being illegally evicted.

(51 Posts)
startrek90 Fri 03-Jun-16 11:44:37

Background:

We live in Germany. We are fully paid up with rent. Never been late or in arrears (in fact usually pay early). Get on with our neighbors and maintain the property as agreed in the contract. Up until now we thought we were ok with the landlord.

Problem:

Yesterday we received a handwritten letter that the landlord wants us to leave our flat by the end of August. Apparently they want to move in themselves but we have heard from our neighbors that they want to know when we are out so they can show people round angry

As you can imagine we are stunned and are frantically searching for a new place. Our Ds has just started kindergarten and my husband starts a new job in August meaning he will be away mon-Fri. I am also expecting our second baby at the start of September so....not great timing.

Now my aibu: I am starting to pack and sort out now (rather than when I am 9 months pregnant) and we may find somewhere that wants us to move in July. Would we be unreasonable to leave earlier and not redecorate the flat? We had just finished redecorating when they served us notice and I genuinely don't think that they will give us our money back anyway, regardless of what we do. We would leave the place clean and tidy but I just don't see why we should pay more money to restore their cheap wallpaper.

A lawyer has said that what they are doing is illegal but we don't have the money to fight this. Plus we may buy us an extra month tops but then I would be returning from hospital with a newborn and a young child, alone and then having to deal with a move and shitty landlords.

I know it will get nasty as the man has already tried to intimidate me.

sooperdooper Fri 03-Jun-16 11:47:54

Why are you redecorating a rented property anyway? If it leaves the decorating half done and you've striped wall paper etc then yabu - do they know you're decorating?

Stormtreader Fri 03-Jun-16 12:27:35

I thought Germany had way more renter protections in place? It always seems to be mentioned when people are talking about how UK people all want to own, and continental people are much happier renting because they are so protected.

Witchend Fri 03-Jun-16 12:30:40

What does your contract say as to notice period? If it's less than a couple of months (what ours was) I don't see what's illegal about it.

charlestonchaplin Fri 03-Jun-16 12:31:24

Well I don't know German landlord/tenant law but I don't think you necessarily need oodles of money to fight an illegal eviction. If you are fluent in German you'd normally start searching for advice on what to do online. There may be organisations that can give advice on the correct procedure but it may be possible to represent yourself as in the U.K.

I think you are doing the right thing by looking for somewhere new, but if the landlord isn't following procedure you should be looking to extract some concessions from him for leaving before the agreed time (when is this?)

If they are trying to get you out illegally they certainly shouldn't be insisting on returning the place to its original state, but I think it ultimately depends on your contract, and in particular, any fixed tenancy period or rules on giving notice.

Roystonv Fri 03-Jun-16 12:37:18

Help will be limited on here 're German law, do you have work colleagues/housing help line you could ask, many more rent there so I am sure there will be a lot of help if you look

uglyswan Fri 03-Jun-16 12:41:38

OP, are you a member of a tenants association (Mieterverein)? If not, please join one now! Most of them will offer you legal counseling as soon as you join, but they will not cover lawyers fees for a pre-existing conflict. But they can tell you whether you stand a chance of proving that your landlord does not require the property for his own (or family use) and recommend a lawyer. If you can't afford a lawyer, you will be eligible for legal aid (Prozesskostenhilfe).

Re decorating: this should be covered by your contract. If you'd like to copy and paste the relevant passage, I can let you know if it's legal. PM me if you'd rather...

startrek90 Fri 03-Jun-16 12:42:46

sooper yes we had permission. In fact they encouraged us too as we were expecting to be here long term. The decorating is finished. We had no skirting boards, peeling mismatched wallpaper etc when we moved in.

Charleston we are to leave by end of August. The landlord will not speak to us at all or answer emails.

witchend our contract was for 5 years, we have been here 10 months. If they want to break contract they MUST go to court with proof of why etc... Instead they have sent an handwritten letter with 3 sentences telling us to leave by August. Our lawyer and the local housing authority have both said it is illegal and if we went to court the eviction would not be upheld. However that would leave us open to abuse if we fought it. We also do not have money to fight it AND pay for a deposit on a new place etc...

uglyswan Fri 03-Jun-16 12:46:45

Just read your update. legal aid

startrek90 Fri 03-Jun-16 12:47:38

My German is good but not good enough to represent myself.

My big worry is that we fight it and the landlords become threatening. They come every weekend and have grillparties in our garden and are not afraid of intimidating me and the other woman who lives here. The man only usually does it when our respective husbands are not here angry

Turns out these people have form for doing this. They are listed on a website as landlords to avoid (wish we knew that before).

uglyswan Fri 03-Jun-16 12:52:25

Does the landlord live in the building? Because if not, he definitely cannot enter your garden without permission. Seriously, you and your neighbour really must contact your local Mieterverein today. I'd be happy to help you find it if you'd like to let me know where you are. And no, you don't have to represent yourself.

startrek90 Fri 03-Jun-16 12:52:37

uglyswan can they show people round our flat when we are not there? Apparently they called the upstairs neighbors and asked her to let them know when we go out etc... (we are really friendly) the neighbor said that they have been showing people around the building and garden etc... I am worried he shows up at my door and demand I let him in. I don't know if I am allowed to refuse. I realm don't want to inflame the situation.

DontDead0penlnside Fri 03-Jun-16 12:54:46

I know Deustche Post are pretty good, but funny how some letters still get lost in the post, eh?

(aka bin it, claim never received and carry on?)

Meanwhile, have a look at www.toytowngermany.com/ Maybe some help available there?

startrek90 Fri 03-Jun-16 12:56:41

No they live in the next village. They drive down here and their whole family comes. They usually arrive in the morning and don't leave until late at night. They got very put out when our neighbors held a birthday party and they couldn't use it.

It's in our contract that we can decorate, though the lawyer said there is two conflicting clauses in it. One says leave it clean and as you got it, the other says you can decorate and leave the property decorated. How do I find a mieterverin? We live in Saarland

uglyswan Fri 03-Jun-16 12:57:37

No, they cannot. They have to arrange a viewing with you, the tenant, with at least 24 hours notice. Entering your flat without permission is illegal.

charlestonchaplin Fri 03-Jun-16 12:58:35

First of all, they don't need to know that you are not prepared to go to court. In fact you must not let them know this.

Just because they tell you to get out doesn't mean you should. Don't be cowed. Yes, look for somewhere new, but tell them that as they want you to leave early you must come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

At a minimum you should have enough time to find somewhere else without running yourselves ragged. You may also wish to push for money for moving costs and decorating costs, all entirely reasonable in the circumstances.

I would be calm and just let them understand that if they want you out without going to court then they need to make it worth your while and that you know your rights.

If the landlord will not communicate with you, send them letters, recorded delivery if possible telling them what you will be doing/want. I am sure if they get threatening the police will help.

Why do you think they want you out even though you are paying on time?

uglyswan Fri 03-Jun-16 13:00:28

Christ, that's all ridiculously illegal. Try this: www.mieterbund-sb.de/service-infos/regionale-links.html

turinbrakesarefab Fri 03-Jun-16 13:01:36

Hi Startrek.
This sort of intimidation is not uncommon given how strong German rental laws are geared towards the renter. Your first port of call should be to join your local Mieterverein (small fee). They will help you with the language barrier and advise you through the process. I think it is very unlikely the landlord would ever take this to court as he know he will lose (and you are pregnant, that is further protected).
I understand the fear of being threatened in your own home. Every incident should be logged with the police.
Finally, of course he is not allowed to enter your flat without prior notice. In fact, you are within your rights to change the locks!

startrek90 Fri 03-Jun-16 13:03:10

Because they want more money. As our contract is fixed they can't raise the rent. Apparently they do this all the time, usually when a better prospect comes up. Also you can see why as we have made it a lot nicer. When we finished the work we showed them round (they were curious) and they really liked it. However we refused to redo the tiling in the kitchen/hall as it was too expensive at the moment. It was all cracked when we moved in (we took photos and it was acknowledged when we moved in!)

turinbrakesarefab Fri 03-Jun-16 13:03:32

www.mieterhilfe-verein.de/?gclid=CIi3-YXoi80CFRSeGwodaaUPxw

uglyswan Fri 03-Jun-16 13:04:19

Here are the local Mietervereine: mietrecht-saar.de/ortsvereine.php

runningincircles12 Fri 03-Jun-16 13:08:33

This is ridiculous. Don't give in to these illegal threats and demands. If you have a 5 year contract, you have a 5 year contract. I am betting it would be illegal for the landlord to show people round in your absence. It would be in this country- you have the right to quiet enjoyment and unless you or the landlord have legitimately served notice and the tenancy is coming to an end, the landlord cannot start showing people round when you are out.
Your landlords sound like complete weirdos. Was this out of the blue or was there an argument or something?
Stick to your guns. Follow the advice of those on here who know about the German system. You have been told it's illegal- don't bend over and take it. If you want to move, you could use your legal position as leverage (e.g. OK, I will move but you pay compensation for illegally ending my tenancy- that sort of thing). If it went to court, he might have to pay you compensation anyway for breaching his contract with you.

Agh- I am getting soooo pissed off on your behalf!!

startrek90 Fri 03-Jun-16 13:09:25

We are seeing someone this afternoon. Is ot best to contact the landlords ourselves?

My h wants us to go as he doesn't want to leave me alone during the week with a toddler and newborn and dealing with an aggressive landlord. Would we be unreasonable (if we like this new flat) to move earlier or would we be liable for the rent until August? Tbh I don't think we will get our deposits back regardless.

We have never had this before. Our last landlords were wonderful it really does seem to be unusual. Germany has very strong rental protections. Hence why I think these people are doing it like this.

startrek90 Fri 03-Jun-16 13:12:50

If I wasn't so pregnant I would fight it but I really can't. I have ante natal depression and complications... I just feel so vulnerable.

I am veering between upset, practicality and being pissed off. They are in the garden now.... It makes me nervous.

turinbrakesarefab Fri 03-Jun-16 13:12:53

Honestly, I would not budge for the time being. If you move out based on a hand-written note the landlord will probably argue that you are in breach of contract and withhold deposits and who knows what.
I would not react to the note and refer him to your lawyer if prompted. I would change the locks pronto and take advice from the local Mieterverein. They probably know him!

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