it at your expense."

 

I'm not even going to go into the NERVE he had to go in our storage unit and rummage through our boxes, and quite frankly, I'm trying to keep myself from taking a baseball bat to his head just for that. What I am concerned about is the fact that he is threatening to dispose of property in a RENTED storage compartment, regardless of whether he thinks it is useful or not. Aside from that, my wife has put her trash in that storage compartment for the full 3 years she's been here, and the landlord has never said a thing about it. It is not in anybody's way, the door is kept shut, and it does not smell since it is all either paper or plastic. Why he was in our storage unit to begin with is completely beyond my imagination.

 

This man is just a bully abusing his power. Is there anything we could legally do to him if he does decide to take it upon himself and dispose of our property, aside from risking deportation after serving a prison sentence for attempted murder?

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Your gotos are: Mietverein, Landlord, baseball bat.

 

The order you pick is entirely up to yourself.

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Today, we received a notice from him claiming that he had taken the liberty to go in our basement storage compartment underneath the complex. In the note, he complained about us keeping our yellow plastic bags and plastic bags full of paper--it's only once a month the service collects the plastics and paper, and we can't keep that in our apartment. He also went on to state, "I also briefly looked through the stored boxes, and I can't understand why you feel the need to keep letters that are 15 years old, stacks of magazines, pictures of yourself acting like an idiot with your college friends, toys your daughter probably has forgotten about, books you probably don't read, or these ridiculous looking outfits. You have exactly 30 days to clear this storage unit out, or I will personally decide what is trash and what isn't, and will remove it at your expense."

 

My money is to leave a note under his door stating that you have discovered valuable goods missing from your basement storage and you are having him charged with theft and break and enter, and plan on proving the case with his note and fingerprints. Ignore any and all requests to speak with you and/or phone calls from him for 24hrs, then tell him that what he's done is illegal and if you catch him at it again you really will see him in court. What a massive prick!

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He has already committed breaking and entering. I second koala's advice: Inform the landlord immediately. Tell him that if this occurs again you will provide the police with the janitor's own written statement that he illegally entered your rented premises (the basement compartment counts as rented property).

 

There's strength in numbers: Speak to the other tenants. If you all send individual letters the landlord will feel overwhelmed but can try to play you out against each other. If you send a joint letter he will realize that the janitor doesn't stand the chance of a snowball in hell to deny any of the allegations, especially as you can bear witness to various incidents.

 

Involve Ms. Hairdresser as well. Detaining a dog is Unterschlagung (wrongful abstraction) as dogs are objects under German law. She doesn't even have to worry about being evicted and can go the whole hog, i.e. police, public prosecutor and a fine for Mr. Ordnungsliebe.

 

The Mieterverein isn't your best option at the moment as the janitor has nothing to do with the lease itself.

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Wow, what a story. Do you think the geezer has early onset dementia? Or is it Grumpy Old Man syndrome.

 

Threaten him with legal action.

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My German hubby says that he would not wait and call the police immediately. Also he would send a letter to the landlord. Then he would go to the jerk and tell him that what he has done is illegal and if he does it again, he will call the police again or a lawyer and tell them something value is missing and show them the proof that he has broken into the storage.

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I would third koala's and sarabyrd's advice of approaching the landlord first. The landlord created the problem by employing the Hausmeister in the first place, and can also solve it by firing him instantly for unacceptable behaviour. You can wave the words "police" and "lawyer" around but you don't need to use them yet.

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Alternatively you could just start leaving rubbish in the stair way, chocking the door open, parking your bike in front of his door, inviting dogs in off the street, mixing your rubbish up - in fact anything and everything you can think of that will annoy the guy.

 

Keep it up for a couple of weeks and the guy wil undoubtedly have an apopletic fit and drop down dead on the spot or at least blow a fuse of two and end up in the local loony bin.

 

Seriously though the guy sounds like a total arse.

 

 

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Another idea that may help your cause, send your fellow neighbours a copy of the letter and infrom them you're sending a complaint, and if they have anything to add to it to contact you - you may not be the only one who has had such a notice. At the very least it will alert them to keeping a closer watch on the guy.

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It's all well and good to sue after the fact of losing them, but if you have some particularly important papers or items of sentimental value in your storage locker, I'd move them up to the apt., at least temporarily. I'd also keep a copy of the letter he wrote to you at work, or at a friend's house. If he's gone in your storage locker, he can probably get into your apartment as well. You wouldn't want to lose this piece of evidence.

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The guy sounds like a psychopath, I would avoid any further real contact with him, have you spoken to your landlord about his behaviour? If he's relinquished of his job he loses all his power.

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My German hubby says that he would not wait and call the police immediately.

 

Exactly, call the police. Doing anything else is a waste of time. You already have all the evidence you need.

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He broke into your premises and he is dumb enough to send you a letter to prove it. It is up to you from now.

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I forgot this yesterday: Change the locks on your apartment and basement compartment stat.

 

If you are going to do this, talk to your landlord. Doing this without their knowledge could get you into rental contract problems and give them a reason to throw you out. Call the police and then call the landlord and tell them you want your locks changed.

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Do you have a clause that forbids you to change your locks? I don't.

If the landlord/janitor has a key to my apartment the first thing I do is change the lock (and replace it on moving out). It prevents all sorts of hassle (do a search for landlords entering apartments without notice).

 

Of course, if the house has one of those awkward central lockage systems you're stuffed.

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If you are going to do this, talk to your landlord. Doing this without their knowledge could get you into rental contract problems and give them a reason to throw you out. Call the police and then call the landlord and tell them you want your locks changed.

 

The landlord I agree with, but not the police. The landlord may simply confiscate the key from the Hausmonster and no great expense need be incurred. Certainly if I was the landlord I would not want some tinpot dictator making otherwise worthwhile customers uncomfortable and committing illegal acts.

 

 

Do you have a clause that forbids you to change your locks? I don't.

If the landlord/janitor has a key to my apartment the first thing I do is change the lock (and replace it on moving out). It prevents all sorts of hassle (do a search for landlords entering apartments without notice).

 

Of course, if the house has one of those awkward central lockage systems you're stuffed.

 

I've had the same problem - it has been resolved, after lengthy correspondence, by my losing patience and telling the arse that I had two pieces of written evidence (one gas bill left inside my house for a meter that is inside my house, one email admitting he had been in there earlier) to prove my case, and if it happened again he would not be hearing from me but the police.

 

That said: changing locks may be forbidden by your rental contract too (mine does, even if yours doesn't) since under some circumstances I believe the landlord has the right of entry without permission- I think for emergency repairs such as an broken water pipe.

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