Huge rent bill after three years of letters from Meiterverehin were ignored by landlord

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Here are the lessons I learned. Hope it helps someone

1. Join the Meitverehin. If I had done that at the beginning of things, I d have saved myself a lot of grief. I wrote long letters, negotiated, but in the end, investors want you out. No matter how much care you have put in the building. They don t appreciate the difference between an apartment and a home.  So go straight to the Meitverehin. I d strongly recommend everyone join, It s just about 100 euros per year.

2. There are many laws in favor of tenants that one is unaware of. Especially in things like hiking the rent. Investors always try to jack up prices. My apartment is owned by some shady London firm though I know the owner of this flat personally. A smooth-talking and charming investor. I thought he really appreciated how much I loved this place. We had long talks over coffee.   In the end, he just wants me out.  They have a local Immobilien firm that manages things. Investors think that tenants should just move out and move on when the area becomes beautiful ( when I moved in this area was one of the more notorious parts of town, now it s really beautiful) but Germany has a lot of protection for tenants, some that you can t even imagine. Use it. They tried several intimidating tactics, but letters from the Meit stopped them including eviction without notice letters. Meitverehin is really good and worth investing in.

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2 hours ago, jeba said:

Yes, but only prorated for the area they´re renting. The landlord can´t have the remaining tenants pay for the insurance contributions and property tax for his empty flats. I think.

 

I googled and it seems you are right:  https://www.promietrecht.de/kalte-Betriebskosten/Abrechnung/Betriebskosten-fuer-leerstehende-Wohnungen-wer-zahlt-bei-Leerstand-E1958.htm

Quote

 

Operating costs for vacant flats - who pays if a flat is vacant?


The landlord bears the risk of the vacancy. 

Vacant apartments - consumption-independent operating costs paid by the landlord
The rule that the landlord bears the operating costs for vacant apartments always applies to costs that are independent of consumption, i.e. costs that are incurred regardless of use. In particular, these include property tax, insurance, street cleaning fees or winter services: whether the house is occupied or unoccupied, property tax and insurance etc. always accrue at the same rate.

Operating costs in case of vacancy - the landlord pays additional costs independent of consumption
This applies without exception to operating costs that are independent of consumption.
Consumption-independent costs affect all cost elements that cannot be broken down by means of an allocable or readable consumption.

The consumption-independent operating costs such as

property tax
Insurance
Street cleaning 
Winter maintenance 
caretaker etc.
the landlord must pay. 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

 

 

 

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But Bramble is right on other costs. If for example (assuming there are no meters) there are only 3 flats out of 20 occupied and one tenant is using a disproportionately large amount of water, then the 3 occupied units are going to be paying far more for water than if all 20 flats were occupied as the amount is going to be spread out over just 3 instead of 20. This is likely what was happening at my friend's block. 

The OP on the other hand will be paying for what they are using, at least for water. Not sure for heating and other things if the costs will have risen...

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1 hour ago, lunaCH said:

The OP on the other hand will be paying for what they are using, at least for water. Not sure for heating


For heating the costs have to be split according to the landlord´s discretion within a range of 30% - 70% according to measurement readings and prorated area. Obviously, if there are many empty flats the landlord will be inclined to apportion 70% rather than 30% according to area. Not sure whether he can be forced to change that.

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1 hour ago, lunaCH said:

But Bramble is right on other costs. If for example (assuming there are no meters) there are only 3 flats out of 20 occupied and one tenant is using a disproportionately large amount of water, then the 3 occupied units are going to be paying far more for water than if all 20 flats were occupied as the amount is going to be spread out over just 3 instead of 20. This is likely what was happening at my friend's block. 

The OP on the other hand will be paying for what they are using, at least for water. Not sure for heating and other things if the costs will have risen...

 

I know of a situation where there were no water meters and they just split the water bill per head.  They later installed meters.

 

As for the heating, it's partially according to apartment size so if your neighbour is heating like there's no tomorrow, you will partially pay for that as well.

 

9 minutes ago, jeba said:


For heating the costs have to be split according to the landlord´s discretion within a range of 30% - 70% according to measurement readings and prorated area. Obviously, if there are many empty flats the landlord will be inclined to apportion 70% rather than 30% according to area. Not sure whether he can be forced to change that.

 

They can not apportion 70% to area.  They are allowed only up to max 50% according to area.  Rest has to be according to use so 70 use/ 30 area or 50/50 or somewhere in between.  In some cases, they must go by 70/30, depending on how the building it heated, whether the pipes are insulated etc.  See  https://www.nebenkostenabrechnung.com/heizkosten-70-verbrauch/

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6 hours ago, LeonG said:

 

I know of a situation where there were no water meters and they just split the water bill per head.  They later installed meters.

In some places in Germany it is still like that, if I understand correctly it is not yet compulsory for individual dwellings in multi-unit blocks/houses to have water meters. Our current flat (two-dwelling building) is the first place I've ever lived in that has one. And for many years before they were installed, our predecessors simply split the bill in half with our neighbours.

In many other countries, no water meter is the norm.

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2 hours ago, lunaCH said:

it is not yet compulsory for individual dwellings in multi-unit blocks/houses to have water meters

It´s not even compulsory to have an electric meter. My son pays a flat rate for water, garbage collection, heating and electricity.

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14 hours ago, jeba said:

It´s not even compulsory to have an electric meter. My son pays a flat rate for water, garbage collection, heating and electricity.

Sounds wonderful for someone who doesn't mind paying rent.

Could he resell that electricity somehow and make money?!

Unlimited refuse collection - the same, could he not let people dispose of their rubbish at his place for half price?!

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2 hours ago, lunaCH said:

Could he resell that electricity somehow and make money?!

Unlimited refuse collection - the same, could he not let people dispose of their rubbish at his place for half price?!

 

What are you on about?? Carry rubbish to his place? It is already included in everyone's rent.

 

Sell on electricity? How does that work?

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50 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

What are you on about?? Carry rubbish to his place? It is already included in everyone's rent.

 

Sell on electricity? How does that work?

 

Sorry FF, but some places around here lock their rubbish bins so that

the cheapskates don't drop their refuse into them.

Sounds weird, but apparently some folks will do anything to put their stuff anywhere for free.

 

Selling electricity?

When we were rewired (renting, aeons ago), the landlord found that the next door

flat had two sockets on our meter. We had a moan about it and a "settlement" as it'd

been going on for years.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

What are you on about?? Carry rubbish to his place? It is already included in everyone's rent.

If it is included in the rent, then I had thought maybe he has entitlement to an unlimited supply of official/taxed refuse bags, after all, apparently he is paying a flat rate. 

 

Let's say that the sacks are on sale for Euro 4,50 each to people for whom it is not included in their rent. Well he could sell his sacks to those people for half that and pocket the money. Both parties are happy. ;)

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These are the first three things I tell anyone moving to Germany:

 

1. join the Mieterverein

2. join the Mieterverein

3. join the Mieterverein

 

I did that within a few weeks and have saved thousands of Euros with a small annual payment.

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1 hour ago, Eupathic Impulse said:

1. join the Mieterverein

2. join the Mieterverein

3. join the Mieterverein

This though only applies to people who rent!

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1 hour ago, lunaCH said:

This though only applies to people who rent!

 

I'm curious, how many people bought property as soon as they moved to Germany?

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3 hours ago, Eupathic Impulse said:

These are the first three things I tell anyone moving to Germany:

 

1. join the Mieterverein

2. join the Mieterverein

3. join the Mieterverein

 

I know everyone here is used to this, but someone from the outside would truly wonder about a country where you must joint an adversarial group to live there.  On top of that, buy legal insurance.  What does that say about the german culture?

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27 minutes ago, catjones said:

 

I know everyone here is used to this, but someone from the outside would truly wonder about a country where you must joint an adversarial group to live there.  On top of that, buy legal insurance.  What does that say about the german culture?

 

It‘s a Sport :D

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37 minutes ago, catjones said:

 

I know everyone here is used to this, but someone from the outside would truly wonder about a country where you must joint an adversarial group to live there.  On top of that, buy legal insurance.  What does that say about the german culture?

 

I think it's great! The interests of landlords are necessarily opposite to the interests of tenants.  In places where there are not tenants associations with teeth, what it usually means is that the tenants have no protection, not that there is no adversarial relationship.  It's that tenants must acquiesce to every landlord demand.

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4 minutes ago, Eupathic Impulse said:

 

I think it's great! The interests of landlords are necessarily opposite to the interests of tenants.  In places where there are not tenants associations with teeth, what it usually means is that the tenants have no protection, not that there is no adversarial relationship.  It's that tenants must acquiesce to every landlord demand.

 

Yup.  The UK has become an awful place to be a tenant.  Though of course not all landlords.  Some are happy to have a long term reliable tenant.  And so do not raise the rent as much as they could a good tenant is an asset.  Some tenants are horrors too, not just landlords

 

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