Monday, January 20, 2020

A Shaggy Dog Story--And a Cautionary Tale!

I moved to N├╝rnberg for the summer. I rented a newly-remodeled apartment in the Old Town, the historic district, in March so I would be sure of an interesting, good, place to live. However....that is not what happened.

May 29th
On my way to the place Patrick sent me a text telling me that the apartment had been water damaged but that I could go to a bigger, nicer place, closer to the center of town, and sent me the address. I texted back OK and sent the new address to the movers.

It was not "nicer." It was one extra floor up, old, dirty, did not have the promised wash machine, and had no parking. Also, he did not meet me there as he had promised. I opened the key box and was very disappointed--even the hallways were filthy! When the movers came, two women, the 4th floor was almost too much! (Patrick had offered to come and help unload--he didn't.)

May 30th
The next day I tried to figure out parking and realized I needed a resident's permit or face being fined/towed--another thing that was different. When I returned from the office, a young lady was standing outside the building looking at the key box.

It turns out that she manages the apartments for Patrick's FATHER. Patrick, the person who listed the apartment online, OWNS NOTHING! He uses the pictures of the newly-remodeled flat on Air BnB to scam people, putting bogus availability dates! Furthermore, the flat where I was was booked all summer long with various groups. The young lady let me know that Patrick is a trouble maker and this isn't the first time he'd done something like that! She promised to go to her boss, Herr Lederer, and ask him what to do.

May 31-June 1
Meanwhile, I'd arrived a week before my work started to prepare so I continued to unpack and prepare to teach my university classes. She returned a couple of days later with the "perfect" solution. I was to move to another place, not far from the city center. I asked to see it.

Another dirty apartment building! Too far away from the city center to walk, the whole point of my first rental. It seems Herr Lederer is a slum lord. The "laundry room" in the basement was filthy with broken machines. It was clear that the apartment, full of spiders, was being kitted out with bed, new linens, apartment-sized refrig., TV, and furniture from IKEA. I told the young woman I would go there temporarily but I couldn't stay there! She was at her wit's end. I also said that Herr Lederer needed to move me there.

June 2-9th
Meanwhile, I found a hotel where I could live for my first week of classes, with parking, breakfast, in Old Town. I took what I needed and left. 900+€ later, I moved out and spent the weekend away, visiting my former landlords and celebrating Karl's 80th birthday.

Table for 11, 5 full tables in all!

I had found a serviced apartment (BRERA) just outside the Old city walls but had to pay 1550€ and find my own parking, as it turned out, 700 m. away in a city lot. Herr Lederer sent his people and moved me in on June 12th. He said he was on holiday and promised to repay me yesterday, the day he would be back.  I have twice requested his email so I could send him a PayPal invoice but he has ignored that. Now that the agency is involved--and very concerned, contacting me several times/day, I expect things to happen very quickly!

Climate change?
Germans are highly energy conscious. Also, they, like the Canadians have always said, "Why do we need air conditioning? It's only hot here a few days a year!" That is no longer true. My apartment is not air-conditioned and sits on the sun side of the street, getting hotter and hotter. The managers have brought in a new fan and installed sun-blocking shades. It already feels better in here.

Much, Much later--and much has happened!
It is now 2020, just, and I plan to post some pictures and write a much-needed update to this! Apologies to my readers.