The German renting experience

Up until now we’ve had very few issues in the housing side of German life. In Stuttgart we lived in a fully furnished, Max Planck owned apartment which cushioned the experience, quite literally. Of course if anything did go wrong we had Frau Illig to sort it all out. But we’re not in Stuttgart anymore, and we’re not sub-letting anymore. We’re in a full on, bonafide, rented German apartment. On the one hand this has allowed us to chose a place based on our own preferences for location, price and taste; a little exciting I must admit. On the downside it means battling with the obstacles (bureaucratic or practical) that face a non-German speaking renter in Leipzig, including the glaringly obvious – no kitchen.

To many Germans I’ve spoken to, the byo kitchen system seems fairly logical. A kitchen is much like a sofa. Why would you want to use someone else’s? To us, the byo kitchen system seems like silliness bordering on insanity. Once we swallowed our indignation (no mean feat) we found a number of ways to approach the kitchen issue. Second hand kitchens are in plentiful supply, the challenge is to disassemble/transport/reassemble/install them, the latter involving considerable plumbing and electrical experience. We started off with a basic outfit bought for a song on Das Schwarze Brett (The Blackboard). We quickly realised it wasn’t going to meet our needs or fit our peculiarly shaped kitchen. Days passed. We ate cereal out of glass jars. We amassed a small collection of electrical equipment, plastic cutlery and white goods that stood forlornly in the living room while a bucket under the taps served as a sink. After hours of research and several heavy discussions, we purchased a second-hand modular kitchen on Ebay and enlisted a handyman to collect and install it, all thanks to the generosity of a kind family member. At long last the empty space lined with tiles is gone. Bravad units now stand majestically in its place. *Sigh*.

Images via Design*Sponge


6 Responses to “The German renting experience”

  1. 1 Carol Jesson September 20, 2010 at 3:33 am

    It all sounds very confusing, but just think of all the experiences you will be adding to your resumes!!! Hope you are all settling down in Leipzig – prayers & love to you all
    Carol & Gordon

  2. 3 Arthur September 20, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Glad to hear that the kitchen is finally in place and that you can begin making some of your culinary delights for Tony, Rose (and very soon Sarah) and yourself to share.
    Love to all.

  3. 5 Flo September 20, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Hi ! I finally found your blog ! All I could remember was : it’s something like “my life without Frank” in french : ma vie sans Frank 😉
    Ah, the nice and efficient Frau Illig… Sure it’s a person you miss ! But I’m so happy to hear you’ve got a new kitchen, and things are going better and better 🙂 I’m now waiting for some pictures of your flat, Leipzig, etc…

    “Dee Door” is enjoying the cold but sunny Stuttgart and continues producing funny sounds that make him smile even more !

    Bonjour à Rose et Tony, et à bientôt !

    • 6 mavisandfrank September 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      Glad you found me! You would love our new kitchen, it’s got a similar eiche worktop to yours which looks really nice. We’ve missed you guys this week, and Rose has asked for Dee-door nearly every day, especially when she sees a baby. Give him a kiss from us! xx

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A girl with a camera, a toddler and a sewing machine. Making sense of Germany... and life in general.

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