Landlord entering apartment without permission

10 posts in this topic

Hello all,

 

I live in Stuttgart, with my girlfriend in a small one bedroom apartment. We moved into it in October and will be moving out at the end of March, as we didn't like it here. We went through with our Kündigung just after the new year (around 4. Jan) and everything was going fine.

 

This is a bit of a protracted story so bear with me.

 

It all started to go weird when the landlady (an old maid in her 50s, who runs a small english school for toddlers) started booking Besichtigungstermine (8. Jan approx.) and 'informing' us of when she had booked them. Presumably expecting us to be free at the time or not be at home. We then informed her of the times we were available, and that we wanted to be at home when she did them. She didn't like either part much, citing her daughter who was alone at home. The second part she didn't like at all, as she would always say things like "You know I can do them even if you are not here, right?" to which we would say, we still want to be at home when you bring people around our apartment.

 

I was alone at home during the first Besichtigung (Fri), to which the interested party didn't show up. She then said that she had another Besichtigung planned for the Monday. I was alone at home for that one too, to which she brought two sets of people without informing me. In between she 'noticed' mould in one of the corners of the living room, one directly on the corner of the building (looked more like she already knew the corner was prone to mould, so looked there immediately). She then proceeded to flip out about it being my responsibility to airate the apartment sufficiently etc. which we do every day. I also flipped out a little here and pointed out all the other things in the building that don't work since we moved in and she has done nothing about. One of those things was a dripping sink in the bathroom. She goes off in a huff, as if she's my mum, annoyed at me not cleaning my room. Throughout I had the feeling I was being berated, belittled and talked down to, also blamed for the material defects of the apartment, which we try to keep in the best shape possible, airating and cleaning the mould when it appears etc.

 

A few more weeks go by, she's planning Besichtigungen on her own, and informing us of the times, sometimes 2 days in advance, but most of the time, 1 day in advance and some even on the same day. Those we decline citing too little advance notice. But most we accept, as we want this place to be given away, so that she can stop pestering us. During this time she continues to say she's booked appointments outside the agreed upon times and gets miffed that we can't make it.

 

One time in particular, she informs me verbally on the Monday (after a Besichtigung), that she has something for Wednesday but is not sure yet if it will work out or of the time. So I tell her to let me know via email at least 24 hours in advance, when she knows for sure. Fast forward to Wednesday at 19 o clock, I get an irritated phone call from her waiting outside our door, asking why we are not home for the Besichtigung she had planned. I didn't tell her what to do, I just said, you didn't inform me and we had plans. Therefore we are not in. She hangs up on me and we never hear from those people again. This is the first instant we suspect she entered the apartment without our permission.

 

A full week and a half go by, she says she's got someone who wants to see the apartment via skype, which we decline as we had plans and it was less than 24 hours in advance. We never hear from that interested person ever again either. That is the second instant we suspect she entered without our permission.

 

On the 14th Feb is when things started to go really weird. 12oclock on that day I get an email that she wants to show the apartment via WhatsApp call in the evening of the same day. We decline as we had plans go out to dinner. We recommend an alternative for Friday after 17:00. She writes back asking for 14:00, which of course is not possible as we are not at home at that time, as we told her previously. She writes back in angry sentences that she already cancelled the appointment.

 

On Tuesday the 19th I get a message that she will bring a plumber on Wednseday at 08:00, to look at the sink that was dripping since forever. We reluctantly accept, but do not reply. 08:15 she appears with a plumber, we open up and let them in. Plumber says its all old and rusted down there, so he needs an extra part which he doesn't have with him and he doesn't have time to fix it now, because he has another appointment. Plumber tells landlady he doesn't know if he's going to make it today or tomorrow and she should probably book another appointment. She tells us in English (she thinks we don't understand German) that he doesn't know when he'll be back, today later, tomorrow who knows. She tells us if we are not at home she will let him into the appartent. This is the first we hear of the fact that she has her own set of keys. We tell her that if he comes again and we are not home, she should call us first, and then let him in.

I go to work, and my girlfriend leaves the house at 1230 to meet me for lunch. She gets back at 1500 to find the sink back in place, and the door unlocked. Presumably she let him in, left hi in the apartment to do the work, unsupervised, and then he let himself out when he was done. At no time were we informed that she had let him in and she didn't even think to lock the door after him (this wouldn't be much of an issue if the ground floor door closed properly, but it doesn't so it is).

 

At this point we suspect the other times she has entered with her own key, so Wednesday 20th Feb at one of her Besichtigungen we say we want to talk with her afterwards, but she is always slippery, citing always being in a rush with her daughter etc. and tells us took book an appointment with her to talk about whatever it is. Throughout she is very dismissive and high and mighty. So we decide to tell her there and then, in front of some interested people, that we know she has a key and that we want it. She dismisses that very quickly, says she doesn't have a key and that what we are saying is preposterous. She leaves quickly taking the people with her and talking to them about us in the hall for the next 15 mins. Next interested peson comes in afterwards and she barely shows hiom the place, before ushering him out before we say anything.

 

Today, Thursday the 21st of February I get two emails from her, one saying that she's booked more Besichtigungen for Friday and that she's bringing a painter round to inspect the mould on the 25th.

 

The second reads as follows:

Hello XX, hello XX,
It’s good that you asked for an appointment to talk through some points.
I also have some points.
Since I don’t think that it’s a good idea to mix it up with the visits I would appreciate if you would not approach me for other queries during the visits.
I can offer you an appointment on workdays between 8 and 12am. (she knows we can't make it during those times)
Please let me know when it’s convenient for you.
Kind regards
XX

 

We are thinking of changing the lock on our door, to ensure our peace of mind. What else can we do?

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7 minutes ago, Woop said:

We are thinking of changing the lock on our door, to ensure our peace of mind. What else can we do?

Why would that not be enough?

If you´re paranoid enough you could buy a security camera or a dashcam if you want proof that she entered during your absense.

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1 hour ago, Woop said:

will be moving out at the end of March, as we didn't like it here.

 

"old maid in her 50s"

 

...as if she's my mum, annoyed at me not cleaning my room.

 

Those we decline...

 

...which we decline.

 

We decline as...

 

We reluctantly accept, but do not reply. 


I can offer you an appointment on workdays between 8 and 12am. (she knows we can't make it during those times)

We are thinking of changing the lock on our door, to ensure our peace of mind. What else can we do?

 

You could go back to your mum, learn how to clean your room, and then, when you're older, buy your own apartment.

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3 hours ago, deadsoul said:

 

You could go back to your mum, learn how to clean your room, and then, when you're older, buy your own apartment.

 

Now that's helpful and mature.

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Easy to say but I might just let a lot of it go.   You are out soon.   Selecting your battles, too, perhaps?   The having a key may well be a no-no (no idea on laws etc) but uncertainty around a plumber to be fitted in and so having to be home when we would rather not be feels familiar (and especially if you rule out another party handling it in your absence).   Indeed part of running a home, occasionally. 

 

I also personally would avoid discussion of the unrelated domestic matters when the people there for viewing are directly there,  but maybe there is a couple of minutes after they have gone, or in advance?   Give her the space to line up your successor.

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My brilliant analysis of the situation:

 

not an easy landlord,

not an easy tenant.

 

My advice to you:

 

(in any order you like),

 

-move out when the time comes and start again

-inform yourself of the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords in Germany (may involve reading your contract) (      ).

 

 

 

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Are you a member of the Mieterverein? If not I would suggest you arrange an appointment there as soon as possible. Your  Landlady is breaking all the rules in the book, what she is doing is illegal.

 

“Streitthema Schlüssel

Der Vermieter muss einem neuen Mieter sämtliche Schlüssel aushändigen. Nach Darstellung des Deutschen Mieterbundes (DMB) gehören nicht nur Haus- und Wohnungsschlüssel dazu, sondern auch Keller, Briefkasten und Garagen-Schlüssel. Der Vermieter darf auch nicht „für alle Fälle“ einen Schlüssel zur Wohnung behalten. Überlässt ein Mieter dem Vermieter freiwillig ein Exemplar, darf dieser dennoch nur mit Einwilligung des Bewohners die Wohnung betreten.”

 

Besichtigungsrecht

Besichtigungsrecht des Vermieters

 

“Will der Vermieter die Wohnung neu vermieten oder das Haus verkaufen, darf er die Wohnung zusammen mit Interessenten oder einem Makler betreten und besichtigen. Der Mieter muss die Miet- oder Kaufinteressenten aber nur in seine Wohnung lassen, wenn sie zusammen mit dem Vermieter kommen.

In jedem Fall muss der Vermieter die Besichtigung aber rechtzeitig ankündigen. Bei dringenden Handwerkerarbeiten können 24 Stunden Vorlauf genügen. Im Regelfall ist aber von mehreren Tagen auszugehen. Das Ablesen der Heizkostenverteiler kündigen die Wärmemessdienstunternehmen 10 bis 14 Tage vorher an.


Grundsätzlich muss der Vermieter nach Darstellung des Deutschen Mieterbundes auf eine Berufstätigkeit des Mieters Rücksicht nehmen. Besichtigungstermine – insbesondere mit Kauf- und Mietinteressenten – müssen mindestens 14 Tage vorher vereinbart werden. Sind dem Mieter derartige Termine nur ab 19.00 Uhr oder an Samstagen möglich, ist das zu berücksichtigen.
Dauer- und Massenbesichtigungen müssen Mieter auch in diesen Fällen nicht akzeptieren. Es reicht auch, wenn sie sich einen Besichtigungstermin in der Woche für maximal drei bis vier Interessenten frei halten.”

 

https://mieterverein-stuttgart.de/

 

As Jeba suggested you could install a camera in your apartment. You could also print out the above text and pin it on your door. Allowing strange people into your flat in your absence is a no go.

 

When people are being shown around your apartment you could comment on all the things that you Landlady hasn’t seen to in your flat. You could say something like, Oh don’t forget to inform them about  the tap that has been dripping since...    have you told them about the mold in the bathroom or shall we show them it together?  People like your Landlady need to be taught a lesson so that this sort of behaviour will stop.

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Change the locks but keep the old cylinder and reinstall it when you move. This will most certainly stop her from entering again while you are there. For future problems you can join the Mieterverein but for this one it's hard to prove she entered without your knowledge except for the plumber.

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What White Rose said.

Also jeba. Change the lock. Tomorrow. Keep the old one and reinstall when moving out. Do not tell your landlady you have changed it and see if she complains.

Also Mieterverein. Know your rights and make sure she knows them too.

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