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Renovation on building facade a few weeks after moving in a new apartment

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Hi! I moved into a new apartment about two months ago. The contract was signed vs. the large company Heimstaden. Several days after I moved in, workers started building support beams for the building and informed me that there is a renovation of the facade, planned to last until the end of January. They have since covered the entire building with white tarp, there is no light in the apartment, my two balconies are covered with dust and broken rocks and the drilling starts around 8 am, as they strip the old facade from the building...

 

This severely hurts my ability to work from home. Even though I understand that these kind of renovations are necessary from time to time, I'm a bit pissed that the landlord (Heimstaden) did nothing to inform me of this until after the renovations started (I received a letter). Obviously, I have not given my consent to this.

 

All this doesn't seem very fair. Is there anything I can do? Or is there no way to fight this and I should just bite my lip until January (if they in fact finish by then).

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In my former building a crack was discovered in the facade, and within the span of about 4 days there was full scaffolding complete with tarp, mess, and noisy construction work (like the sound of concrete being cut with a saw). What I'm getting at is that you can complain but it will probably not be able to have any impact on the building works, as there may be an urgent need for them. You can try to consult the Mietverein or contact the building company directly to see if you are entitled to compensation, but it's pretty standard language in any rental contract that certain inconvenient building works can be expected from time to time. Of course, it would have been nice of the rental agent (or building company) to inform you, but it's possible they didn't know 2 months ago. It may be worth investing in some high quality noise cancelling headphones, or a co-working space for the next 3-4 months. Sorry about your predicament.

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Regardless of the circumstances, if you are being deprived of usable space and/or natural light in your apartment as the result of construction work, you're entitled to reduce your rent. If you're not already a member of your local Mieterverein, you should join today. They will be able to advise you how much you can reduce your rent and correspond with the landlord - but if you just joined, they won't be able to represent you in court, if it goes that far, because their legal coverage is subject to the same 90-day wait period that also applies to other legal insurance policies.

 

Be sure to bring your rental contract, however - it's possible that they sneaked a clause in that gave you notice of the impending construction work and you overlooked it.

 

I'm afraid you'll have around zero chance of getting compensation for your disturbed concentration. The fact that you work from home isn't something that they're responsible for.

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What a bummer.

 

Is there a library or other public building you could escape to ? This could be like Chinese water torture. You need to find a safe haven for when you can stand it no more. 

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Thanks for the support everyone! It means a lot :)

 

Got a letter from Heimstaden saying that since the work that was announced on Juli 15th (the month before I moved into the flat!) were delayed, they are now expected to last until the end of January. The letter quotes $555d Abs. 1 BGB which states that I must comply with facade modernization :wacko:

 

It was pretty bad since there were many workers stripping the entire facade and window frames with drills and jackhammers, as well as yelling and being generally loud. I think there's six of them. I decided to register with the local Mieterverein tomorrow and consult them regarding a price reduction at the very least (couldn't find the time earlier due to working late, also since I'm not able to work from home anymore  :/ ).

 

I will update once there are some news. My suggestion to anyone moving into a new place to explicitly ask if there are any planned works in or on the building.

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On 05/10/2021, 18:44:16, optimista said:

What a bummer.

 

Is there a library or other public building you could escape to ? This could be like Chinese water torture. You need to find a safe haven for when you can stand it no more. 

I find myself going to work (which is not typical for me). It's not ideal but also not the end of the world. If I manage to get away until the evening, the main problem is that the balconies being unusable (full of rocks and dust) and lack of sunlight.

 

I bought a few plant lamps so I hope my little guys can pull through :D  

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On 05/10/2021, 16:11:47, Brockman said:

but it's possible they didn't know 2 months ago

 

That's what I initially thought, but there was a letter we recently received that mentions a notice from July 15th... They knew :angry:

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This happened to us a couple of years back - during the home-schooling period of the first COVID lockdown. We couldn't hear ourselves screaming at each other over the noise (probably not a bad thing) and it went on in one form or another for about 6 months.

 

The final result really just added monetary value to the owner's investment. Many old fixtures that had previously worked well (common light switches, doors, gate handles etc.) were replaced with ones that were new, stylish and pretty quickly proved deficient.

 

One good thing was having to move the plants indoors. We now have a permanent garden box on the inside window ledge that our pet rats enjoy playing in!

 

Also: not sure if this applies in your case, but the scaffolding around our building allowed 4th floor access to curious opportunists during the night. Part of the pain was having to keep windows locked all the time!

 

Good luck getting through it all.

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