Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Wohnungssuch has proved Wohnungless so far and it appears my prospects are decreasing by the day.
Every day I check on Immobilienscout there are less offers for my predetermined conditions – namely, price. There are fewer offers within my financial constraints each day.
I knew rents are going up, but it’s depressing to actually witness rents shooting up by the day. Someone must be paying them too, or they wouldn’t keep shooting up.
So today I posted flyers around my ideal Wohnungsort in the hope someone getting rid of their flat will contact me before involving an agent who would invite 80 people all to look at it at the same time.
I started with Norwegerstraße because it has a good view of the Fernsehturm and borders the railtracks, so I’d have a good view and the young lad would too, with all the trains coming and going from Bornholmerstraße. He loves trains.
I went up and down the side streets too, posting the flyers in every doorway I found. Walking back to my bike after I used my first batch of flyers, I noticed some fucker had already ripped down some of them. They obviously offended some petty fuckwit.
I came back with a second bunch and some stronger sticky tape and stuck them up again. I’ll be back Monday with more and I’ll stick them up too. I’ll cover the whole damn city with them if I have to…
Meanwhile, some other fuckwit is trying to con me out of €1,180. Someone posing as Karolina Milaszewsk advertised their apartment on Isländische Straße for rent on Immobilienscout.
I didn’t think it was a con initially because it looked like a dump with old GDR-style furniture. (“Karolina” kindly provided the pictures for this post.) There was a big crack down the wall, and the balcony was crumbling. Usually these fraudsters advertise places with plasma screens and every mod con available.
Anyway, “Karolina” replied in English because her German was bad, said she was out of the country, kept stressing the currency EUR and €, said it was on the second floor when she had advertised third, and that I should contact her for more details if I was still interested.
I smelled the rat that no doubt lived in the place advertised, but was curious for more.
“Karolina” replied again: “Because I am not in Deutschland, I arranged with IAD Immobilienagentur to take care of renting the apartment for me.
You will have to pay the amount of €1.180,00 to IAD Immobilienagentur.
The €1.180,00 represents the rent deposit, therefore if you decide to rent my apartment these money will be used for the next two months payment and you will start paying the third rent in the beginning of the third month.
As soon as you define the payment to the Agency, they will send you the necessary documents which attest my credibility as Landlord and will handle you the keys of the apartment for 7 days to check it's conditions and the rental contract before notifying IAD Immobilienagentur if you like it or not.
During the 7 days inspection, in case you decide not to rent my apartment, the Agency will give you full refund of your money.”
And so on. Of course it was a con, but I wrote I'd like to see the apartment before deciding whether I'd like to rent it or not and asked her to contact IAD for a Besichtigung.
“Karolina” replied again with more bullshit: “The only way to continue with the renting is by brokerage services because I can't handle the renting myself.
After you pay the rent deposit to the broker they will send you the keys and the lease agreement to check the apartment and the area.
After you check my apartment and by any cause you decide not to rent it the broker agency will give you full refund of your money.”
Well, I didn’t bother replying until now – let’s see what other bullshit they come back with.
Each and every time I received an email from “Karolina” it was from a different email address.
I wasn’t going to write about it initially, thinking anyone stupid enough to be caught by this scam deserves to be ripped off, but then it occurred to me that this setup might actually suit someone trying to organize an apartment in Berlin before they move here. IAD is a real Immobilienagentur, though I’m sure they’ve never heard of Karolina Milaszewsk.
Most of the daily offers I get are obviously fraudulent. Immobilienscout doesn’t seem to care enough to put a stop to it. Sure, there are warnings, but obviously these fuckers are finding enough victims.
So be careful if you’re looking! Better yet, stop looking, and let me find a place first.