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Old 03.01.2013, 15:03
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How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

Hi, I will finish my current lease and move out from the apartment soon. One of my friends hired two ladies to help cleaning, but still got refused. Finally she had to delegate the cleaning to the agent and they charged her 2000 chf deposit plus 500 chf. Does anybody know what is the procedure of checking an apartment and where are the potential key areas that might be refused?
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Old 03.01.2013, 15:05
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

It is as if this question has never been asked before!

Basically if you hire a company to clean - ensure that there is a clause in their contract that they are responsible for ensuring it passes the "cleaning" part of the handover.

You may still be liable for damage.

If you insist on cleaning it yourself they will check everything:
- dust on the top of windows
- clean windows
- new filter in the hob extractor
- no calc on anything
- every shelf spotless in the kitchen

One warning - if you use "white" sponges to clean walls of dirty spots be very careful if you do so above a radiator. Over time this area will become dirty from the heat currents from the radiator. Trying to "lift" a spot from this area will result in the whole wall needing painting.

(Been there done that - and managed to get the landlord to cover it!!)
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Old 03.01.2013, 15:11
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

Handing over process is called the Abnahmeprotokoll.

Enclosed PDF details the Check list.

Some links:

HEV

Exorbitant cleaning bill
Attached Files
File Type: pdf form_f_mitgl_w_abnahmeprotokoll_1.pdf (685.9 KB, 110 views)
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Old 03.01.2013, 21:43
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

How you have to give your appartment back as far as final cleaning is concerned is written in your contract.

In the French-speaking part it is current that you only need to sweep ("appartement vidé et balayé"), so check your contract or contact your landlord to be sure!

If your contract says cleaning (nettoyé), you can expect that you landlord will inspect every single corner....

Good luck
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Old 03.01.2013, 23:25
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

Get the agency to recommend a suitable cleaning company is my advice.
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Old 04.01.2013, 18:57
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

I have to say we were quite amazed how thoroughly the landlady checked the house during our hand-over. We were moving in but I was almost sorry for the tenant moving out. The lady from the cleaning company (who spent 2 days cleaning the house - and I kept wondering what she was doing for 2 days!) was there as well and had to do a few things she had forgotten to do - or was not told to do. Well, I was no longer surprised that she had spent 2 days cleaning the house. Also the garden hadn't been kept neat so that was another discussion point. So I'd agree - perhaps the agency works with a cleaning company and can recommend them.
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Old 05.01.2013, 01:18
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

Yes, most of the agents have sort of tie-up with some cleaning agency and they'll only accept the handover if the cleaning had been done through that company.
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Old 05.01.2013, 01:39
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

this is one of those questions where id answer "depends on the honesty of the landlord".

Some landlords will try to milk you for every last cent of your deposit, and the more honest landlords will be realistic and say that the things that are general wear and tear REALLY are just general wear and tear.

There are mediums that one can use to oversee the cases where landlords abuse their power, but this is switzerland and those services dont come cheap.

So just for your info (based on a lot of trial and error of the expats that I know...), the status quo here is to hire pros who guarantee their cleaning with a solid guarantee.
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Old 05.01.2013, 04:08
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

Having just survived this process, I have to say that logic sometimes has nothing to do with the expectations of how clean the house has to be when you move out. My landlord's agent spent 3 hours inspecting every square inch of the house I was leaving. He tried to force me to refill the oil tank to contain more than was in there when I moved in, and clean things that were never cleaned when I moved in. Luckily I had pictures and documentation from my move-in and my own relocation specialists to protect me during the handover.

If you have access to the exact paint used in the house, touch up any scratches on the walls and trim, no matter how minor they may seem. It will save you hundreds of francs. Clean the ceramic cook top perfectly, that is another area that agents check fastidiously. Make sure that every light bulb works (know someone charged 75chf for replacing one), all picture hanger holes are filled and the plaster is repaired from any hardware damage from changing light fixtures.

Compared to the States, there is no such thing as "normal" wear and tear which is acceptable in the house. They will not hold you responsible for painting if you are in the apartment for more than 10 years.

I have heard of people doing a "pre-move out review" with their agents to look for problems to rectify them before the hand over date. I did this, and it helped me avoid many headaches during the handover.

I have never personally met someone that fufilled the criteria to clean the house by themselves without the help of a professional. The professional should provide a guarantee that they will keep cleaning until the house meets the new tenants and the landlord's requests, and should attend the handover with you. The cleaning service should not be paid until the handover has been accepted.

Best of luck!
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Old 29.12.2013, 17:55
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

I am moving soon so these posts are super helpful. We moved into a new apartment, so pit up the light fittings etc. ourselves. Do we need to take these fittings and the bulbs out?? seems a lot, if the new tenants put them right back up....
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Old 29.12.2013, 18:38
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

Yes, you usually take them with you. Strange I know, but that's how the Swiss do it. After all, you'll need them in your new place if moving elsewhere in Switzerland.
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Old 07.01.2014, 19:33
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

As a cleaning company owner I can tell you that I have seen horror stories. Landlords do take advantage but not all. To give you an example during an entire year of business 2% of landlords are out there to rip off the tenants. In some cases the landlords look for anything to overcharge. You can bet they know who is a professional and who is just a cleaner. Once they figure this out, for sure they will take advantage (when they are out to rip off) But in the other hand you will have a landlord who is looking throrughly but knows the job as been done properly and gives no problems at all. These I find in my case to be 98% of the case. However, if they cant get you for the cleaning they will try for something else like the painting or damages. The Swiss cleaning standars are NOT the same as American or UK standards. Impeccable is a word to describe the condition when leaving a flat. Not one hair, not one particule of dust anywhere, is insane but thats how it is. Once the agents knows you have hired a company is a totally different story than hiring a cleaning lady.
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Old 07.01.2014, 19:56
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Re: How does the agent check an apartment when you move out?

My trick is to use a steam cleaner in the bathroom and kitchen, and for the exteriors blinds. You really need to be extremely thorough, and then it should be good enough: I often have to take the oven door apart to get the glass clean enough!

Out of 6 handovers I have only had problems with one bad landlord.

If you join the Mieterverband, you can pay for someone knowledgeable to be present at the handover.
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