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East German Cities Cut Off – Drastic Prosperity Gap: Germany's South Is Particularly Rich

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Gelsenkirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia was the lowest in the income ranking with 16,203 euros per capita. This is evident from a new study by the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung's Institute for Economic and Social Sciences (WSI).

Under disposable income, economists understand the money left over from income when all fixed expenditures for their livelihoods – such as rent, food, insurance – are paid.

East German cities cut off

Cities and districts with particularly low incomes were therefore to be found in parts of the Ruhr area, Saarland and Lower Saxony. But especially East Germany, even 30 years after the reunification, was still well behind the rest of Germany, the researchers reported.

In only six out of 77 districts and cities in the East exceeded per capita income of € 20,000, while in the west there were 284 out of 324 districts and cities above.

Next to Starnberg also Heilbronn and Hochtaunuskreis in front

According to this the private households in the district of Starnberg near Munich, in the city of Heilbronn and in the Hochtaunus district near Frankfurt had the highest per capita incomes 30,000 euros.

The "Stuttgarter Nachrichten" cite as reason for the surprisingly good ranking of Heilbronn that sit around the city with Audi, the Schwarz Group (Lidl) and the IT service provider Bechtle some large companies , In addition, one of the richest Germans in the 125,000-inhabitant city lives with Lidl founder Dieter Schwarz.

Taillights in the income ranking were next to Gelsenkirchen Duisburg and Halle an der Saale where the per capita income was less than 18,000 euros. In their analysis, the researchers based on the latest data from the statistical offices of the federal states and the federal government. They affect the year 2016.

Large cities: Munich before Stuttgart and Dusseldorf

According to the study, the richest city was still Munich with a per capita income of 29,685 euros. By far, followed Stuttgart (25,012 euros), Düsseldorf (24,882 euros) and Hamburg (24,421 euros). Berlin (19.719 euros), but above all Leipzig (17.770 euros) and Duisburg (16.881 euros), performed significantly worse.

Overall, according to the researchers, the incomes in the 15 largest cities were still slightly above that of Berlin national average. However, growth in the years between 2000 and 2016 was much weaker there than in the Federal Republic as a whole. In Essen and Nuremberg, the available per capita income had even fallen. Overall, the researchers observed a negative income development in 33 of the 401 districts and cities studied.

Income in East Germany grows faster than in the West

East Germany can easily catch up in terms of income development. After deducting the price increases, incomes between 2000 and 2018 grew by an average of 12.3 percent across Germany. In the new federal states, the average increase of 13.9 percent between 2000 and 2016 was slightly higher than in the western federal states.

That means: Slowly the gap between West and East closes with income. The study found that average per capita income in the East in 2016 reached just under 85 percent of the western level. At the turn of the century it was still 81.5 percent.

In Video: In the most expensive suburb of Germany: "I could not afford an apartment"

Big Cities In Comparison – You Need A Room More? This Can Be Terribly Expensive For Tenants

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Tenants who want to enlarge their space must reckon with high additional costs, especially in large cities. For many, the dream of an additional room has already been done with it. A new study shows how strong the price rises in the seven largest cities in Germany are.

An additional living room or extra bedroom for the kids? It would be nice – if only there are not the additional costs. The real estate portal Homeday has analyzed the seven largest German cities. The result: those who need an additional room, pay up to 50 percent more rent.

Couples pay the most in Dusseldorf

In Dusseldorf about tenants have to average 50 percent pay more if you want to increase from one to two rooms. The cold rent thereby rises from 420 to 630 euros per month.

It is followed by Frankfurt am Main with 47.3 percent and Munich with 46.7 percent . However, it should be noted that the starting level in these cities is already relatively high. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in Munich (750 euros) already costs more than a two-room apartment in Düsseldorf.

50 percent more for a third room

Another picture shows at the enlargement from two to three rooms. A third room costs 320 euros more in Berlin. The gross rent increases from an average of 640 to 960 euros – that is an increase of 50 percent .

This is followed by Düsseldorf with 46 percent and Hamburg with 44.8 percent. In Munich, however, the increase from two to three rooms costs " only" 35.5 percent more. With 1490 euros, the monthly rent for a three-room apartment is also highest there.

47 percent more for a fourth room

If you want to grow from three to four rooms, you need them especially in Hamburg a thick financial cushion. There, the basic rent for a four-room apartment averages 1430 euros per month – 47.4 percent more than for a three-room apartment (970 euros). In Berlin, the markup is 44.8 percent. Behind that is Frankfurt am Main with 42.6 percent.

Cologne is particularly family-friendly

In Cologne, the price increases are much more moderate. Thus, the increase from two to three rooms only with an increase of 35.4 percent to book. A four-room apartment is on average around 34.1 percent more expensive than a three-bedroom apartment. In addition, the rents for three- and four-room apartments, compared to the other major cities, particularly favorable.

In Video: Plenty of space in a small space – How we will live in the future

Country Trend Ends In Abolition: Road Construction Contributions Are On The Edge

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<p class= A new coating on the Street? This can be expensive for local residents and there is resistance to the controversial fee.


(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)


Horror for homeowners: In the mailbox is a hefty fee notice – as a "road construction contribution". The height changes depending on the place of residence. But in many states, the trend is to abolish or cap the unpopular levy.


It is a cumbersome word that can endanger the existence of homeowners: "Straßenausbaubeitrag". Farmer Ulrich Albert and his wife in Lütjenburg in Schleswig-Holstein probably hit hardest in Germany. They should pay 217,000 euros. That was in 2012. The Administrative Court reduced the sum in 2017 to 189,000 euros. The pair is also resisting this.

The Higher Administrative Court Schleswig has not yet decided on the admission of the appeal, let alone in the matter. "Nothing has happened since then," says Birgit Albert. "It's a big burden for us." The money they borrowed from the bank and paid the demanded sum provisionally. "Otherwise we would have to pay six percent interest, the bank interest rates are lower."

This is not an isolated case, but a problem that can affect many homeowners in Germany. If a street is widened or receives a sidewalk with lighting, the neighbors can threaten "road construction contributions" (SAB).

Tolls over € 10,000 no exception

The Federal Association House & Land is nationwide no higher Individual claim known as the 189,000 euros from Lütjenburg. "Six-figure amounts are not the rule, but levies that are higher than 10,000 euros, no exception," says Schleswig-Holstein's managing director Alexander Blazek. For young families, who are already up to their necks, or single, elderly people with small pensions, this often threatens their existence. Lack of say and information about the road construction, they usually made no reserves for this. "The shock is then often deep when the decision flutters into the house."

* Privacy

In Germany, there is no uniform rule. Whether homeowners have to pay road construction contributions depends on the state or local community. In the 16 countries, the trend is to abolish, cover or at least reduce the amount of the controversial contributions. Citizens' groups are calling for a red card for the tax.

No SABs charge Hamburg, Bavaria, Berlin and Baden-Württemberg and the city of Bremen (in contrast to Bremerhaven). Three countries want to abolish them retroactively: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg and Thuringia. Four countries hand over a survey – partly under guidelines – to the municipalities: Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony, Hesse and the Saarland

Initiative to Abolish NRW

423,000 signatories support the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia an initiative to abolish contributions. The CDU / FDP coalition in Dusseldorf wants to relieve the citizens, it is no longer extreme cases. The contributions should be "capped". The state government wants to present key points in the next few weeks; The municipal tax law is to be amended later this year.

Rhineland-Palatinate wants to cling to SAB, but mitigate hardships. In Saxony-Anhalt the topic is on ice: After a long dispute, the coalition of CDU, SPD and Greens could not agree on a compromise to abolish. In Lower Saxony, the SPD / CDU coalition wants to find a common position at the end of 2019.

Haus & Grund demands the complete abolition. "It is incomprehensible why the adjoining landowners should only be consulted for municipal roads, if the use of these roads as infrastructure is open to all citizens," says Association President Kai Warnecke.

Country Manager Blazek says: " Motorways, federal, provincial and county roads are financed from the general tax revenue – only on residential streets, the owners are asked to pay, which is the citizen no longer available. " Residents would have already paid their roads with the so-called development contributions.

New regulation to the property tax dock?

An alternative are so-called recurring contributions. The area in which they are raised is larger. The contributions are stretched over years and are therefore not so high. "However, this form of contributions is more complicated, bureaucratic and therefore more contentious," says Blazek. Owners often do not know what to pay for this contribution because the renewed road is in another part of the community. With this reason, the Administrative Court of Schleswig tipped a statute of the municipality Oersdorf in the district of Segeberg in January.

In Schleswig-Holstein alone 107 cases are on trial. The judiciary is also burdened in other countries. In Rhineland-Palatinate last year there were 140 proceedings and 250 in the Brandenburg city of Cottbus. In addition to the legal dispute, the expense and revenue of the tax in some communities out of proportion. The problem could defuse – in addition to an abolition – a financing of the roads over the property tax. This would affect tenants and owners alike, because road building contributions could not be allocated to the tenants and also justified no rent increase, says Blazek.

The property tax must anyway by the end of the year on a new basis for calculation, the Federal Constitutional Court of Abandoned politics. At the end of 2016 Kiel's mayor Ulf Kämpfer spoke in favor of slightly raising the property tax: "The administrative burden would be zero and the financing would be broadly based." In the meantime, Kiel has abolished the road construction contributions.

Only Gas Customers Save – Winter Was Historically Mild: Why You Still Count On It With Oil Heating

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                   Only gas customers save: Winter was historically mild: why you still pay with oil heating



Households in Germany needed as little energy to heat this winter as they did twelve years ago.

Due to the mild weather, especially in February and March, the required heating energy decreased by about twelve percent from the beginning of October to the end of March compared to the same period of the previous year, the Verivox Internet portal announced.

The Check24 portal, Taking a slightly different period for the heating season, energy consumption dropped by ten percent. Among other things, both portals provide contracts between end users and gas suppliers and therefore closely monitor the market situation.

Gas customers save tens of euros

Verivox and Check24 each consider a family of three to four in a single-family home with annual consumption of about 20,000 kilowatt hours. The heating demand of such a household was in the past few months, according to Verivox data at almost 14,400 kilowatt-hours.

Converted into money means that who heats with gas, as about half of households, had since October 849 euros for the Spend heating – nine percent less than last year. Check24 comes to 967 euros, which means a relief of 72 euros or seven percent.


Easy cost savings Click here for the cheapest gas supplier

Who heats with oil, pays more than last year

The situation is different for houses and apartments that are heated with oil. The average cost was 1012 euros and thus again by three percent higher than in the previous heating season, it says at Verivox. Check24 calculated an increase in costs for oil consumers by six percent to 1132 euros, despite the lower energy demand.

The reasons for this are the different developments in oil and gas prices: while gas rose by 3 percent on average during the heating season, heating oil accounted for 21 percent. The oil price increase more than compensated for the decline in consumption. That's why consumers with oil heating pay 17 percent or 165 euros more for their fuel than gas customers in this heating season.


Find the cheapest provider with FOCUS Online How to save money

"Price gap between oil and gas closes again"

But their advantage is already melting away again. "Fuel prices are fluctuating so much that the actual cost depends mainly on when the tank is filled," said Valerian Vogel, energy expert at Verivox. A significant price jump to up to 88 euros for 100 liters (with a decrease of 3000 liters, including VAT), there were in the last few months of last year; Meanwhile, prices have stabilized at around 70 euros for 100 liters.

At the same time, the gas price is rising. "The price gap between oil and gas closes again," said Oliver Bohr of Check24. "Next winter it may look different."

Consumers can choose from more than 100 gas suppliers

When choosing a heating system, however, not only the fuel costs determine the cost-effectiveness, but the total cost of the entire lifetime, so for example, purchase, maintenance and repair costs.


Save 1390 Euro with electricity savings


Our PDF Guide shows you how to spot household power guzzlers and save a total of € 1390.


The Internet portals recommend – according to their business model – to regularly compare gas prices and switch to low-cost providers. According to Check24, consumers could save up to € 170 million within one year, or € 360 per household.

On average, consumers can choose from more than 100 gas providers, but according to the Federal Network Agency, only one third of them have so far Households changed suppliers.

Singles in particular: Why Pay When You Save Electricity (Video)


pom / dpa


New Building Or Home Purchase? – You Have To Expect So Much Budget If You Buy Your Own House

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But also the location, the condition and the equipment influence the costs and it is important, whether the family house is newly built or a finished house is to be bought.

Calculate the cost of a new building

The total cost of a new building can also vary greatly, depending not only on the size of the building, but also on the degree of expansion, the equipment, the materials used, the location and the land costs. So a small house with an upscale amenities can cost more than a large family home. According to the architect Albert Ringlstetter, the pure construction costs are estimated to be between € 2,500 and € 3,000 per square meter, depending on which materials were used and whether or not the house should be built into a basement. Construction costs also depend on how high the level of completion is and, of course, whether you want to use the services of craftsmen or build the house yourself. Many artisans skillful owners, for example, renounce some of the interior design and make this gladly finished on their own. Others are looking for a perfect interior design and not only let the house be completely finished, but also use the services of an interior designer. The proportion of shell and shell construction costs is just over 50 percent. These are, however, only rough estimates. Only an architect who knows the needs and plans of the builders as well as the building plot can calculate how much the costs will actually be.

Property costs incurred

Depending on whether the building plot already exists or not , this also costs. The land costs in Germany vary not only from state to state, they also vary depending on the location. For example, according to the Federal Statistical Office, the purchase values ​​in Baden-Württemberg in the residential area in the first quarter of 2017 averaged around 205 euros per square meter, while in Brandenburg they were on average 84 euros per square meter. To get a first orientation about the land costs, you can determine the land values ​​of the individual states and regions. This gives the land value for undeveloped land per square meter and is calculated from the land sale prices.

Determine development costs

Depending on whether the property is already developed or not, development costs may be added to construction and land costs. These are the costs incurred when the property is connected to the supply and disposal network. Depending on which connections may already be present, these may be the power connections, the water connections and the connections to the sewage system, but also the connection to the telephone network and the road network may be included. Since the costs for the development of the owner in an amount of up to 90 percent must be assumed, one should already be well informed before the purchase of the land on the development status. For example, a connection to the sewage system can already cost € 5,000 and the development costs for water and electricity start at € 2,000 each.

Calculate the cost of buying a home

Who? buys used property sees the purchase price initially faster than the new building, which costs are expected. A look at the price atlas of the Focus shows that for a home in Bremen, for example, between 180,000 and 330,000, often pay around 270,000 euros, while in Potsdam, the prices for a home between 250,000 euros and 400,000 euros. The price differences also depend heavily on the location and the property itself. If you want to buy a small house in the countryside, you will usually pay less than someone who wants a big house in the city, and for the semi-detached house, prices are generally cheaper than for a freestanding solid house. But even when buying a house, it is therefore not enough with the costs. How much the costs will be depends on whether the house still needs to be modernized, whether accessories are purchased and what additional costs arise.

Expert costs and modernization costs for home purchase

Just who does not even an expert, should have a used house inspected by an appraiser before purchase. Only this can see, for example, if moisture damage is present, which can cause expensive follow-up costs, or even caused by the dreaded dry rot building damage. In addition to the cost of an appraiser, modernization costs may apply. How high these are likely to be can be estimated, for example, by an experienced architect. If you want to modernize yourself, you can create a list in advance of the required materials in the appropriate quantity and clarify the costs of the line items in advance. Even if the modernization still costs to be added, then at least once has a benchmark.

These additional costs arise

Whether pure land purchase or home purchase, the purchase of a property is always with additional costs connected. Anyone who has used the services of a broker pays a brokerage commission. The exact amount of this exact amount is already given in the synopsis, but should always be clarified when contacting the broker for the first time. Depending on the state, homebuyers pay a land transfer tax. The lies between 3.5 and 6.5 percent, so is the purchase of a detached house with a price of 250,000 euros at least 8,750 euros. In addition, there are the costs for the notary and the land register entries, which total about 1.5 percent of the purchase price. The exact notary costs can be obtained from the notary who draws up the bill of sale.

This article was written by Sabrina Werner

Up to 4.5% return – so worth the pension with 63

Zoff Am Zaun – The Daily Neighborhood Madness And How You Assert Yourself

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The daily neighborhood madness goes like this: A professional musician practices daily on the trumpet. His game is as loud as a jackhammer at 95 decibels. The nerves are bare in the house next door. Now the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) must speak a word of power. Or: A leaf blower fan blows away the fall leaves twice a day. Noise levels: Up to 115 decibels. The neighbors are foaming. Or: Every day, seven children romp and scream in the trampoline bouncy castle in the row house garden. Sound Power: Felt Circular Saw Strength. The whole settlement is annoyed. Parents say: children are allowed to do so. Quarrels often start with lush hedges, large carports, shoes in the staircase or cooking odors. Millions of neighbors are bitterly in trouble, even for small things, says Reiner Wild, Managing Director of the Berliner Mieterverein. Every year over 500,000 cases go to court. Searching for a conversation helps more than processing.

Controversy over childrens' noise:

Friends can be chosen, but neighbors are not. With heavenly peace, it can quickly be over when families with children live a door further, whether in a tenement, in residential complexes or terraced housing estates. The little ones can make a lot of noise when they laugh, romp, scream or cry for nights. Annoyed neighbors should, however, practice tolerance, says Julia Wagner, lawyer at the owners' association Haus & Grund Deutschland. And better get a thick coat. Because: Against child noise, there is hardly a legal handle legally. "He must be tolerated as far as possible," says tenancy law expert Wild. Feel neighbors massively disturbed, only one thing helps: Early looking for a conversation with the parents. These are basically required to take into account the need for rest of their roommates, as the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) decided (VIII ZR 226/16). Part of that is simply to put a stop to the excessive romping of seven shrieking children on the trampoline. Advantage for tenants: Constant, intensive children's noise from the neighboring apartment may be reason for a rent reduction. Whether the landlord is responsible for it or not does not matter. But: Previous advice is necessary, it always depends on the individual case. Breaking down next door every morning, for example, loud noises in the direction of kindergarten or school, which justifies no long-term rent reduction, as the district court of Munich judged (I 31 S 20796/04).

dispute over music:

What can drive despair is house music from next door. Especially in clairaudient tenements and old buildings is quickly in the crossfire of criticism, who drums extensively, jingles, bleats or flutes. Basically, tenants are allowed to play music and practice in their home. Landlords can not prohibit this in general. But: the louder the instrument, the less playing time is allowed. A piano or a flute with a sound level of more than 80 decibels is about as loud as a milling machine. A drum kit comes to decibels like a nightclub. And so courts have to decide on a case-by-case basis how long music can be played without overburdening the neighbors. If a tenant is constantly disturbed by music, that may be the reason for a rent reduction. The musician must then expect that the landlord wants compensation. Disputed homeowners help mediators find a solution that is acceptable to all. "We can only advise clarifying something out of court," emphasizes Wagner. If a court decides, there will always be one – and sometimes even both. This can also happen in the currently well-publicized proceedings before the BGH for a professional musician who plays trumpet at the Staatstheater Augsburg. The constant practice at home disturbs the neighbors in the terraced house a door on. They want their peace. And that the trumpeter insulates his walls. The BGH wants to proclaim its power word in the year-long dispute on October 26 (V ZR 143/17).

Controversy over petty tricks:

Neighbors bring not only barking dogs, zooming shutters or late showers in the apartment next door to the barricades. Many tenants are always fighting over the fence because of exotic food scents and garlic scents in the house. Instead of grumbling tolerance would be announced, as the district court Hamburg-Harburg judged (643 C 230/92). To tolerate is also the parking of prams in the entrance area – as long as it does not affect others massively. If necessary, wheels in the apartment, who outsources his shoe cabinet in the stairwell and cursed scolding from the neighbors, on the other hand has bad cards. Shoes, shelves, brooms or complete shoe cabinets have nothing to look for in the hallway. They belong in the apartment, not in common areas. A shoe rack in front of the door of the only tenant in the attic but may be, as the district court Herne decided (20 C 67/13). There is no mercy for residents who simply store their garbage in front of the door. The same applies to flower tubs or sculptures that someone places in the stairwell to decorate it to his liking. An individual has no right to such decoration actions, it is said at the German Tenants' Association. Anyone can decorate their apartment door as they wish – with autumn or Advent wreaths as well as with "warmly welcome signs" (district court Dusseldorf 25 T 500/98 and district court Hamburg 333 S 11/15). "I have cases where clients have been arguing for 20 years and everything is so stuck that it is only about the right or winning goes," says lawyer Jung. Sometimes a change of residence or the sale of the property is the best way to draw the line and find peace again.

Dispute in court:

A private legal protection insurance can protect against the financial risks of neighborhood annoyances. But if it is not completed until the trouble has broken out, it will not help. After signing the contract, a waiting period applies. Normally, the legal expenses insurance covers the costs of counseling and mediation, a lawyer and the court and expert costs, should it come to that. In case of defeat, the insurance company also bears the opposing legal fees. Because neighborhood problems increasingly occupy the courts, some states now insist on an upstream, out-of-court attempt by mediators. Among other things, these federal states are calling for the proceedings: Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony-Anhalt, Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Bavaria. Citizens can not immediately complain there without having undertaken a goodness test.

Dispute in autumn:

If the ripe fruit hangs over the fence in the neighbor's garden, it is often disputed: who is allowed to reap the fruits ? The answer is in the Civil Code (BGB): As long as fruit hangs on the tree, it belongs to the tree owner – even that which protrudes into the strange garden. The neighbor may only pick up the fallen fruit from its bottom. Help, for example by shaking the branches, he must not. What locals often get their hands on is the colorful foliage, which also falls on neighboring properties. Scolding brings nothing. The foreign leaves are to be tolerated, even if the sweeping and disposal work. Exceptions: If the leaves, needles and cones repeatedly block the gutter or if the garage roof needs to be cleaned constantly, the person concerned can demand financial compensation from the neighbor. Right Zoff is often about the use of leaf blowers. Anyone complaining to the noisemaker can rely on clear regulations: on weekdays, even on Saturdays, leaf blowers are only allowed between 9am and 1pm and 3pm and 5pm. In no case already in the early morning. Some municipalities are even more rigid: In Munich, the devices are only allowed between Mondays and Saturdays between 15 and 17 o'clock in use. Tenderness is also provided by overgrown trees or hedges, as Thomas Jung explains, advocate for Neighborhood Law in Potsdam. Who secretly trims the proliferating plant splendor of the neighbor with pruning shears risks a criminal complaint for damage to property. Addressing the annoyance in peace is more promising, emphasizes Jung.

Homeowner wants to annoy neighbors: For this he puts naked mannequins in his garden

Tips For Fertilizing And Scarifying: Beauty Cure For The Lawn

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<p class= To get on the grass run, lie and play, he should be resilient.


(Photo: imago / PhotoAlto)


Lawn care in the spring is a bit like skincare: well, the grasses are rich in nutrients and exfoliate. The latter is scarifying in the garden. Hobby gardeners should start in April.


Spring is here! The garden is still a bare, brown desert. Especially the lawn you can see that summer and autumn were dry. High time for thorough care.

. 1 Fertilize in April

The turf now wants to grow and therefore needs to be supplied with nutrients – that should happen by mid-April. Special lawn fertilizers with long-term effects, also known as depot fertilizers, supply the grasses for three to four months. The second fertilization takes place from the end of June to the beginning of July.

Twice the fertilizer is sufficient for pure ornamental grass without load, explains the German Lawn Society. If the lawn is polluted or grows in the shade of trees, the second time should be fertilized in June and a third time in August. The fourth fertilization in October with a special fall product can bring the turf better over the winter.

De Deutsche Rasengesellschaft recommends special lawn fertilizers. Normal horticultural fertilizers would have a rather unfavorable nutrient composition for turf – they seem too fast and too short. In addition, the lawn is thus animated to increase in height, which is finally noticed in the fact that one must mow more often.

If the soil has a low pH, advises the Chamber of Agriculture of North Rhine-Westphalia, in addition to lime. It recommends fine-grained, carbonate magnesium lime.

2. Scarify in May

The lawn is sprouting, it already has to be destroyed – supposedly. This is because scarifying often works because it removes dead or superfluous material, such as moss, between the grasses. A thinned lawn remains behind.

But the measure is important, otherwise the area matted. But you take a scarifier – a kind of mower that you can borrow in the hardware store. Some lawn mowers also have a special setting for it. And those who only have a small lawn can do the work with a hand-scarifier, a kind of rake or a rake.

The Deutsche Rasengesellschaft advises not to scarify until two or three weeks after the first fertilization. The grasses are already stimulated to grow and can close the resulting gaps directly. Before that you should cut the grasses with the lowest setting of the lawnmower and collect the clippings, explains the Chamber of Agriculture of North Rhine-Westphalia.

3. Seeding from mid-May

If the lawn has lost many grasses, it can be sown from mid-May, explains the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Agriculture. However, finding the right seeds is not that easy, according to an analysis by Stiftung Warentest ("test" magazine, April 2019 issue). Almost every third product is actually unsuitable for private gardens.

For example, conventional mixtures contain for the most part fodder grasses for agriculture or no varieties that have been tested for use on lawns. Although this is in the small print of the packaging – but in the form of biological names that lay people say little.

The product testers recommend special products for reseeding. They consist of mixtures that are meant to close gaps very quickly. They usually contain large parts of the German ryegrass (biological name: Lolium perenne). Alternatively, as well as the new sowing of the entire lawn worthwhile products with information such as "RSM quality". These so-called rule seed mixtures are recommended by the Research Association Landscape Development Landscaping (FLL).

In addition, information such as utility, sports or playing lawns must be observed. Because in order to be able to walk on it, lie down, play, the grass should be resilient. Ornamental lawn is purely representative – so pretty to look at, but not very resilient. There are also special blends for shadow areas.

Reform To Come After Easter – Dispute Over Property Tax: Scholz Apparently Gives Way – Is The Chaos Now Even Bigger?

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Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) has signaled willingness to compromise in the dispute over the new regulation of property tax. Speaking to the "Augsburger Allgemeine", Scholz expressed his willingness to examine the opening clause demanded by Bavaria and the Union faction, with which the federal states could introduce divergent property tax rules.

"Before we discuss whether this makes sense or not "We need to clarify constitutional issues – we'll do that after Easter," said the vice-chancellor. "For there is no point in wanting something that constitutionally can not do."

Scholz was optimistic that the reform could be launched in the coming weeks. "I am confident that we will approve the Cabinet bill in May," he said. The new regulation will be much easier and fairer. "I'm easygoing, in the end we'll get the reform."

Reform should come quickly – but how?

Originally, the Cabinet wanted to pass Scholz's bill on April 30. According to the plans of Scholz, the value of the land and the average rent should play a role in the calculation of property tax in the future, above all. Bavaria, however, wants a surface model in which the tax rate is based on the flat rate. Bavaria and the Union faction in the Bundestag therefore want an opening clause that allows countries to go their own way. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has backed this demand. In the end, home builders may be more uncertain than they are today.


How to finance your home

Our PDF Guide shows you how to find cheap loans, avoid pitfalls and get money from the state.

The Federal Constitutional Court had demanded a revision of the property tax until the end of 2019 because of completely outdated tax bases. Currently, land values ​​of 1935 are still used in East Germany and from 1964 in West Germany. The properties are now to be revalued on 1 January 2022, then every seven years. For the first time, the newly calculated property tax will be due in 2025.

What is fair? Companies bypass the land transfer tax with a simple trick – private individuals pay – "Help, My Electricity Price Explodes": FOCUS Online Brings You From The Rip-trap

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          "Help, my electricity price explodes": FOCUS Online brings you out of the rip-trap



The base price increase of an electricity provider by 360 percent has hit high waves in FOCUS Online. The consumer center Hessen gave us an extensive opinion on the subject – including a legal assessment.

Electricity provider increases base price by 360 percent – what you can do against rip off. This article has made waves, showing that this is not an isolated case.

For this reason, we approached the Hesse Consumer Center and obtained independent expertise, which you read after the exemplary letters can. This also contains a legal assessment.

Three letters from our readers:

Mail 1:

I have a problem with evergreen.

Had a 2-year contract with evergreen. After a year I received the 1st invoice. On the second sheet stood in a small table price increase. It contained the price of electricity, which had not changed. It was not apparent that I currently pay 8.86 euros monthly fee. It was only there 49.00 euros per month. Since I can see the old basic fee only in the contract, I did not notice.

Now I have received after the 2nd year a final invoice of 717.89 additional payment. But only used for about 320 euros more electricity. After verification and comparison with the contract, I noticed that the basic fee is the reason. Increased from 8.86 to 49.00 per month.

Can anything be done against this bill?

I have already changed the provider.

…………… ………………………………………………

Mail 2:

I just got the annual bill from the electricity gas provider eprimo received. I found out that with electricity and gas the base price was disproportionately increased from 1.01.2019.

In the case of electricity, the base price has been increased from 41.64 Euro to 141.20 Euro. For gas, the annual base price has been increased from 136.49 euros to 307.76 euros. But I have also received no message from eprimo this increase is pending. Although I have a new provider to 1.04.2019, but about this final statement, I was very angry. Less consumed and still have to make a back payment.


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Mail 3:

Provider Immergrün AG

2018 May price increase basic charge

5 to 20 euros per month (as part of the annual accounts and not explicitly shown) so hidden !!

November 2018 without the customer (me To inform From 20 to 30 Euro basic fee again increased. !!! No info received the new digital documents!

No special right of termination despite moving to Pinneberg planned by Hamburg in March 2019.

See terms and conditions, possibly damages by evergrün ag because customer informs too late about move of was done in March 2019.

Then I used the reclamation box on the internet.

As a result, second price increase was retrospectively issued and termination and vendor switch to March 2019 has been made.


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Please note that due to the many inquiries we currently only answer the cases that we also publish. Thank you for your understanding.

What do the experts say at the consumer center?

The issue of "massive increases in the base price in an incomprehensible manner" has been described to us by consumers for some years now, explains lawyer Peter Lassek from the Verbraucherzentrale Hessen. And if the costs increase by several hundred euros per year, it becomes particularly annoying.

The Consumer Advocacy clarifies this with its own example. The supplier of a couple from Hanover suddenly demanded a base price of almost 25 euros per month – and even spoke of a "good news."

What exactly happened?

Already in the fall of 2013, consumers turned to the market monitor energy of the VZ Lower Saxony, who had concluded supply contracts with so-called packet tariffs with the electricity provider evergreen Energie GmbH (these are set in advance, the minimum amount of electricity customers lose in the course of a year). Like many package tariffs, the offer only provided for a labor price, ie that part of the electricity cost that depends on actual consumption. On the other hand, customers did not have to pay a consumption-independent basic amount (base price). The basic price was therefore given as 0,00 Euro / month in the contract confirmation .

Just a few weeks later, however, consumers received an e-mail announcing that this would happen in the future change: From 1 January 2015, the base price should then be just under 25 euros per month. Calculated over a whole year thus incurred additional costs of almost 300 euros. Since a price guarantee had been agreed at the conclusion of the contract by the end of 2014, January 2015 was the earliest possible date to raise prices.

Note : The most favorable offers of the local basic suppliers and the supraregional suppliers as far as they are published on the internet and in accordance with the guidelines of Verivox. Offers that are limited in availability have not been considered.

How the Hidden Price Increase Is Packaged

The cover letter announced three good news – the additional costs only mentioned on page 4 of the customer's letter.

The special feature of the message of evergreen energy: Instead of naming the increase or introduction of the base price clear, chose the electricity provider throughout the six-page e-mail attachment throughout positive formulations and descriptions. For example, the headline "Three good news at a glance" was clearly highlighted on the first page. A few lines below it said: "The first good news: We will continue to deliver you on attractive terms beyond your existing price guarantee."

That these supposedly attractive conditions actually meant significant additional costs, was only on the fourth Page of the letter – with the following words: "Nevertheless, we can now grant you a full warranty on the basic price from 01/01/2015 to 31/12/2016. The monthly base price is fixed at 24.58 € over this period and is hedged against any increase. "

Volatile readers were quick to miss the price increase

Faced with the abundance of positive language, it was for the Observers of the letter so not so easy to recognize that it was a price increase. In particular, by the word "fix" could quickly give the fleeting reader the impression that would change the pricing in the future, not much.

Due to the visual design and the mailing shortly after the contract, the victims went mostly assuming that the email attachment was advertising, and just glanced at it.


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Cases occur again and again

This is also shown by the current complaints at FOCUS Online, which are listed above.

Only at the end of last year did we have comparable complaints regarding the provider BEV (Bayerische Energieversorgung) , Again, it was about some drastic price increases … shortly thereafter, the insolvency announcement came.

BEV Preiserhöhung

See also press release of the consumer center Hesse:

How is the case evaluated legally?

Price increases by energy suppliers are only permissible if they meet certain requirements. The most important rules include: Consumers must be informed in a transparent and understandable manner about the planned changes (§ 41 (3) of the Energy Industry Act – EnWG ). Whether the letter and mail mentioned above meet these requirements can be doubted.

Of course you always have to look and check whether there is a legal basis for a price increase in the respective supply contract (or in the effectively included supply conditions). However, an effective price adjustment clause allowing for increases of more than 300 percent is likely to be unlikely.

In the past, there have been several instances where price increases in court have been declared ineffective because the critical information in the messages was hard to spot or downright hidden. For example, in December 2015, the Regional Court of Düsseldorf criticized a letter in which the reference to the price change was in a page-long text and was not highlighted (ref .: 12 O 177/14, Extraenenergie – https: //www.justiz. – see also article "The black sheep among the electricity providers – beware of extra energy, Stromio, 365 AG".

Beside the optical design criticized the judges also misinterpreted the text itself as it misleadingly suggested that customers were protected from price increases.

What should consumers pay attention to in similar cases?

In the case of price increases, customers generally have a special right of termination which means that the contract can be terminated without observing the usual deadlines and terms I – as described above – suddenly faces an immense increase in costs, so can simply cancel the contract and switch to a cheaper provider. A litigation with judicial review and the associated cost risks (keyword imminent insolvency) will lead the fewest consumer.

Important : Pay attention to possible deadlines. Often providers only give their customers little time to react to the price increase and to make use of their special right of termination; are spread about two weeks. Whether such a restriction is permissible or whether the contract can still be terminated until the price increase takes effect is not yet legally clarified. However, those who want to be on the safe side in the event of a termination should consider the deadlines of the provider as a precautionary measure.

In the present case from Hannover, the couple did not have to deal with a short deadline, missed the right time for the Termination, however, because it noticed the price increase as described above, much too late.

Customers could object to the price increase

If deadlines were missed – for example, because the price increase was realized far too late, remains but still one possibility: You could invoke the ineffectiveness of the price increase (see above). Specifically, this means that they could object to the price increase and inform the utility company that it was ineffective due to the non-transparent announcement.

However, one should first consider the consequences of a price conflict. After a price increase has been challenged, there are basically two options from the customer's point of view: Either the consumers refuse to pay and continue to pay only the old price or they pay the new price, but with reservations. However, if you refuse to pay, you should be aware that the vendor could sue the money or terminate the contract. A conditional payment, in turn, means that the customer will not get his money back until he becomes active himself and goes to court.

And: If the company slips into bankruptcy – as in the case of BEV done – the money is lost! So always make sure you do not over-subscribe and provide credit to the company. The haircuts should also be realistically adapted to actual consumer behavior.

Overall, this shows that it is possible to defend itself legally against price increases, but it may require a long breath and be associated with considerable legal costs. Consumers without legal expenses insurance should therefore consider this step well.

Consumer Hesse,
Frankfurt 17.4.2019

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