Difficult landlord

13 posts in this topic

Hey folks, 

 

I have a very challenging landlord. Because I am not German, they have said in the past they would refuse to help me. In the past when something has broken, it was very very hard to get it fixed (for example, I didn't have a working toilet or access to my mailbox for over a month)

 

I did, however, make a mistake -- when I moved in I was signed up on Grundversorgung with Vattenfall. Simply, during the handover the landlady told me I could select any provider but if I didn't I would automatically stay with Vattenfall. As I mentioned, I'm not german so I simply thought 'okay, that's fine with me.' Now I think this was a mistake. 

 

However, last week my landlord said Vattenfall is threatening to shut off my electricity and refuses to give me an explanation why. I think it is because of the Grundversorgung. I contacted Vattenfall to resolve it but I can't do so without a meter number -- they refuse to give this to me. 

I will do my best to get this sorted and avoid a shut off. 

 

In this case, can my landlord and Vattenfall legally shut off my electricity because of the Grundversorgun??? I don't have any unpaid bills, and I paid twice (strangely, yes -- twice this year my landlord billed me for extra costs) for the utililities being higher than my nebenkosten, which is all paid up. 

 

 

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These are two separate things: first, I’m sorry for your difficulties with your landlord. When my tenants tell me stuff like a toilet is not working I get it fixed asap, as it should be. However, your problems with the electricity provider are of your own doing and you have to solve them yourself, if your German is not up to scratch get a friend to help you or whatever. I couldn’t care less about my tenants electricity or gas contracts or problems - they’re not included in the rental contract for a reason.  The meter number information must be available somewhere in the building, or the Hausmeister has it. To be honest, I don’t know the meter numbers of my rentals - I’d really have to dig to find them. 

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16 minutes ago, mtbiking said:

These are two separate things: first, I’m sorry for your difficulties with your landlord. When my tenants tell me stuff like a toilet is not working I get it fixed asap, as it should be. However, your problems with the electricity provider are of your own doing and you have to solve them yourself, if your German is not up to scratch get a friend to help you or whatever. I couldn’t care less about my tenants electricity or gas contracts or problems - they’re not included in the rental contract for a reason.  The meter number information must be available somewhere in the building, or the Hausmeister has it. To be honest, I don’t know the meter numbers of my rentals - I’d really have to dig to find them. 

 

Thank you, thats very helpful. Does this mean they have the right to shut off my electricity despite not having any unpaid bills? 

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Once you have the meter number, Vattenfall should be able to help you. Did you get a meter reading when you moved in? My daughter’s landlord photographed the meter and added it to the tenancy agreement. Sometimes the meter is in a locked room and as already mentioned, the Hausmeister can give you access, the landlady too. If no bills have been addressed to you then I’d think it highly unlikely that your supply will be cut off. Have you kept the bills your landlady charged you extra for? Do they state that electricity is included?

 

If Vattenfall won’t help if you can’t get the meter number soon, try to at least ask them if there is an account in your name at your address. If so, ask them for copies. 

 

I don’t know much about renting though have often seen here on TT that joining a Mietverein is best to help with any difficult issues. 

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Isn't the meter number given on the electricity bill? Unless you have agreed on a flatrate you're entitled to see the bill.

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32 minutes ago, jeba said:

Isn't the meter number given on the electricity bill? Unless you have agreed on a flatrate you're entitled to see the bill.

If I understood correctly, the OP hasn’t had any bills directly addressed to him from Vattenfall. Only bills from the landlady for additional Nebenkosten.

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The problem might be that the OP is expecting the electricity costs to be covered in the Nebenkosten but they might be billed separately by Vattenfall. I pay Nebenkosten for water, heating etc. but have to pay my electricity separately, directly to the provider. If this is the case and the OP hasn't been receiving bills then the provider might cut them off for defaulting.

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ExPattheDog,

 

Vattenfall has a customer service number in English:  +49 40 180 409097.  Here is the website link:  https://www.vattenfall.de/electricity-supply-germany#:~:text=If%20you%20are%20already%20a%20Vattenfall%20customer%3A&text=You%20may%20use%20your%20contract,care%20team%20at%20040%20180409097.

 

Here is a picture showing the different electric meters and where the meter number (Zaehlernummer) is located:

 

Unterschiedliche Zähler

 

I would give them a call to see if you can get any additional information.  Your meter number is on the front of the meter.

 

S.

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1 hour ago, emkay said:

If I understood correctly, the OP hasn’t had any bills directly addressed to him from Vattenfall. Only bills from the landlady for additional Nebenkosten.

Yes, that's a bit confusing. How can he be sure that he has no unpaid bills unless bills are sent to him? It makes me wonder whether he pays to the landlord, in which case he is entitled to see the bills based on which the landlord is charging him.

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Okay, I have made some progress but am still at risk of electricity shut off

 

I called Vattenfall and signed up for a the proper contract rather than the Grundversorgung. 

 

However, it takes 2-3 weeks. So in the meantime, I am at risk of a power cut.

 

As described, my landlord refuses to give me any information. So while I have told them I will happily pay any amount owed immediately/TODAY and all I need to know is the amount and where to send it to, am I still at risk of a power cut because my landlord wont tell me 

 

Any ideas how to avoid it? 

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Join a Mieterverein.   If your landlord is problematic, once he knows you are a member of a Mieterverein and he receives a letter from them he will start to dance.

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1 hour ago, ExPattheDog said:

I guess one big question I have is... when signed up on Grundversorgung, does the bill go to the landlord or to the tenant?

Did you explain everything to Vattenfall? They should be able to answer this question and if you are at risk of being cut-off. Your landlord sounds very difficult indeed. Joining a Mietverein would help. 

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