Things not to do at apartment viewing

60 posts in this topic

Hallo guys.

 

I am looking for apartment now and last week I visited one.

During viewing, I wanted to check shower pressure because the room was at 15th floor or something.

So I stepped into bath tub and checked it with my shoes on.

After that, the agent guy asked me to take my shoes off since he assumed they got wet (I knew they were not but whatever) so I took them off.

I continued checking room and that was it. I was with my German colleague so communication was not an issue.

If the guy needed to say something to me he could have said it right away.

 

 

A few days later, I asked my colleague to call the guy since I wanted to take the room.

Then, I was declined because he did not like my behavior at viewing (checking shower part).

I was like, what a small ass he is, but I am not so sure if his attitude is normal in Germany.

For information, I am single, non-smoker, no pet, and working full-time as engineer and have Master degree from US,

so aside from my limited German, looking Asian, and being Auslander I think I am an ideal rentee.

 

What pissed me a bit is the guy also asked me to bring Führungszeugnis, a kind of background check certificate,

if I am going to take the room. It costs me 15 euro to get it in town hall and I was going to get it.

Why the hell did he ask me that shit if he already decided (I am sure at the viewing he already has) not to let me take the room?

I feel that was just him bullshitting me.

 

Anyway I don't want to misbehave again at viewing in the future,

so I want to know some more things I should be careful about at apartment viewing.

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I'm not entirely sure why anyone needs to step into a bathtub to check the water pressure. I mean, how far away was the showerhead?

 

In any case "most" landlords want:

1)Good renters who will stay for at least a couple of years

2)Someone who won't tear the place up (goes against stoners, 20 somethings, people with kids)

3)No potential breeders (goes against childless couples who look like they'll want kids soon and then move)

4)Someone who always pays on time (That's a black mark for Toytowners :-) )

5)Non smokers

6)People who don't cook 15 cloves of garlic everyday in every dish (goes against a lot of us)

7)People who are handy with tools, i.e. won't need help with every little minor repair and won't nickel and dime landlord to death.

 

So... present yourself as financially solid, desire to stay for, say, three years, you don't party at all, you hate kids and never want any, you take your meals down at the local pizzaria, and you don't mind doing small repairs yourself.

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It could have been that they didn't want a foreigner, or maybe they thought that you stepping into the tub with your shoes on showed a disregard for the property (i.e. you didn't care if you left scuff marks on the tub) and could be an indication of how you'd treat the property if you lived there. But it seems perfectly legitimate to ask if you can check the water pressure or ask them to show you.

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Perhaps your desire to check the water pressure, while not an unreasonable request IMO, gave him cause to think you'd be a difficult tenant. Or perhaps he thought you were careless for entering the shower with your shoes. I wouldn't assume racism unless you had other proof.

 

Perhaps he's a difficult guy to get a long with and looking for something very specific in a tenant. Whatever the reason, if he doesn't want you, you don't want him as your landlord anyway.

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What you did had nothing to do with it. He didn't want you. And he just came up with some quick excuse. That's all. He does not care about what you think about him.

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I would never step into a tub with my shoes on unless I was doing a renovation, but checking the water pressure with permission is fine.

 

Generally, just ignore whatever reason is given by an agent or landlord. Simply focus on whether they said "yes" or "no".

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I think it's the shoes in the shower (possibility of scratching enamel with a stone embedded in the sole, for example).

 

I know you wouldn't get far into my German relatives' flats with shoes on. Hell, I even take my shoes off when I enter a flat for viewing (if someone is still living in it at the time). A lot of people don't like shoes in the flat. But in the bath?

 

I'm an foreigner, too, and even worse.. I'm a freelancer (no fixed income) (and a woman of child-bearing age to boot!), and yet I've not had any problems getting the places I've wanted.

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I'm a freelancer (no fixed income)..., and yet I've not had any problems getting the places I've wanted.

Yeah, but women have other assets as well :)

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Yeah, but women have other assets as well

 

Instead of checking the water pressure with shoes on, try checking with a white t-shirt on. You may be invited for a second viewing :P

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Usually the decision is made by the landlord so it's quite possible the agent reported back to the landlord who decided against you (for whatever reason) and the agent then gave you a reason which he could justify. If you find yourself turned down for other places and you get the feeling it is due to prejudice you may decide to mention your background at the time you make the appointment to save wasting time on an apartment where the landlord has already decided against foreigners.

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I am in the process of finding a new apartment with my boyfriend :D but I have yet to actually see one in person. Everytime we reply to a immobilienscout24.com ad the apartment is either already taken or will not tolerate my boyfriends smoking (only happened once) but I too was wondering about proper apartment viewing etiquette. I would hate to see the perfect apartment and not get it because I said or did something wrong. Thanks in advance to anyone who replies!

-J

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For information, I am single, non-smoker, no pet, and working full-time as engineer and have Master degree from US,

so aside from my limited German, looking Asian, and being Auslander I think I am an ideal rentee.

 

He wasn't obligated to give you any reason or excuse why you didn't get the apartment. He could have just as easily said " sorry, we will not be able to rent the apartment to you."

 

You may perceive yourself as an ideal renter. When you stepped into the bathtub with your shoes on to check the shower pressure the agent probably perceived this to be inappropriate. He was probably thinking you'll end up a pain in the butt for the landlord as you'll be calling him for any or every little problem you'll find in the apartment and that's a landlord's worse nightmare to have as a tenant.

 

The agent's credibility is affected if they bring the landlord problematic tenants.

 

Perhaps you should read Sarabyrd's tenant guide so you can know your rights as a tenant.

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The only situation I can imagine where xenophobia is an issue would be a small town where sometimes there are unspoken rules against renting to certain ethnic minorities (Turks, Moroccans, Russians, etc). Generally the landlord wants stable income over a decent period of time with no damage. Always do your best to convince them you plan to stay a while. However, most landlords don't always want someone who plans to stay for life as it's sometimes harder to ram rent increases through. The best strategy is convince them you've got, say, a 3-5 year contract, you love it here, but eventually you'll be returning to your home country. That's pretty much music to their ears.

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I think your chances are limited if you tell the landlord you're only going to be there for only 1-2 years. If you're asked you better say at least three to five years. You can always leave the contract after three months notice even after a year.

 

Edit: I just saw DanHessen said the same thing.

.

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During viewing, I wanted to check shower pressure because the room was at 15th floor or something.

So I stepped into bath tub and checked it with my shoes on.

No offense, but if I was showing a place to a potential tenant and saw a guy standing in the shower fully-clothed with his shoes on, trying to check the water pressure (why not just turn on a tap?), I'd probably think that person is either completely unfamiliar with indoor plumbing or a bit of a weirdo.

 

If, in retrospect, you still think that was a reasonable thing to do, the best option would be to smile and let your friend do the talking at the next viewing.

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Okay, seriously, I know of at least two natural born Germans who had a nightmare of a time trying to find an apartment, and said that they experienced rejection after rejection. Although in my personal opinion, that bizarre act of you getting into a bathtub with your shoes on and turning the water on seriously put the agent off and weighed heavily in his decision to reject you, I wouldn't be so quick to blame him as being discriminatory against foreigners. They are just extremely selective. Remember, the person they choose, they're going to have to deal with for at least a good year (or however long it takes for them to LEGITMATELY evict them when it turns out they chose the wrong tenant.)

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