Getting my German apartment deposit back
September 9, 2011 5:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm having trouble getting my deposit back from a Berlin, Germany, apartment rental agency.

My wife and I rented an apartment in Berlin for five weeks (beginning of June to beginning of July) through a rental agency. We got a great place in a great neighborhood, so we thought the slightly higher rent and agency fee were probably worth it.

Now, though, they are ignoring all my emails regarding our security deposit of EUR 690, and have been since July. They mentioned it once right after we moved out (asked whether we would prefer to have it refunded to our credit card or wire transferred), but since then they have ignored all my emails. I figured maybe they were just on vacation during August, but now that it's well into September with no response, I think it might be time to try something else.

Is there anything else I can do? I imagine legal action will be prohibitively expensive for that amount of money, and difficult at this distance (I'm now back home in the US), and that's probably why they feel able to ignore me. The only other move I see is threatening to publicize their (in)action on the various travel/expat websites. Does anyone have any experience with the Verbraucherzentrale Berlin (which seems to be a Better Business Bureau-type organization), and whether they might help with this sort of thing, at least to shame the agency?
posted by rustcellar to Travel & Transportation around Berlin, Germany (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Email is relatively easy to ignore. Have you called?
posted by jon1270 at 5:31 AM on September 9, 2011

I definitely also recommend calling. I cannot tell you the number of emails I have sent to Berlin rental agencies which have been ignored, only to get prompt, efficient service when I pick up the phone.
posted by guessthis at 5:39 AM on September 9, 2011

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