Messy plumber problem

22 posts in this topic

Hi all,

 

I know I should join the Mietverbund, but I'm hoping I can get a few quick answers here first.

 

There have been some problems with leaky pipes in my apartment. In December, a plumber was here and tore several holes in the wall to repair the pipes. They patched it up, but it left a big mess in my bathroom where I used to have wallpaper and paint. Now I have a big gap on the wall where my wallpaper was destroyed for the hole in the wall. There were more problems this past week and again they came and tore up the walls. A man came this morning and patched them up, but when I arrived home there were some problems. One of the walls had two electrical plugs in it, and they are now just hanging from the wall, wires exposed. He also disconnected my washing machine and left it that way, in the middle of my kitchen. Not to mention the dust from the plaster all over the place, they cleaned up the bits from when they tore a hole but everything still needs vacuuming and mopping. There seems to be some plaster hardening on my toilet seat as well.

 

I had assumed up until this point that cleaning up and re-wallpapering was going to be my responsibility, but now I have some friends visiting from Sweden and they said that in Sweden that is not the case, whatever work is done in the apartment needs to be returned to normal 100% and they were surprised when I said I had to fix that. Now I'm not sure...are the plumbers and other workers responsible for leaving everything exactly as they found it, cleaned up, re-wallpapered and everything? Or do they only have to take care of the pipes?

 

Fyi, I've already called the hausverwaltung about the exposed wires...

 

Thanks for any help!

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Clean is one thing - they almost never clean things spic and span like you would (and at €80/hour, I'd rather just clean and wipe things down myself, to be honest) - but open holes and exposed wiring are something else completely.

 

Your landlord is responsible for having the wallpaper restored and the power sockets reinstalled. Failure to do so justifies a rent reduction.

 

The exact amount of the reduction depends on the extent of the damage and amount of inconvenience you've been subjected to, which takes us back to the Mieterbund/Mieterverein. Join them. Preferably yesterday. You won't regret it.

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€80 an hour for a plumber? Jeez. In supposedly rip-off Frankfurt they cost me €49+MWST, yes, that's the price for the Meister. No excuse in Berlin as they can pop over the border from Poland for the day.

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are the plumbers and other workers responsible for leaving everything exactly as they found it, cleaned up, re-wallpapered and everything?

 

Be careful what you wish for. Plumbers are not normally decorators so their wallpapering and painting skills may not be good.

When we had work done in a rented property the plumbers did their bit then the landlord arranged for a decorator to do his bit.

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Reminds me of that time the plumber unblocked my pipes, looked at his watch, informed me he had another appointment and left me to clean up the black sludge and former contents of the pipes from the floor of my flooded cellar... oh joy...

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That's the rule in Germany.

 

Cleanup is the customer's problem.

 

In earlier days, I even had painters (sent by by the landlord) come in a 7 am, and immediately

demand beer from me, the tenant. When I refused, they went shopping for beer for an hour.

Oh yes, we did the cleanup later.

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In earlier days, I even had painters (sent by by the landlord) come in a 7 am, and immediately demand beer from me, the tenant. When I refused, they went shopping for beer for an hour. Oh yes, we did the cleanup later.

 

did you inform the landlord that they were drinking on the job? there probably are some work regulations about performing services for a third party under the influence of alcohol; more specifically, insurance liabilities around damage to property and/or insufficient services being provided.

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Yes I did, and they got into trouble for that. They also were very nasty to me afterwards.

 

But the point is, to this day, German Handwerker have a culture of dropping their trash and leaving.

Interestingly, Mr Metall, who used to work in construction, did the same thing at home - he would fix something, drop the trash and even the tools, and declare things done.

I busted his ass big time for that, again and again. The only that helped is when I made him understand that he never, ever would be able to hold any kind of job in the US with that attitude. He later did some training there and learned real fast ;) .

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In Munich, I hired Rohr-Profi to clear my pipes. They were quite careful and cleaned up afterwards; on the other hand, there wasn't that much of a mess in any case.

 

And on the other side: Their rate was quite high: 122 + MWSt.

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Do you realise that you cant put an electrical socket back into a newly plastered piece of wall?

 

Would you rather pay the plumber 40 odd euro per hour to clean up after himself?

 

Some folks really have no idea...

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A bit of an update to this question:

 

So, the outlets have been fixed at least, so that's good. However, now they are insisting they need to do an abtrocknung. This will involve removing every bit of furniture from my kitchen and tearing up the floors for up to two weeks, although the company said they can't guarantee how long it will take. This is extremely inconvenient for me at the moment, because I've got guests staying with me and they are doing a course here in Berlin for another two weeks. They are staying in my spare room, which is where all the kitchen furniture will go. The landlord first called me about this 5 days ago, and today a man was here just to look at the kitchen. Then he asked me if he could come and start moving the furniture immediately. I told him no, he has to wait 10 days until my friends are done their course and gone as I'd promised them this accommodation. He said if I insist on waiting, the insurance might make me pay for some of it. When the hausverwaltung called me 5 days ago, I also mentioned that it would not be possible immediately and she kind of said ohhh, well the sooner the better but she didn't say anything about the insurance.

 

So my questions: Is it true that if I want to wait they might make me pay for it? and: I know the hausverwaltung has to legally give you a certain amount of notice before coming in and doing work in the flat. How long is this notice period? Am I legally allowed to insist they wait ten days?

 

I am prepared to deal with it if it has to be done immediately, but obviously I'd rather not if I don't have to.

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Just an aside is your landlord aware you have people staying and is he fine with it? How long have they been staying? Not that he makes problems...

 

Did you already join the Mieterverein as advised?

 

You should also be documenting all inconveniences and taking photos of any residual damage, not that you become liqble for repairs when you move out.

 

Your landlord might argue your guests could sleep on the couch. The general rule with insurance companies is they always try not to pay out, so dunno if this is scare tactics that you would have to pay.

 

Hopefully the Abtrocknung will not take too long at least it is not winter time but it will also be an inconvenience for you, the machines can be loud, and we had to have windows shut whilst it was on which made the flat stuffy.

 

The Mieterverein can cetainly advise if you are entitled to a rent reduction or not.

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Thanks, Moonboot. As far as I know, I can have whatever guests I want in my apartment. I asked the old Hausverwaltung (there's been a new one since April) and he said I have to inform them if I'm going to rent my room, but they said nothing about visitors.

 

I'm pleased that the hausverwaltung is so responsive to problems, I know not all landlords are so active, but this would all be SO MUCH less stressful if only it could wait until my friends are gone.

 

I haven't joined *sigh* I know I need to asap. When the abtrocknung was first mentioned last week, my boyfriend spoke to a friend of his who is a lawyer and specializes in these things, and he advised me about the rent reduction and so on. He also mentioned that they have to give a certain amount of notice before coming in and doing work, but he didn't say how long. Anyway, I figured that was sorted and that I had a bit of time to join the Mietverein, I had even talked to a girl who is a member and she gave me the address but I've been so busy and I figured the problem was more or less solved.

 

My friends could stay in my room with me, but it's tricky. First of all, when the abtrocknung begins there will no longer be a kitchen. So none of us will be able to cook at all. Not to mention, I do some online teaching from home, which I do in my bedroom, and that will be tricky with two other people hanging out in here. It's just a massive inconvenience. I had promised them a room to stay in while they work and you know, normal accommodation with a kitchen. It sucks to disturb all of that.

 

I just hope that the amount of notice they legally have to give you is enough to cover how much time I need.

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Just wanted to mention that guests staying up to six weeks are permitted, no need to ask the landlord.

Of course it's better to maintain a good relationship with him...

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I went to the Mietverein today, so I'm a step closer...the only problem is, they said the minimum membership is two years, starting from the calendar year. So if I join now, I must remain a member (paying the fees) for two years and four months. I told her that I'm leaving Germany in one year (this is true) and she kind of looked grave and said "wir müssen gucken". I suppose the fee isn't too high, but still...what a pain all this is!

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A final update to this:

 

I went to the mietverein today and the lawyer there told me that when the landlord wants to do work in the apartment, they need to give TWO WEEKS notice before coming in. And that's two weeks from the day they specifically lay out exactly what needs to be done, they can't say "Oh, we need to do some work in two weeks" and then call the day before and say "By the way, we'll be removing your toilet!"

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On 9/3/2013, 7:02:53, jessiebeth said:

 

Have you guys ever had a plumber that after 1.5 hr couldnt get the job done of a clogged sink... was not all, he didnt get it done but managed to clog the toilet and bath because of all the toilet paper he got in it by cleaning the mess he did??!! 

Now am left with nothing working, worst than when he came in 😭 he left saying we need to hire someone else but he will send the bill???!

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