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Old 31.07.2007, 16:21
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schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

Hi

The new owner of my building is very tough. Since he was in for some repairs he wants me to pay for cleaning and painting the schimmel/mould which has formed due to the heat and i am nervous it could be very high.

I am already registered/a member of the Mieterverband and they are helping but any thoughts helpful. Thanks.
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Old 31.07.2007, 16:24
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

Can you please give some more details regarding the nature of the repairs and why they were done? Are you going to be moving out? Or was you landlord just in and noticed some things and wants you to fix them now?


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Hi

The new owner of my building is very tough. Since he was in for some repairs he wants me to pay for it and i am nervous it could be very high.

I am already registered/a member of the Mieterverband and they are advising me on what to do but any thoughts helpful. Thanks. It seems that this guy is going to be tough.
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Old 31.07.2007, 16:24
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Re: schimmel problem with landlord

I was looking for earlier posts in this thread giving the background, but there arent any. Give us some more details. New owner ? How long you been there ? What repairs ?

dave

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Hi

The new owner of my building is very tough. Since he was in for some repairs he wants me to pay for it and i am nervous it could be very high.

I am already registered/a member of the Mieterverband and they are advising me on what to do but any thoughts helpful. Thanks. It seems that this guy is going to be tough.
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Old 31.07.2007, 16:45
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

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Can you please give some more details regarding the nature of the repairs and why they were done? Are you going to be moving out? Or was you landlord just in and noticed some things and wants you to fix them now?
---------------------------

No I am not moving out right now. The landlord was just in to fix some radiator etc. and came in with a couple of repair folks. He noticed some things (schimmel) and wants me to fix it now. I will do that using a special spray etc. He has just taken over the building a few months ago and is very tough. The main thing is he wants me to pick up the cost of schimmel etc. I know third party insurance only covers damages and not wear and tear. This would fall into wear and tear. I have been in the place for almost 5 years now.
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Old 31.07.2007, 16:46
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

Tell him to prove it's wear and tear - it will cost him to prove it but it will cost you to disprove it - end result? 50/50.

Insurance should cover it I believe. Do you properly vent the room concerned - and have you been given instructions how to do so?
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Old 31.07.2007, 16:47
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

I don't know what the legal requirements are, but I notified my landlord of some mould forming high on the wall above my bath - probably due to spray from the shower. He decided to extend the bath tiles up to the ceiling level. No charge to me.
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Old 31.07.2007, 16:54
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

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Tell him to prove it's wear and tear - it will cost him to prove it but it will cost you to disprove it - end result? 50/50.

Insurance should cover it I believe. Do you properly vent the room concerned - and have you been given instructions how to do so?
--------

1. Well I was away for a while and had to keep the windows closed, it just so happened he saw it the day after. He has given me instructions on how to ventilate (Luft is the key word here). I do vent the room regularly and more so now. The main thing he was concerned with was the humidity and heat which led to the mould (schimmel).

2. Third party insurance should cover it but I think they do not cover normal wear and tear, although I can easily confirm it by calling and asking. Damages are covered for sure but mould/associated painting (German: schimmel/malarbeiten) needed might fall under wear and tear. I am concerned about the costs he would impose on me, although most of the mould has since gone.
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Old 31.07.2007, 16:56
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

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I don't know what the legal requirements are, but I notified my landlord of some mould forming high on the wall above my bath - probably due to spray from the shower. He decided to extend the bath tiles up to the ceiling level. No charge to me.
-----------------------

Well I use a special anti-mould spray for it. I just do not know what this guy is up to actually.
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Old 31.07.2007, 16:58
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

Is there any actual structural damage caused by the mold? Or is it just superficial?

I don't think landlords can make you fix/repair things like that while you are currently a tenant. That's almost like them making you repaint the apartment while you're living there because they saw marks on the walls. Of course you're responsible in returning the apartment to the owner in basically the condition you rented it in but while you're living there I don't think they have the right.
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Old 31.07.2007, 17:09
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

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Hi
The new owner of my building is very tough. Since he was in for some repairs he wants me to pay for cleaning and painting the schimmel/mould which has formed due to the heat and i am nervous it could be very high.

I am already registered/a member of the Mieterverband and they are helping but any thoughts helpful. Thanks.

AFAIK,mould is not developping in heat.............as you state in your original post.
We're landlords too, and I can state that it's possible to prove if the fault is yours,we had a similar case in our building.

The tenant had a bit of a problem with 'draught' and seldom aired their flat,plus she was drying the clothes ( of five ) of her weekly wash in the flat.

No other of the total 11 flats in our house had had a problem with mould at that time nor was it in the communally shared rooms damp or so,so we could prove to her that it was her own fault and she had to pay a percentage towards the bill of the painter for removing th emould and repiant the flat,but as they lived for 8 years in said flat ( which was newly painted upon their moving in), they only had to pay 20% towards it and this was covered by insurance.


Recently we had another couple leaving a perfectly ok flat after only ONE year,now there we got mould in the bathroom, in this case it is because the ventilation of the bathroom was broken and they did not notify us.

This case it is a so called 'Vernachlässigung der Sorgfaltspflicht' ( neglect of the duty to take care of the rented premises), as stated in OR Art 257f,which means if something like that is broken, it's up to the tenant to notify the landlord/agency, so that this gets repaired ASAP.

It would fall to us landlords to pay for the cost of the repair of this,becasue this belongs to the flat ( like a dishwasher,hob,oven,sink etc) and its our duty to maintain these appliances.

In this special case, we have to pay for the cost of the repair of the ventilation of said bathroom for reasons i stated above,but the leaving tenant had to pay for the removing of the mould and the re-painting of the room.

These were the only two cases in our house where mould was a problem and both times it was the tenants fault................

So maybe these two examples help you in your case to get an inkling of what can /has to be expected.

From your initial post it's not clear where exactly the mould has manifested.
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Old 31.07.2007, 17:14
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

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Is there any actual structural damage caused by the mold? Or is it just superficial?

I don't think landlords can make you fix/repair things like that while you are currently a tenant. That's almost like them making you repaint the apartment while you're living there because they saw marks on the walls. Of course you're responsible in returning the apartment to the owner in basically the condition you rented it in but while you're living there I don't think they have the right.
------------------------------

No structural damage only superficial. Well I was informed that several people have been asked to ventilate properly even while a tenant. Also the mould has to be removed quickly or it could spread. This needs to be done for health reasons as well. I am concerned about the cost though which he wants me to pick up, now or later.
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Old 31.07.2007, 17:15
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

You live on the ground floor don't you?
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Old 31.07.2007, 17:27
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

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AFAIK,mould is not developping in heat.............as you state in your original post.
We're landlords too, and I can state that it's possible to prove if the fault is yours,we had a similar case in our building.

The tenant had a bit of a problem with 'draught' and seldom aired their flat,plus she was drying the clothes ( of five ) of her weekly wash in the flat.

No other of the total 11 flats in our house had had a problem with mould at that time nor was it in the communally shared rooms damp or so,so we could prove to her that it was her own fault and she had to pay a percentage towards the bill of the painter for removing th emould and repiant the flat,but as they lived for 8 years in said flat ( which was newly painted upon their moving in), they only had to pay 20% towards it and this was covered by insurance.


Recently we had another couple leaving a perfectly ok flat after only ONE year,now there we got mould in the bathroom, in this case it is because the ventilation of the bathroom was broken and they did not notify us.

This case it is a so called 'Vernachlässigung der Sorgfaltspflicht' ( neglect of the duty to take care of the rented premises), as stated in OR Art 257f,which means if something like that is broken, it's up to the tenant to notify the landlord/agency, so that this gets repaired ASAP.

It would fall to us landlords to pay for the cost of the repair of this,becasue this belongs to the flat ( like a dishwasher,hob,oven,sink etc) and its our duty to maintain these appliances.

In this special case, we have to pay for the cost of the repair of the ventilation of said bathroom for reasons i stated above,but the leaving tenant had to pay for the removing of the mould and the re-painting of the room.

These were the only two cases in our house where mould was a problem and both times it was the tenants fault................

So maybe these two examples help you in your case to get an inkling of what can /has to be expected.

From your initial post it's not clear where exactly the mould has manifested.
--------------------------------------

The two examples do give me an inkling and as I understand it, in the worst case I will have to pay when I move out (not now). For now I am working in it myself with special mould cleaning sprays etc.

I hope insurance will cover after the deductible and also based on time spent there. I assume you meant a normal coat of paint lasts 10 years and hence the 20% (2 out of the 10 years had to be paid for).

As for the mould, it was mostly in the bath above the shower and for some reason, near two of the windows. 'Seldom airing' could be a reason and as per 257f, one needs to do that. I was away travelling and could not air the flat as I usually do.
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Old 31.07.2007, 17:56
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

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The two examples do give me an inkling and as I understand it, in the worst case I will have to pay when I move out (not now). For now I am working in it myself with special mould cleaning sprays etc.

I hope insurance will cover after the deductible and also based on time spent there. I assume you meant a normal coat of paint lasts 10 years and hence the 20% (2 out of the 10 years had to be paid for).

As for the mould, it was mostly in the bath above the shower and for some reason, near two of the windows. 'Seldom airing' could be a reason and as per 257f, one needs to do that. I was away travelling and could not air the flat as I usually do.

Yup, you got that right,though we do have sort of rough plastered walls where you can easily paint over it as much as you like, if your walls are wallpapered then it can be costly.

As for the airing,if you are frequently away,it would perhaps be a good idea to look for these flatsitting ppl,for a small amount they come and water your plants,empty the postbox,feed the budgie,air the flat etcetc.all on a regular basis.

If this is too expensive for you then I would think of getting to know your neighbours and/or the caretaker of your building,they would render such services as well and might be happy with a bottle of wine or a small souvenir from the far away places u travel toas a thank you.

I do this in our building regularly when any of our tenants are away,they are happy that they know I am at hand ANY time and I am happy to get small tokens from the countries they travel to.

But I do understand it's a big matter of trust and one might not easily hand over the keys to ones flat.

As for the cleaning of the mould,the ceiling of the shower/bathroom will be easily cleaned with the special product and if the mould is on the wall above/beside the window this should go away pretty easy too,but be careful if it's on the window frames, some of the modern plastic windowframes loose their shine ( a sort of varnished finish I assume) when treated with too harsh a product,wooden frames are easier,if there's a mishape you can paint over it
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Old 31.07.2007, 18:15
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

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Yup, you got that right,though we do have sort of rough plastered walls where you can easily paint over it as much as you like, if your walls are wallpapered then it can be costly.

As for the airing,if you are frequently away,it would perhaps be a good idea to look for these flatsitting ppl,for a small amount they come and water your plants,empty the postbox,feed the budgie,air the flat etcetc.all on a regular basis.

If this is too expensive for you then I would think of getting to know your neighbours and/or the caretaker of your building,they would render such services as well and might be happy with a bottle of wine or a small souvenir from the far away places u travel toas a thank you.

I do this in our building regularly when any of our tenants are away,they are happy that they know I am at hand ANY time and I am happy to get small tokens from the countries they travel to.

But I do understand it's a big matter of trust and one might not easily hand over the keys to ones flat.

As for the cleaning of the mould,the ceiling of the shower/bathroom will be easily cleaned with the special product and if the mould is on the wall above/beside the window this should go away pretty easy too,but be careful if it's on the window frames, some of the modern plastic windowframes loose their shine ( a sort of varnished finish I assume) when treated with too harsh a product,wooden frames are easier,if there's a mishape you can paint over it
-----------------------------------------------------------

1. great suggestions on how to make sure the flat is aired on a regular basis.

2. Yes, special product works. Actually it is on the frames so I need to be careful when I use the special product.
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Old 31.07.2007, 18:38
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

The question is where the humidity is coming from (EDIT: the stuff around the windows especially). Just because you were away from the appartment for some time doesn't mean that it should become humid.

In my old flat there was some mould developing where I assumed the damp-coursing of the building was not intact. I notified the landlord. He informed me to ventilate the room better. 6 months later the mould reappeared. With the help of a psuedo-legal letter written by a Swiss friend, I claimed back 2 months rent (3 room appartment, mould in 1 room for 6 months, hence 1/3 of the rent paid) and also was able to move out immediately with no notice.

The renter is in a stong position here in Switzerland. There have been several high profile legal cases concerning mould in Switzerland and Germany in recent years (health related) and most landlords are quite jumpy about it. Your's maybe trying to take advantage of the fact that you are a foreigner.
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Old 31.07.2007, 18:48
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

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The question is where the humidity is coming from (EDIT: the stuff around the windows especially). Just because you were away from the appartment for some time doesn't mean that it should become humid.

In my old flat there was some mould developing where I assumed the damp-coursing of the building was not intact. I notified the landlord. He informed me to ventilate the room better. 6 months later the mould reappeared. With the help of a psuedo-legal letter written by a Swiss friend, I claimed back 2 months rent (3 room appartment, mould in 1 room for 6 months, hence 1/3 of the rent paid) and also was able to move out immediately with no notice.

The renter is in a stong position here in Switzerland. There have been several high profile legal cases concerning mould in Switzerland and Germany in recent years (health related) and most landlords are quite jumpy about it. Your's maybe trying to take advantage of the fact that you are a foreigner.
------------

Sure, it could be that as a foreigner the landlord is trying to take advantage, that's precisely why I have to send a legal letter sent to him as well. That is the important part. I don't know if it is pseudo enough to get rent back.

Well if the humidity or mould appears due to the flat not being ventilated enough or so it might be that the tenant has to do something. Your situation seems to indicate that the landlord was responsible (since you ventilated) and since he did not do the job, you got 2 months rent and move out without notice. Great.
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Old 31.07.2007, 19:38
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

Just to clarify, my pseudo-legal letter was written by a law student with input from the Mieterverband. What surprised me was that there was no arguement. They accepted our demands immediately.
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Old 31.07.2007, 20:46
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

We had this problem in the winter, because the building heat was not entirely controlled by us. I was horrified that the landlord put the blame on us, because I am severely allergic to mould. It was brought to our attention that when my husband signed the lease (in German, when he had just moved here and did not speak the language), he had also agreed to open all the windows three times a day for fifteen minutes. If the mould was already there and a problem (as such an agreement woud indicate), it should have been disclosed to us (as a health concern). And if it appeared more recently, the most likely scenario is that it came through an open window.
Please find a way NOT to pay for this. A landlord is paid to provide a safe living space. We had to bleach our walls and bathrooms, and it ruined our Valentine's Day, but we were able to convince them to reoaint with mould-resistant paint. That said, I would not expect the problem to go away, since it is probably in teh building materials.
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Old 09.08.2007, 20:42
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Re: schimmel [mould] problem with landlord

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We had this problem in the winter, because the building heat was not entirely controlled by us. I was horrified that the landlord put the blame on us, because I am severely allergic to mould. It was brought to our attention that when my husband signed the lease (in German, when he had just moved here and did not speak the language), he had also agreed to open all the windows three times a day for fifteen minutes. If the mould was already there and a problem (as such an agreement woud indicate), it should have been disclosed to us (as a health concern). And if it appeared more recently, the most likely scenario is that it came through an open window.
Please find a way NOT to pay for this. A landlord is paid to provide a safe living space. We had to bleach our walls and bathrooms, and it ruined our Valentine's Day, but we were able to convince them to reoaint with mould-resistant paint. That said, I would not expect the problem to go away, since it is probably in teh building materials.

Things are getting worse and I really really nervous now. The overzealous owner has written a letter to me saying that i have to pay for the mould AND the painting of the entire apt when i move out. AND, he wants to increase the deposit paid by a month to make it 3 months which he says all the tenants have paid. I hope i dont get ripped off badly here.

will see MV next week.
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