The landlord is not amused

‘Why couldn’t you have come and talked to me before you started legal proceedings?’ Verena’s landlord asked. She thinks she’d have come off second best. However, she made an appointment to see him.

Remember how worried I was about whether our landlord knew that we had begun legal action? I can now reveal that he was aware of it and, to put it mildly, not amused. The day came when he and the people responsible for the energy certificate inspected our apartment. I wasn’t there, but my boyfriend held the fort and told me immediately how it had gone.

We have never seen a bill

During the inspection the conversation touched upon our very up-to-date heating system and all our windows’ double glazing. The woman from the inspection department remarked that these energy-saving measures should guarantee us low gas and electricity bills, and so unknowingly hit the nail on the head.

As you may recall, we have never seen a bill since we moved in about four years ago, so it might be that the costs are low but we don’t really know. My boyfriend made that point, but then the landlord started to defend himself.

Since our gas meter is in another apartment on the ground floor, it’s always very hard to read it. Of course it might be difficult to read it when our downstairs neighbours are not in, but you can’t tell me that you just pay the gas company willy-nilly.

He is very unhappy

After the inspection the landlord stayed for a couple more minutes to discuss our situation. He said he was very unhappy that we had started legal proceedings out of the blue and suggested that we could have just approached him to sort things out. He even said that he would have reduced the rent if we had asked. Oh and by the way: the rent reduction Denise estimated is of course way too large and unsubstantiated.

I cannot help but mistrust all these claims. Yes, we might have tried to talk to him before we started legal action, but at the same time I feel that if we had tried, we would have come off second best. Of course, he wants to be at an advantage, as do we, so I think it is best to have a third party to rule on both parties’ claims.

A new appointment

In the end, we agreed a new appointment with the landlord when he can measure the apartment again and also calculate a rent reduction. I’m very curious what it will be and how much it will differ from Denise’s proposal. It would be great if we could meet somewhere in the middle and save us a long procedure with the rent assessment committee. Honestly, though, I’m not really convinced we will receive a rent reduction until I have seen it in black and white.