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Brand new apartment - heating not working.

26 posts in this topic

Hey guys,

 

I got a brand new apartment in a brand new building (it is recently built, so there has been no one living there before me). The hausmeister told me during moving in that the apartment doesn't have radiators, and that the heating is under the floor. It's been 4 days since moving in and the heating is not working. My room temperature is constantly 15 degrees. 

 

I called the hausmiester and he came with some mechanics and tried to fix the problem by removing air in the pipes. But some time ago he told me on text message that he couldn't fix the heating except in the bathroom, and he doesn't know when he can fix the rest. 

I'm new in Berlin and I'd like to know what I should do - what are the legalities here? Should I keep things documented? The mechanics keep saying 'this is strange we don't understand why it's not working'. Meanwhile, my apartment is cold as fuck and i have to use a portable room heater which is probably driving up my electricity bill. 

 

Anyone got any advice? 

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are you renting?  if so, contact the landlord asap, of course as they are ultimately responsible for defects

 

In theory you can (and even should if this continues long at all) reduce your rent payment as compensation and to offset your electric bill, but you'd best get the advice of the mieterverein to find out how much you can safely claim.  

 

anyway the main power of the rent reduction is to light a fire under the landlord's ass.  But you should always contact the landlord directly and immediately to notify them of any system problem (heat/water/electricity/etc)

 

 

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39 minutes ago, astuteperceptions said:

 

Anyone got any advice? 

 

If it is a new built the building company should guarantee all repairs for at least 3 years maybe longer.

 

Speak to the landlord who should put pressure on the building company to get it fixed asap.

 

It is in his and your best interest.

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Thanks guys for the input. Do you think i should already contact the tenants association? I'm not a member yet but i plan to be. Or should i give it a few days and let the landlord respond?

 

Update: The landlord's email service sent me an automated message saying she's on vacation for 2 weeks and won't have access to emails till then. So I can't contact her. 

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19 minutes ago, snowingagain said:

(per einschreiben)

 

einschreiben *einwurf* is best, especially if the landlord is away!  it will be delivered whether she is home or not, and you'll have a record of that.  That's what you need - it's her responsibility to have mail dealt with.  

 

mieterverein!

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7 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

mieterverein.  ASAP.

 

No Lisa.

 

The mieterverein will also offer a confrontational approach writing letters to threaten the landlord.

 

Things will escalate very quickly. 

 

Speak to the Landlord or building company first.

 

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1 minute ago, snowingagain said:

The Mietverein can do this, but can also just give advice about what you are allowed to do re getting someone in their absence to fix the problem.

 

The Mietverein are essentially lawyers, it is in their interest to go to court.

 

What will start of as a heating problem will very soon escalate.

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my god I miss the red button.

 

just stop RF.  They are not specifically oriented towards confrontation.  They WILL however support the tenant within their rights and offer advice on the best course of action.

 

sorry but "oh I'm on vacation too bad if you don't have heat" doesn't work.  It doesn't.  

 

you can't even hire a plumber without getting screwed.  you're certainly an expert wrt tenant repair issues!

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2 minutes ago, RenegadeFurther said:

 

The Mietverein are essentially lawyers, it is in their interest to go to court.

 

no it's not.  You pay them 75-80 euros per year for their services.  You actually think they want to go to court at the drop of a hat?

 

and since this is a preexisting situation (prior to joining) they will not go to court for "free" in a case like this anyway.  

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Hello astuteperceptions in asnwer to your question "Should I keep things documented?" Yes, get a temperature device and start making a protocol room by room the temperature, date, time. The Mietverein will most likely request specifics they can work with for writing to the landlord. Different rooms in the apartment are required to reach mininimum temperatures at certain times during the day and night. 15C sounds cold. Unfortunately, the likeihood of the out of office from the landlord working in his interest is low. Go with lisa13 suggestion of the einschrieben entwurf to get the letter in writing ASAP to the landlords letterbox. If you know someone that can come by to witness the temperature that is an added bonus. Not the Hausverwaltung they are leaning more on the landlords side

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Sorry that your heating doesn't work , it is pretty miserable in Berlin right now, complain to who ever you want, I doubt it will get fixed anytime soon, newly built badly installed,no one cares, typical Berlin. Reduce your rent payments, and wait for spring, only five months to go. Let us know how it works out,good luck.

 

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@ astuteperceptions - also make sure you take an electricity meter reading so that you can bill the landlord for all the heating costs from your heater. You may have grounds to immediately move out if the landlord knew the heating was broken before renting the place to you and moving in only 4 days ago. Would strongly suggest to go to the Berliner Mieterverein ASAP

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While it is good to ask the tenants association, RF has a point. You have to give the landlord a chance to fix the problem because sending legal letters backed up by the tenants association. This would only create bad air between the tenant and the landlord and the relationship is only starting. I guess the best advice is to send a registered letter to the landlord.

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Be aware that it can take some days to heat a flat/house with underfloor heating from 15°C to 22°C. The tubes are embedded in concrete, so the water in the tubes - with a low temperature (30°C?)- has to warm up some tons of concrete. That also means that you cannot change the temperature in your apartment fast. Adjust the temperature once and then don't touch the controller. We have underfloor heating in our house and only switch the heating on in fall when the temperature in the house drops below 22°C. Since we tend to go on holydays (3 weeks) during the heating period, we reduce the temperature to 15°C when we leave and ask a friend to set the controllers to 22°C three days before we return.

So, adjust the temperature in your flat (when the heating is working) once and then forget about it.

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