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Old 15.01.2009, 16:30
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Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

An interesting one today. I live in an area that has many semi-detached houses and a Garage with two waste disposal rooms. Inside these rooms are metal wheelie-containers for your plastic household rubbish sacks and one for green garden waste. Last August a notice appeared (in German only and the majority of tennants in this area are not native German speakers plus there is a high turnover of tennants) stating that since the waste disposal rooms were being abused as people were leaving other kinds of junk such as cardboard, paper and assorted stuff such as old ironing boards etc this was a warning. Either this abuse stopped or the landlord would install security cameras and charge the tenants for the cost. If subsequently there were still no improvement then the waste disposal rooms would be locked.

Fast forward to yesterday, a new notice has appeared and the rooms are now locked. Reason claimed is that there were still some people dumping rubbish in these rooms. Now apparently the house master will unlock the rooms twice a week between the hours of 7 and 8 am to allow people to place "legal" waste in the containers.

Observations: They didn't ever install any cameras but went ahead and locked the rooms anyway.

What are people supposed to do with their waste bags between Thursday and Monday and Thursday? During the winter maybe they could be kept in the house but in the summer? Not very hygenic and they'll soon stink up the place.

Anyway, needless to say, people are seriously pi$$ed off about this as it's unfair to punish everyone because of the actions of some. We pay a high level of rent (over 4,000chf here) and we're being treated not as clients but as children in school that infringe on a rule.

I intend to write to the landlord telling them that unless they reverse this decision I'll withhold rent (I doubt I can legally do that but it's worth a try).

Questions: anybody have an idea as to whether a landlord is obliged to provide reasonable waste disposal facilities? Can a landlord legally pass on costs for installation of security equipment to all tenants?

The company in question won't be named publicly here for obvious reasons but suffice it say it's one of the larger companies here in ZH.

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Old 15.01.2009, 16:42
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

Some buildings have a metal container outdoors, (locked to restrict use or not). Others have no comunal facility, you just have to keep bags in your own bin on balcony until the appropriate day. I woud imagine the facility of a room is an extra luxury included in your rent and therefore perhaps in your contract with the landlord?
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Old 15.01.2009, 16:44
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

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Some buildings have a metal container outdoors, (locked to restrict use or not). Others have no comunal facility, you just have to keep bags in your own bin on balcony until the appropriate day. I woud imagine the facility of a room is an extra luxury included in your rent and therefore perhaps in your contract with the landlord?

well if it's included in the rent then I would expect a rent reduction if this "luxury" (!) is removed.


What's so luxurious about being able to get rid of rubbish?

I need to check the contract anyway...
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Old 15.01.2009, 16:57
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

Just organize all of the tenants to leave their bags of rubbish in front of the locked door..
That should get the door unlocked in a hurry.
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Old 15.01.2009, 16:59
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

I mean it is a "luxury" to get it off your own hands or balcony before the actual collection day. I have lived in places where it was collected just once a week or others where it was collected every day! Does make a difference to the quality of your lifestyle.
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Old 15.01.2009, 17:05
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

Well I've just posted a couple of my own notices on the waste room doors telling people that I'm going to write a formal complaint and that if people want to join in they can let me know.

Ah you don't get me I'm part of the union....Man the Barricades!
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Old 15.01.2009, 17:05
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

Hi, I suggest you become a member of the tenants association www.mieterverband.ch The fees are around CHF 90 a year. They provide you with legal information regarding matters like yours. Besides for the yearly membership fees you dont pay anything extra for all the legal consults.
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Old 15.01.2009, 17:51
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

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Just organize all of the tenants to leave their bags of rubbish in front of the locked door..
That should get the door unlocked in a hurry.
Good idea.
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Old 15.01.2009, 18:37
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

Your nebenkosten will include the costs for the communal rubbish room and the caretaker to put the bins out, so you are unlikely to get a reduction on your rent.
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Old 15.01.2009, 20:01
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

Why not ask for a key?
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Old 15.01.2009, 20:39
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

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Why not ask for a key?
Actually that's the most logical answer to his problem. Most apartments use a KABA key system where as your apartment key will also open all exterior doors such as stairway, celler and garage doors. The rubbish room door should use the same key set where as only the tenants can access the rubbish bins. The managment has to make it clear to the tenants that since only they have access to the bins then they (as a group) will be charged for any unlawful rubbish disposal.
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Old 16.01.2009, 09:17
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

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Actually that's the most logical answer to his problem. Most apartments use a KABA key system where as your apartment key will also open all exterior doors such as stairway, celler and garage doors. The rubbish room door should use the same key set where as only the tenants can access the rubbish bins. The managment has to make it clear to the tenants that since only they have access to the bins then they (as a group) will be charged for any unlawful rubbish disposal.
Just to clear up this point, only tenants can (or could) use these rooms anway, no-one else has access to them as they are located within the garage (tiefgarage) and you need your house key to enter there. We all have KABA keys. The offending parties must be from within the group of tenants but in their defence, most of the people living in this area do not speak much german and may not have understood either the notices or the rules in the first place(*). I don't dispute with the landlord that there was a problem with the wrong kind of junk being left in the rooms but I do dispute that locking them is not the answer to this problem. It's also unfair to punish all the tenants because of the action of a few.

*We live in what's politely termed the "Auslanderghetto" which with rent prices of an average of 4,000CHF is quite a nice ghetto. Many of those living there are on short term overseas contracts.
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Old 16.01.2009, 09:18
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

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Your nebenkosten will include the costs for the communal rubbish room and the caretaker to put the bins out, so you are unlikely to get a reduction on your rent.

Yes I know that, I would expect a corresponding reduction in Nebenkosten if this facility is removed. Basically I think the landlord is being an ar$e, there is a problem but his action is not the way to solve it.
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Old 16.01.2009, 09:44
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

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*We live in what's politely termed the "Auslanderghetto" which with rent prices of an average of 4,000CHF is quite a nice ghetto.
ouch.. not trying to derail your thread but just wanted to mention 20min had an article yesterday about foreigners paying higher rents than Swiss:

http://www.20min.ch/news/schweiz/story/14422320
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Old 16.01.2009, 10:12
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

This is just my opinion, as you pay rent and nebenkosten, you should be able to dispose of your rubbish at your a time which suits you, if you are working at the time when they want to open the lock, what do you do with your rubbish, i suggest that when your rubbish is full you ring the bell of the ladlord and say you have rubbish to dispose and could he/she please open the lock....if he/she say's no there are times for this, tell him/her that you are not home at this time, if he still refuses to unlock it, then leave your rubbish on his door, keep doing this and he will open it again.... (make sure he/she is alone and that you do not have anything with your name on it in the rubbish bag)......

You have the right to dispose of your rubbish.....so he can't do much....

withholding your rent, you have to do this in the right way, there are special bank accounts for this, i can't remember the name (the bank will know) it's an account where you put your rent money until the problem is resolved and then you pay the rent....
You also have to give the landlord notice of say 10days before you withhold the rent...you can do this also if you have problems in your appartment and they don't get sorted, ie, the heating is not working and nobody sorts it....

wish you luck and i hope your appartment doesn't stink too bad.....
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Old 16.01.2009, 10:17
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

I am afraid the landlord is allowed to do that.

Your idea about the cameras is a good one,but in Switzerland due to the data protection act you cannot just set up a CCTV for example and thus catch out the culprits.

Your complaint to the agency/landord is a good idea too, may i add something to put in there?

***
Instead of firing on all barrels about reducing rent and so , why not put into that letter the fact that the majority of the tenants are non german speakers and it would be really helpful if the agency were to provide info in english and german to ensure that the regulations are followed by all tenants and thus ensuring a harmonious neighbourhood,without the need for 'punishments'.

***

I am afraid, that it might not be easy to get them to do it, too many agencies think --'we're in CH so ppl have to speak german or french or italian' not realising that they would win customers if they were to provide info etc in english as well.................it was the same here when i asked our agency for an english rental contract for my mate..........in the end i translated it myself!

I am a big believer in communication,and make sure that notes to our tenants are always in german,french and english . If it is of any help you could mention that you know someone who would translate that stuff for them
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Old 16.01.2009, 10:30
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

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I am afraid the landlord is allowed to do that.

Your idea about the cameras is a good one,but in Switzerland due to the data protection act you cannot just set up a CCTV for example and thus catch out the culprits.

Your complaint to the agency/landord is a good idea too, may i add something to put in there?

***
Instead of firing on all barrels about reducing rent and so , why not put into that letter the fact that the majority of the tenants are non german speakers and it would be really helpful if the agency were to provide info in english and german to ensure that the regulations are followed by all tenants and thus ensuring a harmonious neighbourhood,without the need for 'punishments'.

***

I am afraid, that it might not be easy to get them to do it, too many agencies think --'we're in CH so ppl have to speak german or french or italian' not realising that they would win customers if they were to provide info etc in english as well.................it was the same here when i asked our agency for an english rental contract for my mate..........in the end i translated it myself!

I am a big believer in communication,and make sure that notes to our tenants are always in german,french and english . If it is of any help you could mention that you know someone who would translate that stuff for them

Some good points here. the camera idea was from the landlord, they said they would do this but then didn't. I also don't want to escalate this into a ridiculous dispute, I intend to write a polite but firm complaint and suggest a meeting to discuss how best to solve this issue. What pi$$es us (*) off is the way they treat their clients - they seem to forget we are clients and that we expect a degree of politeness and not to be treated as misbehaving children. The tone of the notices issued is really impolite and extremely abrupt - it's not just the Swiss or German way, I'm fluent in German and know how to use the language. The notices are very impolite and very terse German.
I don't intend to withhold rent as this doesn't help but it is possible the only weapon available. We'll see, I'll try to gentle approach first and see what happens.

* = myself and a number o tenants I've spoken to so far.
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Old 16.01.2009, 10:37
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

Sounds just like the way Livit is treating their tenants.



They like their super-size rent payments to arrive on time, but when it comes to "customer service" - you get blank stares for your unreasonable expectations of functioning heating, warm water, or a non-flooded basement.

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Old 16.01.2009, 11:55
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

well tomcat, this is really unreasonable to demand such stuff be thankful you still got running water ( even if its a pool in the basement) superisolated mould friendly walls around you they keep you warm sufficiently, who needs heating anway

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Sounds just like the way Livit is treating their tenants.



They like their super-size rent payments to arrive on time, but when it comes to "customer service" - you get blank stares for your unreasonable expectations of functioning heating, warm water, or a non-flooded basement.

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Old 16.01.2009, 12:01
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Re: Landlord has locked the rubbish rooms

EastEnders - thanks for a well-needed laugh on a headachy Friday.
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