What is the hausmeister responsible for fixing?

19 posts in this topic

Hello :) please excuse if this is a dumb question, but...

 

I moved into a new flat at the start of the year, but I have continually had problems with the pipes. First, when I had my washing machine installed, the technician said he did as much as he could but there was a part missing in the wall itself which prevented the full connection and he told me to contact me hausmeister for it. So I did, and the hausmeister added something to the wall, but then told the landlord (falsely) he had done the whole installation. Then, I had my kitchen sink installed, and again the technician said something is not right with the pipes in the wall, and so the sink water doesn't drain properly and the pipes leak. Meanwhile, the toilet has never flushed properly and it requires a plunger every single time. I have contacted my landlord, but the hausmeister has falsely said there is nothing wrong with the pipes. 

 

Essentially, I have the word of 1 creepy hausmeister against 3 independently commission technicians/repairmen -- the independent ones all say only the hausmeister can fix it, and the hausmeister falsely says nothing is broken. I get the feeling the landlord is just trying to skimp on the cost of repairs, because it was similarly an uphill battle to get other damages fixed which occurred before I moved in

 

What can I do in this case? I haven't had a working sink or toilet in 2.5months and I'm really quite fed up. I would now rather pay an independent contractor to fix this ASAP for the sake of time, but I wonder if I can then bill my landlord for it? Surely, they would refuse paying it but legally what is my recourse? I really believe working pipes in the building is a basic minimum. If I go about the route of hiring someone else and then holding them accountable for the costs, what are the legal steps I would need to take to do so?

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If it's a brand new building it seems like those things would still be under warranty with the builder.

 

Yep, Mietverein.

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I endorse the other responses- join the Mieterverein. Take all responses you have had over the issues. Could be reduced rent until fixed, but all needs to be repaired ASAP. Mieterverein can send legal letter to landlord and Hausemeister.

 

Any newbies reading this and renting-Join the Mieterverein now! And read the relavent  threads on renting.

 

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1 hour ago, ExPattheDog said:

...the hausmeister falsely says nothing is broken.

...working pipes in the building is a basic minimum.

 

You bet. Invite your hausmeister to take a dump in your bathroom. Ask him why he is so blatantly taking the piss.

 

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I get it, Mietverein, but is that really the only thing we are allowed to tell OPs?  Like, people come here wanting to know if you have some advice.  Sure, Mietverein is advice, but it really always sounds to me like people are telling the OPs that they are stupid for asking here, which I really don't like.

 

Maybe if someone has an idea how to help the OP or relevant experiences, they should be encouraged to share?  Yes, Mietverein and until then, all other tips welcome?

 

Something along those lines?

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1 hour ago, optimista said:

 

You bet. Invite your hausmeister to take a dump in your bathroom. Ask him why he is so blatantly taking the piss.

 

Just remembered you’re in France!  The Hausmeister could have a dumpez-vous!!

Off topic: Hausmeister ! What a strange word. House master, honestly. Sounds like a tutor at Eton or somewhere.

 

OP: any chance you have legal insurance? That is even more frightening for the average German. ( Hausmeister or not)...

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I kind of agree with Dessa. Whatever happened to sitting down with your landlord with all of the relevant information, photos, etc? That is the person who is taking your money. Leave the Hausmeister out of it. He isn't helping.

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can't she apply for a rent reduction because of the things that need repairing?  Perhaps the first order of business once she's joined the Mietverein? ;) 

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2 minutes ago, dessa_dangerous said:

can't she apply for a rent reduction because of the things that need repairing?  Perhaps the first order of business once she's joined the Mietverein? ;) 

 

Yes, she could but as I always say, better get the stupid problem fixed rather than cut the rent and continue to live with it.  There is a way to get things fixed and take it off your rent.  This is called "ersatzvornahme".  Bit of info here: https://www.promietrecht.de/Mangel/Mangelbeseitigung/Ersatzvornahme/Ersatzvornahme-durch-Mieter-Maengel-beseitigen-Reparatur-beauftragen-E1129.htm

 

Basically, just like with rent reduction, you have to communicate to the landlord in writing that you have a problem, what the problem is, that they have to get it fixed, by date x .. or else.  With the rent reduction, you would then say how much you will reduce the rent, say as of May 1st and with the ersatzvornahme, you would say that you will get it fixed and subtract the cost from your rent.  

 

It may be better to join the mieterverein or talk to a lawyer to cover your ass that you are doing everything by the book.  I would consider it smart to get more than one quote for the work if the landlord later wants to complain that you could have gotten it done cheaper.

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On 14. April 2021 um 19:49:15, dessa_dangerous said:

I get it, Mietverein, but is that really the only thing we are allowed to tell OPs?

Well, I once advised Editor Bob to implement a question before joining TT: "Are you a member of the Mieterverein?" If not, first join them, before we can approve your membership here.

 

I thought that was a good idea.

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3 hours ago, LukeSkywalker said:

Well, I once advised Editor Bob to implement a question before joining TT: "Are you a member of the Mieterverein?" If not, first join them, before we can approve your membership here.

 

I thought that was a good idea.

I asked it to be added to the wiki etc.

Any action, rent reduction or withholding rent is best done after talking to them. For one, how much can you reduce, for how long, do you have to keep it back to pay later or do you never have to pay it? Even if you know that can you formulate any letters you need? What happens if the landlord just doesn't budge and you don't have legal insurance? What if your legal insurance doesn't cover this or all of it? it goes to court, where do you file, what is the proceedure?

 

We can help quite a bit in some circumstances on TT but at times, that isn't enough. Sometimes you need to go and get from people that do that thing you need often. I use this way also with things like plumbers. 

 

Saved us quite a lot of trouble 

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1 hour ago, cb6dba said:

Any action, rent reduction or withholding rent is best done after talking to them. For one, how much can you reduce, for how long, do you have to keep it back to pay later or do you never have to pay it? Even if you know that can you formulate any letters you need? What happens if the landlord just doesn't budge and you don't have legal insurance? What if your legal insurance doesn't cover this or all of it? it goes to court, where do you file, what is the proceedure?

 

The following happened to someone I know.  He had all kinds of problems in the building he was renting for his business, leaking water, mold, drafty windows and a few more.  The landlady refused to fix it.  He talked to a lawyer and they started a rent reduction.  The landlady moaned a bit and then sold the building.  The guy who bought the building did not want to fix anything either but he felt that the tenant was reducing the rent by too much.  Next couple of years, there was a war going on between them with police, threats etc.  The landlord sued the tenant for "unpaid rent" and the tenant had to front 3000€ for a gutachter to come and make a report.  The report listed all of the problems mentioned in the rent reduction.  The case ended up being transferred between judges, postponed a few times.  The landlord got a case of nerves and sold the building to someone else.  The judge said that sure the problems are there but how much rent reduction is fair?  This is like 2 yrs. into the court case already.  In the end they went to mediation.  Both ended up paying their own lawyer costs and half the gutachter.  And before someone says rechtschutz, he had one but they refused to pay. 

 

That's why I recommend fixing it rather than reducing rent.  Say you reduce the rent for a toilet that wont flush.  You're still living with the problem. Your landlord may not believe that there is a problem or doesn't think it's a very big problem.  You are pissed off every time you have to de-clog the toilet.  Your landlord is pissed off every month you pay less rent.  Instead, get it fixed.  You don't have to live with it.  Landlord may be pissed off he lost a lot of money off that months rent but it's not like you put it in your pocket and it'll smooth over with time.

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6 hours ago, LeonG said:

That's why I recommend fixing it rather than reducing rent.  Say you reduce the rent for a toilet that wont flush.  You're still living with the problem. Your landlord may not believe that there is a problem or doesn't think it's a very big problem.  You are pissed off every time you have to de-clog the toilet.  Your landlord is pissed off every month you pay less rent.  Instead, get it fixed.  You don't have to live with it.  Landlord may be pissed off he lost a lot of money off that months rent but it's not like you put it in your pocket and it'll smooth over with time.

 

I agree with all this. Had a similar problem concerning the lock of the front door to the house, the key kept getting stuck. We had to keep the door open day and night with a wedge, otherwise noone could get in. But strangers could also get in. I reported it several times in writing but the landlady did nothing. So I set a date limit and warned that if nothing happens I would engage a locksmith and deduct the cost from the next rent (all in writing). Still nothing happened, so I got it done and deducted the cost from the next rent. It was very expensive as it wasn't just a new lock - everyone had to have new sets of keys as well. The landlady threw a tantrum and involved lawyers and the court. I also involved my lawyer. In the end she had to pay everything. Would have been cheaper for her if she had got it done straight away. 

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37 minutes ago, bramble said:

The landlady threw a tantrum and involved lawyers and the court. I also involved my lawyer. In the end she had to pay everything. Would have been cheaper for her if she had got it done straight away. 

 

Yes and I think if the landlord is unreasonable and goes to court, it's also easier for the tenant to win such a case over rent reduction.  The difference being that with rent reduction, you are putting the money in your own pocket and you could be accused of making up problems in order to line your pockets.  Even when the problems are there and you pay for a gutachter to prove it, the question remains how much you should have reduced the rent, maybe too much depending on the problem so you could still lose, have to pay your own lawyer, half court costs and half gutachter.  With fixing it, you can't be accused of enriching yourself because  you paid someone to do it and have a bill to prove it.  Just maybe, the landlord could say you could have gotten it done cheaper which is why I'd recommend getting at least 2 quotes but in the end, you also gave the landlord an opportunity to get it fixed themselves which they didn't take.

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7 hours ago, LeonG said:

 

The following happened to someone I know.  He had all kinds of problems in the building he was renting for his business, leaking water, mold, drafty windows and a few more.  The landlady refused to fix it.  He talked to a lawyer and they started a rent reduction.  The landlady moaned a bit and then sold the building.  The guy who bought the building did not want to fix anything either but he felt that the tenant was reducing the rent by too much.  Next couple of years, there was a war going on between them with police, threats etc.  The landlord sued the tenant for "unpaid rent" and the tenant had to front 3000€ for a gutachter to come and make a report.  The report listed all of the problems mentioned in the rent reduction.  The case ended up being transferred between judges, postponed a few times.  The landlord got a case of nerves and sold the building to someone else.  The judge said that sure the problems are there but how much rent reduction is fair?  This is like 2 yrs. into the court case already.  In the end they went to mediation.  Both ended up paying their own lawyer costs and half the gutachter.  And before someone says rechtschutz, he had one but they refused to pay. 

 

That's why I recommend fixing it rather than reducing rent.  Say you reduce the rent for a toilet that wont flush.  You're still living with the problem. Your landlord may not believe that there is a problem or doesn't think it's a very big problem.  You are pissed off every time you have to de-clog the toilet.  Your landlord is pissed off every month you pay less rent.  Instead, get it fixed.  You don't have to live with it.  Landlord may be pissed off he lost a lot of money off that months rent but it's not like you put it in your pocket and it'll smooth over with time.

In the past we fixed it and arranged for the cost to be removed from the rent.

Worked well but only because the landlord was happy we got things fixed and the person looking after the property didn't ant to have actually organise anything or put any work in. 

 

If either of them had been awkward, we would either have ti fix the issue at our own cost or get in to a fight. Which when you think about it is having to fight for something to be fit for the purpose you paid for.

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