Landlord wants me to pay to change the entire flat floor

31 posts in this topic

Construction and renovation works were carried out in the building where I live since 1 year. Many problems occurred because of that, including noise, wholes in the flat, light obstruction because the cover and the security risks that come from the scaffolding...etc. I applied for rent reduction and at the same time sent a notice letter to leave the flat after three months.

 

Couple of weeks later, the landlord (agency employee) came. I thought he came to verify my claims about the construction damage, instead, he was looking for any damage that I caused. There is nothing significantly wrong with the flat and he did not find any major issues. There was a little bump in the parquet (parkett buche) that he took a picture of. 

 

Today they called me and said there might be water everywhere under the parkett, and the bumps are everywhere (but I really don't see them) and we might have to replace the entire floor, and it's going to be expensive and I have to pay for that. But first they will bring an expert to confirm what they say.

 

I have two problems with that:

- i don't think there is a damage of this magnitude (attached some pictures, maybe I'm wrong)

- i don't trust them, and consequently I don't trust there expert

 

Of course the lawyer option is on the table. But I was wondering if there is anything else I have to pay attention to before I get an appointment with a lawyer.

 

I have been renting this flat for almost three years.

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First of all, that isn't parkette. Looks more like laminate. Besides that, where is the supposed water coming from? Are you dumping buckets of water in there? It looks like they are trying to take you for a ride. Have your own professional come in and have a look. I doubt that the agency employee is a floor specialist so give them the bill for yours.

 

Are you a member of the Mietverein?

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8 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

First of all, that isn't parkette. Looks more like laminate. Besides that, where is the supposed water coming from? Are you dumping buckets of water in there? It looks like they are trying to take you for a ride. Have your own professional come in and have a look. I doubt that the agency employee is a floor specialist so give them the bill for yours.

 

Are you a member of the Mietverein?

 

I became after that, but the

earliest appointment with the English speaker lawyer is on mid January, and many things can happen in between.

 

I don't remember dumping any water. And I don't see any significant damage. Worst case scenario they can change half a square meter in my opinion.

 

Yes, it looks to me that they are trying to get the rental reduction money back using these tricks.

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First, don't sign the Übergabeprotokoll (at all). You are not required to sign it, so unless the content is advantageous to you, there is no point in signing it. Take pictures and movies as evidence for yourself. Witnesses are also useful.  

 

Second, landlords can't offload normal wear and tear on tenants. If your flat was renovated ("appear new"), AND it's stipulated in your lease, you might have to renovate on your way out. But both conditions must be met (you must have received a renovated flat - if not, the clause about having to renovate on your way out is invalid). 

 

It sounds like they are asking for money on the ground that you damaged it (through negligence, presumably). That does sound ridiculous to me - unless you had a leaking washing machine that you didn't fix or something like that, damage like that is their fault. Especially since no damage even seems to exist (wtf do they mean by "bump"? It's clearly just some shitty material that degraded over time).

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This cheap laminat warps easily if it gets wet on the joints, the edges get raised.  I have this in my house. Not a big fan of these floors.  Normally you can't just replace a couple of pieces either because they would need to pick up half the floor to get to the damaged pieces and if they are paying that for labor, they might as well get a new floor, second, in order to replace pieces, they'd have to find exactly the same pattern and even if they did, it will not look the same as the old floor is faded.

 

Do you have haftpflicht insurance?  If you do, you can tell the landlord to talk to them.  They'll likely refuse as you do not recall pouring water on the floor but at least your landlord has someone else to argue with.

 

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6 hours ago, LeonG said:

This cheap laminat warps easily if it gets wet on the joints, the edges get raised.  I have this in my house. Not a big fan of these floors.  Normally you can't just replace a couple of pieces either because they would need to pick up half the floor to get to the damaged pieces and if they are paying that for labor, they might as well get a new floor, second, in order to replace pieces, they'd have to find exactly the same pattern and even if they did, it will not look the same as the old floor is faded.

 

Do you have haftpflicht insurance?  If you do, you can tell the landlord to talk to them.  They'll likely refuse as you do not recall pouring water on the floor but at least your landlord has someone else to argue with.

 

Ok thanks for the explanation.

 

Would it help to buy this insurance now before the expert comes, or is it too late? Or is it part of the Mietverein?

 

Do you know how much approximately the removal/installation can cost?

 

 

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Do you have Fußbodenheizung? If you do and you use too much water when mopping, this can cause bumps in the floor when the heating is on.
 

A floor heating expert came by a few years ago when this starting happening and said it sometimes happens but that the water should dry up on its own eventually. I have no clue if that’s correct or not, but it has gotten better although there’s always a bump when we turn the heating on for the first couple of times in the winter. 

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Thanks for the information. I'm not sure if I have under floor heating, but all the radiators are off now.

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30 minutes ago, medk said:

 I'm not sure if I have under floor heating, but all the radiators are off now.

If you have a wall mounted radiator, then most probably you will not have underfloor heating. Doesn't make sense to have two kind of heating in a same room. 

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@medk

How old is the flooring? I mean was it newly laid when you first move in? From the picture it doesn't seemed to be damaged. It's just a normal wear and tear  due to poor quality material used in the first place. Just don't sign any thing and tell them that you will verify their claim with your expert. Follow what the mietverein suggest. In the worst case scenario, you will have to pay just a part of the repair costs as its already minimum 3years old.

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6 minutes ago, vivanco said:

@medk

How old is the flooring? I mean was it newly laid when you first move in? From the picture it doesn't seemed to be damaged. It's just a normal wear and tear  due to poor quality material used in the first place. Just don't sign any thing and tell them that you will verify their claim with your expert. Follow what the mietverein suggest. In the worst case scenario, you will have to pay just a part of the repair costs as its already minimum 3years old.

Thanks for the advises. I think the flat was renovated before I moved in. But to be honest, I always had the impression that this floor is very fragile from the start (so I tried to be very careful).
Yes, I will be happy to pay for the parts, but of course not for the entire flooring.

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They are trying to rob you. I wouldn't give an inch, let alone half a square meter. They will take you all the way if they think you are willing to compromise. Just say NO.

 

They need to tell you exactly what you ACTIVELY did to coax the laminate to warp. And prove it. They haven't got a leg to stand on. There is a space between the two bits of wood where there is damage. So it was laid by a cowboy. Or the material is rubbish. You are not responsible IMO.

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To me it looks like the Laminat has been laid on a older floor, you can see it in the uneven gap on the join between skirting board and floor, and that older floor is dynamic. Tell them to go and pound sand.

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5 hours ago, medk said:

Ok thanks for the explanation.

 

Would it help to buy this insurance now before the expert comes, or is it too late? Or is it part of the Mietverein?

 

Do you know how much approximately the removal/installation can cost?

 

It never helps to get the insurance after the fact.  Haftpflicht insurance is very common in Germany and is good to have.  It pays for if you damage someone elses property.  You should get it for the future.  It has nothing to do with the mieterverein.

 

The cheapest material you can get at Globus right now is 6€ per m² on special.  If you get a tradesman to put it down, they'll likely charge about 50 per hour.  Still, I agree with others saying that if you did not pour water on the floor, it's not your fault.

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Thanks everyone for your time and help. Now I have a better understanding on how to proceed.

  • make photos/videos of every corner of the house
  • I will refuse to sign or pay anything and wait until my appointment with the 
    mieterverein
  • it's not my fault, and if they think otherwise, they have to prove it.
  • if I feel their expert is untrustworthy I can bring my own 
  • I will also highlight the facts that the floor is not cut correctly and there are spaces between the laminates as well as the skirting board

 

And I also bought a liability insurance for the future, just in case.

 

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it could be parkett, but it doesn't look like buche!!

 

Be aware that if you admit liability to damage on this forum, it could be cited against you in court.

 

If you "think" you may have caused the spillage, then you can agree to pay for this but nothing more. (It looks to me like someone has spilled something). As LeonG says Haftpflicht is essential in germany and is pretty cheap (ca 50 euro per year), but doesn't help here if you didn't already have it. Your mietverein should arrange for an independent evaluation (Gutachter) to take place which should limit the damage to that spillage point.

 

As said already: don't sign anything you don't agree to!

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3 minutes ago, dom said:

it could be parkett, but it doesn't look like buche!!

 

Be aware that if you admit liability to damage on this forum, it could be cited against you in court.

 

If you "think" you may have caused the spillage, then you can agree to pay for this but nothing more. (It looks to me like someone has spilled something). As LeonG says Haftpflicht is essential in germany and is pretty cheap (ca 50 euro per year), but doesn't help here if you didn't already have it. Your mietverein should arrange for an independent evaluation (Gutachter) to take place which should limit the damage to that spillage point.

 

As said already: don't sign anything you don't agree to!


Thanks for the advise. 
Just to make sure: I don't admit liability to any damage, I'm just envisaging the worst case scenario that could happen if they manage to trick me, because they have been in this business for a long time and I'm sure they know every aspect about it. Although having the mietverein bring some re-assurance.
The only reason why I could agree to pay for 1 or 2 square meters is to avoid unnecessary dispute and gain peace of mind in return. But as I said, I don't remember dumping any bucket of water and I lived a normal life in the flat.
 

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Your mietverein should arrange for an independent evaluation (Gutachter) to take place which should limit the damage to that spillage point.

ok thanks.

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Good advice already, I just wanted to add that when we moved out of our rented flat, there was some damage to the flooring that was our fault.  We only paid for the damaged area!!!  The floor had been new when we moved in and they did a calculation based on the flooring usually being renovated/replaced every 15 years.  Unfortunately I can't remember the calculation but the length of time we had lived there was also taken into account. It was good quality Parkett and we ended up paying about 100 Euro (I think, sorry, a long time ago).  

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