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Old 10.07.2021, 18:10
doropfiz doropfiz is offline
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

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In case you can share further, did your matter end at mediation, or in court, and how was the entire experience from your perspective? Was it you who requested the mediation, or the landlord? Was either side caught unawares by the mediation? How was the relationship once the dust settled? Feel free to ignore these questions, if you'd like to keep all this private.
I don't really know how one could be caught unawares by the mediation, at least not unless one has been refusing the correspondence beforehand. By the time that hearing is to be had, one has had a chance to try to sort things out without having to go to the Schlichtungsbehörde.

In our case, the Mieterverband was sure we were right about at least most of what we were claiming, and taught us the flat truth about the parts we'd overestimated. So it was the Mieterverband lawyer who asked for the mediation, having helped us to work through a number of possible outcomes, and to moderate our expectations. We had worked out how much our overall loss (and inconvenience) would be if we lost everything, and he told us how he would lead us, and we had agreed with him, in advance, on what he could concede.

The landlord arrived scoffing and blustering, and while my lawyer was asking if we could settle any part, the landlord, instead, tried to intimidate us into withdrawing our claim before we went into the room. Our lawyer just took the landlord's words, and phrased them in terms of the law, saying: "Mr Landlordname says you should give up on your claim, the one you have in terms of Article...., where it states that.... because he thinks you're likely to lose everything. However, given that Article... and Article... both say that...... do you have any reason to want to concede what you probably have a good case of keeping?"

As some point in the hearing, the lawyer said he wanted to talk to us alone, so we were granted permissing to use another side office for a few minutes, while he explained some aspect to us. We could have requested that, too, had we wanted to, and it would have been granted us.

In our case, the end result of the mediation was that we agreed to move out, but the Mediator made it very clear that we had done no wrong and didn't have to go. We just wanted out, by then. However, the landlord was told to leave us in peace, and given how angry he was, that in itself was a shield worth gaining. Besides, we got it all on our terms, in the sense of being granted protection to not have to vacate if we didn't want to, not for the next year, and also permission to give a mere fortnight's or month's notice (I can't remember) to leave whenever we wanted. That took a lot of pressure off us, which was the main benefit. We gained time and quiet. When, after some months, we found another place we liked, we could just move and stop paying, except for those remaining weeks.

The only small regret we had, later, was that we had not thought, at the time, to negotiate that we could give the apartment back without doing a full clean. The landlord was a strange case. His whole anger was because of a misjudgment on his part, through which he had confused us with someone else. Even when the mediator proved his error to him by making him peruse the documents with all the names, he just couldn't let go of his anger and froth. Since he so vehemently wanted us out, no matter what, he might even have agreed to just getting his keys back and letting us walk away. That would have really been the cherry on the top. As it was, of course we left everything in good order and properly cleaned.
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