After a day of asking people at work - including my very knowledgeable boss - for advice and showing them the letter, ultimately it turned out that it seems that I have done everything right, with notifying the landlady about the defects at the apartment, when I cut back the rent I paid and with the landlady not fulfilling her duties according to German law (resolving defects where possible).
While this means that I can hold my own against the landlady, both the defects and the unpleasant dealings with this owner have made that I should be finding something as soon as possible, probably something to rent as finding something to buy would take much longer.
The defects in my apartment are still pretty much the same ones as before:
- super-loud heating system (ticking) when in use .
- occasionally brown to dark-brown water when using hot water (e.g. taking shower).
- poorly insulated; constant draft during winters.
- hearing everything from the neighbours upstairs (walking, using toilet, getting in/out bed, etc.).
- lots of noise from the public hallway.
Since the owner of the building is more interested in threatening those who rent from them rather than resolving issues, it seems pertinent that I find some other place to live. Maybe I can find something via that relocation service, maybe via somewhere or someone else. I'll have to see.
This everything happens alongside a number of other events, such as the expected update on my pending surgery. Next month I should hear back on whether a suitable surgeon has been found, which would put start off a number of appointments and examinations, with a possible reconstructive surgery following at some time during the coming months.
Ideally this surgery would happen after I have moved into a new place and not while I'm recovering from said surgery. Hopefully the timing here will be favourable.
Fortunately the other event that's coming up is easier to organise: a film crew is coming to interview me for a new Dutch TV show, which will happen within the next two weeks and just takes one day. That may actually be fun, too :)
Along with all of that I'm also currently putting a lot of time and effort into finishing up a major project: the development of the first prototype of my custom CPU architecture. Over the past months I have gone through a crash-course in the VHDL programming language, learned the finer details of FPGA fabrics and associated toolchains and generally put enough effort into this to count as a second full-time job.
The goal of this all is to see whether I can maybe develop it into a commercial product, or at the very least explore expanding my career more into hardware development as well, along with developing further into game development and associated areas. Basically in order to find the things I enjoy the most and hopefully make it into something with commercial perspectives, if that makes sense.
Everything taken together it's definitely a lot to deal with at the same time. At this point I'm definitely looking forward to a time hopefully in the near future where I'm living in a place I do not hate, with the surgery over with and just my future ahead of me.