Landlord attempting to evict me.

11 posts in this topic

I'm having a problem with my landlord. I’ve lived in my apartment for 2 years. I’ve always gotten along with my landlord and considered him a great person. He helped me when no one else would. Now I’m being threatened with eviction and being harassed and intimidated.

I don’t know what my rights are. I don’t know how to handle this situation. I don’t have the money to move at this time. It’s not a healthy time to be moving anyway.

I’ve tried to contact Caritas and ASB. It’s hard to get them because of the coronavirus shutdown.

Here’s what’s been going on.

When I arrived in Germany I was allowed to stay without a visa for family reasons. Other places refused to rent to me without a visa. This was the only rental I could find.

I work as an independent contractor. This was the only job I could have. I work mostly with Chinese people. Starting in January 2020 China was affected by the coronavirus. I lost a lot of income due to the coronavirus. I wasn't able to pay my January 2020 rent until February 2020. My work didn't start to increase again until March 2020.

I lost even more work in February 2020 because of the landlord. It was 0 degrees and very windy outside. Winds here get up to 8-12 kph during January and February. The landlord opened the window in the hallway every day. Our hallway is small. The wind and cold went directly into the apartments. I closed the window several times. The landlord always opened it again. I sent a text asking the landlord to close the window. The landlord replied, "You can move out." I got the flu. I had to spend money at the doctor and for medicine. I missed several days of my already reduced work. I don't get paid if I don't work. I couldn't pay the rent for February 2020.

My lease is dated April 20th, 2018. I actually moved here in May 2018. I rented my apartment daily. In June 2018 we signed a lease. The lease was dated April 2018. I insisted the lease start on the 20th because I am paid on or around the 20th of each month. The lease specifies the first rent was due the same day the lease started. After this payment the rent was due "every 1 month period thereafter." This was agreed to mean the 20th of each month. The lease expired in October 2018 and was extended by verbal agreement. (Yes, I know allowing it to be backdated wasn’t good. This was the only place that would rent to me.)

Note: They’re making a claim the date in the lease doesn’t apply because the rent receipts don’t match it.

For 2 years I always paid on or around the 20th of each month. I was never asked to pay on another date. I was never informed the rent was late. In the summer of 2019 my income payment started coming later each month. The landlord and I verbally agreed to change the due date to the 24th of each month.

Note: There is some variation in the rent payment dates. Sometimes transfers come early or late. Sometimes the landlord wasn’t at the property and I had to wait to give him the payment.

The landlord insists on cash payment of rent. Sometimes I get a receipt for the payment. Most times I asked for but didn't get a receipt. I had no other rental options and felt trapped in the situation.

 

The current situation:

March 12th, 2020 I received a lease termination letter. The letter claimed I was late on my February 2020 and March 2020 rent. The letter came before the March 2020 rent was due.

The landlord now claims my rent was always due on the first of every month. He claims that I was late on my rent every month for two years. I never received any notice that my rent was late. I was never asked to pay on any other date.

I tried to discuss the situation with my landlord several times. I requested a meeting with him. He refused.

On March 23rd, 2020 I paid 250 Euro for the February 2020 rent.  I asked for and was refused a receipt for this payment several times. The requests and refusals are both in texts. I was eventually promised I would receive a receipt on Friday, March 27th, 2020. I texted reminders about the receipt on March 25th, 2020 and March 26th, 2020. I never got the receipt. I never got a reply to the texts.

I still owed 50 euro for February 2020, 300 Euro for March 2020 and an extra 30 Euro for additional expenses. I received a loan from a help group. From March 24th, 2020 I sent texts requesting a bank account number to send this payment. I received several replies that they would send me a bank account number. I was told the termination letter would be cancelled with this payment. I never received any bank account number.

My agreement is with my landlord. I never agreed that anyone else could be involved in this personal situation. On 23 March 2020 the landlord sent me an SMS to send future messages to another number. The landlord has 2 phones, so I thought this was his other number. The number was for the landlord's son. I spent hours discussing the situation by text before I was told it was his son.

Bullied and intimidated:

1. His response to the request to close the window.

2. They talked about shutting down my internet. If this happens, my contracts will be cancelled and I would lose all my income. I feel that they threaten my ability to work and live. The internet is part of my lease.

3. I am not allowed to have a washing machine in my apartment. The landlord provides a washing machine downstairs. The landlord locked me out of the laundry room. I was promised that the laundry room would be unlocked when I made the payment on 23 March 2020. It is still locked today (29 March 2020).

4. On Thursday March 19th, 2020 I told the landlord I would give him the 250 Euro on Monday, March 23rd, 2020. The laundry room was locked on March 22nd, 2020. The promise to open it was given on March 23rd, 2020.

4. I have not received clean clothes for more than 1 week. Everything I have is dirty. I feel this is a risk to my health because of the coronavirus. The doctors have been very clear about cleanliness.

5. The landlord asks me to use a vacuum cleaner provided by him. He did not want me to buy my own. The vacuum cleaner stays in the hallway downstairs. The vacuum cleaner was taken away. I haven't been able to clean my apartment for a week. Normal times who cares, with this coronavirus…

6. I have received texts that they will not file an eviction and order me to take my things and leave immediately. I feel that this could be a threat.

7. I have received texts to "get downstairs immediately" if the landlord knows that I am working. He knows because it is night work after 5 pm. He rents the other two apartments to day laborers or people on vacation. For this reason I have asked to work at these times.

8. On March 27th, 2020 I had an important job interview in Berlin. On March 26th, 2020 I was invited for the interview. This was a good job at Amazon. I had no clean clothes to wear. I sent texts in which I explained the interview and asked to wash my clothes. All texts were ignored. I had to cancel the interview.

9. The landlord asked me several times to apply to the employment office for assistance. I tried to explain that my visa did not allow me to apply. The landlord would not listen. I applied to satisfy the landlord. I was called to the immigration office. I had to sign a letter cancelling my application. I was told that my visa would be cancelled if I applied again. They claim I'm making this up, and it can't possibly be true.

10. They claim I’m lying about being ill in February 2020.

11. They have sent several texts claiming that the coronavirus did not start until March 2020, so it is impossible that this has affected my income.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know what is still open due to the virus but under normal circumstances, you should join the mieterverein and let them help you.

 

A couple of things. 

 

1. If your rental agreement states that you have access to a washing machine in the basement, he can not lock you out of the basement.  Now, again, I don't know what is open right now due to the virus but under normal circumstances, you could go to court and file a complaint and they would send a bailiff and make the landlord open the door or else get a locksmith and open it for him.  However, I do think you are being a bit of a victim here saying you had to cancel an interview because you did not have clean clothes.  If you had something that did not have obvious spots on it, you could just have aired it out a bit, maybe sprayed it down with Febreze and you would have been ok.  It's what I would have done.  If your contract doesn't actually state that you have access to a washing machine in the basement, you could see about buying a small mobile unit like this one:  https://www.amazon.de/Waschmaschine-Schleuder-Waschautomat-Reisewaschmaschine-Miniwaschmaschine/dp/B07PHV13B1

 

2. Never give anybody cash without getting a receipt.  If you have to, make up a receipt yourself and have him sign it.  No cash except in exchange for a receipt.  Otherwise he can say you never paid.  It's unusual for a landlord to demand cash and not give you a bank account. It's possibly an indication that he's not filing his rent income on his tax return.

 

3. If you have had threats that they will shut off the internet while it's in your contract that you should have it, you should tell them in writing that if the internet gets shut off, you will be forced to get your own internet and you will deduct the cost from your rent.  You should be able to get something like a vodafone gigacube where you can take it with you easily if you move and you can even get the type of subscription that you only pay for the months you use it.

 

4. If you resist the bullying, it's actually very hard for them to get you out.  If you owe two months rent, they could normally give you notice but because of the virus, see  https://www.anwalt.de/rechtstipps/mietschulden-zahlungsverzug-des-mieters-in-der-corona-krise-kuendigung-des-vermieters_164822.html  you can not be given notice because of owed rent from April, May and June so you should try to get paid up at least for March if you still owe.  The process is normally that if you owe two months rent, they can give you notice and if you don't leave, they must take you to court which can take 3-6 months depending on if the courts are busy and can even take longer if you protest and defend yourself.  Even if they eventually get a court verdict to get you evicted, they will have to hire a bailiff and you will have at least 3-4 weeks to leave yourself before an eviction actually takes place.  Now, because of the new Corona allowance, they can not give you notice for owing rent for April, May and June and you have up to 2 years to pay up for those so the first they could give you notice is if you don't pay in July and August as well.

 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JTWMD said:

I'm having a problem with my landlord. I’ve lived in my apartment for 2 years. I’ve always gotten along with my landlord and considered him a great person. He helped me when no one else would. Now I’m being threatened with eviction and being harassed and intimidated.

 

 

The landlord insists on cash payment of rent. Sometimes I get a receipt for the payment. Most times I asked for but didn't get a receipt. I had no other rental options and felt trapped in the situation.

 

 

7. I have received texts to "get downstairs immediately" if the landlord knows that I am working. He knows because it is night work after 5 pm. He rents the other two apartments to day laborers or people on vacation. For this reason I have asked to work at these times.

 

Don't panic, your landlord wasn't being nice to you. He probably helped you in the past because he had found someone who was prepared to pay the rent in cash without a receipt. Most people would never have entered into such an agreement.

 

The agreement works both ways. As you always paid your rent in cash without a receipt, how can your landlord  prove that you owe him money?

 

Night work begins at 8.00 p.m. not 5.00 p.m.

 

It would be interesting to know if the other tenants or holiday makers also pay cash for the use of the apartments.

 

If the rent is not paid into a bank account and there is no receipt, your landlord is probably not declaring his rental income and will not be taxed on it. Your local tax office will be very interested to hear your story.

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, White Rose of Yorkshire said:

The agreement works both ways. As you always paid your rent in cash without a receipt, how can your landlord  prove that you owe him money?

 

I detailed that there have been several texts discussing the payment.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, LeonG said:

3. If you have had threats that they will shut off the internet while it's in your contract that you should have it, you should tell them in writing that if the internet gets shut off, you will be forced to get your own internet and you will deduct the cost from your rent.  You should be able to get something like a vodafone gigacube where you can take it with you easily if you move and you can even get the type of subscription that you only pay for the months you use it.

 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to reply. There's no internet connection in the upstairs apartments. The internet is connected via cable run from downstairs. All internet comes out of the landlord's connection. Also, it normally takes 2-3 weeks for around here to get new service even if I had the connection. By that time I would have lost all my contracts for non-performance.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, LeonG said:

4. If you resist the bullying, it's actually very hard for them to get you out.  If you owe two months rent, they could normally give you notice but because of the virus, see  https://www.anwalt.de/rechtstipps/mietschulden-zahlungsverzug-des-mieters-in-der-corona-krise-kuendigung-des-vermieters_164822.html  you can not be given notice because of owed rent from April, May and June so you should try to get paid up at least for March if you still owe.  The process is normally that if you owe two months rent, they can give you notice and if you don't leave, they must take you to court which can take 3-6 months depending on if the courts are busy and can even take longer if you protest and defend yourself.  Even if they eventually get a court verdict to get you evicted, they will have to hire a bailiff and you will have at least 3-4 weeks to leave yourself before an eviction actually takes place.  Now, because of the new Corona allowance, they can not give you notice for owing rent for April, May and June and you have up to 2 years to pay up for those so the first they could give you notice is if you don't pay in July and August as well.

 

He's refusing to give me a bank account for payment. I have no proof but texts that he got the other money for February.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, JTWMD said:

There's no internet connection in the upstairs apartments. The internet is connected via cable run from downstairs. All internet comes out of the landlord's connection.

The gigacube mentioned above works wirelessly. If you have cellphone cover you should have internet with it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jeba said:

The gigacube mentioned above works wirelessly. If you have cellphone cover you should have internet with it.

Thank you for the suggestion. Then I cannot use it. The contract specifically requires a wired connection. They do a technical check every time you login. You can’t pass it using wireless. You can’t work if you don’t pass. Even if I could use it I live in a rural village. Wireless connection is bad.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now the landlord is escalating the situation. My heat was turned off yesterday. It was -6 last night. It’s -3 and snowing today. I sent a text hours ago but no reply.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are obviously ignoring your texts, hoping you will just leave.  You should write them a letter and put it in the landlords mailbox.  Better yet if you send via certified mail (einschreiben einwurf).  In the letter, you should tell them that you will be deducting 30% from your rent (mietminderung) based on that your heating isn't working and you will do so until it's fixed.  This may change their minds.  You can use the same letter to request a bank account number in order to pay your rent.  Make a copy of the letter and if you don't use certified mail, preferably have a witness to you putting the letter in their mailbox and a photo of you doing it.  That way, you have official proof that you told them the heating was broken (shut off) and pressure on them due to the rent deduction and proof that you asked them for a bank account.  

 

It would be preferable though if you can get help writing the letter.  Take your rental contract and go to the court.  See if they can help you or give you other ideas.  Talk to the mieterverein.  See if they are open or can give you an appointment.  Or if you can afford to go to a lawyer, do that.

 

As for the cold, you need to brave it for a bit.  It will warm up soon.  You can go to someplace like real and see if you can get a cheap heater.  It will be hard on your electric bill so don't overuse it though.

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I don't envy your situation, and I hope you can resolve it, and are neither homeless nor in debt at the end of it, there are parts of it which I wonder about.  I chose one that in particular made my question your seriousness a little bit.  No, I'm not sure either what I mean by seriousness.  Maybe I mean seriousness about helping yourself, or seriousness about how real the rest of your situation is, or seriousness about whether this is a windup, or if there are parts of the story you're leaving out.  In any case, this part gave me pause:

 

14 hours ago, JTWMD said:

8. On March 27th, 2020 I had an important job interview in Berlin. On March 26th, 2020 I was invited for the interview. This was a good job at Amazon. I had no clean clothes to wear. I sent texts in which I explained the interview and asked to wash my clothes. All texts were ignored. I had to cancel the interview.

 

You had an interview for a "good job" and cancelled it because you "had no clean clothes to wear"?  

 

1. You could have cleaned the clothes by hand, hung them to dry, and ironed them (or not, whatever).

 

2. You could have taken them to a laundromat.

 

3. You could have taken them to a professional cleaner.

 

In the case that you actually didn't have the couple of bucks for the laundromat or the cleaner, see number one.  If your clothes don't require ironing, then I hardly see what a difference it would make whether you washed and dried them by hand or machine.  If they do require ironing, there is nothing stopping you from running or owning a small appliance in your own home.

 

The part about the vacuum cleaner is also strange to me, but of course, stranger things have happened.

 

So what did you tell Amazon?  I'm sorry, I can't come, my landlord won't let me clean my clothes?  I assure you, any prospective employer would also question your "seriousness"--about the job, about your ability to manage your life, about your own self.  I too, am personally concerned about an adult who cancels an interview for a "good job" because of lack of access to a washing machine in their own home.  Lots of people have to leave their building in order to do laundry.  That's why laundromats exist.  I never heard of someone calling in sick to work because their clothes were dirty.  Moreover, if the interview had truly been important to you, you would have found a way to do a very simple thing like making sure you showed up in clean and appropriate attire.

 

Or is there something I am missing/not taking into consideration?  

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now