Landlady Forces Rape Victim To Move Out Because She 'Caused Trouble'
A case in Munich of an outrageously callous landlady prompts the police officer who followed the rape investigation to intervene. But the real estate agent insists the owner is within her rights.
MUNICH — When Michaela F. (name changed), 27, returned to her Munich apartment on the night of June 2, 2013, a man came up behind her and forced his way through the door into the building. He dragged her to the cellar where he raped her.
But when the young woman’s landlady learned of the incident, she refused to continue renting to Michaela F. on the grounds that she had “caused trouble,” and that because of her the police had visited the building.
Michaela F. lived in a two-room apartment with a female flatmate who had co-signed the rental contract. The girl was so shocked by the rape she canceled her share of the contract and moved away. Michaela F. did not wish to move, preferring to stay in a familiar environment.
"I didn’t feel up to looking for another flat. I had no strength and didn’t want to go to a new, unfamiliar place."
She called the agent who worked for the landlady and asked to rent the apartment with her sister but the owner refused, saying that girls sharing a flat together brought nothing but trouble. The request was refused even after the girls’ mother volunteered to sign the new rental contract.
A chief detective with the Munich police who worked on Michaela F.’s case was shocked when he learned of her being thrown out. He could not believe that anyone would treat a rape victim that way — so he wrote the landlady a letter saying that Michaela F. was the victim of a serious crime and had been badly wounded, and was continuing to deal with psychological effects. In view of this, the detective wrote, a house move would only add to her burden.
He asked the landlady to meet with him, but she refused and instead instructed her agent to put the apartment up for rent. Meanwhile, at the time of this writing, the owner had yet to pay back most of the 1,000 euro deposit Michaela F. had put down on the flat.
The landlady refused to comment on the case. The real estate agent said that this was a routine case of an apartment changing hands following cancelation of the rental contract.
The rapist, a construction worker named Marius C., 28, went on to rape two other women in Munich and Freiburg before being arrested. In October, the Munich I district court sentenced him to 10 years in prison.