Translators get to see a lot of rental aparment contracts. Big ones, small ones, fat ones, skinny ones, vague ones, long ones and horribly restrictive ones. From preposterous airing regulations to antiquated quiet time stipulations, from cold rent to hot water, here’s what to expect when you’re presented with a tenancy contract for a flat in Germany. We’re also happy to help in more detail if you really want to know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line.
Congratulations on purchasing property in Germany! You’ve probably sat through the read-through at the notary’s office by now, and if your German isn’t terrific, chances are you had an interpreter tag along to help you out. Now the bank wants proof that you understand the loan documents before they pay out. What’s the easiest and most cost-effective way to get the money rolling?
Are you a Brit thinking of applying for German Citizenship before Brexit? Time to get your skates on! Katie from Red Tape Translation gives us a detailed account of what it’s like to be a Brit going for “Einbürgerung”.… Read More
Three new helpers and three new honorary Red Tape babies in one year! It’s a big adjustment for any family, but a happy one for sure. We welcomed Thomas to the team in February to help us out with marketing, project management and customer service. In April, Kim welcomed her baby son Evan into the world and Kathleen followed suit in August with the birth of baby Laura, our designated Chief Distraction Officer (CDO). Laura’s incredibly well-defined baby eyebrows and big brown eyes are very expressive and thus very distracting, so she is excelling in her professional role.
Katie joined the administrative team in November just as Pascale’s son Leon made it to the outside. Finally, Liz came on board as a translator and interpreter just in time for the Christmas party. Good timing, Liz.
We bade Claire farewell at the end of 2018 after two years with a “Zimtschnecke” brunch fit for a queen. Life is all the richer once you discover the baked goods from Zeit für Brot. We now welcome Katie Kruse to Red Tape Translation. Katie joins Thomas behind the scenes in billing, customer service and communication.
Katie is British, speaks fluent French and German and has a background in foreign languages, education and organisational administration, which makes her, well, the perfect fit! Katie took a break from the world of traditional work for several years to raise her two children as a full-time Supermama – a job that is all-encompassing and entirely unremunerated. Now that the kids are school-age, she’s keen to be remunerated once again for her professional expertise and managerial skills. She’s also gunning for German citizenship and might have some handy insider tips for Brits contemplating what to do before Brexit closes in in early 2019.
In addition to the general whipping of Red Tape’s administrative processes into shape, perhaps Katie can help us establish some Red Tape Translation services in French in the near future?
You registered in Germany. You stayed a while. You’re still here. Now you want to exchange the driver’s licence from your home country for a German one. But… oh my… more than six months have gone by since you moved to Berlin (or Frankfurt, or Munich, or wherever). It says you are supposed to exchange it for a German one within 6 months of taking up residence in Germany. So will they refuse to exchange it?
Buying an apartment in Germany is an experience all in itself. Once the contract is signed, there’s an extra special perk: membership in the German home owner’s association for your particular building. You might know it as the “body corporate”, “condominium corporation”, “strata council” or “commonhold” in other countries. Once you’ve bought an apartment in Germany, you’ll come to know it fondly as the “WEG”, that is, the “Wohnungseigentümergemeinschaft”. So… what exactly will you be getting yourself into? How does it work? And will you ever get out alive?
Those pesky 90 days in the Schengen region, they disappear so quickly. Now time is running out and I really want to stay, just a bit longer – can I extend a Schengen Visa? Can I get my leftover Schengen tourist days once my resident permit expires? And what is this bilateral visa waiver thing I keep hearing about? WARNING: This post doesn’t have all the answers. But it’s a bloody interesting read all the same.
If you’ve been pining for a post from Red Tape Translation these last few weeks, I must apologize. I’ve had other things on my mind. I’d like to introduce my daughter Laura.
Happy summer, everyone! Here’s an update of what’s going on around here.
I’m expecting to welcome a baby girl into the world in late August or early September. This means I’m out of action from the beginning of July 2018 until … some time in the autumn, and then part-time after that. Luckily for you, the wheels will all keep on turning even while I am away and all services will still be available.
Our newest service is proving popular with small and medium-sized business owners who want support communicating with authorities for their employees, people who have to deal with the unemployment agency and people who receive letters they don’t understand and don’t quite have the mind space to figure out on their own. Additionally, we’ve helped people try to track down paperwork for long-lost relatives, organised specialist medical care in situations where clear communication is crucial and wrapped up affairs for expats leaving Germany (contract terminations, deregistration, etc).
The Best Ice-Cream in Berlin
Cons: If you can’t stand long lines, Prenzlauer Berg parents and 1.60 EUR scoops, don’t go.
Pros: if you want truly sensational flavours, just give in and go. Be that Prenzlberg mum. I know I am. Now in Pankow and Prenzlauer Berg.
The Berlin Summer Card for Swimming Pools
This is an absolute bargain if you think you’ll be visiting the outdoor pools. 70 EUR (60 EUR earlybird price) for 20 pool visits. It’s a laminated card, it’s transferrable, and the best bit is that you get to jump the queue. In my opinion, even if you and your family don’t quite make it to the pool 20 times over the summer, it’s still worth it to jump the queue. This card is only for the outdoor pools – you can find a list of them and more information here.
Wishing you all a sensationally hot summer in Berlin! This is the season when all the tourists fall in love with the city and desperately want to stay. Are you one of them? We’re happy to help you find a way to stick around in Berlin.
Fierce mums and fragile mums, old mums and new mums, expat mums, proud mums, despairing mums, exhausted mums, mums with empty nests and mums-to-be – I salute you. Because I think you’re so terrific, I’ve decided to honour you with a 50% discount on Skype Coaching and Life Admin services for the next week – so until midnight on Mother’s Day, 13th May 2018.