Apartment is priced at nearly double the legal price

30 posts in this topic

Briefly,

I approached a property lawyer when I became suspicious that my rent was too high (it's incredibly expensive) - I've been living here a year.

After extensive research, he advises me I'm paying nearly double the correct legal figure.

 

Now it feels like I should challenge the owner via the lawyer to have this corrected but I'm happy in the place and don't want any risk being thrown out.

What would you do in this situation? Any thoughts welcome.

 

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I haven't approached them yet - my lawyer has informed me about all the legalities of the situation.

But I guess I'm more worried that the owner may find some underhand way to force me out, or somehow make it practically impossible to stay here...I've heard this can happen but I don't understand what it means in practise.

 

So, I'm more curious about anecdotal / practical opinions rather than legal advice.

Apologies if I've therefore posted this in the wrong place.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Brexitania said:

I haven't approached them yet - my lawyer has informed me about all the legalities of the situation.

But I guess I'm more worried that the owner may find some underhand way to force me out, or somehow make it practically impossible to stay here...I've heard this can happen but I don't understand what it means in practise.

 

So, I'm more curious about anecdotal / practical opinions rather than legal advice.

Apologies if I've therefore posted this in the wrong place.

 

 

You need to weigh up the fact he may try kick you out if you get lawyers involved compared to you being happy with paying almost double what you should be.

 

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AFAIK, he can't kick you out especially when you have a lawyer on your side. I've heard stories about landlords making tenant's lives miserable before but that was usually about entering the apartment without permission, etc. which is also illegal. As long as you adhere to your contract and the house rules, he just can't kick you out.

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8 hours ago, Brexitania said:

it's incredibly expensive

 

Did you note the price a year ago?  Is there a time limit on the lease?

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8 hours ago, Brexitania said:

But I guess I'm more worried that the owner may find some underhand way to force me out, or somehow make it practically impossible to stay here...I've heard this can happen but I don't understand what it means in practise.

 

They do have a way to give you notice if they claim eigenbedarf.  That means your landlord says that he or his close family member needs the apartment.  You can fight this in court and if the landlord succeeds in getting you out, you can still keep an eye out because if he or his close family member do not actually move in, you can sue him for wrongful eviction and your moving costs.

 

As for bothering you, there are limits.  They could start contacting you with made up complaints that you have been making noise, not cleaning the stairs when you should or whatever but you can legally defend yourself against this too.  However, if the landlord decides to start a mental war against you, even though you can fight, it will take a huge toll on you emotionally as well as it will mess up the landlords nerves too.  It's a no win situation for both of you. 

 

I doubt that the landlord will be happy to lower your rent just like that because you accepted it in the beginning and have been paying it for a year.  They are going to think they can find another tenant who is willing to accept this rent.  It may be best for you, as you voice this to the landlord, depending on how they react, that you also start looking for a new place on the side.

 

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21 hours ago, Brexitania said:

I became suspicious that my rent was too high (it's incredibly expensive) - I've been living here a year.

I'm paying nearly double the correct legal figure.

 

 

It seems to me that FrauFruit and Rushrush, and maybe Keleth, think the landlord may have done something wrong and there may be a remedy for the OP.   Call me a capitalist pig, but I don't see what there is to do about it unless the apartment is under some kind of rent control law. 

 

If the landlord offers a lease for X Euros and the OP signed it and has been paying it for a year, what's all this about a "correct legal figure"?    I'm not saying FrauFruit and Rushrush are wrong, I'm saying I'm surprised and don't understand why there is a belief there may be a maximum permissible rent.   

 

I look forward to anyone's explanation.  Thanks.

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Because the lawyer told her/him -  "After extensive research, he advises me I'm paying nearly double the correct legal figure."

 

Have you never heard of the Mietspiegel?

 

I hope @lisa13 comes by to explain.

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You can read about this here:  https://www.immobilienscout24.de/ratgeber/mietpreisbremse/fragen/miete-zu-hoch.html

 

At least in some areas, such as Berlin where the OP lives, there is a cap on rent so that the landlord can not ask for more than 10% more than the mietspiegel (average rent) for the area. 

 

I also found this site:  https://berlinlovesyou.com/mietpreisbremse-berlin/ which seems to be an ad for something called wenigermiete.de

 

This website  https://www.nestpick.com/magazin/preis-vermieten-wohnung/  shows how landlords can try to fight this by making contracts that include regular rent increases on a yearly basis.

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1 hour ago, DoubleDTown said:

Call me a capitalist pig, but I don't see what there is to do about it unless the apartment is under some kind of rent control law. 

 

I will just call you an ignoramus for not knowing that rent control is a thing at the national level in Germany ;)  There are so many laws on the subject and I am not going to go into details as this has been discussed so many times, and there is so much information available it's a complete waste of my time to spoon feed anyone too lazy to do their own due diligence.

 

here is a non-commercial brief description of laws that specifically apply to excessive rental pricing:  https://www.promietrecht.de/Miete/Mietgrenzen/Mietspiegel/Mietspiegel-Miethoehe-fuer-neuen-Mietvertrag-bei-Neuvermietung-E1663.htm

 

I don't understand why the OP is asking for non-profi advice after having spoken to a profi.  I can't believe it has to be said that in cases like this you should always use a profi.

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13 hours ago, LeonG said:

 

They do have a way to give you notice if they claim eigenbedarf.  That means your landlord says that he or his close family member needs the apartment.  You can fight this in court and if the landlord succeeds in getting you out, you can still keep an eye out because if he or his close family member do not actually move in, you can sue him for wrongful eviction and your moving costs.

 

As for bothering you, there are limits.  They could start contacting you with made up complaints that you have been making noise, not cleaning the stairs when you should or whatever but you can legally defend yourself against this too.  However, if the landlord decides to start a mental war against you, even though you can fight, it will take a huge toll on you emotionally as well as it will mess up the landlords nerves too.  It's a no win situation for both of you. 

 

I doubt that the landlord will be happy to lower your rent just like that because you accepted it in the beginning and have been paying it for a year.  They are going to think they can find another tenant who is willing to accept this rent.  It may be best for you, as you voice this to the landlord, depending on how they react, that you also start looking for a new place on the side.

 

 

Thankyou very much for this advice - exactly what I was looking for!

It's the made-up complaints and 'close family' excuse that bother me the most.

It's also clear from your answer that the law may not stop me from being thrown out, if that's what the owner decides he wants to do.

My only additional comment would be that the owner is infact a large company, so I wonder whether that might stop them acting in such an underhand way (probably not!).

I will think very carefully, and maybe do nothing about it.

Thanks again.

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13 hours ago, catjones said:

 

Did you note the price a year ago?  Is there a time limit on the lease?

Yes. I'm new here and made a mistake.

No time limit.

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16 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

 

I don't understand why the OP is asking for non-profi advice after having spoken to a profi.  I can't believe it has to be said that in cases like this you should always use a profi.

 

Just to be clear, I have already invested in obtaining the official legal advice but was equally interested in the apparent underhand tactics of owners to get around the law and find a way to throw me out anyway.

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If you do a search here for "mietspiegel", you will find a lot of other info in English. As lisa13 said, this has been discussed many, many times.

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3 minutes ago, Brexitania said:

 

Just to be clear, I have already invested in obtaining the official legal advice but was equally interested in the apparent underhand tactics of owners to get around the law and find a way to throw me out anyway.

 

since the landlord is a company and not an individual with loads of time on their hands, I'd guess harassment is less of a danger here but one never knows.

 

since the landlord is a company, and not an individual, and companies don't have relatives, I really can't imagine how they could kick you out by claiming eigenbedarf.  The only possible "own use" they might have is that they need your apartment for office space or something in that direction, which I think would be a no-go since there are already laws against using residential space for non-residential purposes - you should verify what those laws are in Berlin.  As Leon says, evictions on any grounds can be contested, and especially if your eviction followed a successful rent reduction you'd have a good chance to show the eviction was actually retaliation, also illegal.

 

However I am not a lawyer so you should discuss all of these concerns with a lawyer who specializes in rental law.  

 

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13 minutes ago, Brexitania said:

 

Thankyou very much for this advice - exactly what I was looking for!

It's the made-up complaints and 'close family' excuse that bother me the most.

It's also clear from your answer that the law may not stop me from being thrown out, if that's what the owner decides he wants to do.

My only additional comment would be that the owner is infact a large company, so I wonder whether that might stop them acting in such an underhand way (probably not!).

I will think very carefully, and maybe do nothing about it.

Thanks again.

 

If it's a company I think the eigenbedarf excuse is out the window because a company is not going to move into your apartment nor does it have family members.  This is stated here:  https://www.mietrecht.org/eigenbedarf/eigenbedarf-fuer-gmbh/

 

A company may have less personal feelings or grudges so they might just accept that you got smart and they didn't manage to get one over on you and let that be it.  However, there are companies that will resort to dirty tricks to try to get you out but it would then be more in the form of trying to harrass you and you can fight that.

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