What is a “Bebauungsplan”?

Paragraph Symbol - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / froxxEver since I started following the proceedings at Oberursel’s town hall more closely, I kept coming across the word “Bebauungsplan”.  I knew that it had something to do with planning permission, but I noticed that there were several stages involved and decided to find out more.

My previous knowledge about such things probably explains it in the most simple terms.  Towns in Germany define Bebauungspläne for particular areas to specify what type of buildings can be built there, eg. residential, commercial or industrial, and the limits that these buildings can have.  So there are rules that I have come across in our road on what percentage of a plot of land can be built on and how much floorspace a house can have.

But they can also include details such as areas set aside for recreation, or which type of plants will be used, or where car parking spaces will be.

The whole thing is set down in German building law, § 9 BauGB to be precise. [Read more…]

Keeping quiet during the “ortsübliche Ruhezeiten”

Shhhhh! - ©iStockphoto.com/rtiom… or how to take a shower after 10pm in Germany.

If you rent a flat in Germany, or even if you own property, you are usually bound by something called the “ortsübliche Ruhezeiten”.

Ruhezeit is quite simple to translate – quiet time.  It is the time when you have to be quiet, i.e. not make a noise that could be heard outside of the flat.

That’s the easy part.

ortsüblich is one of those words that tries to define something, but fails.  It literally means “the usual times for where you live”.

So the ortsübliche Ruhezeiten are the usual times to keep quiet in the place that you live in. [Read more…]

Our new flat: 6. The Old Flat

And finally…

We are now getting settled in our new flat, but we still have one problem left to sort out: the old one!

You see, although we have given notice on our contract, unless we can find someone else to take it on we will be in that contract for the next few months.  And that means paying both the rent and the mortgage – not something we really want to have to do.

The magic word here is “Nachmieter” – someone who will start a new contract before ours has ended and thus free us from it.  We have been placing advertisements online and on notice boards for the last month and, although there have been several people come to see the flat, no-one has signed a contract yet.

On top of all that going on, we also have to redecorate it.  Something that we want done by the end of September, so that theoretically new tenants could move in from the beginning of October.

So if you are looking for a flat with good connections to Frankfurt (the U-Bahn is just a short walk), then please get in contact with us!

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