German court evicts elderly couple from home to accommodate refugees

The 76-year-old man and his 73-year-old partner have to leave their six-room apartment, which they have been renting for 25 years

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: John Cody

A district court in Nürtingen, Germany, confirmed an eviction claim that orders an elderly pensioner couple from Neckartailfingen to move out by the end of the month because the local community wants to accommodate refugees in their apartment, Germans news outlet Wendlingen-Nürtinger Zeitung reported.

The 76-year-old man, who suffered a stroke last year, and his 73-year-old partner have to leave their six-room apartment, which they have been renting for 25 years. According to the court, which confirmed the eviction claim, accommodating refugees is more important than any other hardship.

“Since we received the notice of our eviction, our health has deteriorated,” says the elderly woman.

Although the couple will move to a two-room apartment, offered by the community as an alternative, going to the village will be extremely difficult for the 76-year-old man with a walker.

The couple says they feel left alone.

“We don’t know what happens next, and the time until the end of the month is getting shorter and shorter,” said the 76-year-old before the moving day, which was set for Sept. 30.

‘We do not stand a chance’

The pensioners had tried everything to stay in the familiar surroundings after the Neckartailfingen community sent them termination of the lease at the end of October 2018. The municipality now intends to use their home for the planned accommodation of refugees in the future.

A few months ago, the old couple pointed out their health issues when appealing against the eviction action, ordered by the municipality of Neckartailfingen. The previous year, the 76-year-old man suffered a stroke and has been using a walker since then, just like his 73-year-old partner.

Although the judge of the district court had recognized the “hardship” of the pensioners, it “does not outweigh the justified interests of the landlord.”

The senior citizens appealed against the decision. Three judges from the Stuttgart Regional Court rejected this appeal without further hearing. According to them, the municipality has “a legitimate reason” for the eviction since “the apartment is necessary for the fulfillment of public law tasks and obligations.”

The community has “clearly demonstrated and proven that they need the apartment to accommodate refugees,” the court continued.

“We do not stand a chance,” the 76-year-old stated, adding, however, that the judgment is unfair.

The kitchen in the new apartment will be completely unfurnished and without a sink. The municipality also wants a deposit of two months’ rent even though there was no such requirement in their current apartment.

And what happens to the furniture from the bigger apartment that can no longer be used in the new, smaller one?

“The tenants are responsible for the disposal of the furniture,” Mayor Gerhard Gertitschke stated on the topic.

The community had also promised to help the senior couple with moving, which will be very difficult because of the narrow stairs in the building, however, Mayor Gertitschke’s response appears to show little sympathy for the two pensioners.

“You can use your vehicle. Also, there are now very good electrically powered walkers and electric vehicles that are street legal,” he added.

When and how many asylum seekers will move in the apartment has not yet been determined.

“I’ll deal with that when the tenants have moved out,” said Mayor Gertitschke.

Title image: A senior citizen (Pixabay)


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