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Old 06.07.2018, 00:51
LifeStrain LifeStrain is offline
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Cancelling recently signed rental contract?


unfortunately a week after living in a new apartment I feel that it may be a good idea to move somewhere else. The problem is that the landlord (one of the big companies here in ZH) doesn't want to renovate wooden walls in the apartment after smoking (!) couple lived there for 24 (!) years, which are about 30-40% of the flat surface. This gives the apt. a pretty disctinct smell, which I can't stand. I somehow did not notice it, or did not pay attention to it during the initial viewing.

Initially I assumed that they will paint everything and this will solve the smell issue, but they only painted stone walls with white paint, although at Wohnungsubergabe I explicitly asked to paint also the wood, for which they replied that they did not plan that, but they will see what can be done. After that I reminded them per email that I want the wood be painted, which was ignored. Now I moved in on 1st of July and the apartment smells with a mix of nicotine and paint, with paint smell getting weaker every day and nicotine getting stronger.

Otherwise the apt is really nice, even a sort of dream, I'd say (kitchen and bathroom are a bit old but its okay), located at the border of Kreis 1/4, next to Sihl, with a fantastic view over Zurich, even with a bit of Alps, top floor, two huge balconies, and it is also reasonably priced (less than 2k for 60sqm+2x10sqm balconies). But I have asthma, so I really cannot tolerate that smoke smell.

Basically I have 4 options now:

a) try to push the landlord to actually paint the wooden walls. The drawback is that I am not sure if there is a legal way to force them, and secondly, whether some other parts, like floor laminate or window plastic, maybe also absorbed this smoke and painting wooden walls would only partly solve the issue.

b) paint everything myself, or hire someone to paint it... that will be pricey, and why the heck should I do it myself anyway? And also see previous point...

c) try to cancel the apt, ideally to avoid 3month frist, justifying that they are obviously not sticking to what they are obliged to do (or are they?). Is it even possible in this case? Is there any sort of probation period for renting a flat for such cases or am I now completely screwed?

d) accept it and suffer, or try to use some half-measures to reduce the smell (coffee, HEPA-filter etc.). This I would like to avoid.

P.S. I already contacted Mietverband, but also wanted to have your opinion here.

P.P.S. I don't have much furniture and my new fancy Pfister stuff will only come at the end of August, so I can actually afford temporarily moving back to any WG, while searching for another flat from August/September or so...

So, what do you think?
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