They had had a little house. Lea set it up with enthusiasm. It was comfortable and inviting. A place where one would like to live. She had dreamed of her own vegetable patch in the garden, but then this accident happened. Since then, Martin has been in a wheelchair because he could no longer use his legs. So they had to sell the little house and find a new place to live immediately. This apartment was the only one they could afford. Located on the top floor, it had 70 m2 of living space, which, however, could not be fully used because the sloping roof got in the way. Nevertheless, Lea managed to set it up comfortably. She wanted her little family to be comfortable. The rent wasn’t cheap, but it just about worked out. Lea was very skillful and resourceful when it came to saving. But then came the blow. Without any warning, the landlord had decided to increase the monthly payments by 20%. With the addition that they could move out if it didn’t suit them. “Impossible, we’ll never make it,” Lea thought desperately, “What should we do?” At the same moment, the doorbell rang.
“Hello Magdalena!” Lea greeted her neighbor who lived in the apartment across from hers.
“Hello Lea!”, Magdalena replied to her greeting, “May I come in, I have to talk to you.” Lea went ahead of her into the kitchen. After she poured coffee for Magdalena and herself, the women sat down at the kitchen table. Lea looked at Magdalena intently.
“Did you also get this letter announcing a rent increase?” Magdalena asked.
“Yes, we have,” Lea answered with a sigh, “And I have no idea how we can afford it.”
“Exactly, but that’s not all,” said Magdalena, “The guy hasn’t invested anything in years, except for the bare essentials and he charged the tenants for that anyway. And then look at this bird feeder. It’s cold in winter and so hot in summer that you can hardly stand it, and he wants more money for that. We have to do something about that. Are you in?”
“Oh Magdalena, I understand what you mean, but we can’t afford to sit on the street, you know the circumstances of my life.”
“Nobody will sit on the street!”, Magdalena promised, “Watch out, we’ll do it like this. We invite everyone to a conversation, and I’ll tell you about my idea. Do you come too?”
“Of course, I can,” Lea said energetically, because she had the feeling that Magdalena actually had a good idea.
Three days later, all the residents of the house gathered in Professor Leonhard Lang’s apartment. His husband, Eleonore, received them in the spacious dining room. There were a total of ten apartments in this house. All residents followed Magdalena Mayrich’s request, whereby the professor of soil culture, now retired, immediately agreed to make his premises available for the meeting. Magdalena waited until everyone was quiet, then addressed the congregation.
“I am very happy that you all came,” she began to state her concern, “This is about something that concerns us all, namely the rent increase. I’ve thought about it for a long time, and I think we can do something about it or I have a way out.” A low murmur went through the ranks.
“Would you like to tell us what you have in mind?”, the professor interrupted the hubbub of voices, whereupon all pairs of eyes were directed to Magdalena.
“I think it’s money lost if we throw it down a landlord’s throat instead of investing it in something of our own,” she said, “And so my idea would be to find a suitable house that we buy together. Instead of paying rent, we then pay back a loan and at some point, the building will be ours. We can also set up common rooms based on individual needs and thus relieve the mothers or create something where you can be together informally. The children could play there and if you want to be alone, you can also withdraw. What do you say to that?”
“I think it’s great,” explained Lea Loft, “if it’s possible to live on the ground floor and I could get involved in decorating and sewing.” She was applauded all around, and just when Magdalena said everyone agreed, she entered Man in front, whose appearance suggested an aging playboy, with his blond wife standing behind him.
“Well, I’m definitely not going along with this communist nonsense. We don’t need a community, my wife and I, because we’ve always done everything on our own and continue to do it that way,” he explained bluntly, “We don’t want anything to do with such hippie crap.”