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hhvgoetz, Rechtsanwalt, LL.M.
Category: German Law
Satisfied Customers: 2918
Experience:  LL.M. in International Trade Law (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
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Hello, I am a U.S. Government civilian on permanent change

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I am a U.S. Government civilian on permanent change of station orders to Wiesbaden, Germany. We contracted with a German landlord to rent a property a third floor apartment on 22 Bismarckring in Wiesbaden with a scheduled move in date of 2 April. To secure the rent, we provided the landlord the required 2 months "cold rent" and 1 month "warm rent" as deposit. Come the move-in day, we discovered that apartment was not ready, literally, there was ongoing construction (no doors, no toilets, no water and electricity) as the landlord was renovating the entire building. The landlord told us to wait until 15 April to move-in and asked us to sign a revised contract to which the agreed. Come 15 April, the apartment was still not ready (no water, no electricity). The landlord asked us to move in anyway with the promise that he would "rig" water and electricity from the lower floors of the apartment complex. I refused and also cited the ongoing construction in the entire building (even the postman would not deliver because there were no post boxes). The landlord then said to re-write the contract for 1 May. We then decided that it was better for us find something else. We did found another apartment but cannot move-in because the former landlord would not refund our deposit until "he found another renter." We have made several calls to his office to no avail and now find myself living in an expensive hotel until this is resolve. Please advise us on what we can do.



the landlord is trying to fleece you.


You should not accept any further changes of contract. As the current contract is for 15.4. you can recover your expenses of not being able to move in that day and recovering the deposit.

The first thing would be to make clear in written (make sure to be able to proof reception of the landlord) that you do not accept to move into the department as it is and will recover the expenses. Normally you'll have to give the landlord some time to resolve the problems in order to be able to terminate the contract.


Actually it was the worst idea to accept the new contract from April 15 th.


Refer to the prior negotiations and declare that you terminate the contract without further notice (just in case you need to argue later about the termination).



In addition:

The landlord is not entitled to ask for a deposit higher than 3 cold rents!


In any case you can recover part of the deposit even if you would like to continue the contract.


Having seen the conduct of the landlord I strongly recommend to attend a local lawyer at once. You should about the possible worst case costs beforehand. However, it should be possible to recover the lawyer costs from the landlord as well.



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