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Old 06.04.2011, 14:19
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Plumbing, whose responsibility?

Hi,

Im staying in a rented apartment in Zurich and have had no problems at all for the year and a half Ive been there. Just over a month ago there were really bad drainage problems that meant that water from washing up, washing machine etc would take hours to drain the water making all sinks baths and stuff unusable for the time taken for water to dissappear.

I intially thought there was something stuck down the drain so bought different chemicals reccomended on here to try and clear the drain. This did not seem to help as also an 8 metre drain cleaner made no difference.

Reluctantly I called my letting agent and told them the problem and a couple of days later a plumber came over and fixed the problem and I was very happy with being able to wash at home again. I speak next to nothing German but the plumber explained with sign language that he had replaced a part, all in all taking less than 2 hours everybodies happy.

About a month later I recieved the bill for the work done of over 300chf which I feel is expensive but oh well and im sure that has been mentioned before.

My main question is, am I responsible for this bill coming from England this would always be the Landlords reponsibility as part of wear and tear of a property and I did think it was similar here as did a couple of people I have mentioned it to. The replacement of the part would definitely look that way to me but am I looking at this wrong.

I have contacted the letting agent and they say it is my responsibility as in the contract it says "Kleiner Unterhalt".

I want to argue more as it feels like I shouldnt be responsible but dont wanna move out and dont even know if I have a leg to stand on.

Any advice greatly appreciated,
Frank
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Old 06.04.2011, 14:23
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Re: Plumbing, whose responsibility?

depends on what caused the blockage, but its usually the landlord who pays, landlords / letting agents will always try and pass the bill on, tell them where to go!

A couple of weeks after we moved into our place the boiler broke down, turns out it hadn't been serviced for years, letting agents tried to tell us it was down to us to fix, a heated conversation later and they took care of it.
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Old 06.04.2011, 15:48
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Re: Plumbing, whose responsibility?

The landlord is resonsible if the total cost of the repair comes to more than Fr 200,--

You should join a Tenants' Protection Society, search here for "Mieterschutz" and after talking to them, get back to the agent and ask them to pay up!

However, you have employed the plumber, so in the first instance you should pay the bill, and get the money from the agency / owner. Next time get the agency to call a plumber: maybe the caretaker could have repaired it cheaper.
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Old 06.04.2011, 22:58
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Re: Plumbing, whose responsibility?

thanks for the replies im going to have a look at the stuff mentioned but am debating just biting the bullet and paying for it.

Its just not worth it for me to get kicked out in 6 months because ive rocked the boat.

cheers
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Old 06.04.2011, 23:19
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Re: Plumbing, whose responsibility?

Legally they should pay for the repair. You won't get kicked out for that!

Try the Mieterschutz, ask them for advice.
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Old 07.04.2011, 09:42
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Re: Plumbing, whose responsibility?

We had a similar problem.

The bathroom tap was just drippling water, no more pressure and we asked the caretaker to look at it and he couldn't fix it.

Then he called a plumber and the plumber fixed it in 5 mins, he also told us he changed a part - turns it out it was just a washer about 5 chf to buy.

Anyway we also got the bill - 200 chf! and we had to pay it, no negociation.

I'll look into joining this association.

Thanks R
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Old 07.04.2011, 09:53
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Re: Plumbing, whose responsibility?

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The landlord is resonsible if the total cost of the repair comes to more than Fr 200,--

You should join a Tenants' Protection Society, search here for "Mieterschutz" and after talking to them, get back to the agent and ask them to pay up!

However, you have employed the plumber, so in the first instance you should pay the bill, and get the money from the agency / owner. Next time get the agency to call a plumber: maybe the caretaker could have repaired it cheaper.
He didn't actually say that he employed the plumber. He said he called the letting agency and 2 days later a plumber came over to fix it. Does that make a difference to whether he has to pay up front or not?
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Old 07.04.2011, 10:13
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Re: Plumbing, whose responsibility?

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He didn't actually say that he employed the plumber. He said he called the letting agency and 2 days later a plumber came over to fix it. Does that make a difference to whether he has to pay up front or not?
Possibly, as quite often the landlord will have a cheaper rate contract with a known plumber and so would be more out-of-pocket if the tenant organised their own plumber.
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Old 07.04.2011, 10:16
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Re: Plumbing, whose responsibility?

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He didn't actually say that he employed the plumber
Hair splitting.

A bill to the tenant would be due if the blockage was down to them, such as coffee grounds down the sink, hair in the trap of a shower etc, as this could reasonably be avoided. If the blockage was due to defective/old pipework or accumulation of gunk over a long period, then the owner should be liable.

If in doubt always get the agent to put a tradesman in, and always ask to see any report should they come back to you for settlement, if you put the tradesman in it can be difficult and protracted to get monies back... if they are due. I'm never to keen on diving straight in with the MV, they are best saved for if things are getting messy or the agent/owner is being an arse.
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