Problem landlords and rental deposit returns

690 posts in this topic

 

... she also signed a paper stating :

- that she would give the deposit back at the latest on March 10th (she even chose the date).

 

I don't quite understand why you're asking about amount of time given to return a deposit. Your landlord herself set the date, and as Sarabyrd says, she has been in default since 11 March. Which is in your favour, because you can pass the lawyer's costs directly on to her.

 

 

 

Forget that, have a lawyer do it for you in absentia. Your landlady is in default since 11 March and has to cover the lawyer's costs as damages.

 

 

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I moved over four months ago and still have not gotten my large deposit back from the house I was previously renting. I really could use the money back, but my ex-landlady is not responding to my emails any more.

 

I paid double rent for two months, so my contract was not officially over until the end of April. However, the landlady already had all the keys to the place and was renovating it mid-April, and it had been empty since the end of February. We have had some issues. I asked her, when I gave notice, if I could get out of the contract earlier if I got someone else to rent the place and she agreed, but after I spent some money and a lot of time and effort, over a month after I gave notice, she decided she would prefer to take a Makler, after all, because she didn't feel confident about choosing the next renter herself. We had been friendly until then and I asked, when she got the Makler (who made ZERO effort to quickly find a new renter), if she would be kind enough to let me out of the contract a month early. She refused. I happen to know that she owns another house in the next village over and has been letting people live there rent free for years, because it's a dump. Anyway, I have already been in touch with my legal insurance and even though she agreed to let me out of the contract earlier, and I presented her with interested parties, she doesn't actually have to. So I have to live with that. I also asked the lawyer if I could get half of the rent for April back since I had no more access to the house as of mid-month, and renovations were taking place. Apparently I have no right to that, either (maybe my legal insurance just discourages people from fighting because they want to avoid paying anything?)

 

But that is all beside the point. I am just wondering how long she can mess around before she MUST give me back the deposit? According to the new Makler, whom I contacted when she wouldn't answer me, my ex-landlady is working out the Nebenkosten. She had charged me 100 Euros a month for them, and there is a clause in the contract that each year the actual costs should be calculated (I was in the house 1.5 years and no calculation took place within that time). The Makler made a comment about "If there is anything left at all after the calculations". The deposit is 3600 Euros!!! I damn sure hope she's not intending to keep it all to cover miscalculated Nebenkosten. I just sent her another polite reminder, asking her if she needed help collecting bills, perhaps she hasn't gotten them all from whichever service providers? But I am sure that she will not respond.

 

Okay, one thing I must admit...when she didn't let me out of the contract early, she DID agree to take the last month's rent out of the deposit (I had to get a deposit for the new place together). So the sticking point may be the fact that I asked her, in my first email, to return the deposit minus only HALF of April's rent since she was already renovating during that month. I know I don't have a legal leg to stand on, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask, and I feel it would only be fair. At this point, however, I would be happy to get 2400 Euros back instead of the 3000 I was hoping for. However, I am NOT going to write her and tell her she can keep the extra 600 euros if she just hurries up and gives me some cash.

 

Any advice? Anyone know when I can really start rattling the cage? I already have decided I am going to insist on interest (I'm sure she didn't put the deposit in an account like she is legally obliged to), and I am considering asking her to reimburse be for the money I spent on ads and flyers to get a Nachmieter (possibly even the time I invested?).

 

Thanks in advance...

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You should already know if she put the money in the correct type of accout, as you would have had to sign papers for the bank!

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Right, she didn't.

 

However, a previous landlord didn't have me sign anything, he just gave me copies of the papers showing the money was in an account in my name. So you don't always have to sign something, even with the up-and-up landlords.

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You are absolutely correct...

 

I am wasting my time here..!!

 

SP

 

BTW, If your name was on an account with you as a Signatory... she couldnt spend the money without your signature!

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Hindsight is 20/20. I need advice on what to do now, not what I should have done back then :-(

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It states in the law when living in rental accomadation that a nebenkosten bill has to be done after 12 months.If your landlady has not done this she is breaking the law.You can also pick up some tips on www.mieterbund.de

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I paid double rent for two months, so my contract was not officially over until the end of April. However, the landlady already had all the keys to the place and was renovating it mid-April, and it had been empty since the end of February.

 

 

 

Something I read en passant last week: If your former landlord - immediately after your moving out - begins to renovate the apartment that you have vacated early he is not entitled to rent for the remaining rental period!

 

That answers this question!

 

Lawyer up and get him working on that issue. If she is faced with crediting even half a month's worth of rent to you she will certainly speed up the deposit procedure. Not necessarily with a positive result but she'll see that you mean business.

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It states in the law when living in rental accomadation that a nebenkosten bill has to be done after 12 months.If your landlady has not done this she is breaking the law.You can also pick up some tips on www.mieterbund.de

 

It all depends on how the contract is set up. If it's an all-inclusive contract with one lump sum payment for everything than the law states a yearly nebenkosten bill is not required.

 

If it's not all inclusive, than the owner is still within the law because it's only been over four months since the tenant left. The landlord has 6 months to pursue any damages.

 

German Housing Law in English.

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Food for thought. I shall contact the lawyer at Allianz tomorrow. They seem to want to discourage any legal action, but I´ll see what they say.

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YESSSS! I called the lawyers at Allianz again. When I told the lawyer what her colleague had told me previously, she double-checked with a third colleague, and they both agreed that:

 

1) My ex-landlady's agreement to let me out of the contract early if I found a Nachmieter constitutes an Aufhebungsvertrag, so I should have gotten out of the contract early, even though she changed her mind later

 

2) If I can't prove that she agreed to the above(I need to find the written statement) I should not have to pay rent for the time that I no longer had access to the house and renovations were taking place.

 

3) The deposit was due back to me the day after the handover was done, since no damage was ascertained.

 

4) She owes me interest on the deposit until I get it back.

 

5) Regarding "Nebenkosten", she can only withhold what can be reasonably expected to come out extra, which is nowhere near 3600 euros. And she has had plenty of time to work out the bills.

 

6) I am going to send her a registered letter giving her a time limit of 14 days to pay me back the deposit in full with interest.

 

7) If she does not pay, she will be "In Verzug" and I can expect more money from her. If she doesn't pay within the limit I set, I will go to a lawyer. With my insurance, I have to pay 150 euros out of my own pocket and Allianz would cover the rest.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

I moved out of a lovely apartment in Heidelberg on 31 July. I took such good care of that place, even cleaning it top to bottom for the new tenant (vacuuming, making the bathroom sparkle, Windexing the glass coffee table) hours before I left. It is now 1 October, I have not received my (very massive) security deposit back, and the landlord has been ignoring my emails. I am no longer in Germany. Is there anything at all I can do? Thanks for any advice!

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It's only been two months since you moved out. It may take longer and also, they may be waiting for the final bill for the utilities before submitting your deposit. Did you leave on good terms? Good relationship with the landlord? What is the tone of your emails? I know it is exasperating when you don't get a response, but there could be different reasons. Can you send a letter, return receipt...maybe through a company that requires a signature? Patience is a virtue that can be difficult if you are counting on this sum, but you don't want to come off badly...the landlord will be less likely to answer emails and move any quicker than he/she needs to.

 

Kris

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Kris17's information is only partially correct. The landlord is not entitled to keep your entire deposit to cover outstanding differences in the utilities bills, but rather only the expected excess amount.

 

There's a lot of good advice in the the thread I merged yours with - I suggest you read it. Your being back in the States makes things more complicated, of course, but you can always equip someone with a (limited) power of attorney to represent your interests here. Do you have any friends - preferably in or near Heidelberg and preferably fluent in German, to eliminate any potential language barriers (or landlord claims of same) - who can assist you on this side?

 

IMHO he'll find it much more difficult to ignore a local person than someone who is an ocean away.

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Hello everybody,

It's been six months today since I have vacated my previous apartment, handed over the keys and my landlord signed the "Übergabeprotokoll" stating that everything is good and he will return the whole security deposit within 3 months. After 3 months, I have contacted the real estate agent that found this apartment for me and she talked with the landlord and told me that 1. everything is fine and he will return the deposit 2. according to some new law he now has 3 additional months.

So I waited another 3 months and nothing has happened. I haven't been contacted by my landlord regarding re-calculation of Nebenkosten and today when I called him he refused to speak English (even though he is fluent) and I couldn't understand anything he was saying...

I really do not know what to do next. I am a member at Mieterverein, but I don't know if I should already ask for their help or maybe give him some extra time... He seemed like a reasonable person and was always very friendly.

Is it normal for landlords to delay the Kaution refunds?

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How to apply for a court order

 

State explicitly that you want 90% of the deposit plus interest on the 90%, leaving 10% for any claims the landlord might have from the annual operational costs calculation (Betriebskostenabrechnung). Even if he doesn't want to understand English he'll get legaleeze.

 

He does have 12 months counting from the end of the year that you moved out to present the calculation but cannot keep the complete deposit unless he has strong reasons to assume that his claim will equal or exceed the total amount.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Please have all legal advice you receive here verified by a legal professional.

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Thanks sarabyrd!

I will prepare it as soon as possible. I have just 3 months until I am leaving Germany permanently and I would like to get my money before that...

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After a call from the Mietverein my landlord finally refunded the Kaution - only 300 out of 1000euros... I hope he will send me the "Nebenkostenabrechnung", because I am having hard time believing that he needed additional 700euros for the 16 months I have been living there.

During the rental I have been paying monthly 80euros for Nebenkosten, which was supposed to cover cold water (heated by electricity that I paid directly) and lights on the corridor.

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