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Old 04.04.2011, 09:46
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Handing over a Flat

Here is my/our story from the last few days.

We spoke to our landlord well in advance to arrange a suitable time - we agreed Monday evening at 1800 - however by Saturday morning we knew we would be finished by late afternoon and moved it forward to Saturday 1700. (He lives in the same house).

* Cleaning
It has to be spotless. And I mean spotless. The windows, the walls, the floors, the cupboards, the taps, the sinks, the skirting, the lights, in fact anything and everything must be so clean you'd happily eat your dinner off it. The refrigerator, oven, hob and dishwasher MUST look like new. Any nooks and crannies should be hoovered out and wiped out - any surface that a finger could be rubbed along must be spotless.

Durgol, Scotchwhite and microfibre are your friends. It is THE cleaning fluid of choice for sinks and taps. To not underestimate the amount you'll need. 2-3 packs of the white sponges should do the walls - just make sure they are not too wet, or you don't rub a spot too heavily. Be careful near radiators (especially ones in confined spaces) the walls above will actually be grey - and the white sponge will streak the wall. This isn't technically your problem - if the wall is grey it means the landlord should repaint anyway. In our case - he will now do so on a couple of walls because of the above problem.

Have 20-30 microfibre cloths - you'll need them for cleaning but most of drying surfaces that need a perfect clean finish - especially the taps (have I mentioned them yet?). It is worth having a couple of toothbrushes available to scrub those hard to reach places.

The other products worth having are the chamois backed sponges, proper parkett cleaner, plenty of normal soap cleaner and proper aggressive oven and hob cleaner.

Everything should SMELL clean - and if you have carpets shampoo them (you can buy stuff to do this). If you have a glass shower-screen you'll need a good couple of hours to get all the calc off. My advice is to have a squeegy on hand each time you finish showering - and then also microfibre the surface dry.

Windows should be spotless inside and out - and also along any gutterings in the windows. Any plastic/metal ledge outside should be cleaned as well. Once cleaned close the shutters - especially at this time of year with the pollen about.

The floors should be SCRUBBED by hand - and any parkett washed once, then again with cleaner and then a third time with concentrated cleaner (no added water). No matter how scratched you though the floor was - if it smells clean and has been washed with concentrate it will look a lot better,

We were lucky - the Mother-in-law and her friend helped us for a day (it took 3.5 people 1 day (10hrs working) (I was a 0.5 because I am a man)). This was for a 110m2 (3.5zi) appartment (over 2 floors - with 2 toilets) - but a lot of nooks and crannies. Some of the cupboards were pre-cleaned beforehand - but the rest was freshly cleaned. The friend cleans holiday appartments and knew exactly how to clean each surface and with what.

* Repairs
Make good any holes - filler - and then a bit of white paint - blending where possible. If your new white paints shows then that is not your problem - it means the wall needs painting anyway and that is the landlords responsibility. Get a white furniture repair pen (9chf) and repair any woodwork chips. Get the wax kit to repair any parket/laminate chips (12chf) - they work superbly and are easy to do.

* Handover
Highlight any known faults - dodgy fittings originally left by the landlord anything you have noticed over time that has been cleaned but should be sorted (eg a slightly leaky washer). Show you have been diligent with your care of the flat. When questioned you always used the right cleaning products. You filled the holes with filler and not silicon. You pointed over using white paint.

And then when you walk round with the landlord stand in front of any dodgy areas - and talk as much as you can.

* Result
We got our full deposit back. 100%.

If you don't know the standard a Swiss place should be cleaned to make damn sure you take photos when you arrive!!

That is now our 3 flat we have handed over - and so far I have only ever lost 2*100chf in deposit.

Last edited by dodgyken; 04.04.2011 at 14:52.
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  #2  
Old 04.04.2011, 10:00
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Re: Handing over a Flat

Very useful and concise tips . . . thanks for that!
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Old 04.04.2011, 10:55
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Re: Handing over a Flat

Excellent advice.

There is an extra strength Durgol available (You have to sign the registry at the shop) and this stuff removes the chrome from your taps, so be VERY careful! Also be careful with normal strength Durgol on bath and shower enameled surfacies!

You did mention filling in the holes left (after removing wall plugs "Dubel") with a filler. There is a nack in this and experience counts!

I would add to that a steam cleaner works very well in kitchen, bath and window frames, less cleaning products and very quick too.
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Old 04.04.2011, 11:09
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Re: Handing over a Flat

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That is now our 3 flat we have handed over - and so far I have only ever lost 2*100chf in deposit.
Are you for hire ?
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Old 04.04.2011, 11:20
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Re: Handing over a Flat

What happens if there is a dispute about damage to something??

We have just completed the handover of our old apartment and in the check out the second shower was marked as damaged (the ceramic base has a small crack). The check-in does not mention this. We lived in the apartment for three years and after a flooding incident involving this shower in the first few months, the shower was never used again. An engineer/plumber popped over at the time to fix the leak.

More fool us if it was there when we moved in and we didnt mention it at the time, but three years ago, we moved to CH, this was our first rented apartment, didnt understand much French and took it that the agency were doing their job properly.

The key thing is, what if it was the plumber who damaged the shower? or does sole responsibility fall on us?

On the flip side, we were expecting a hefty bill to replace the kitchen work top which is white and shows every single mark made. However, it wasnt listed on the check out, so it odd that the agency will mark one down thing and not the other.
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Old 04.04.2011, 11:24
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Re: Handing over a Flat

We moved out of our flat after 6+ years in Jan.

Heavy cleaning involved, but no filling (they specifically asked us not to).

Flat was OK clean - not eating food off floor clean.

Passed inspection, said they spotted something worth 30 CHF but couldn't be arsed with the paperwork, so flat passed inspection.

Job done, full deposit back: >3000 k + interest.

That said, we'd been there over 6 years, and were at a previous place of their's for 4 years, so maybe they were happy to have has us as tennants for that long. Added to which, they repaint all the walls between tennants and were going to redo the floors in 4 of the rooms.
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Last edited by Carlos R; 04.04.2011 at 12:07.
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Old 04.04.2011, 11:53
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Re: Handing over a Flat

When you move in it is crucial to spot any damage. We have just moved into a brand new place - so no damage. However we are putting together a snagging list (as requested by the company). They are happy to correct a few things.

When doing the protocol (in and out) you sign what has been found. If something is damaged when workmen are in - you should notify the landlord immediately.

Insurance can help.
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Old 04.04.2011, 13:02
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Re: Handing over a Flat

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Here is my/our story from the last few days.

We spoke to our landlord well in advance to arrange a suitable time - we agreed Monday evening at 1800 - however by Saturday morning we knew we would be finished by late afternoon and moved it forward to Saturday 1700. (He lives in the same house).

* Cleaning
It has to be spotless. And I mean spotless. The windows, the walls, the floors, the cupboards, the taps, the sinks, the skirting, the lights, in fact anything and everything must be so clean you'd happily eat your dinner off it. The refrigerator, oven, hob and dishwasher MUST look like new. Any nooks and crannies should be hoovered out and wiped out - any surface that a finger could be rubbed along must be spotless.

Durgol, Scotchwhite and microfibre are your friends. It is THE cleaning fluid of choice for sinks and taps. To not underestimate the amount you'll need. 2-3 packs of the white sponges should do the walls - just make sure they are not too wet, or you don't rub a spot too heavily. Be careful near radiators (especially ones in confined spaces) the walls above will actually be grey - and the white sponge will streak the wall. This isn't technically your problem - if the wall is grey it means the landlord should repaint anyway. In our case - he will now do so on a couple of walls because of the above problem.

Have 20-30 microfibre cloths - you'll need them for cleaning but most of drying surfaces that need a perfect clean finish - especially the taps (have I mentioned them yet?). It is worth having a couple of toothbrushes available to scrub those hard to reach places.

The other products worth having are the chamois backed sponges, proper parkett cleaner, plenty of normal soap cleaner and proper aggressive oven and hob cleaner.

Everything should SMELL clean - and if you have carpets shampoo them (you can buy stuff to do this). If you have a glass shower-screen you'll need a good couple of hours to get all the calc off. My advice is to have a squeegy on hand each time you finish showering - and then also microfibre the surface dry.

Windows should be spotless inside and out - and also along any gutterings in the windows. Any plastic/metal ledge outside should be cleaned as well. Once cleaned close the shutters - especially at this time of year with the pollen about.

The floors should be SCRUBBED by hand - and any parkett washed once, then again with cleaner and then a third time with concentrated cleaner (no added water). No matter how scratched you though the floor was - if it smells clean and has been washed with concentrate it will look a lot better,

We were lucky - the Mother-in-law and her friend helped us for a day (it took 3.5 people 1 day (I was a 0.5 because I am a man)). The friend cleans holiday appartments and knew exactly how to clean each surface and with what.

* Repairs
Make good any holes - filler - and then a bit of white paint - blending where possible. If your new white paints shows then that is not your problem - it means the wall needs painting anyway and that is the landlords responsibility. Get a white furniture repair pen (9chf) and repair any woodwork chips. Get the wax kit to repair any parket/laminate chips (12chf) - they work superbly and are easy to do.

* Handover
Highlight any known faults - dodgy fittings originally left by the landlord anything you have noticed over time that has been cleaned but should be sorted (eg a slightly leaky washer). Show you have been diligent with your care of the flat. When questioned you always used the right cleaning products. You filled the holes with filler and not silicon. You pointed over using white paint.

And then when you walk round with the landlord stand in front of any dodgy areas - and talk as much as you can.

* Result
We got our full deposit back. 100%.

If you don't know the standard a Swiss place should be cleaned to make damn sure you take photos when you arrive!!

That is now our 3 flat we have handed over - and so far I have only ever lost 2*100chf in deposit.

I am curious to know how long it took you to do all this cleaning. I am trying to determine if it would be worth the money to hire someone to do.
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Old 04.04.2011, 13:04
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Re: Handing over a Flat

Very great informations indeed! Thanks

I have a quick questions for those with experiences.

When we moved in, we had to give a Cleaning Deposit of 800 chf which was calculated according of the size of the appartment. It meant that when we leave, we only have to do a normal clean up of floor, dust, etc. And the big cleaning will be taking in change by the rental agency's cleaning team. I heard them few times for couples of days in the appartment next door, so I guess they are doing the real deep cleanup.

Is any of you got this kind of deal with your rental agency / landlord? Was it really the way I said? Because I got this information from our rental agency but I am scared of what they may say and what the reality can be (I learned to not trust landlords words).

I wouldn't want to have to pay that amount of money and have to do a big cleanup on top of that! I could do the big cleanup and they'll refund the money if it is as good as the op. But I don't want to bother with a fresh c-section, newborn and a toddler...

Any similar experiences?

Nil
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Old 04.04.2011, 13:04
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Re: Handing over a Flat

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I am curious to know how long it took you to do all this cleaning. I am trying to determine if it would be worth the money to hire someone to do.
oops, sorry I missed that you posted how long it took/people.

"(it took 3.5 people 1 day (I was a 0.5 because I am a man)"
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Old 04.04.2011, 14:06
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Re: Handing over a Flat

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oops, sorry I missed that you posted how long it took/people.

"(it took 3.5 people 1 day (I was a 0.5 because I am a man)"
Pretty meaningless figure unless you know how big the apartment is in the first place.
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Old 04.04.2011, 14:54
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Re: Handing over a Flat

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Pretty meaningless figure unless you know how big the apartment is in the first place.
Updated the original post
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Old 04.04.2011, 15:45
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Re: Handing over a Flat

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Updated the original post
I think, in man-hours, the time that you took was almost the same as the time it took my wife when she cleaned our last place (I was supposed to help but ended up having to go to the U.S. that week ).

We also got 100% deposit back.

After seeing your post, and others in a similar vein, I'm beginning to think that, apart from the odd landlord-from-hell, the main reason why people have problems handing over their apartments after cleaning is simply because their expectations of cleanliness fall far below the standard expected here.
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Old 15.04.2011, 12:16
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Re: Handing over a Flat

I handed our flat today and it was done with no problems whatsoever. I'd heard so many horror stories I was quite worried and spent about 15 hours cleaning the flat. The lady from our agency came and within 20 minutes the whole thing was done. She hardly cheched, did not see the huge scratch on the parquet in our study room and did not see a broken piece in the fridge. She only mentionned 2 small areas in the kitchen I have to clean again and that will take 10 minutes of my time. There are huge patches of mould in the cupboard of our brand new kitchen and she did not even see it. I was convinced we would be charged for that and the parquet.

She questionned why we only had 2 house keys instead of 4 and she believed me when I told her my kids broke them and that I had thrown the pieces away. If I had told them we can't find them, we would have had to pay for the all replacement in our apartment building...

The 2 missing keys should cost up to 100 chf, upon receipts , we will get our full refund within 2weeks.

I 'm so glad I didn't spend thousands with a cleaning agency and happy to report that hand over of flats is not always that painful.
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Old 15.04.2011, 12:24
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Re: Handing over a Flat

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When we moved in, we had to give a Cleaning Deposit of 800 chf which was calculated according of the size of the appartment. It meant that when we leave, we only have to do a normal clean up of floor, dust, etc. And the big cleaning will be taking in change by the rental agency's cleaning team. I heard them few times for couples of days in the appartment next door, so I guess they are doing the real deep cleanup.
It's the standard (probably the law?) in Basel Stadt. I also paid a cleaning charge up front based on a fixed amount per square metre. So like you, I just need to leave the place reasonably clean. I think other places should copy Basel Stadt!
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Old 15.04.2011, 12:55
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Re: Handing over a Flat

Have a couple of those microfibre cloths with you just in case it has rained after the cleaning but before the inspection. Rain spotted windows are not acceptable, OK if it is actually raining but not if it has dried.

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Windows should be spotless inside and out - and also along any gutterings in the windows. Any plastic/metal ledge outside should be cleaned as well. Once cleaned close the shutters - especially at this time of year with the pollen about.
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Old 15.04.2011, 17:03
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Re: Handing over a Flat

One question about the cleaning: if you clean it, then meet with the owner and they don't approve, isn't it possible to just clean whatever he/she doesn't approve of? I mean, do you get just one shot at cleaning?
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Old 15.04.2011, 19:19
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Re: Handing over a Flat

no you don't. as i've said earlier, there are 2 bits in the kitchen i need to clean again. I had done the cleaning 10 days before the hand over so something got dirty again. She let me one key so that i can clean again.
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Old 15.04.2011, 20:06
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Re: Handing over a Flat

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Get the wax kit to repair any parket/laminate chips (12chf) - they work superbly and are easy to do.
Where can I get one of these and what are they called?

We have had two hand-overs to do ourselves. One apartment was fairly old but not in a terrible condition and the inspection was totally relaxed. The guy who came by just wandered around the apartment looking at everything without filling in a protocol. The other apartment was a new apartment and the inspection was rigorous and carried out with white gloves! Both apartments were spotless and we got 100% back. The inspections can vary though.
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Old 16.04.2011, 16:25
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Re: Handing over a Flat

Yeah me too, we are about to leave our aprtment which was new when we took it on but the floors have not worn well at all with 2 tots running around...is it the usual DIY stores?
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