Problem landlords and rental deposit returns

657 posts in this topic

 

We received an email stating that there would be bills for the apartment and those where not due until June 2015 and until then we would not get back any of our deposit.

He is talking through the wrong orifice. Gosh, I still feel like a parrot: A landlord cannot retain the complete deposit if claims whose exact amount is not known are not expected to reach or exceed its amount.

 

 

Sofern nach der Kündigung des Mietverhältnisses die Nebenkostenabrechnung noch aussteht, darf der Vermieter einen Teil der Kaution bis zum Ablauf der Abrechnungsfrist einbehalten, sofern mit einer Nachforderung zu rechnen ist. Die Kaution sichert nämlich auch noch nicht fällige Ansprüche aus dem Mietverhältnis und dessen Abwicklung. Damit sind auch eventuelle Nachforderungen aus einer Nebenkostenabrechnung erfasst, die erst nach dem Ende des Mietverhältnisses fällig werden (BGH ZMR 2006, 431). Im Streitfall ist der Betrag zu schätzen.

Here's a template for demanding 75% of the deposit back or having the landlord provide a reasonable and substantiated estimate of the claims reaching or exceeding the deposit plus interest. Send it certified with a return receipt, don't mess around with emails anymore.

 

 

Sehr geehrter Landlord,

 

wir hatten bei Einzug eine Kaution in Höhe von €x.xx geleistet, die abzüglich gerechtfertigter Forderungen bei Beendigung des Mietverhältnisses nebst Zinsen zur Auszahlung fällig ist. Der Einbehalt des gesamten Betrages wegen etwaiger Teilforderungen ist nicht gestattet.

 

Wir fordern Sie auf, einen Betrag von (75% of the deposit) bis (date) auf das Konto (bank details) zur Auszahlung zu bringen; alternativ wollen Sie bis zum gleichen Datum eine realistische und begründete Schätzung über die zu erwartenden Forderungen, die den gesamten Kautionsbetrag nebst Zinsen erreichen oder übersteigen, vorlegen.

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

 

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Is it fair to assume that the Kaution is money you just kiss goodbye if you've been living somewhere for more than a year or two?

 

We moved last summer after my husband had been in a flat for 4 years (I was only there the last year and a half). In that time, the Immobilien changed - word to the wise, avoid Patrizia Immobilien (oh yes, they are notorious...). Things would break in the building and never get fixed, our moderately priced flat went up 150 euros / month the day we moved... ETC ETC. Worst of all, they took the entire Kaution - almost 800 euros - to paint and clean a 50m2 flat. Even more laughable because 6 months earlier they had painted most of the flat following some mold issues and paint falling off the (crappily renovated) flat, mold due in large part to the wrong-sized windows having been installed AND uncaulked in two places... Oh, I could go on and on. My husband is about to give up his battle with them after many months- he's been back and forth to the Mieterschutzbund, who basically told him we have options, and sent my husband home with a table of costs and what not. My husband feels defeated and doesn't want to fight anymore... I can't blame him, we have a 5 month old baby at this point, too. The bastards at Patrizia also recently sent us a bill for other Nebenkosten to be paid as well - nearly 200 euros - which they claim is what we owe. Hilarious <sarcasm> because in the previous 4 years we never EVER owed anything additional. We always got money back. I'm also starting to think we'll never be rid of these a**holes. It's been a year for chrissakes.

 

So anyways, I've chalked up living in Germany to mean that the Kaution is a sunk cost. Money we will never see again.

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Hello all,

 

I left my apartment in Dusseldorf over 6 months ago, the agent from the landlord checked the apartment when I left and confirmed that everything was all right. The agent told me that it would take up to 6 months to receive the deposit back from the landlord so I waited.

 

I sent to the landlord a letter about three months ago reminding him to do the payment, and now that the six months have passed I sent him another registered letter asking him to pay within 5 working days after the receipt of the letter.

 

He got the letter on Sept 13th but I still got nothing in my account.

 

I'm friend with the previous tenant of the apartment and she managed to get back her money after two years, she had to get to a lawyer who sent him a letter and the landlord paid promptly. (If you charge him then it goes in the records that he's not a good payer).

 

The lawyer wants 120 Eur to send the letter (I think he's been sending such letters to this landlord quite often), I would happily save this money, or charge it on him.

 

What should I do? any clues?

 

thanks,

Giulio

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Thank you that is fantastic, The problem is that I'm not in Germany anymore, as I have returned to UK. Would that be still viable?

 

Thanks a lot,

 

Giulio

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Hello,

 

I have quite a unique problem concerning the return of my deposit and was hoping someone on here could give me advice on which way I should proceed. I moved into a small flat in Cologne in October 2012 and stayed there for about 5 months. During my tenancy, the landlord had left the country for a trip to New Zealand for what he said would be just a few months, but in the meantime I should contact his brother if I had any concerns regarding the apartment. I moved out at the end of February 2013, returned the keys to his brother and had no problems at the time. His brother said that he could not take care of the deposit and that I would have to talk to the landlord. The landlord emailed me in March saying that he would be back in Germany over the summer and take care of the deposit with me then. I emailed him again to check up over the summer of 2013 and he said he would be back in a matter of weeks to take care of the deposit. Since then I have not been able to contact him. I have tried numerous times to email and call both him and his brother and haven't heard anything back. All of the phone numbers I have had are all now disconnected and they won't respond to emails. I have sent him an "official letter" demanding my deposit money back and have even rung the bell a few times at his residence (as listed on our contract) and have not heard or seen anything. I have no idea how to proceed. I am nervous about contacting a lawyer, as a student I cannot afford to lose a large portion of the deposit money do to their fees. I have also considered maybe filing an actual police report, but wanted to get any advice here first if possible.

 

Thanks very much for any advice or support,

 

Tim

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I can help you to fill it out (just maybe not before next Monday as I am busy elsewhere).

 

Thank you, I would really appreciate some help, I've checked out the form and I really didn't understand a thing about it.

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So, here's a to-do. Me and my bf lived in a small 35sqm flat for 7 years. We gave notice in June and moved out a couple of weeks ago and into the new place which is in the same building.

When we gave notice, we didnt hear from the landlord but we didnt think too much of it because in seven years we've only seen him twice. We tried to get him to replace the boiler a couple of years ago but he basically gave us the run-around. He never seemed like a crook or anything, just maybe lazy and obviously didnt want to pay for a new boiler so we gave up after a while. But apart from that (which did get our blood boiling I admit) he was always generally a friendly nice old man.

Anyway. We called him sunday before last to arrange the Übergabe and it seems he has gone somewhat senile. Not only did he have trouble remembering us, he didnt understand what we wanted from him. In the end he couldnt agree on a date because he was 'overwhelmed' (he mentioned some health problems), and though he took our contact details, my bf said he'd call back in a few days.

On Friday we called again. The landlord said, "I havent decided yet whether you can have the flat". Obviously he's confused so my bf tried to explain for what felt like the 10th time that we dont want to rent a flat from him, we ALREADY rented a flat from him and want to give it back. Once again, he didnt really seem to get it. He once again took down our details and said he would call.

Surprise surprise, it is now 1st October and he hasnt called. We will call him again tonight but I dont have high hopes that it will go any different. What on earth do you do in such a situation?? We have returned the flat to a pretty decent state - repainted everything, cleaned everything and recently we had replaced the bathroom sink and tap as well as the kitchen tap and toilet seat - as we really need our deposit back. I'm sorry that he is not in the best of health but at the end of the day, he was our landlord and I'm not about to turn my back on 1000 euros that it took me a year to save up just because he is not in a position to transfer it or even come look at the place. If he wanted to keep it for repairs that would be one thing, but we cant even get him to look at the place! I still need to write to Rheinenergie with the last zählerstand because i dont want to be billed for anything past september. Obviously the landlord will not be getting any more rent as it was gekündigt 3 months ago. I have a receipt of that i sent him a letter and a receipt that he signed for it so he cant try and say he didnt get it. But really, the problem seems to be him not really understanding what we want from him at all rather than trying to argue some problem.

If tonight's phone call doesnt go any better I intend to join the Mieterverein as I dont have a clue as to what else we can do. Has this happened to anybody else? I know he has a wife but I dont know if her health is any better. I have no idea if he has children who can take over the management of his property. I'm clueless as to how to go about it. I dont really want to take the old man to court.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

 

Hi Toytown!

 

I had a look on the forums and can't see anything completely relevant, hope you can help!

 

Basically I've been in a WG for roughly a year now, and I'm due to move out on the 1st of November. We all established the flat together but there was only one main tenant on the lease. She's turned out to be crazy, and has kicked two of the other flatmates out, and I'm the last to leave/get out of the situation.

 

She's some things which I'm unfamiliar and need some advice:

 

1) She increased the rent by 7 euros a month, and asked us to back pay 47 euros to cover the cost of renovation at the 7 year mark. Is this legal? Apparently we as a flat have to cover the cost of renovations at the 7 year point and she is just making sure she has the money to do this?

 

2) Withholding my bond: the last two flatmates that she kicked out haven't received their full bond back, and as I'm about to move out myself, I'm worried she'll do the same to me. What is my legal standing here? What does she have to do if she does hold on to my bond?

 

3) We've been here a year, and the last winter was very mild and our electricity use was a lot less than expected. It's been exactly a year since we started the flat, and we should be able to get a refund as an apartment. How fast does she have to turn it around?

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I don't know the WG setup, but with most rental contracts, the landlord has up to 6 months to play back the "kaution", which I assume is what you mean by "bond". So if you have a formal contract, I can believe the 6 month period may apply. Yes it sounds mad, you would expect this would be done on leaving, but they think about the possibility of unpaid or underpaid utility bills etc. Yes landlords abuse it, but that is how it is. After 6 months, they are in potentially criminal territory if they do not pay back, or prove that you own more than your "kaution". Unfortunately you then need to go to court, and this is why you should be in a mietverein.

 

So you may just have to settle down and wait, but be assertive, and make sure they realise you will go legal if and when needed - this usually does the trick.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

 

hello

 

I vacated a rental house almost 2 months ago. When I left, my German landlord (actually her representative son-in-law) and I signed an Übergabeprotokoll, which states that he/she would return me the 2 month Kaution (€1600) after deducting the cost of refilling the heating oil tank (accounting for my consumption). He said he would make an appointment with the heating oil company soon, and notify me so I can be there to witness the amount of oil filled. That was 7 weeks ago.

 

I've been asking him about the appointment basically every week for the last 4, and he is pretty good at dodging me, using the classic tools like screening my calls. One day I somehow got a hold of him, and he said 2 weeks, and that was up yesterday.

 

So the question is: now that I've had a good taste of the much-hyped German professionalism and uprightness, how can I get my money back? I can keep chasing him, but I'd just be burning my own blood for who knows how long. And I've even mentioned the Nebenkosten that I believe he owes me the actual bills for. But I've read elsewhere on this forum that the landlords have up to an year to submit these bills. Judging by his eagerness to return the Kaution money that he owes me, I am not even thinking about trying to get the actual bills for NK. I'd probably bless him if he just returns the Kaution.

 

I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to go about this.

 

Thanks

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Legally the landlord can keep your Kaution for up to 6 months. If he doesn't return the money by then get a lawyer to write a letter. That is how I did it.

BTW, your landlord is not Germany.

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Thanks Namu. I will bug him a few more times, and then decide whether to wait for 6 months, or just get a letter written.

 

This is not the only negative experience I've had in dealing with German people/organisations. I had such illusions about Germans/Germany before I came here. Now I know better, and therefore have a greater appreciation for North American system. I had a similiar tug of war with 1&1 Internet company. One of the most opaque, irresponsive conpabies I've dealt with. Same with Drivers Office. For conversion of Canadian license to a German one, they kept me waiting under the pretense that the Canadian office hasn't responded to their query about my driving record, and I drove for 1.5 months with an expired Canadian license. Whats worse, they wouldn't respond to my queries, and I was forced to get a native German person to talk on my behalf. What else? Hmmm...oh the German landlords and real estate agents - the worst people when it comes to responding to requests for appointments. They must be too well-off and don't care much for anyone's business. I think the list is already quite long. I am exhausted.

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Hi,

I have the same problem - could anyone advise me what to do? Our landlady signed the hand-over protocot without any objections and then had the lawyer from Rechtschutz sending us a letter saying that we have not maintained the garden well and she will get a company to do it ang get it off the deposit. We called her and arranged a gardener although the previous mieters (germans) did not have to do anything (I have pictures what the garden looked like when we moved in). She wanted all the trees to be cut in 2 meters. When it was done we called her and she said she is not happy about the way it is done and she wants more and something else... My question is - can she legaly keep our deposit although we have the signed protocol? What can I do now?

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I cant offer any help, I am myself struggling with a similiar issue. But I can sure identify with your situation. I wonder which is a better word for this disgusting German practice of Kaution/Nebenkosten/Black Box - "exploitation" or "extortion"...

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Hi Guys,

 

I also have similar question in regards to kaution money return from my landlord.

My landlady asked me to pay small damage in the kitchen table of an apartment.

I am willing to pay because as i am liable and she send me the bill stating that she have to set whole new kitchen

table. I have shown pictures of damage to other kitchen expert and they said it is repairable

and even my liability insurance refuse to pay for new kitchen expert entirely as damage can be repairable.

So,I given contact details to my landlady to contact new kitchen expert and send me cost estimation for the damage repair.

But,now she is not replying to my e-mails or a phone calls.

as i am a student so i cant afford to loose kaution money of 345 euro.

Other kitchen expert had given that cost estimation is not more than 100 euro.

as i am willing to pay for damage but she is not replying ..

Please guys any suggestion will be helpful.

 

Thanks & Regards

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Are you aware of that if her claim is unreasonable your liability insurance will act as legal cost insurance as well? You might want to contact them for that.

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