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

92 posts in this topic

I'm sure there are bad tenants (I know there are), but at a society-wide level, the power imbalance between landlord and tenant is huge. The landlord, even a small-time one, by definition has a surplus of resources relative to the tenant.  The law needs to protect landlords against damaging abuse of the property (narrowly construed) and chronic non-payment of the agreed rent. That's it, at most.

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5 hours ago, HH_Sailor said:

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.

 

Not weird at all. We pay for rubbish removal and our Müllhaus is locked to those who don't pay. What could be more logical?

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1 hour 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. 

 

There is no *must* to have legal insurance, liability insurance or being member of the Mietverein. 

 

There are millions of German tenants who have neither. 

 

It is just that the average foreigner doesn't know the laws, is prone to make stupid mistakes on unknown soil, and some landlords have the propensity to try to rip them off by abusing their language barrier.  

 

So, yes, I would recommend all three "safety nets" to anyone not being "saddle fast" with the local German laws and regulations.

 

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What does that say about the german culture? 

 

Nothing. You'd probably have the same situation, if you - as an English speaking foreigner not being a native speaker of the local language - would move to Italy, Finland or Molwania.

 

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16 minutes ago, franklan said:

Nothing. You'd probably have the same situation, if you - as an English speaking foreigner not being a native speaker of the local language - would move to Italy, Finland or Molwania.

This should not be mixed up with Moldova.

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2 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

This should not be mixed up with Moldova.

Indeed, here is the German website of the Molvanian tourist office:  https://molwanien.de/

 

 

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28 minutes ago, franklan said:

Indeed, here is the German website of the Molvanian tourist office:  https://molwanien.de/

 

Quote

Wer das Hinterland bereisen möchte, sollte auch vorsorglich eine Dosis Anthrax mit sich führen. Nähere Informationen erhalten Sie bei Ihrem örtlichen Gesundheitsamt und im Reiseführer.

.

Those who want to travel the backwoods should also take a dose of anthrax as a precaution.

You can get more information from your local health office and from your travel guide.

:wacko:

 

Learn something new every day.

Thanks for that one @franklan

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1 hour 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.

 

Spent a lot of time in US and rented in many cities.   Landlords have something to sell, tenants want something to buy. While you see that as 'opposite', I see that as mutual.  As for "no protection", that's ludicrous and even more so, " acquiesce to every landlord demand".

 

You should get out more and see the world.

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3 hours ago, franklan said:

Indeed, here is the German website of the Molvanian tourist office:  https://molwanien.de/

 

 


That is definitely where I’m going for my next vacation!  I really admire how they deal with currency fluctuations.

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9 hours ago, catjones said:

 

Spent a lot of time in US and rented in many cities.   Landlords have something to sell, tenants want something to buy. While you see that as 'opposite', I see that as mutual.  As for "no protection", that's ludicrous and even more so, " acquiesce to every landlord demand".

 

You should get out more and see the world.

 

Lo and behold: I also lived in the USA and rented in many US cities.  Tenants don't just want "something to buy", like a hoodie or a vase, they want a roof over their heads where they can live a healthy life and be close to the things they need to get to, like work, groceries, family.  Landlords don't just have "something to sell", rather they sit on one of the principle means of life and the key to avoiding homelessness for many.  Buyer and seller have opposite interests (the buyer wants the most for the least, and the seller vice versa).  Landlords and tenants have opposite interests for exactly that reason.  This relationship cannot be mutual, you are deluding yourself.

 

In many places of the USA, even the sale of a property from one landlord to another does not oblige the following landlord to honour the rental contracts, there is no permanent tenure.  There is almost no protection for the tenant's right to have a place to live.  There is little enforcible protection against numerous forms of landlord exploitation. There's no Mieterverein, because there is precious little you can threaten a landlord with.

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2 hours ago, Eupathic Impulse said:

In many places of the USA, even the sale of a property from one landlord to another does not oblige the following landlord to honour the rental contracts, there is no permanent tenure.  There is almost no protection for the tenant's right to have a place to live.  There is little enforcible protection against numerous forms of landlord exploitation. There's no Mieterverein, because there is precious little you can threaten a landlord with.

 

When I lived in Edmonton, my landlady made up some "damages" to the apartment after I left to have a reason to keep my damage deposit.  She actually had the gall to even ask for another $100 on top of it, maybe thinking I'd leave her the DD and who cares if I pay the extra $100.  I threatened her to tell the health authorities about the black mold in her building.  She quickly decided to give me half of my DD back.  I left it at that.  So at least that is one thing you can threaten a landlord with.  Here in Germany, black mold is usually just blamed back on the tenant.

 

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16 hours ago, Eupathic Impulse said:

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

I can't answer that. We bought our flat in Germany before moving here.

14 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Not weird at all. We pay for rubbish removal and our Müllhaus is locked to those who don't pay. What could be more logical?

Though experience shows that locking bins does nothing to prevent illegal dumping. People who are not using the taxed sacks, those who don't have a key, or those who have more rubbish than they should, can all just place the rubbish next to the bins. Sooner or later the excess rubbish will get taken away by the authorities as there will be complaints. The only thing the locked bin might prevent is a surcharge being levied to the owners of the locked bin. 

You could say the same thing about litter bins. A lot of them have been replaced so that they only have letterbox slot type openings - presumably in an effort to prevent people illegally dumping huge sacks of household waste in them to bypass charges. 

The problem though is not solved, but simply shifted onto the pavement whereby the person just places the sack next to or on top of the bin - which in my view just makes it even more unsightly.

If all disposal charges were scrapped and it be funded through taxes, this problem would almost entirely disappear as there'd be no further financial incentive to illegally dump rubbish.

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2 hours ago, lunaCH said:

Though experience shows that locking bins does nothing to prevent illegal dumping.

 

You have to have a key to use our bins as it is in most houses. I don't even know what a taxed sack is. 

 

Yall do things different up there.

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10 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

You have to have a key to use our bins as it is in most houses. I don't even know what a taxed sack is.

As I said though around here, locking bins doesn't prevent illegal dumping - it just moves the problem elsewhere. 

Our neighbours told us that the bin we use, which is unofficially shared with two neighbouring buildings used to be locked, but that it only meant people left sacks in front of the bin - which increased the occurrences of animals (foxes, crows etc.) tearing them open. So now it's unlocked - but it's abused by other people who deposit their rubbish in there as well - in unofficial/non-taxed sacks. 

Officially you have to use expensive 'taxed' sacks which you can only buy from certain places and they're marked with the Gemeinde's emblem. Some villages have stickers instead of sacks, which you affix to an ordinary black sack. 

Unofficial or non-taxed sacks and those without stickers are in theory not collected. In reality the system doesn't work perfectly as there are always people who dump non-taxed sacks in other people's unlocked bins or on street corners or which sooner or later are collected - but then the whole community is paying for these sacks. 

 

So called 'Abfalltourismus' is a big thing in border regions. The disposal charges are generally higher in Germany's neighbouring countries and it is well known that residents of Switzerland for example not only travel to Germany to do their shopping, but also to dump all their rubbish wherever they can for free, thus avoiding the charges back home. 

Taxed-sacks in Switzerland are the norm and they have been introduced in many places in Germany as well. Not every dwelling has a bin, or even room for one, some just use sacks. 

 

See for example here in this border town (Waldshut, Germany) from 1.1.20 the cost: 

60-Liter Müllsack (Kauf und Abfuhr) 4,50 €

https://www.suedkurier.de/storage/med/lokales/waldshut/2982610_Muellgebuehren_Kreis_Waldshut_ab_Januar_2020.pdf

https://www.suedkurier.de/region/hochrhein/kreis-waldshut/Restmuell-wird-2020-teurer-Grundgebuehr-und-Leerungen-der-Muelltonnen-kosten-kuenftig-mehr;art372586,10378977

 

Plenty of articles on illegal dumping: 

https://www.swissinfo.ch/ger/abfalltourismus_wenn-schweizer-ihren-muell-jenseits-der-grenze-entsorgen/44076852

https://www.blick.ch/news/erwischt-schweizer-einkaufstouristen-entsorgen-muell-in-deutschland-id3692013.html

https://www.blick.ch/news/schweiz/tessin/neuer-grenz-zoff-wegen-sackgebuehr-tessiner-guesel-gruesel-laden-ihren-dreck-in-italien-ab-id15717299.html

 

 

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6 hours ago, LeonG said:

 

When I lived in Edmonton, my landlady made up some "damages" to the apartment after I left to have a reason to keep my damage deposit.  She actually had the gall to even ask for another $100 on top of it, maybe thinking I'd leave her the DD and who cares if I pay the extra $100.  I threatened her to tell the health authorities about the black mold in her building.  She quickly decided to give me half of my DD back.  I left it at that.  So at least that is one thing you can threaten a landlord with.  Here in Germany, black mold is usually just blamed back on the tenant.

 

 

Some provinces of Canada have better protections than many US states.  Decades ago, I had friends in Toronto who lived in a student house owned by a notorious slumlady.  They had two years of hilariously dragging her before the Ontario rental tribunal where she lost every time.  However, it didn't make a whole lot of difference, the roof still leaked everywhere, she would rather suffer a rent reduction than do any repairs whatsoever...

 

I successfully threatened an annoying landlord with the Mieterverein for years until they started to behave.

 

Mold is a very special category of rental nightmares that only seems to happen that way in Germany.  When I moved to Germany, I didn't realize how much moldfighting was just taken for granted as a part of daily life...

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6 hours ago, lunaCH said:

I can't answer that. We bought our flat in Germany before moving here.

 

OK, I wasn't sure how long I would stay on this side of the Atlantic, originally it was supposed to be for a few months only but you know how these things go...

 

My suspicion is that even among anglophone immigrants to Germany, the overwhelming majority at least start out renting even if they can afford to buy, and very few have the money to put down right away on a property in any case. But TT's regular population is disproportionately weighted towards property-owners (meaning still majority renters, but much more owners than usual).

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3 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Glad I'm in Munich then.

If it's included in your rent and you can dispose of as much you as like, then I guess that's good for you and keeps things simple Though it doesn't encourage recycling. And on the downside, you're paying that charge whether you want to or not. 

In some places you just pay a yearly charge to the Gemeinde, if you're an owner, or if it's not included in the rent. But again this doesn't encourage recycling either and you can't get out of the charge.

 

Where we are it's mixed, a lower yearly charge and then a tax on the sacks (Restmüll) you dispose of. This encourages people to recycle more as for example if you recycle almost everything you barely need to pay the extra for Restmüll sacks. 

What the people who are illegally dumping are doing is getting out of paying the extra.

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12 hours ago, Eupathic Impulse said:

 

Lo and behold: I also lived in the USA and rented in many US cities.  Tenants don't just want "something to buy", like a hoodie or a vase, they want a roof over their heads where they can live a healthy life and be close to the things they need to get to, like work, groceries, family.  Landlords don't just have "something to sell", rather they sit on one of the principle means of life and the key to avoiding homelessness for many.  Buyer and seller have opposite interests (the buyer wants the most for the least, and the seller vice versa).  Landlords and tenants have opposite interests for exactly that reason.  This relationship cannot be mutual, you are deluding yourself.

 

In many places of the USA, even the sale of a property from one landlord to another does not oblige the following landlord to honour the rental contracts, there is no permanent tenure.  There is almost no protection for the tenant's right to have a place to live.  There is little enforcible protection against numerous forms of landlord exploitation. There's no Mieterverein, because there is precious little you can threaten a landlord with.

 

Don't know where to start.  Buying and selling implies a contract and everyone who rents in the states does so with a contract to which both parties agree to and sign.  It's a mutual agreement.  A mutual agreement is codified in law.

I can give you multiple reasons why people buy almost anything and why people sell things.  That's not the point.  In the end something is bought and something is sold.  The interest on both parts is the same: to consummate a sale.

I have never heard of your statement where contracts become null and void with the sale of the property.  Never.  It defies contract law.  Prove it..

Your statement about "no protection for the tenant" is flat out wrong.  There are Federal, State, County and City laws regarding rentals and the Courts therein enforce those laws.  It isn't "precious little".

 

 

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4 hours ago, Eupathic Impulse said:

Some provinces of Canada have better protections than many US states.  Decades ago, I had friends in Toronto who lived in a student house owned by a notorious slumlady.  They had two years of hilariously dragging her before the Ontario rental tribunal where she lost every time.  However, it didn't make a whole lot of difference, the roof still leaked everywhere, she would rather suffer a rent reduction than do any repairs whatsoever...

 

In Ontario, you don't pay a deposit, you pay first and last which leads to the landlord having nothing to hold over you when you leave and tenants who are leaving leave their apartment dirty and whatever they don't want to keep, they leave behind.  In Alberta, there is a damage deposit and when the landlady tried to keep mine, I was told that it's common. 

 

There was some kind of tenants board there too.  A friend of mine decided to complain to them after his landlord refused to replace / repair his fridge.  The twist was that he was always late with the rent and his landlord had been extremely patient with him.  When his fridge broke down, his landlord said to pay what he owes (about half the rent at that time) and he'll use the money to replace the fridge.  Sounds reasonable, right?  But he'd talked to the tenants board and they said it's his right to have a working fridge, regardless of owing rent.  So he went through with the complaint.  The landlord brought him a replacement fridge and a notice to vacate the apartment at the same time due to multiple instances of being late.

 

At least some states in the US have some type of protection against being thrown out of an apartment illlegally, for example by having the locks changed on you after you paid the rent for the month or at least you can get decent compensation for it.

 

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11 hours ago, catjones said:

 

Don't know where to start.  Buying and selling implies a contract and everyone who rents in the states does so with a contract to which both parties agree to and sign.  It's a mutual agreement.  A mutual agreement is codified in law.

 

Very interesting.  So if you hold a gun to my head and force me to sign something, the agreement is still "mutual" (you agree not to shoot me, and I agree to sign or whatever)?

 

Many tenants have the threat of homelessness (which definitely shortens life expectancies) hanging over their heads, unless they make an agreement with some landlord.  So, somehow this is "mutual".  Again, very interesting idea of mutuality.

 

11 hours ago, catjones said:

I can give you multiple reasons why people buy almost anything and why people sell things.  That's not the point.  In the end something is bought and something is sold.  The interest on both parts is the same: to consummate a sale.

 

[resists temptation to write bad romance novel scene]

 

The interest on both parts is not the same.  The sale is not a unitary, joint activity.  The buyer and the seller exist at odds, with the seller having an interest in ensuring that the buyer walks away with as little as possible but hands over the most money.  In what universe is that interest the same?  No, it is the definition of adversarial! The buyer and the seller are full adversaries, down to the smallest transaction.

 

11 hours ago, catjones said:

I have never heard of your statement where contracts become null and void with the sale of the property.  Never.  It defies contract law.  Prove it..

Your statement about "no protection for the tenant" is flat out wrong.  There are Federal, State, County and City laws regarding rentals and the Courts therein enforce those laws.  It isn't "precious little".

 

 

 

Pfff.  Many US tenants are on month-to-month leases, which is what they usually lapse into after about a year or so.  The rules vary from state to state.  Often, month-to-month tenants have no protection from termination when the property is sold regardless of length of tenure.  There may have to be an eviction proceeding, but most contesting tenants will eventually lose.  In Germany, a tenant with long tenure is comparatively better-protected with a cooling off period and specific Eigenbedarf justifications for eviction by a new landlord.

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