Disturbances in the Rental Contract

My apartment is cultivating mildew. I spoke to my landlord about it and was monotonously told that it is my fault – “I did not air the apartment as I was supposed to”. I am to fix this at my own expenses. Huh? What he is talking about?

As soon as you utter the word “mildew (Schimmel)” landlords sort of shut off their brains and put all the blame on you. I will try to give you some hints. It is a general obligation of the tenant to thoroughly air the apartment every day. This aims not only to have fresh air inside but also to withdraw moisture out of the apartment. Too much moisture ruins the walls and tapestry of buildings. But not always is mildew a result of neglected airing sometimes it can come from badly insulated walls. Hints for not intact walls are mildew on the outside just beneath the roof, paint or finery splintering off, a green line from the roof to the ground showing where the rain is leaking from the roof. Supposing this will go to court, you will have to prove that the mildew comes from bad maintenance of the house.

Living in house with several families, I just learned that my son was cornered and harassed by our neighbor, a little old lady. She once again complained that we were supposed to hang our clothes up "orderly"! This wasn't the first time – only one of the many. After she finally let him go, he was shaking all over. What can I do about this?

You have the right to complain the police for this harassment. You also have the right to reduce the rent of your apartment. However, first complain to your landlord about this aggravating person and maybe already mention that you are contemplating to reduce the rent. Usually, landlord perk their ears when they hear that a tenant wants to reduce the rent. You will be pinching his soft spot. And when you do, landlords usually leap. Best solution might not be so much the legal one but look for mediation!

Okay, this idea sounds interesting. But won't I be then having two enemies, the neighbor and my landlord?

Actually, you will not have more "enemies" than before. Your landlord has the duty to provide you with an apartment that has no defects. Your landlord is even then liable when he has no fault for the defect. Will you not return a dryer back to the store when it is broken? This also applies for an apartment.

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