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Trouble with the neighbours

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Ami, in USA and also England they use to ask "how are you" whereever you go to, even ppl who aint my neighbours. They don't really care though, I'd say ;)

 

"Hallo" is just the same in my opinion.

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I agree that in the UK you can also have bad experiences with landlords/neighbours but when you are living in a foreign country there is a feeling of helplessness that is not so great when confronted with a similar situation back home.

My last landlady here tried to rip off my American housemate when she moved back to the States because she knew she was moving back the day she left the house. She promised to forward on the deposit and didn't. She got a huge shock however when said American came back to visit us three months later and we waited for landlady to come round and surprised her with our visitor. She then handed over the cheque even though she was extremely p*ssed off that we had done this to her. :lol:

I found my neighbours in Germany generally friendly and more than willing to have a conversation even with my not-so-hot German!

But the scary landlord/ neighbour really clouded my time there as I didn't feel comfortable in my own flat and didn't enjoy spending time there. Sometimes he even would step out of the shadows in the stairwell, give me the fright of my life and then question me on whether I had done the washing up (!), locked my bike in the cellar, watered the plants on the balcony etc. He even said he would call my home in the UK (I had to give him next of kin details when I moved in) to tell my mother if I broke 'the rules'. I don't think he would have really, he just went out of his way to be intimidating really.

So, I didn't spend much time in the flat and went out with my friends far more than I should have and drank far more than I should have! There is an up side to everything I suppose :)

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That landlord sounds like something out of a late night ZDF horror film...

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QUOTE Sorry for getting off the topic of annoying neighbours. I'll try to bring it back.

 

No need to apologise Ami. I love reading these stories about annoying neighbours. In fact, the more annoying the better! Keep `em coming!

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Yes he was indeed like something from a horror film!

 

One of the other neighbours from the floor below once threw a big stone at my friend because he laughed too loudly while we were sitting on my balcony. They were sort of tiered ones with the lower ones sticking out further so she got a good shot in. The Loud Laugher was very cross at this and leaned over and there she was standing glaring up at him. He asked her if she had thrown the stone and she said she hadn't. He said of course it was her, and she said "Well I have got children trying to sleep and you are being too loud". He told her she was very rude and that she could have just asked us to quieten down (it was only 7.30!). She just snarled a bit more at him and went back in her flat. What a fine example to her children...

 

I never saw her around thankfully, so she is not included in with the 'generally friendly neighbours'! I probably would have thought worse of her but that experience kind of paled away in comparison to the ones i had with the insane fiend upstairs.

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I'd say most landlords are scumbags, no matter what the nationality!!
I'm sorry, but I take exception to that remark! Through no fault of our own (other than being daft enough to believe advertising splurge and not anticipating a declining housing sales market since 1995), we have become landlord (& Landlady), because we have a flat which under current German market conditions is not sellable, at least not at +-0 cost. However, notwithstanding that, I very much doubt that the bad landlords are a majority, although they will no doubt surface more often in context of foreign tenants.

 

I can only hope that the German market follows the same direction which happened in England, when in the 1950's, following a rent scandal, the laws were modified very heavily in favour of the tenants, with the result that twenty years later there was effectively no more privately rented accommodation!

 

I have every sympathy with tenants who get taken advantage of and have done my bit here often enough to help, such as in Linda's case. I therefore take it very personally when somebody feels inclined to post such generalisations!

 

Having said that, there can be no doubt that the bad apples exist everywhere and not just in Germany! I just don't want to be included in the group!

 

 

Is it common to borrow against your home in Germany the way it is in the US? In America a home is not just a place to live, its a way to finance your child's university or your own small business. Is that also true here?

It was common, but since property prices have been falling for getting on for ten years, it's much less common than it was.

 

Oh, by the way, the flat I mentioned above, which we now rent, we bought eleven years ago!

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Got caught by the time out, so had to post again to add following info:

 

Oh, it occurs to me, just in case anybody thinks we're greedy investors, we bought the flat thinking that as we're getting older, it's not a bad idea to have somebody else do all the work, including looking after the garden. The flat was an extremely expensive luxury flat and when the seller assured us that the other buyers also wanted to live in the flats and not rent them, we believed him. Big mistake! Out of 8 flats we turned out to be the only occupants and since the rents were fairly high the tenants were mainly 30-year olds whose attitude was, "we're paying enough rent, we don't need to keep the place clean and we can do what we want!". In particular this meant inviting friends round for parties beginning at 23:00 and going on until 4:00 in the morning. We were eeffectively driven out of our own flat!

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I think when it comes to Landlords they are a culture/race unto themselves, whereever you are.

 

Here in the UK the agencies are actually the worst, everybody I know renting via an agency end up having a nightmare, when it comes to repairs whilst they are still in the property or getting there caution back once they have left.

 

I have been really lucky, I'm renting direct from the landlord and he is brilliant. If I have any problems and call him during the day he is there by the evening to sort it out, and if he can't fix it he has someone out the next day to do it.

 

PS. If u think I'm up late, then ur wrong, I'm up bloody early :wacko: Got a plane to catch...and those buggers are fast so thought I'd get a head start :D

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QUOTE think there are also cultural and politcal aspects here, too. Many governments, (Thatcher's England and Denmark spring to mind) have actively pushed home ownership. Don't know if that has happened here

 

Its the promoting of home ownership that fuels higher property prices, than you would otherwise have, because more people taking up housing credit ie mortgages leads to an increase in the amount of trading activity. You see this in the UK and other countries similarly afflicted by this policy, like Spain and Australia. This in turn doesnt just result in higher house prices, but also higher rents, as the market values of property are driven higher and landlords have accordingly higher mortgages that they have to cover. So in the end Id say no-one wins with such a culture. Everyone ends up paying more for their housing.

 

Luckily here in Germany people are not so obsessed with house ownership, and even those who do own their own house do not tend to buy and sell continually like the british. The german government have left alone, barring the Bauspar subsidy, which I believe is being phased out, or they plan to phase out, using the arguement that the post-war housing shortage in western Germany is no longer, and that money should instead be used for other public investment projects.

 

In the UK mortage tax relief was abolished, so I understand back in the 90s, but the levels of owner-occupation, together with the housing-ladder trading attitude that prevails there - fuelled by the activities of the building societies (who actually dont build anything) and the estate agents.

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Interesting reading nonetheless

 

On ‎19‎.‎07‎.‎2005‎ ‎13‎:‎20‎:‎08, luke said:

Given rates are low, business optimism is rising, and a plethora of foreign firms looking to buy collection of properties form German corporates (they then sell them on to the tenants at a profit enticing them with innovative mortgage products), German housing looks incredibly undervalued.

 

14 years later we can say that reversion to the mean also applies to the German real estate market :D

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