Renegotiating a contract for second hand furniture purchase

34 posts in this topic

I'm afraid I might already know the answer to this but I would like to ask some of you anyway. I thank those of you who will read till the end.

I moved into the apartment of friends of mine who moved to another country. I agreed to buy the furniture and we made an "Ablösevertrag/Kaufvertrag". From the beginning itself, I was unhappy with the price of 10000 EUR that he was asking but agreed to it anyway because I wanted to save our friendship(kind of a long story) and because he kind of made it apparent that he would look for another tenant if I refused, but mostly because I sort of convinced myself that, that is what it costs.

It has been a year since(I am still paying for the furniture). I looked at the list of items to try to convince myself that I am paying what it costs. I noted a price next to each item based on my research on google shopping and ebay kleinanzeigen of what each item costs used. I am under 6000 EUR. For many items I tried to round up or be generous to try and get the number up. But that is a difference of  almost 4000 EUR. Moreover, there are lots of things I have to get rid of. This is costing me time and money. I tried bringing it up with them a couple of times but the answer was "Didn't we already close that issue or Didn't you agree to take the apartment with the contents as they are" until the most recent one was "With all due respect, I do not wish to discuss the Kaufvertrag anymore"

Do I have any legal option of renegotiating the price? If it is going to cost me a lot on lawyers and court fees and most likely our friendship, I might just decide to pay him all of it.

Some details that may or may not be relevant

  • ·         I did not see any invoices or receipts. For each item, he stated a price and said that in Germany, an item holds value for 12 years  and that considering he owned them for 4 years, the price I have to pay is 67%. For example, the bed is a "Boxspringbett 200x220cm and the new price he quoted was 1600" when I look up online for the price of a new one,
  • ·         Several items are unusable, and have to be disposed, at my cost
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Do you have something in writing?

If not then stop paying, tell them you've paid enough.

Even if you have got something in writing, stop paying. Let him take you to court. (Get legal insurance now)

Did you "move in" and pay rent or did you buy?

If you rent (why buy the furniture in the first place) keep paying your rent.

And look for another place to live.

If you own the property, no problems.

Either way, find a new friend.

 

(I am not a lawyer)

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31 minutes ago, generalmartok said:

I'm afraid I might already know the answer

 

I think so too. ;)

 

Quote

 

Do I have any legal option of renegotiating the price?

 

It's not forbidden to renegotiate – but your attempts lead you nowhere:

 

Quote

Didn't we already close that issue or Didn't you agree to take the apartment with the contents as they are" until the most recent one was "With all due respect, I do not wish to discuss the Kaufvertrag anymore"

 

You have no legal leg to stand on. You wanted to buy those things (and get the flat) without doing some research before, signed a contract, now you own them. That's it. 

 

Quote

 

Some details that may or may not be relevant

 

None of it is legally relevant, sorry. You agreed on a price, why would the seller need to show you any receipts? The seller asks a price, either someone pays that price or starts negotiating before buying it or refuses to buy. 

 

11 minutes ago, FunnyLookingForeigner said:

Do you have something in writing?

 

Yes, he made a contract:

 

"I agreed to buy the furniture and we made an "Ablösevertrag/Kaufvertrag"

 

Quote

If not then stop paying, tell them you've paid enough.

Even if you have got something in writing, stop paying. Let him take you to court. (Get legal insurance now)

 

A legal insurance now bought will not help him here, they don't cover existing cases. In the end generalmartok will have to fulfill the contract he signed and pay legal and lawyers fees on top. Bad deal. 

 

Anyway: I am not a lawyer. 

 

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Thank you both for your answers. My "friend" is the previous tenant, not the owner. The owner is now my current landlord, and is not involved. I am on excellent terms with him.

I know I have pretty much no leg to stand on. The best I could expect is (assuming I have legal insurance) is to pay up till the amount reaches something I am comfortable with (the 6000 EUR) then just stop paying and see if he calls my bluff and takes me to court. The person in question does not live in Germany and would have to then ask themselves if it would be worth their time and effort to go after me for the remaining amount. I imagine that the price of a return flight ticket alone would cost a sizeable portion of the "disputed" amount.

Either way, I am looking up legal insurance now. On that note, since I am continuing to pay till the end of this year anyway and sine any future dispute that might arise as a consequence of ceasing payments will be only next year, will the legal insurance not cover that?

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It continues to be an existing case!  Are you a member of the Mieterverein?  They offer advice, but again will not represent you on an existing case, if you are not a current member.

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I assume you bought a kitchen too? You can't easily assess the value of a kitchen without knowing the material and build quality. In some cases the kitchen alone can cost more than 10000 EUR

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It would be interesting to know just what you bought, €10K seems a lot for used items in a flat, but then as has been said it may have been a quality kitchen and loads of antique furniture.

Also if he's not the landlord how can he definitively say that you wouldn't get the flat? Of course he can recommend someone (or not) but at the end of the day it's the landlord's decision isn't it?

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1 hour ago, Malt-Teaser said:

Also if he's not the landlord how can he definitively say that you wouldn't get the flat? Of course he can recommend someone (or not) but at the end of the day it's the landlord's decision isn't it?

 

I believe that was in the beginning before Malty moved in. His "friend" wouldn't recommend him as a renter to the landlord unless he took the deal. Now he is in.

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On 2/10/2018, 12:05:39, RedMidge said:

It continues to be an existing case!  Are you a member of the Mieterverein?  They offer advice, but again will not represent you on an existing case, if you are not a current member.

No, I am not. Anyway, this is not a dispute about the tenancy. The individual in question is not my landlord.

 

On 2/10/2018, 8:27:12, Snowchief said:

I assume you bought a kitchen too? You can't easily assess the value of a kitchen without knowing the material and build quality. In some cases the kitchen alone can cost more than 10000 EUR

The kitchen isn't part of the deal. I would have been less upset if it was :)

On 2/10/2018, 8:51:31, Malt-Teaser said:

It would be interesting to know just what you bought, €10K seems a lot for used items in a flat, but then as has been said it may have been a quality kitchen and loads of antique furniture.

Also if he's not the landlord how can he definitively say that you wouldn't get the flat? Of course he can recommend someone (or not) but at the end of the day it's the landlord's decision isn't it?

Here is the list that I put together. Not on the list are some things that is in the basement like christmas decoration, a kitchen cabinet that was removed, skis and ski shoes, left over paint and a bunch of junk I do not really need. As you can see, I have tried to be generous about the value of some of the items, hoping to get that number up as close to the 10000 EUR as I can :)

 

As @fraufruit said. Without his "grace" I would not have the privilege of even being suggested as the next tenant. The decision ultimately is the landlords. Moreover, the "friend" left after telling the landlord that it is only temporary, and that I would be his sub-tenant for about 14 months to 2 years.

On 2/10/2018, 10:42:16, fraufruit said:

 

I believe that was in the beginning before Malty moved in. His "friend" wouldn't recommend him as a renter to the landlord unless he took the deal. Now he is in.

Yes.

 

Thanks for your comments. This is mostly 90% ranting and 10% grasping at straws. I was fully aware I was taking a bad deal. I was very good friends with his wife and she has helped me a lot with some personal stuff, and I thought that our friendship was more important than being right.

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This is not an "existing case" until the other person lawyers up. Get legal insurance and just stop paying him.

Let him fight you from outside Germany.

He'll not have legal insurance that will cover him. Foreign legal insurance will not cover Germany and he'll not get German legal insurance as he is not living in Germany.

 

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On 2/9/2018, 6:58:25, generalmartok said:

I moved into the apartment of friends of mine...and we made an "Ablösevertrag/Kaufvertrag". From the beginning itself, I was unhappy with the price of 10000 EUR ... I wanted to save our friendship.

 

 

@generalmartok, I'll say it regardless, 'friendship and business do not mix.  Ever!'  There are millions of examples of how business dealings ruin a friendship.  Watch the film 'The Social Network' as one. 

 

I am not a lawyer, but have enough legal experience to understand a few things.  You made a contract with your mate - verbal or written - for 10.000€ and have been making monthly payments.  As you wrote, 'I have no leg to stand on'.  Too right.  You agreed to the price and have been making payments, which indicate your agreement to the contract.  Would your mate seek legal restitution if you stopped suddenly?  Difficult to say.  For 4.000€, he just might.

 

All the research you've been doing should have been done before your agreement to the terms, not after. I read your list of the items and I assume these are your researched prices as the total is 5.500€?  I find some of these to be rather high.  Small electrical items like an iron (used I'll assume for 50€) should be around 10€.

 

I have an idea / recommendation.  Find some actual examples of the prices for some of these items from eBay or where ever.  Several for each item.  Either print them or add them to something like Dropbox or Imgur.  Next, compare the realistic cost to what you've paid.  If you've paid less than your revised total amount, continue to pay until you are slightly over.  Then, write a polite business type letter to your friend and include a link to these prices and explain you've paid more than what the items are actually worth and would very much like to come to an agreement that you've paid enough. 

 

You could opt for legal insurance as others have stated, but I don't think it will do you any good.  Again, you agreed to a price and are legally obligated to it.  You made a contract.  Think of an eBay auction as an example.  You chose to 'buy now' a particular item.  Two days later, you think the price too high.  Can you opt out?  No.  You agreed to the terms and are bound by the eBay user terms to pay.

 

Just out of curiosity, how is the Dunstabzughaube not part of the kitchen?  Doesn't that item belong to the landlord?  And... used Handtücher for 50€!  Used? 

 

Give the idea a wee think and I hope whatever you chose to do, works out for you.

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10 hours ago, FunnyLookingForeigner said:

This is not an "existing case" until the other person lawyers up. Get legal insurance and just stop paying him.

Let him fight you from outside Germany.

He'll not have legal insurance that will cover him. Foreign legal insurance will not cover Germany and he'll not get German legal insurance as he is not living in Germany.

You´re wrong on both accounts. It still is an existing case (as the contract was signed in the past) and there is legal cost insurance which will cover you abroad (I have one, that´s why I know). Apart from that legal cost insurance won´t pay for fighting a battle which is obviously lost in the first place.

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2 hours ago, BayrischDude said:

 

I have an idea / recommendation.  Find some actual examples of the prices for some of these items from eBay or where ever.  Several for each item.  Either print them or add them to something like Dropbox or Imgur.  Next, compare the realistic cost to what you've paid.  If you've paid less than your revised total amount, continue to pay until you are slightly over.  Then, write a polite business type letter to your friend and include a link to these prices and explain you've paid more than what the items are actually worth and would very much like to come to an agreement that you've paid enough. 

 

 

Good idea.  I think you will have to put in quite a bit of effort to get realistic prices. Either to feel better about the 10k yourself or to have a decent chance of no repercussions should you stop paying.

 

Having had a quick look at your list, unless all furniture and utensils are from Ikea, you need to be more specific about brand and model.  Even some Ikea furniture can be quite expensive and has a decent resale value.  A spreadsheet should help...new price i.e. Amazon, used price eBay...best to check the sold prices rather than current listings. Sort the sold listings by value noting highest and lowest...add an average. How old are most items?...sorry if I've missed you mentioning it.

 

Off the top of my head...600 isn't much for a TV if it's newish, big, top brand etc.  Smoothie maker...can cost several hundred.  Crockery...decent large set also 100+. Bed...Lattenroste alone can be quite a price.  Etc etc. Amazon is quite useful for electrical items to see how old the model is...check the 'more info' section that gives dimensions, weight - also states since when it has been available usually near the end of the page.

 

 

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11 hours ago, FunnyLookingForeigner said:

This is not an "existing case" until the other person lawyers up. Get legal insurance and just stop paying him.

Let him fight you from outside Germany.

He'll not have legal insurance that will cover him. Foreign legal insurance will not cover Germany and he'll not get German legal insurance as he is not living in Germany.

 

Can you please stop giving bad advices? You are completely off!

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On 2/9/2018, 6:58:25, generalmartok said:

It has been a year since(I am still paying for the furniture). I looked at the list of items to try to convince myself that I am paying what it costs. I noted a price next to each item based on my research on google shopping and ebay kleinanzeigen of what each item costs used. I am under 6000 EUR. For many items I tried to round up or be generous to try and get the number up. But that is a difference of  almost 4000 EUR. Moreover, there are lots of things I have to get rid of. This is costing me time and money. I tried bringing it up with them a couple of times but the answer was "Didn't we already close that issue or Didn't you agree to take the apartment with the contents as they are" until the most recent one was "With all due respect, I do not wish to discuss the Kaufvertrag anymore"

Do I have any legal option of renegotiating the price? If it is going to cost me a lot on lawyers and court fees and most likely our friendship, I might just decide to pay him all of it.

Ebay Kleinanzeigen is not a good reference. Also you are not counting in the costs savings you had because you did not need to move them and assemble them.

 

You have no legal or moral basis. If you stopped paying and I was your "friend", I would sue you just to make a point and to make your life a pain, even if that costed me money. because you are being an ass.

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On 2/9/2018, 8:18:18, generalmartok said:

I know I have pretty much no leg to stand on.

 

This is, sadly, the whole story.  You entered into a contract that 

 

On 2/9/2018, 6:58:25, generalmartok said:

I was unhappy with the price of 10000 EUR that he was asking but agreed to it anyway

 

The only options are:

* The seller feels sorry for you and renegotiates

* The contract is somehow not legally valid

 

It seems to me that the "friend" knew they were screwing you over so the odds of them feeling sorry for you are slim.  There might be some kind of legal angle but I cannot see what it might be as others have written you accepted it and started paying that loooks a lot like you agreed to the contract.  If your friendship is so important to you that you would sign such a contract, presumably you anyway wouldnt want to end in court against them?

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Thanks for all your comments. Of course, I am not going to stop paying. As I said in my original post, I am aware I have no legal leg to stand on. I'm just going to let it go, and rethink my friendship with them. I'd rather spend all that time and effort I might spend trying to improve my 'list' by doing something more worthwhile instead.

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15 minutes ago, generalmartok said:

 I'm just going to let it go, and rethink my friendship with them...

Yes do that.

 

The friendship, such as it was, is likely over anyway. My impression is that you must be a really nice guy - trying to be generous about their list - and that they took you for a sucker (sorry, but you knew from the outset it was a bad deal but agreed to it anyway).

 

Their behaviour was manipulative, bordering on a threat. They had a bait they knew you wanted and let you know the consequences if you didn't agree to their terms. Hard bargaining indeed and maybe o.k. in commerce but not my idea of friendship. It was unkind at best. If you feel robbed, you probably have been.

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Moreover, the "friend" left after telling the landlord that it is only temporary, and that I would be his sub-tenant for about 14 months to 2 years.

Maybe he will come back and then you re-sell all of his stuff to him! 

I feel your pain and almost got myself into a similar situation a few years ago. We found an amazing little house but the catch was that the existing tenant wanted a large sum for a built in wardrobe, dining table that was too large to move elsewhere and flooring! This turned into quite a few emails and calls with her telling me it was all completed justified and we wanted the place so much that we finally agreed. Fortunately she „gave“ the place to someone else (who probably gave her less hassle) or else we may have been in a similar position to you, wishing we had never agreed to it. 

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