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Old 09.11.2012, 15:21
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Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

A tip for those getting screwed over for cleaning bills, deposit etc.

I went to the renters court against my last landlord and won. They provide a translator for free. You explain your case to a panel of lawyers and they decide the outcome.

You just need to send them a letter detailing your complaints and they set up a court date. Printed copies of e-mails are admissible.

Find your local one here in ZH:

http://www.gerichte-zh.ch/organisati...ht-meilen.html

Looks like I'll be going again as landlord number 2 is also trying it on. I'm so glad I'm leaving this country...
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Old 09.11.2012, 16:08
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

Hey, good to hear you got justice. Would you mind to tell us the case?
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Old 09.11.2012, 16:32
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

Rented a furnished place when I arrived in Zurich, fairly crappy apt, but it did the job. Moved out after 3 months. They tried to keep my deposit and charge approx 1900 CHF for cleaning and 'unpaid rent'.

The day of the key handover was bizarre. They said pots and pans needed to be replaced (after 3 months!). Aparently their cleaner charges 70 CHF per hour!

I went to the Mieterverband and they advised going to the court. They have English speaking staff.

At the hearing, you speak in front a panel of lawyers and then a rep. from the rip-off housing agency gives his case. I had a translator (provided free of charge). The lawyers all spoke English though - proceedings are conducted in German.

He got a pounding from them....it was an easy win.

I think most of the folk working for these agencies are low or non-educated types. Most are little mafias...we are their prey. Best to avoid them if you can. Renting here has been a horrible experience for me. I learned to expect the worst and am never disappointed.

The ruling of the court has to be followed or the agency could get in big trouble/closed down.

The whole renting thing is an embarrassment to this country. Worst I've ever experienced (I've rented places in 10 countries now).
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Old 09.11.2012, 17:21
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

Yep, had a similar situation with our last move. A lady was carrying out the inspection prior to our departure and told my wife (bad move!) that cirtain things needed to be paid for. My wife threatened legal action if any bills were sent to her and also told her that she (the inspector) would probably be fired for ridiculous claims after our lawyer was finished with them. We never heard from her or the landlord again...

Agressive action does the job. Some people try this all the time in the hope that they will find someone who is weak or does not know their rights.

Last edited by Jack of all trades.; 09.11.2012 at 17:24. Reason: more info'
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Old 09.11.2012, 17:21
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

Sorry you got stung. Good for you that managed to stand up to them.

I've lived in 4 places [edit: rented in Basel] and never got stung. That said, I rented from large reputable companies.

Probably a case of "buy-cheap, buy twice"?

Good luck with the second case.
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Old 09.11.2012, 17:24
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

So who is paying for the translator, the landlord or the city? You wouldn't get that service with lawyers
speaking a foreign language in France or the UK. (One won't and one can't)

I moved apartment 10 days ago, I did all the cleaning myself, 4.5 rooms 80 sq meters. Today I received a
copy of a letter from the owner (Marti, a building company's pension fund) to the UBS instructing the bank
to pay the deposit to me in full.

Maybe you just rub people up the wrong way?
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Old 09.11.2012, 17:24
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

I've only had positive experiences too.
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Old 09.11.2012, 17:27
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

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The whole renting thing is an embarrassment to this country.
In what way?

Tom
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Old 09.11.2012, 17:30
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

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So who is paying for the translator, the landlord or the city?
The city! (Message too short)
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Old 09.11.2012, 17:36
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

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A tip for those getting screwed over for cleaning bills, deposit etc.

I went to the renters court against my last landlord and won. They provide a translator for free. You explain your case to a panel of lawyers and they decide the outcome.

You just need to send them a letter detailing your complaints and they set up a court date. Printed copies of e-mails are admissible.

Find your local one here in ZH:

http://www.gerichte-zh.ch/organisati...ht-meilen.html

Looks like I'll be going again as landlord number 2 is also trying it on. I'm so glad I'm leaving this country...
is there an official judgement online. i quite enjoy reading these. read one relating to an action of a former neighbour of mine in the UK and it was quite entertaining.
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Old 09.11.2012, 20:33
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

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So who is paying for the translator, the landlord or the city? You wouldn't get that service with lawyers
speaking a foreign language in France or the UK. (One won't and one can't)

I moved apartment 10 days ago, I did all the cleaning myself, 4.5 rooms 80 sq meters. Today I received a
copy of a letter from the owner (Marti, a building company's pension fund) to the UBS instructing the bank
to pay the deposit to me in full.

Maybe you just rub people up the wrong way?
Unfortunately you do get translators in blighty when you demand them. If there were less translators people would make more effort to learn English. Bit off topic , sorry.
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Old 09.11.2012, 20:47
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

But expats 'demand' :

English-speaking doctors, dentists, vets, lawyers, butchers, plumbers, electricians, policemen- etc, etc, etc. Many wonder why universities do not teach in English, ask why they can't be doctors, psychologists, public school teachers, etc, while not speaking the local language to an adequate level, and so on, and so forth.

Had I expected everyone in the UK to deal with me in French I would have
never learnt the language, been very unhappy and without friends, been unable to study at uni, been unemployable, starved and died
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Old 10.11.2012, 07:20
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

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Unfortunately you do get translators in blighty when you demand them. If there were less translators people would make more effort to learn English. Bit off topic , sorry.
Please don't twist my words, I never said that you don't get Court translators in UK

1. I asked who was paying for the translator, (as the OP is usually moaning about life here, and needs English in a Swiss Court)
2. I wrote that lawyers in France would not speak English in Court (the French always speak French)
3. I wrote that lawyers in UK would be unable to speak foreign languages in Court (because they have insufficient skills in a foreign language)
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Old 13.11.2012, 11:31
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

The offer translators because it's mostly foreigners getting screwed. They are responding to the reality of what's going on out there.

As this is a forum for English speaking expats it's useful to know that this is on offer to those who cannot speak German to the level required in a court.

What's the point of trolling round the 'English Forum' being critical of people who don't speak fluent German/French/Italian. Why the f**k do you think people come onto this forum?
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Old 13.11.2012, 11:54
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

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So who is paying for the translator, the landlord or the city? You wouldn't get that service with lawyers
speaking a foreign language in France or the UK. (One won't and one can't)

I moved apartment 10 days ago, I did all the cleaning myself, 4.5 rooms 80 sq meters. Today I received a
copy of a letter from the owner (Marti, a building company's pension fund) to the UBS instructing the bank
to pay the deposit to me in full.

Maybe you just rub people up the wrong way?
Yep, lets deny its not an issue in this country.

Nearly every single person I know has had a personal issue or knows of more than one person who has had an issue in this area so I guess many many people are rubbing landlords up the wrong way.

But lets not question the perfect system and utopia that is Switzerland.
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Old 13.11.2012, 12:36
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

Even the Swiss people I work with call rental agencies 'little mafias'. Maybe the reason the Swiss don't like to move house much.

Not saying that all are bad but my 2 experiences have been nasty.

The fact that a special renters court exists with dedicated lawyers/judges shows that there's a lot of abuse of the system going on. I've never heard of such a thing in other places I've lived and rented...but then I never had a problem in those other countries.
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Old 13.11.2012, 12:46
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

It is not necessarily a Ex-Pat versus Swiss issue. I lived in one building where the landlord treated all his tenants like crap and tried to screw over everyone when they left, he didn't care what nationality you were. Swiss or foreign you got the same treatment.

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So who is paying for the translator, the landlord or the city? You wouldn't get that service with lawyers
speaking a foreign language in France or the UK. (One won't and one can't)

I moved apartment 10 days ago, I did all the cleaning myself, 4.5 rooms 80 sq meters. Today I received a
copy of a letter from the owner (Marti, a building company's pension fund) to the UBS instructing the bank
to pay the deposit to me in full.

Maybe you just rub people up the wrong way?
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Old 13.11.2012, 13:08
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

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Even the Swiss people I work with call rental agencies 'little mafias'. Maybe the reason the Swiss don't like to move house much.
The reason is that your rent does increase significantly once you move.
The landlord can't raise the rent much per year once the contract has started - but with a new renter, he can increase it as much as the market will pay.
We had a guy in our town that used to sell (non-British...) cheese from a trailer in front of the house he rented in (with wife and kids).
He had lived there for ten or twelve years until the owner died and the children sold the house. The new owner wanted him out because he was only paying something like 1200 or so for a 4 room flat.
After a little feud, he moved out and the owner refurbished the place a bit and now charges upwards 2k for it.

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Not saying that all are bad but my 2 experiences have been nasty.

The fact that a special renters court exists with dedicated lawyers/judges shows that there's a lot of abuse of the system going on. I've never heard of such a thing in other places I've lived and rented...but then I never had a problem in those other countries.
There are also renter-courts in Germany, even though there's no shortage of objects to rent, unlike in Switzerland.
That said, Switzerland is certainly not a role-model in this respect.
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Old 13.11.2012, 13:32
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

I think you might get the wrong impression after reading the complaints on this forum. We only see the complaints here, rarely do we see any praise, and most complaints are from people whom have lived here less than 5 years.

In reality Swiss people do not move very much, and often know the owners, and would only rent from landlords with a good reputation. When ex-pats arrive here we are faced with probably the worst landlords, the ones that could not rent their property by word of mouth.

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I moved out of my apartment 14 days ago, I did all the cleaning myself, 4.5 rooms 80 sq meters. Today I received the deposit, paid to me in full.
Since 1989 I have rented 12 apartments, only one from a friend. I was "caught out" by only one landlord. I took over an apartment that was not perfectly clean, and when I left she demanded an extra Fr 200 for cleaning that which was not clean at the first hand-over.

As you know the situation here is heavily regulated, and you have to ask yourself, "Do I want to live in an apartment, and be confronted every day with the dirt from previous tenants?"
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Old 13.11.2012, 16:43
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Re: Corrupt Landlords - Going to Court

I lived in a furnished flat for 3 years. In the end I paid 200 CHF for cleaning, is okay for me because I did not have to do it. Also in three years some of the kitchen things were broken and needed replacement but she did not ask anything from me for it.

So, I cannot complain. I have 99% good experiences and 1 % bad.... in other countries even my own could be much worse....
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