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  Living space shortage in Berlin: How refugees are ripped off in the housing search – Berlin | Bit Updates
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Living space shortage in Berlin: How refugees are ripped off in the housing search – Berlin

Thursday, October 5th, 2017 | bitcoin updates


Investigators, refugees and the social administration warn against doubtful brokers. Arab-speaking Berliners in particular use the situation of refugees to earn money on illegal commissions or through obvious fraud. Dozens of men of Lebanese, rare Syrian and Iranian origin offer apartments against pre-requested cash. In refugee accommodation, employees report, residents assumed that leasing contracts were to be paid for – cash unpaid – in cash. Depending on the size of the mediated apartment, sums between 1000 and 3000 euros are usually required. It is not only dramatic for those concerned that illegal commissions are comparatively much money. In many cases, refugees did not even get an apartment, but only an exposé or an oral promise. "They gave me a contract and got 1,600 euros from me" The phenomenon is not new, but the situation does not seem to improve. Since even old-established apartments are often no longer apartments, the pressure on the rental market is increasing. Even if the authorities take over the rent of the refugees, house administrations and owners prefer more solvent applicants. So the Syrian asylum seeker Ammar Jamal (name changed) in the past months has completed 25 inspection dates, always someone else got the apartment. On acquaintances he turned to two men who were presented to him as brokers and spoke Arabic – a Lebanese and a Palestinian. "They gave me a contract and got 1600 euros for it," said Jamal. When he wanted to collect the keys as agreed, the men were no longer reachable. In the Landeskriminalamt comes almost every week a new case toJamal reimbursed ad. The prosecutor's office is now investigating possible fraud against the Lebanese and the Palestinians. But the two are said to have deceived ten refugees. Residents have registered that prospective dwellers would be announced to prospective dwellers, who then brought refugees from whom they had previously collected money. The deceivers come to "mouth-to-mouth propaganda" in the growing Arab community. At the Landeskriminalamt, a new case is being reported almost every week. Socialist Elke Breitenbach (left) knows the reports of obvious fraudsters and doubtful commissions, but hardly anyone affected. "I have repeatedly asked to call me cases when fugitives for a lot Money housing is offered, "says Breitenbach. "But so far no affected person has reported to me."

"Caution cheats!" This could be due to the fact that many refugees are finally coming to an apartment – and consider a bribe as a necessary step. Yaman Amin (name changed) reports that he visited a real estate company in Spandau in the summer. In the window hung a sign: "No free apartments". An agent working with the company speaks Farsi, as does more than 20,000 refugees from Central and South Asia in Berlin. "I met the broker in his office in the old town," says Amin, "and he said directly, '2000 euro and I still find an apartment for you!'" After a few days the broker had called and Amin showed an apartment : "I gave him the money and got a rental contract." The police point out that refugees in their community shelters should turn to the staff in case of doubt. In addition, the authority has distributed flyers throughout the city, on which it is under the heading "caution fraudsters!" About prefixed housing offers. In German, English and Arabic, refugees are referred to abortion methods. On the flyer it is to be read that regardless of the statements of an intermediary, one should always turn to the administration or the owner to find out whether the apartment is actually available. "Never pay cash in advance to an intermediary," warns the police. Rent or commission would be transferred to the landlord's account after signing the lease. Cash payments are as uncommon as hand strike contracts. Apartments will remain a scarce commodity for the foreseeable future. Katrin Lompscher (left) had recently announced that a total of 194,000 new apartments would have to be built in order to relax the market by the year 2030 due to population growth. At present, refugees wishing to rent an apartment should be consulted at the Evangelical Youth and Welfare Office in Moabit.

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