Rundfunkbeitrag not paid by my hauptmieter, and now they charge me

23 posts in this topic

Hello, 

After 4 years as untermieter in a house, I moved in another place as Hauptmieter more than a year ago and I changed anmeldung two months ago only (my fault). Now I receive a bill from Rundfunkbeitrag asking me 900+EUR including all the costs of the previous 4 years. 

In the previous house, I signed a subletting contract stating my rent and that "all additional costs (nebenkosten) to be paid by the main tenant are included". Once I registered there with anmeldung, I received a bill from Rundfunkbeitrag, and my Hauptmieter said he would have sent them a letter stating that we are living together and thus I didn't have to pay. The problem is, this Hauptmieter never paid these bills and now they are charging me (very likely, he has never sent that letter). Since this person is not reliable nor reasonable, I know that he will refuse to pay, to give me his Rundfunkbeitrag ID number, or even to confirm to Rundfunkbeitrag what has been verbally agreed between us. Is it sufficient to send them a copy of my contract, or is there a specific procedure to apply? Thanks in advance!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt the Rundfunkbetrag is included in Nebenkosten as the invoice is personal and is sent to you where you are legally registered as living. Think about it: empty dwellings are charged Nebenkosten (to the owner), but not the Rundfunkbetrag (unless there is someone registered there but living elsewhere). 

 

I have personally never received one, but my partner (who registered here well before I did) received it shortly after doing the Anmeldung for the first time in Germany. 

We were not charged for periods before this, regardless of the fact that our predecessors were not paying it, despite them being registered as living here (even well after they left!). 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@lunaCH: the OP is subletting, so that differs from your situation clearly. Often, the Rundfunkbeitrag is included since subletting is mostly temporarily of nature, let's say up to 12 months (think of a sabbatical, traveling, studies abroad), but is usually mentioned in the contract. Now, it's 4 years. It's indeed not part of the regular Nebenkosten

 

The OP can definitely contact the administration and check whether the Rundfunkbeitrag was paid or not by the main tenant for that address and explain the situation. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's not really any such thing as a 'verbal agreement' in Germany. If you don't have it in writing, it's not official.

 

If you have a copy of the rental (sublet) agreement, you could attach that in your response so at least they have the main tenant's name. Of course, the fight will then be to prove who's on the hook. If you were living there (theoretically using TV, radio, internet), to be honest I'd say it should be you. If the main tenant had agreed upon that in writing, I would find it exceptional. Especially living there for four years, the media was theoretically used by you, no? It would be like the main tenant paying your utility usage for 4 years...

0

Share this post


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

There's not really any such thing as a 'verbal agreement' in Germany. If you don't have it in writing, it's not official.

That's incorrect. With few exceptions verbal contracts are legally binding. The problem is proving them. A witness would help a lot.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

6 hours ago, jeba said:

That's incorrect. With few exceptions verbal contracts are legally binding. The problem is proving them. A witness would help a lot.

 

Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Good luck! 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/17/2020, 10:49:05, alderhill said:

 

 

Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Good luck! 

 

If Germany wouldn't accept verbal contracts as stated above you would need to bring a pen when you buy your coffee to go. In reality the vast majority of contracts in Germany are verbal and that with very good reason.

1

Share this post


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

 

If Germany wouldn't accept verbal contracts as stated above you would need to bring a pen when you buy your coffee to go. In reality the vast majority of contracts in Germany are verbal and that with very good reason.

 

Ad absurdum blah blah blah. It's not for anything that counts, and I think the frame of reference was obvious. Anyone who doesn't accept that will find themselves screwed over sooner or later, take note.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, alderhill said:

 

Ad absurdum blah blah blah. It's not for anything that counts, and I think the frame of reference was obvious. Anyone who doesn't accept that will find themselves screwed over sooner or later, take note.


Absurd is reaction. If you meant to say that important contracts should always be in writing why not just say so. And I agree with that.
But why make up some story about verbal contracts not really existing in Germany when your daily shopping experience clearly shows otherwise.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the thing here is that the GEZ has to be paid by the perison living there.  The original person might have had been eligible for a reduction or no payment at all.  Payment is all about who is actually living there, which why it is not a Nebenkosten thing.

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Namu said:

 

If Germany wouldn't accept verbal contracts as stated above you would need to bring a pen when you buy your coffee to go. In reality the vast majority of contracts in Germany are verbal and that with very good reason.

On the other hand, you usually get a receipt when shopping so it is more than a verbal contract, isn‘t it?

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, john g. said:

On the other hand, you usually get a receipt when shopping so it is more than a verbal contract, isn‘t it?

 

That would not be the contract in my view but proof for it I guess. The contract is done as soon as an offer is accepted. And that is done verbally. If you take a look at law books (or take my word for it) you will see that in the vast majority of cases a verbal contract is valid. In fact there are only few exceptions where that is not true and those exceptions are specifically mentioned in the law, e.g buying property requires a written contract by law.

 

See if what was said before was true by alderhill the OP wouldn't have a contract because no written contract exists and therefore no claim. Done. But because verbal contracts are valid the OP does have a claim. As a next step the problem will be for the OP to prove that there was an agreement. That's where your receipt comes in handy. Maybe the OP has a witness, maybe the OP has emails? If no proof then enforcement of legal rights will not be possible. In that respect I fully agree with alderhill.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, snowingagain said:

the thing here is that the GEZ has to be paid by the perison living there.  The original person might have had been eligible for a reduction or no payment at all.  Payment is all about who is actually living there, which why it is not a Nebenkosten thing.

And doesn't the person have to be registered as living there at that address to have it billed to them at that address?! Otherwise the Rundfunk people, don't have the person's details under that address to create the invoice!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Namu said:


Absurd is reaction. If you meant to say that important contracts should always be in writing why not just say so. And I agree with that.
But why make up some story about verbal contracts not really existing in Germany when your daily shopping experience clearly shows otherwise.

 

It's what I've been told to my face by German lawyers. Obviously they (nor I) were not talking in absolutes on every possible hypothetical counter-example for the benefit of pedants, but as a rule of thumb, which is again I think kinda obvious from OPs frame of reference. Don't be so literal. If you want to niggle over quibbles, suit up and join a partnership! 

 

I'll also repeat for strangers wandering in reading this over the years to come: If you think it's important, get it in writing. Verbal contracts are for trivial shit like ordering coffee, which as you can see, even those who've spent too long in Germany can take really seriously. So just goes to show: GET IT IN WRITING.

 

Have a nice day.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All you can do is explain the situation to GEZ and see what happens.  Give them the name of the hauptmieter and send them a copy of the agreement.  You can say that the hauptmieter told you that he had written them a letter and you believed that based on that you didn't get any more letters from them (which I assume was the case or you would have taken care of it). 

 

Tell them that you don't know his beitragsnumber and that you left on bad terms and that he will not give it to you now.  The name and address should be enough for them to find him, that is if he was even registered with them to begin with.  If he wasn't, they may still go after you based on that as far as they know, you were supposed to be the GEZ paying tenant.

2

Share this post


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

 

It's what I've been told to my face by German lawyers. Obviously they (nor I) were not talking in absolutes on every possible hypothetical counter-example for the benefit of pedants, but as a rule of thumb, which is again I think kinda obvious from OPs frame of reference. Don't be so literal. If you want to niggle over quibbles, suit up and join a partnership! 

 

I'll also repeat for strangers wandering in reading this over the years to come: If you think it's important, get it in writing. Verbal contracts are for trivial shit like ordering coffee, which as you can see, even those who've spent too long in Germany can take really seriously. So just goes to show: GET IT IN WRITING.

 

Have a nice day.

 

Why is it so difficult for you to understand that verbal contracts exists and are valid in Germany. They are the norm. And having a contract or not is a very significant question. I can only guess but your lawyers probably wanted to dash your hopes and end the discussion. Otherwise I can't understand why they would tell that.

0

Share this post


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

 

Why is it so difficult for you to understand that verbal contracts exists and are valid in Germany.

 

Why is it so hard for you to so obviously miss the forest for the trees? I now see that you are German, and sad to say, you are doing a poor job of dispelling stereotypes about obtuse Germans here.

 

Sure they exist and are valid, especially for trivial everyday interactions, but you're giving very bad and potentially dangerous advice to newbs in Germany by acting as if it's a normal everyday thing to rely on verbal agreements for large sums of money over multiple years, or rental matters generally. It's bad practice for what I hope are obvious reasons. Is that point not clear?

 

As OP has discovered, he or she is now potentially on the hook for over 900€ due to taking someone (discovered too late to be disreputable) on their word, and letting it go for years. The Rundfunkbeitrag is not a part of Nebenkosten, so the sublet contract will be of little use beyond the subletters' name. I hope OP does not have to pay, but I am rather skeptical. 

 

If it satisfies you, I would amend my original statement to include act as if yadda yadda. Which is essentially what I meant anyway. Why didn't I say that? I forgot this was TT.

 

Quote

I can only guess but your lawyers probably wanted to dash your hopes and end the discussion.

 

Not lawyers for me, but family friends. And they were speaking casually, making the point which I already explained above: for anything important, get it in writing. This is not rocket surgery, not even for Germans. I find it incredible and somewhat amusing anyone is debating that. 

 

2 hours ago, bramble said:

Verbal contracts are indeed valid in Germany (with a few exceptions). Instead of arguing about it , why not google it:

 

That is not the 'argument': 

 

8 hours ago, Namu said:

...The problem will be for the OP to prove that there was an agreement. That's where your receipt comes in handy. Maybe the OP has a witness, maybe the OP has emails? If no proof then enforcement of legal rights will not be possible. In that respect I fully agree with alderhill.

 

As Namu clearly states here, my point was understood. He/she is nitpicking. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, alderhill said:

 

Why is it so hard for you to so obviously miss the forest for the trees? I now see that you are German, and sad to say, you are doing a poor job of dispelling stereotypes about obtuse Germans here.

 

 

Ah here it is. For decades it was the Nazikeule now it's insults like if you go on discussing you are obtuse or cold or frigid or rude. Do you shut up your German family and friends like that too?

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

23 hours ago, alderhill said:

I would amend my original statement to include act as if yadda yadda. Which is essentially what I meant anyway.

 

Then you should have writtten what you meant. Doing otherwise is in your oen words:

23 hours ago, alderhill said:

 bad practice for what I hope are obvious reasons. Is that point not clear?

 

 

23 hours ago, alderhill said:

Sure they exist and are valid, especially for trivial everyday interactions, but you're giving very bad and potentially dangerous advice to newbs in Germany by acting as if it's a normal everyday thing to rely on verbal agreements for large sums of money over multiple years, or rental matters generally.

Sometimes it´s done nevertheless. Together with others I inherited a property and it came with a verbal lease contract for one of the flats grandma had entered into because it was with the son of the previous tenants and she trusted him. He´s been renting the flat for close to 40 years by now and it was never a problem. That´s not to say I recommend it.

 

23 hours ago, alderhill said:

He/she is nitpicking.

Not necessarily because what you meant only become obvious after your later post.

 

0

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