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Old 18.08.2011, 15:10
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Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

Hi everyone!

Major issue here, I hope someone has some knowledge of tenants' rights in Switzerland...any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I sublet a studio from this guy for 3 months because he wanted to have a trial period living with his girlfriend. I saw the ad online, posted by the tenant himself.

It was in Lausanne, near la Rue du Maupas: a tiny one-bedroom studio on the ground floor, right next to the lift...a pretty grim and badly-lit place, but it served its purpose for 3 months, which was to give me time to find somewhere decent to live.

After two weeks, this guy (who is 35), calls me and moans about his girlfriend because it didn't work out, feeling sorry for himself because he "now has to live off friends' couches and is basically homeless". Though generous enough, as he was quick to tell me, to let me stay in his studio.

After all, he had drawn up a contract, so trying to wriggle out of it would have been stupid.

Then each month, he would call me up and ask me to pay the rent earlier than planned. The second time he did this, I asked him to accept the deposit as the last month's rent instead, because I thought THIS IS NOT ON. How can I trust this guy to pay me back, when he's going on about staying at his alcoholic friend's flat and being woken up by random people in his bed!!!

At this suggestion he literally BLEW UP and called me a hypocrite: how could I expect him to trust me if I didn't trust him - who knows, I might run off into the hills with all his hideous furniture! Then he likened me to his girlfriend, saying that he would certainly not trust me if he couldn't even trust the girl he'd loved. I was at work at this point and trying to cut the conversation short. In the end, he apologised and said he was out of line because he hadn't slept properly in ages. He became normal again within a split second --> a real bi-polar moment that made my hair stand on edge!

On the last day of the sublet, I cleaned up the flat ready to hand it over in mint condition - unlike the state it was in when I'd moved in.

But then, disaster struck: I plugged his microwave back in, and the fuse blew, bringing all electronic kitchen appliances down with it. To my great horror, the oven and hobs no longer worked, so I figured the trick switch might have turned itself off. Couldn't find the bloody thing anywhere to turn it back on again.

So I notified the guy by e-mail and figured it was now up to him: majorly inconvenient for him, but after all he's a tenant and it's the agency's duty to pay for such repairs - it's THEIR property.

I called him and we chatted about it civilly, and I wrote it all down in an e-mail to have a written copy of what was said.

Then he called and left a very aggressive message threatening me and saying that I will only get my deposit back if everything is fixed.

And now I think he's going to try to say that he had to pay for repairs out of his own pocket and keep my deposit.

If he actually sinks to this low level, does anyone know what I can do? Is there any free legal advice out there for this type of problem?

I'm only a subtenant so I don't know what rights I have.

Thanks for reading this people!
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Old 18.08.2011, 15:15
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

Your diagnosis of bi-polar is wrong.
(Mood swings , whilst abrupt, last for days at least, a bi-polar person does not switch from calm to angry to calm again over the period of a phone call)

Who holds your deposit ?

Has anything actually happened to your money ?

Have you spoken to ASLOCA ?
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Old 18.08.2011, 15:23
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

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But then, disaster struck: I plugged his microwave back in, and the fuse blew, bringing all electronic kitchen appliances down with it. To my great horror, the oven and hobs no longer worked, so I figured the trick switch might have turned itself off. Couldn't find the bloody thing anywhere to turn it back on again.
If the electricity went off the oven will not work again until the clock is reset (at least that's how my vZug works).
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Old 18.08.2011, 15:27
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

Upthehatters:

I was joking about the bi-polar 'diagnosis', which I guess was insensitive - sorry.

I have tried to call ASLOCA but it's not a free service - so at the moment they are a last resort.

The money is simply in his hands, he's the only one holding it. All I have is the contract he drew up.

vwild1:

Thanks for the tip! But I've already moved out and into my new place. The oven is long gone!
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Old 18.08.2011, 15:33
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

First things first - have you tried replacing the fuse? or is that the bit you didn't know where to look for?

The fuse box is usually a small metal cabinet mounted on/in the wall. If it's a proper apartment building there should be a box inside each apartment (check somewhere around the entryway usually.)

There might be a spare fuse or two lying around inside the box, or you might have to get one from the landlord/caretaker.

Edit: just saw your post. Too bad, chances that anything was actually damaged are pretty low but I'm guessing it'd be hard to prove that now.
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Old 18.08.2011, 15:39
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

What is the deposit amount?
If it is just a few hundred bucks then just bully him about the legal action you are about to take in written, this trick may work. Litrally getting into legal action despite of free legal advice could cost you more than the deposit itself and your valuable time.
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Old 18.08.2011, 15:48
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

Good point Openid, and thanks Mathnut!

It's 850CHF, not worth sewing him over - but not be sneezed at either! Especially as I'm not made of gold.

I've spoken to friends about this, and they say it was an illegal sublet - which means his agency was not informed he was subletting it to someone!

With this in mind, would it be worth telling the guy that I have proof of payments to him AND the contract he wrote up, which I could send to his agency if he doesn't pay up?

What do you think, is this me sinking to new levels? Will he go psycho on me?

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Old 18.08.2011, 16:00
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

Oh God, I meant suing him of course, not sewing him. I'm not an evil seamstress.
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Old 18.08.2011, 16:03
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

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Oh God, I meant suing him of course, not sewing him. I'm not an evil seamstress.
You could stitch him up...
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Old 18.08.2011, 16:04
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

I wouldnt just give up on 850 CHF, but really you should have tried to sort the fuses before you left if you have left already, maybe asked a work colleague or friend to come and have a look if you werent sure, you could advise him that you were aware this was a sublet or better, offer to go and look at the fuse situation again, if you can sort it, and it sounds easy enough there should be no reason for him to hold the deposit.
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Old 18.08.2011, 16:09
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

How legal were things on your end? You say he sublet without authorization; are your ducks in a row? If so then you could demand receipts for the work needed that required your deposit and go on from there, but if you don't have a leg to stand on then even if he broke the rules in subletting to you you could just be opening a can of worms you might want to keep closed.

ASLOCA is 55 francs/yr if I remember right- that's a pretty good deal.
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Old 18.08.2011, 16:18
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

You're right Rubylad! The only thing is it happened on Saturday night and I moved out on Sunday morning...you can imagine the last minute agro!

I thought about trying to fix it, but I'm crap at DIY and I thought I might get electrocuted or make it worse - when a professional could probably fix it in a second, so safer to leave it up to them.

I just need this guy not to be a shit about it. (or I WILL stitch him up good!)
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Old 18.08.2011, 16:22
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

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Your diagnosis of bi-polar is wrong.
(Mood swings , whilst abrupt, last for days at least, a bi-polar person does not switch from calm to angry to calm again over the period of a phone call)
Yep, that is called bortherline personality
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Old 18.08.2011, 16:27
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

Thanks for the contribution, Mud!

To be honest I didn't know how things worked in Switzerland in terms of sublets. All I know is when I was offered something, I jumped on the chance! (since it's so hard to find anything in Lausanne).

But if this guy has been doing things behind his agency's back, then surely it can't reflect badly on the person he sublet it to, can it?

hmmm.
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Old 18.08.2011, 17:01
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

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Oh God, I meant suing him of course, not sewing him. I'm not an evil seamstress.
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You could stitch him up...
hem hem...

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Yep, that is called bortherline personality
Or a teenager.

If he shouldn't have sublet, then threaten to tell his landlord if you don't get your deposit back pdq.
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Old 18.08.2011, 17:45
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

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Yep, that is called bortherline personality
Is ''bortherline'' a fancy new medical term ?
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Old 18.08.2011, 17:52
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

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Yep, that is called bortherline personality
*puts fingers in ears* lalalalalala I don't take medical advice from the internet *takes fingers out of ears, types, and laughs at Angela*
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Old 18.08.2011, 17:57
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

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*puts fingers in ears* lalalalalala I don't take medical advice from the internet *takes fingers out of ears, types, and laughs at Angela*
are you porshe?
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Old 18.08.2011, 17:58
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

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Is ''bortherline'' a fancy new medical term ?
sorta....I heard from it only 8 or so years ago.
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Old 18.08.2011, 18:19
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Re: Sublet disaster: a bi-polar Swiss man is trying to steal my deposit!!!

Wait a minute. Sublets are not illegal & you say you had a contract. So although he should have informed the agency (and you don't know if he did or didn't) nothing will come of that. He certainly won't "get in trouble"....

Anyway, you didn't want to fix it cuz you didn't want any "agro" but you think it's fine for him to go through the "agro"?

The two of you should have gone through the apartment together to decide and agree on any damage. Since you are no longer there he can, if he wants, decide all on his own lots of other damage and you have no proof.

If I were you, I'd be nice to him. Apologize for not fixing the fuse, that you didn't know how, yada, yada, and of course you'll pay if he needed an electrician, and then be happy that's all he charges you for.

Also, although it wasn't nice that he lost it, it's true, you want him to trust you but you don't trust him. Can't have it both ways.
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