Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Achtung: Zweitwohnagentur!

I am posting this to help others avoid making the same mistake we did and that is to choose the apartment agency Zweitwohnagentur. In case you don't know this, but if you are searching for an apartment in Germany you must go through an agency. They do not have free listings available as they do in America using Craigslist. Additionally, you must pay this agency a pretty hefty commission depending on how long your lease terms are. For example, if you are renting or signing an apartment lease for six months or longer then you must pay a full month's rent in commission. This posting is not meant to say one place is better than the other, or the USA vs. Germany because believe me I can rant and rave all day about the bad things in America and the worst thing about the US is Bush and his administration's foreign policy. I simply want any one doing an internet search for apartment leasing, apartment renting, apartments in Duesseldorf, apartments in Dusseldorf, apartments in Germany, furnished apartments in Germany, furnished apartments in Duesseldorf, Wohnung, etc to come across my posting about how horrible, unprofessional, uncaring and down-right deceitful this agency has been. I will post the story shortly..I had an unexpected interruption.....stay tuned.
UPDATE: I was obviously very upset when I wrote this posting. The main problem is that the photos we were emailed from Germany to San Francisco were for a different apartment than the one we are now in. The bathroom and the kitchen in our current apartment is so small and we would have never selected this apartment had we seen the correct photos. The agency claims the mistake was not on their part, but from the property manager. Either way, they should have confirmed we were looking at the correct photos for the apartment we were selecting--that's why we paid them a large commission. However, I guess there are alternatives to using a rental agency as the others have informed me via the comments in this posting. I guess one has to learn the hard way. The only positive thing is that the current apartment is so convenient to M's work, he can walk to work in 15 minutes, and it is so close to the main train station so we can get anywhere in town quickly and easily on numerous underground lines and street cars. Additionally, I can walk to my German class in 20 minutes. I am definitely walking a lot more here in Germany and the excess weight I was caring around is falling off quickly which for me is a major advantage. Finally, I met the lady from the agency today at another apartment that is available immediately. We can accept that apartment and move out of the current apartment with no problem. So I think we have a solution now, but I will have to discuss this with M (my partner or "Lebenspartner") first. More updates on our living situation as it develops....Bis spater...

10 Comments:

Blogger Queerbeet said...

Here you can find apartments for rent even from private people:
http://www.immobilienscout24.de/

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Angel said...

You don't necessarily have to go through an agency. Just look through your local newspaper and you'll find a lot of private offers. This is a lot more time-consuming, but is certainly cheaper. You just have to decide whether you'd rather spend money or time ...

10:15 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

I'd have seen 'em in hell before I used an agency to rent my current apartment. I just looked up the websites for the big rental companies in Magdeburg and searched for a 3 room apartment in old town and came up with what we have. It was coincidence that it's from the same rental company we already had but it didn't have to be.

I don't know anyone who uses an agent to find an apartment. Maybe in a place like München where apartment are at a premium but there are other alternatives other than using an agent.

Sorry this agency was crappy to you.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Nyana said...

Hey James,

I just started reading your website. Welcome to Germany. I've been travelling around the world and lived in (counting) 9 different countries by now!

All of your comments so far sound very typical, and typically North American! They make it so easy for you folk up there that if, god bless, you leave the good old states, survival intelligence is rendered useless!

Well, you will learn a lot about yourself the next little while! Keep writing.

1:17 AM  
Blogger christina said...

Ooh, bad luck on that one, James. I guess there are "Betrüger" everywhere. But now that you've heard from others that you can rent from private parties maybe you'll have an easier time finding something.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

Wow!! I can't wait to here the rest of this one! My wife and I are just now beginning to look for a place to move to in june. Please keep me informed of any tips and or tricks you come across in you search.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Add me to the waiting list. Sorry you had a bad experience. I didn't know rental agencies existed until after we'd already rented two places. Go figure.

I do know if you rent from private owners you may experience (and that "may" is emphasized strongly) some foreign prejudices. One of my favorites being, when inquiring per telephone the answering party hears your foreign accent and hangs up on you. Too fun.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

too bad, james! craiglist is one of the plusses to the usa. can't wait to hear your story!

12:03 AM  
Blogger Sparky said...

Craigslist is out here in select cities, too! Frankfurt among them...

Also, you can go to "answering services" like iq.lycos.de and try your luck with a question...

7:43 PM  
Blogger James said...

Need to clarify: of course unfurnished apartments can be rented without having to use an agency and by going through private landlords directky; however, we are renting furnished places since we are not staying forever, and it seems that the vast majority of furnished apartments is rented through agencies....

7:33 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home