Big Daddy Kane asked this question 5 years, 7 months ago:

Interesting News from Sponsor

So I just got some interesting news from my sponsor...

She informed me that due to an abundance of on base housing, there isn't a wait list right now and housing will offer you what the military feels is adequate living quarters. You will then have 24hrs to decide to take it or live off base. If you decide against what was offered, TLA ends immediately, as per the JFTR.

This obviously doesn't give much time to look for housing! I guess it's good that this will be my 2nd tour in the KMC, so there are family/friends in the area willing to help out while I'm inprocessing. I'm guessing they offer you the house as soon as you report to the housing office, I can't imagine they do it during the RIP line, but I could very well be wrong!

So I guess what I'm looking for is some info on what's still around. 10 years ago, all base housing was stairwell, and by the time I left, they had demolished most of them for the 2-4 unit homes with garages and small yards. Satellite images show the new Kapaun entrance and the old Vogelweh BX gone, so I imagine they're somewhat current, and they show a few stairwell units on Vogelweh and Landstuhl with cars parked outside as well as some on Ramstein (but when I was on my way out, those were designated for TLF). If that's true, my hunch is they're the vacant units that housing is trying to fill. Did they plan on demolishing them and move everyone out only to have the budget bite them in the butt, then reopen them? That would seem like a likely scenario in my head to just all of a sudden have a ton of units on base.

I've read the related posts here and here, which pointed me to the housing site with the wait list just saying "Please contact the housing office for the wait list" and shows Vogelweh having a 0-2 month wait for 2-3 bedroom units for JNCOs (maybe I made MSgt this year? fat chance!).

I guess I'm hoping that since I'm coming during PCS season, the base housing fills up and a waiting list is reestablished. Anyone currently there have some insight into this?

--------------------------

On a somewhat related note, has anyone heard of the German government changing who pays the finder's fee for rental units? Apparently there is a law being sent through parliament that shifts the fee from the tenant to the landlord set to be passed by "spring 2015" (which is obviously very close).

New 2015 German Laws

This one is the only somewhat legit English source I can find about it, and it appears some other things check out, such as the new minimum wage law (which I've read the employers are skirting as much as possible by offering junk like free vouchers or charging employees usage fees, etc.) and the law about how Germans can keep their license plates when they move. I haven't read anything about the others, though.

Poor Google Translation of some Realtor site

This one mentions that the law was partially passed, but still goes up on the 27th for final approval:

Ordering principle: When will the broker's commission is paid by the landlord?
The law is NOT yet effective:
The coalition committee of the CDU, CSU and SPD have agreed on 24.02.2015 on the introduction of the Purchaser principle in the procurement of housing. The Law on Tenancy amendment (MietNovG) was passed by the Bundestag on 03/05/2015.
The presentation of the law to the Federal Council is scheduled for 27/03/2015. However, the Federal Council must approve that law only because there is not require approval. If the law is promulgated in March in the Federal Gazette, it might already for 1.5. or 1.6.2015 apply.


My wife translated it just now for me and said if signed into law, it will take effect between 1 May - 1 June. It should also be less of a burden to the landlords since it's tax deductible for them. It also mentions that this will cause two things: driving up the rent or causing leases to become more popular so that the landlord gets the money one way or another (AND deducts it from their taxes), and forces under-performing realtors to close up since they actually have to work now for their money.

Reddit - Sublet contract

A post on here thinks the new law will get tied up in the courts.

If this does pass, it will be awesome in the long run, but I can see it sucking right away. I can see the landlords refusing to pay the ridiculous fees charged by realtors (my last house had a 1000 euro finder's fee, and now homes in my OHA rate are looking like 2000-2500 euros!), so a lot of houses will have jacked up rent or won't get listed unless the owner is or knows someone who is tech savvy and puts it on something immobilienscout themselves (or I can see firms popping up that charge small fees to do this, but have nothing to do with the actual transaction). The good thing will be a lot more sources of homes for us to choose that don't charge a finder's fee.

Between immobilienscout24, homes.mil, and AHRN, there's tons of choices as long as they actually get deleted when they get rented.

Anyway, sorry for the long first post... I've been scouring the web and was ecstatic when I read the new finder's fee law, but disappointed when I read bureaucracy may hold it up, then found out from my sponsor that base housing is empty and they're essentially trying to force people on base, causing us to pay out of pocket for TLA if we don't find a decent home right away. There's plenty of rental units, it will just be a pain to find a good one in the short amount of time. I guess if we find one technically acceptable, we'll have to take it!

-------------------------

tl;dr:

  • Apparently housing offers up a house during inprocessing and gives 24hrs for a decision, if you don't want it, TLA ends immediately. So I'm curious about what units are sitting empty on Vogelweh with it's 0-2 month average wait for a 2-3 bedroom unit.

  • Maklerprovision laws that shift the fee from the tenant to the landlord are just about fully passed through parliament, but may get held up in courts. Good for us when/if they finally do pass it.



5 years, 7 months ago

Big Daddy Kane -

Unless someone gets to it before me, I will answer some of your questions in the morning. It's nearly 20:15, here, and my wife wants me to shut down the computer and watch some TV with her... I guess I am in for an evening of "The Voice."

My guess is that Bergman will beat me to this... He's usually fast and is always thorough.

5 years, 7 months ago

No worries, I'm still about 90 days out and plan on living off base (even if it means I have to take something that isn't perfect). However, other people on their way now might appreciate this info so they can plan accordingly.

5 years, 7 months ago

I can't speak for on base housing because
A. I never lived on base (and am very happy about this)
and
B. I have no idea what the lack of wait time is about, or what is available

I am sure that someone else on this site will be able to help with your question.

Regarding the new law, it is a b.s. law. It simply says that the landlord has to pay the Realtor the fee. But, it also says that the landlord can pass the fee on to the tenant. In other words, all that changes is who you pay the fee, to. I highly doubt that any landlord will eat the fee.

But beginning in the spring of 2015, if a German landlord engages a broker, the landlord has to pay the commission – not the tenant. In other words, the person who hires the agent pays the fee. Logical. But, just when you think the Germans have finally come to their senses in this area – no, they add a special new twist. Under the new law the landlord can recover the cost of the fee either by including it in the rent or by drawing up a contract with the renter for a minimum period of time that makes paying the fee worthwhile for the landlord. Either way, for all practical purposes, the renter still ends up paying the broker fee!

5 years, 7 months ago

Go to Bookoo/ramstein.com , there is lots of houses for rent with pictures and no fee. Prices are dropping also.

5 years, 7 months ago

Also, check out this Facebook group.

Tell Lylinda that Sam sent ya, please.

5 years, 7 months ago

We had a new SFC come in two weeks ago. She just signed a lease off post. She was told there is no waiting for E6's/below and CPTs. Seems everyone else still has the option for whatever reason.

The realtor fee. It has not changed yet. We won't know more until the end of the month. If it does pass then the fee is paid by the individual who hires the realtor. This could be you asking a realtor to find you a place or an owner asking a realtor to find you. So in theory you go see a realtor and an owner goes to the same one. Both of you have hired the realtor. Guess what happens next? The realtor charges both of you and doubles up on commission. At least you have the option of not hiring a realtor and looking yourself. The problem though is that there might be a change in leases to make people stay in a place for an extended period of time like in the US where leases are generally a year before they go to month-to-month where the rent then goes up. Or even leases that are higher for month-to-month versus yearly leases. Either way the fear is that rents will increase due to the owners having higher costs and in the end, just like in the US, the renter/buyer ends of paying commission whether they realize it or not – it's just better hidden.

5 years, 7 months ago

Quote by JOFTAA:
I can't speak for on base housing because
A. I never lived on base (and am very happy about this)
and
B. I have no idea what the lack of wait time is about, or what is available

I am sure that someone else on this site will be able to help with your question.

Yeah, I have zero intention of living on base... even with the 1-4 unit homes, there's still too many restrictions for me. Such as TKS being my only internet solution, for example. I hated them so bad in the dorms because they were charging me 110 Euros/month for 3Mbps/512Kbps cable internet... Numerous stateside speed tests showed me getting a steady 256Kbps. Complaints led nowhere since the technicians came out and checked on wieistmeineip... which of course showed 3000Kbps consistently. Once I moved off base and got my 50 Euro/month T-Online DSL 6000 (they told me up front that I'd only get 4250Kbps due to the distance to the node or whatever), I never got below 2500Kbps back to the states. Also we plan on having both AFN and German FTA (possibly Sky) satellite TV... obviously I'll need to contact a firm since I'll need one of those multi LNB dishes like this since they're all on different satellites:

Wikipedia


Quote by Z-eater:
Go to Bookoo/ramstein.com , there is lots of houses for rent with pictures and no fee. Prices are dropping also.

Yeah, I've been scouring these (plus homes.mil) for the no-fee houses. I haven't seen them being cheap, though... Most of the houses I've come across on RYS are way above my OHA (they seem to be priced for higher ranking dual mil or civilians), but I've seen a few good ones every now and then in Rodenbach or Hohenecken. Most of the Homes.mil homes aren't very nice or are pretty far out, which is bad for Kapaun, but good for Sembach/KDP/Miesau/Baumholder! Maybe I was spoiled from the very nice brand new home we lived in last time that was well within my OHA, but of course I did pay a realtor 1000 Euros for luxury of her giving me the landlord's contact information (wouldn't even show me the house).

Quote by JOFTAA:
Also, check out this Facebook group.

Tell Lylinda that Sam sent ya, please.

I was unaware of this group and just joined it... Thanks!

Quote by Bergman:
We had a new SFC come in two weeks ago. She just signed a lease off post. She was told there is no waiting for E6's/below and CPTs. Seems everyone else still has the option for whatever reason.

I believe it is because housing treats all "Junior Enlisted" the same, whether they're an NCO or Amn/Pvt, which kind of sucks. So an E6 up around 17 years TIS would get put in an "authorized" unit, just like their neighbor who is an E1 fresh out of basic. :nono: As far as I know, the junior enlisted housing are the stairwell units, which someone not on this forum told me are still occupied. I didn't know a single person who was offered one of the 1-4 unit homes/townhomes before I left in late '09. Those were reserved for SNCOs and above, and I'm assuming it's the same now unless those stairwell units fill up. That combined with the closure of the BX/Powerzone on Vogelweh, I've heard it's gone downhill there since I left. I think there's more than just a coincidence that the zero wait units are all on Vogelweh.

As for the CGOs, I would venture a guess to say they bypass the stairwell units, and there are at least a few empty 1-4 unit homes available on Vogelweh. Same deal with FGOs authorized a 4 bedroom on Ramstein.

Of course, I'll mention again that it's just my assumptions. I could be way off base (pun intended) on this though!

Quote by Bergman:
If it does pass then the fee is paid by the individual who hires the realtor. This could be you asking a realtor to find you a place or an owner asking a realtor to find you. So in theory you go see a realtor and an owner goes to the same one. Both of you have hired the realtor. Guess what happens next? The realtor charges both of you and doubles up on commission. At least you have the option of not hiring a realtor and looking yourself.

I didn't really think about this... I've been reading on how hard the employers have been trying to skirt the minimum wage law, so I can just imagine how realtors could try and double dip. I guess being informed about the law is the best bet, so I could tell them I won't pay the finder's fee when getting ready to sign the lease. If they want to back down at that point, it's up to them since they just wasted a bunch of time showing the property.

Quote by JOFTAA:
Regarding the new law, it is a b.s. law. It simply says that the landlord has to pay the Realtor the fee. But, it also says that the landlord can pass the fee on to the tenant. In other words, all that changes is who you pay the fee, to. I highly doubt that any landlord will eat the fee.

Quote by Bergman:
The problem though is that there might be a change in leases to make people stay in a place for an extended period of time like in the US where leases are generally a year before they go to month-to-month where the rent then goes up. Or even leases that are higher for month-to-month versus yearly leases. Either way the fear is that rents will increase due to the owners having higher costs and in the end, just like in the US, the renter/buyer ends of paying commission whether they realize it or not – it's just better hidden.

I have read a lot about this. Even though the finder's fee is a tax deductible expense for the landlord, I can easily see them trying to double dip on it as well by passing the costs directly to the new tenant by either having a lease agreement to make sure I don't move out in two months when I find a nicer place, or just jacking up the rent, but that will make it harder to rent since Germans wouldn't be able to afford it anymore.

Who knows? From what I'm hearing about others who just got there or are on their way, houses are plentiful enough that I can at least find something adequate. If I find the one that meets all my needs later, I could always move... unless I'm tied up in a lease!

Would you like to contribute? Add your reply to this topic