Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Daily life  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 28.07.2020, 10:55
Doctor Memory's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Lugano, TI
Posts: 145
Groaned at 5 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 184 Times in 70 Posts
Doctor Memory has an excellent reputationDoctor Memory has an excellent reputationDoctor Memory has an excellent reputationDoctor Memory has an excellent reputation
Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Looking for some suggestions about next steps. Thanks.

My wife and I rent a flat here in Lugano. Late last year we requested, through our building manager, maintenance service on a failed light in the bathroom. The electrician came and fixed it. Early this year an invoice arrived in our mailbox from the electrician; it was in my name. We called the building manager and he said he would take care of it.

At the start of 2020 the entire building changed hands and the old owners moved out to another home in the city.

Last week we received a new invoice showing the bill unpaid and with a late fee added. It is still in my name. We sent it to the manager and then called him a few days later. He said he had forwarded the original invoice to previous owners of the building at their new address and apparently they haven't paid it. He told us that he forwarded a scan of this new invoice via email to the old owners reminding them that this is their responsibility. We asked for and received a copy of that email.

We are concerned that this is going to bite us. We've never paid a bill late in our 11 years here in CH and hope to apply in 2021 for citizenship. We worry that this thing could end up in court as a black mark against us.

We are considering this next step: sending a registered letter to the electrical company informing them that the bill is in my name in error and asking that it be reissued in the names of the previous owner of the building.

To be honest I am inclined to pay the bill and then deal with the old owners separately for reimbursement. It's for less than 200 CHF.

What do you think? Thanks in advance.

Dr. M.
__________________
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. (Mike Tyson)

Last edited by Doctor Memory; 28.07.2020 at 11:09.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Doctor Memory for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 28.07.2020, 12:12
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 21,137
Groaned at 366 Times in 281 Posts
Thanked 15,905 Times in 9,058 Posts
Medea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

To be honest, not worth the hassle. Pay it and move on.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank Medea Fleecestealer for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 28.07.2020, 12:42
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Nyon
Posts: 2,739
Groaned at 116 Times in 82 Posts
Thanked 3,131 Times in 1,575 Posts
bowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

First I would respond directly to the Electrician explaining the situation and telling them who they should be billing.

They seem to be out of the loop on this.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank bowlie for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 28.07.2020, 13:14
squeezethecroc's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Wallis
Posts: 91
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 110 Times in 58 Posts
squeezethecroc is considered knowledgeablesqueezethecroc is considered knowledgeablesqueezethecroc is considered knowledgeable
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Question is, who commissioned the electrician? If you commissioned him, then the invoice will be addressed to you and you're expected to pay the bill. If the manager commissioned the electrician, then the invoice should have been made out to the manager, who should have paid it and forwarded it to the owner in order to be reimbursed. The electrician can't send a bill to somebody who hasn't commissioned him.



As it is a relatively small amount, I'd pay it for now and send a copy of the invoice together with a covering letter, detailing the events and asking the amount to be credited to you. Send it by registered post.


If the worst comes to the worst, you'll just have to put it down to experience. It is tax-deductible though.


In future, you should contact the manager and/or owner who should commission any repairs and consult with you regarding access to your flat. If you're unhappy with the way your concerns are handled, you could join the "Mieterverband" (Association for Tenants). I imagine you'd want the Ticino branch. Here's a link, but I don't know how helpful this is as I don't speak Italian. https://asi-infoalloggio.ch/
But if this is the only issue, then it's probably not worth it.
Good luck.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank squeezethecroc for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 28.07.2020, 17:07
Doctor Memory's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Lugano, TI
Posts: 145
Groaned at 5 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 184 Times in 70 Posts
Doctor Memory has an excellent reputationDoctor Memory has an excellent reputationDoctor Memory has an excellent reputationDoctor Memory has an excellent reputation
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Thanks, squeezethecroc. Note, this from my original post:

"My wife and I rent a flat here in Lugano. Late last year we requested, through our building manager, maintenance service on a failed light in the bathroom."

So, I didn't call the electrician; the building manager did.

-Dr. M
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 28.07.2020, 17:12
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 12,232
Groaned at 858 Times in 601 Posts
Thanked 16,660 Times in 6,551 Posts
Chuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Quote:
View Post
Thanks, squeezethecroc. Note, this from my original post:

"My wife and I rent a flat here in Lugano. Late last year we requested, through our building manager, maintenance service on a failed light in the bathroom."

So, I didn't call the electrician; the building manager did.

-Dr. M
Write a registered letter with the name and address of the person the bill should have been paid by at the time the work was done, then get them to re-send it?

Otherwise pay it and send a letter to the person who should have paid it along with the evidence and tell them they have 30 days to reimburse you.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Chuff for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 28.07.2020, 17:16
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Basel
Posts: 1,459
Groaned at 30 Times in 25 Posts
Thanked 849 Times in 509 Posts
Landers has earned the respect of manyLanders has earned the respect of manyLanders has earned the respect of many
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

If you think you shouldn't pay the bill then you should have told the electrical company so. I think it would be appropriate for the building owner/manager to reimburse you but I wouldn't expect them to pay the bill that is in your name.
Having said that many or most contracts have a clause for small repairs and this could come under this clause and the tenant would be expected to pay no matter if the manager called the tradesperson. For example, I don't ask for the chimney sweep to come but I still get the bill (which usually gets rejected and then 'corrected')
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Landers for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 28.07.2020, 17:59
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Lugano
Posts: 833
Groaned at 15 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 924 Times in 437 Posts
LuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Quote:
View Post
If you think you shouldn't pay the bill then you should have told the electrical company so. I think it would be appropriate for the building owner/manager to reimburse you but I wouldn't expect them to pay the bill that is in your name.
Having said that many or most contracts have a clause for small repairs and this could come under this clause and the tenant would be expected to pay no matter if the manager called the tradesperson. For example, I don't ask for the chimney sweep to come but I still get the bill (which usually gets rejected and then 'corrected')
This is good advice from landers. If the work was commissioned by the building manager then you must inform the electrician and ask for a credit note from them. However, if it was for the replacement of a bulb or some other small work you could indeed be liable for it so suggest you check your contract and with the manager.

Most important though is to inform the electrician of what is happening, though all he really wants his money.

Having said all that, it may be less hassle as others have suggested to pay it and then look for reimbursement.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank LuganoPirate for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 28.07.2020, 18:07
squeezethecroc's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Wallis
Posts: 91
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 110 Times in 58 Posts
squeezethecroc is considered knowledgeablesqueezethecroc is considered knowledgeablesqueezethecroc is considered knowledgeable
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Quote:
View Post
Thanks, squeezethecroc. Note, this from my original post:

"My wife and I rent a flat here in Lugano. Late last year we requested, through our building manager, maintenance service on a failed light in the bathroom."

So, I didn't call the electrician; the building manager did.

-Dr. M
My apologies. It sounds like the manager didn't make it clear that you're the point of contact to arrange a suitable date and time for the repairs but that the invoice should be addressed and sent to the manager. As Bowlie suggested, you could try making a call to the electrician and see if he's willing to re-send the invoice to the original owner.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank squeezethecroc for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 28.07.2020, 18:16
squeezethecroc's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Wallis
Posts: 91
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 110 Times in 58 Posts
squeezethecroc is considered knowledgeablesqueezethecroc is considered knowledgeablesqueezethecroc is considered knowledgeable
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Quote:
View Post
...many or most contracts have a clause for small repairs and this could come under this clause and the tenant would be expected to pay no matter if the manager called the tradesperson. For example, I don't ask for the chimney sweep to come but I still get the bill (which usually gets rejected and then 'corrected')
This from the Mieterverband: "What is no longer a minor repair?
Repairs or cleaning of objects that tenants can't carry out themselves are the responsibility of the owner. These include unclogging the sewage pipe, repairing the dishwasher or cleaning shutters if this is dangerous without scaffolding. In such cases, ask the landlord to remedy the defect in writing, and under no circumstances give the craftsman the order yourself. If you later receive an invoice for the repair from the landlord, you should reject it by registered mail."
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank squeezethecroc for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 28.07.2020, 19:22
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 7,779
Groaned at 311 Times in 256 Posts
Thanked 10,020 Times in 5,291 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Quote:
View Post
Thanks, squeezethecroc. Note, this from my original post:

"My wife and I rent a flat here in Lugano. Late last year we requested, through our building manager, maintenance service on a failed light in the bathroom."

So, I didn't call the electrician; the building manager did.

-Dr. M
Lightbulbs in the apartment are usually (as in: basically always) the renter's to repair. What makes this the exception to that rule? Why did it need maintenance, was anything broken at all? Or did something other than the bulb break?

And what were you billed for? (perhaps upload an anonymised scan)

Last edited by Urs Max; 28.07.2020 at 19:33.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 28.07.2020, 20:50
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Basel
Posts: 1,459
Groaned at 30 Times in 25 Posts
Thanked 849 Times in 509 Posts
Landers has earned the respect of manyLanders has earned the respect of manyLanders has earned the respect of many
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Quote:
View Post
This from the Mieterverband: "What is no longer a minor repair?
Repairs or cleaning of objects that tenants can't carry out themselves are the responsibility of the owner.



So what about chimney sweeps? Seems that everyone pays themselves for these although usually you have no choice in who does it and in my experience you always get ripped off.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 29.07.2020, 02:39
Doctor Memory's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Lugano, TI
Posts: 145
Groaned at 5 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 184 Times in 70 Posts
Doctor Memory has an excellent reputationDoctor Memory has an excellent reputationDoctor Memory has an excellent reputationDoctor Memory has an excellent reputation
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Quote:
View Post
Lightbulbs in the apartment are usually (as in: basically always) the renter's to repair. What makes this the exception to that rule? Why did it need maintenance, was anything broken at all? Or did something other than the bulb break?

And what were you billed for? (perhaps upload an anonymised scan)
The request was to repair a broken electrical fixture, not to replace a light bulb. The bill was for its repair via rewiring by a licensed professional; definitely not DIY for a renting tenant. I contacted the building manager for this work. He is in complete agreement that we are not responsible for its payment.

I think the main issue here is that the people who owned the building when the repair was contracted do not seem to be paying the bill. It looks like my best course of action is to make sure that the electrician changes the name on the invoice.

Many thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. As always, the forum can be counted on for helpful advice and counsel!

-Dr. M.
__________________
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. (Mike Tyson)

Last edited by Doctor Memory; 29.07.2020 at 02:50.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 29.07.2020, 12:21
squeezethecroc's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Wallis
Posts: 91
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 110 Times in 58 Posts
squeezethecroc is considered knowledgeablesqueezethecroc is considered knowledgeablesqueezethecroc is considered knowledgeable
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Quote:
View Post
So what about chimney sweeps? Seems that everyone pays themselves for these although usually you have no choice in who does it and in my experience you always get ripped off.
The law distinguishes between repairs and servicing of appliances. A chimney sweep services the appliance, such as a wood-burning stove, which comes under "Heizkosten", i.e. all costs which pertain to heating generally. These costs are part of the "Nebenkosten.
https://www.mietrecht.ch/db/gesetze_show.php?ArtNr=5
If the stove needs repairs however, even if the chimney sweep carries them out, the costs should be paid for by the owner.
If you feel you're getting ripped off, you should discuss your concerns with the manager/owner.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 29.07.2020, 12:47
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 7,779
Groaned at 311 Times in 256 Posts
Thanked 10,020 Times in 5,291 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Quote:
View Post
I think the main issue here is that the people who owned the building when the repair was contracted do not seem to be paying the bill. It looks like my best course of action is to make sure that the electrician changes the name on the invoice.
That's what it looks like. From the electrician's POV what you say may be of little weight, it would probably be a different matter if the building manager confirmed your position.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Urs Max for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 29.07.2020, 14:01
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Basel
Posts: 1,459
Groaned at 30 Times in 25 Posts
Thanked 849 Times in 509 Posts
Landers has earned the respect of manyLanders has earned the respect of manyLanders has earned the respect of many
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Quote:
View Post
The law distinguishes between repairs and servicing of appliances.

You mentioned before "cleaning". My chimney isn't an appliance, but nevermind.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 29.07.2020, 16:40
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Lugano
Posts: 833
Groaned at 15 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 924 Times in 437 Posts
LuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Advice Needed: Electrician's bill in my name and building ownership has changed

Just a small but perhaps important point. When you sell a property, unless it's specifically mentioned, all obligations, liabilities, defects etc pass from the seller to the new owner. So it's more than likely the old owner will no longer pay the bill as it's not his responsibility, unless he has given an indemnity to the buyer for such things. He probably never even realised he had this invoice if it was billed to you - and nor did the new owner.

So this debt now falls on the new owner to pay - hopefully!!!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank LuganoPirate for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Legal advice needed / experience sharing- appeal against a building permit alex6315 Housing in general 39 02.09.2019 10:39
advice needed: electrician wants to sue us MarkInZug Other/general 12 05.12.2018 18:05
Plasterboard or something?? building materials advice needed please Harriet and Patrick Housing in general 7 20.04.2011 17:02
Legal advice needed/landlord changed number of rooms Sergey Housing in general 2 01.03.2011 11:08
Basic insurance bill - advice needed!! NDSpittal Insurance 29 10.10.2008 00:33


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 22:16.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0