Teacher’s nine-month building nightmare

An English teacher in Berlin has described her nine-month nightmare after her apartment was ripped apart by builders, leaving her without a home but with large credit card bills.

Teacher's nine-month building nightmare
Jessica Wright in her apartment in Moabit. Photo: J. Arthur White

Jessica Wright from Ontario, Canada, still has no hot water and is unable to live in her flat in the Moabit area of the capital – nine months after building work started.

“At the end of August the housing agency called and said there has been so much water damage over the years we need to get builders in,” she told The Local.

But by Christmas the work was still ongoing and her kitchen has been torn out, meaning an electric toaster oven was the only way she could cook.

The 31-year-old was then told her bathroom would be replaced while she was back in Canada over Christmas.

But when she returned in early January no work had taken place. “The whole place had been trashed,” she said. “The bath was out, the water was off. I couldn’t even brush my teeth. Dust had come in everywhere. It was like snow.”

Jessica called her housing agency who told her to get in touch with her insurers. The insurance firm agreed to put her up in a hotel, but she had to pay on the hotel bill on her credit card, putting her into debt, before chasing the insurance company to pay her back.

And while living in the hotel, Jessica said no building work was done from January to March.

The English teacher finally got a lawyer involved and moved back into her apartment on May 1st. She said the apartment was still filthy but the kitchen and toilet had been replaced, although she is having to move back out again and she has no hot water and the building work is still ongoing.

 “[The property management firm] never gave me a proper date. They always just said it should be a few more weeks. They have covered zero of the costs and inconvenience,” she said.

“I know so many people who have said something like that happened with us and they covered the cost of moving and putting us up, but I have just been thrown out.”

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