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Old 02.07.2011, 01:33
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Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

Hi there EF Members,

This seems to be my week to hit this site and its' forums and not for great reasons.

I have a question... Again...

This time we have recently received a letter from our Apartment Buidling Owners asking for Back Dated payments for the Costs to Cover the Fuel to Heat our Apartment Block. It goes back to 2009.

Have any of you ever heard of this? I would of thought that no one can Back-date unforeseen rises in the costs of Fuel for Heating... My logic makes me think that once you've paid for something the supplier cannot go back and add to it.

Yes of course - if in the future they forecast increases - this makes sense and is acceptable.

Again - I cannot read my contract - it's in German and work out for myself if it states that they can do this? Can someone shed some light or even help into reading the contract through? I'd apreciate some pointers here.

The sum back-dated is only CHF 900.00 - but that's a nice meal out - isn't it? for more than 2 people?????

Thanks once more...

Ben
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Old 02.07.2011, 02:11
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

As retarded as this seems, it is very Swiss. They can and do decide that they didn't make enough money off of you for heating and retroactively charge you more.

Yet if you try and do something like this, good luck.
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Old 02.07.2011, 17:36
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

One of my swiss colleagues was ranting about this the other week, he too was presented with an unexpected back dated bill for heating. So it does seem to be pretty normal. I think his was for about 6 years ago, and he seemed to suggest he would fight it based on the 'fact' that landlords have 5 years to bill you.
Not sure how accurate that 5 year thing is, but he was very very miffed about it.
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Old 02.07.2011, 17:42
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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One of my swiss colleagues was ranting about this the other week, he too was presented with an unexpected back dated bill for heating. So it does seem to be pretty normal. I think his was for about 6 years ago, and he seemed to suggest he would fight it based on the 'fact' that landlords have 5 years to bill you.
Not sure how accurate that 5 year thing is, but he was very very miffed about it.
I find it annoying but not surprising that there will be no refund if the oil charges are excessive.

Has anyone ever heard of anyone ever getting a refund if the cost of fuel oil is less than projected?
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Old 02.07.2011, 20:59
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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One of my swiss colleagues was ranting about this the other week, he too was presented with an unexpected back dated bill for heating. So it does seem to be pretty normal. I think his was for about 6 years ago, and he seemed to suggest he would fight it based on the 'fact' that landlords have 5 years to bill you.
Not sure how accurate that 5 year thing is, but he was very very miffed about it.
5 years is correct, I received a bill for 5 previous years 6 month's after the year end.
I wrote to the owner who is a Swiss lawyer 'without prejudice' stating his agents demands were illegal & offered to pay for 5 years. A week later I received a new demand for exactly 5 years to the date of his letter.
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Old 02.07.2011, 21:00
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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I find it annoying but not surprising that there will be no refund if the oil charges are excessive.

Has anyone ever heard of anyone ever getting a refund if the cost of fuel oil is less than projected?
You will get a refund, it happens all the time when payment is made on account.
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Old 02.07.2011, 21:06
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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5 years is correct, I received a bill for 5 previous years 6 month's after the year end.
I wrote to the owner who is a Swiss lawyer 'without prejudice' stating his agents demands were illegal & offered to pay for 5 years. A week later I received a new demand for exactly 5 years to the date of his letter.

Oh my - five years back dated fuel bills - ouch. That must of hurt. How can we protect ourselves against this happening in the future - or does every rental contact have this clause?

One slight plus - yesterday we received a letter from our landlords saying the rent is being reduced by chf 50.00 a month due to the Interest Rates.
So we get some of the 900 back - i suppose.

B
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Old 02.07.2011, 21:20
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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Oh my - five years back dated fuel bills - ouch. That must of hurt. How can we protect ourselves against this happening in the future - or does every rental contact have this clause?

One slight plus - yesterday we received a letter from our landlords saying the rent is being reduced by chf 50.00 a month due to the Interest Rates.
So we get some of the 900 back - i suppose.

B
You should ask your landlord for final accounts for the year in question. The 5 years is how late the bill can be.

What pissed me off was the CHF had strengthened over that period, I was paying in a foreign currency so it cost me 30% more than if I had been charged at the time.
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Old 04.07.2011, 13:06
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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Oh my - five years back dated fuel bills - ouch. That must of hurt. How can we protect ourselves against this happening in the future - or does every rental contact have this clause?

One slight plus - yesterday we received a letter from our landlords saying the rent is being reduced by chf 50.00 a month due to the Interest Rates.
So we get some of the 900 back - i suppose.

B
Here is how it works. The landlord has the right to go back 5 years (dated from the day you move out) on the heating costs and send the bill for that. Just a weird thing about renting here. This is if they did not do the annual 'Abrechnung'. So this is legal. As well, the monthly costs you paid for the heating should have been taken into account (if you did pay).
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Old 04.07.2011, 13:09
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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Hi there EF Members,

This seems to be my week to hit this site and its' forums and not for great reasons.

I have a question... Again...

This time we have recently received a letter from our Apartment Buidling Owners asking for Back Dated payments for the Costs to Cover the Fuel to Heat our Apartment Block. It goes back to 2009.

Have any of you ever heard of this? I would of thought that no one can Back-date unforeseen rises in the costs of Fuel for Heating... My logic makes me think that once you've paid for something the supplier cannot go back and add to it.

Yes of course - if in the future they forecast increases - this makes sense and is acceptable.

Again - I cannot read my contract - it's in German and work out for myself if it states that they can do this? Can someone shed some light or even help into reading the contract through? I'd apreciate some pointers here.

The sum back-dated is only CHF 900.00 - but that's a nice meal out - isn't it? for more than 2 people?????

Thanks once more...

Ben
Indeed you need to check what you paid per month as well for the heating.
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Old 04.07.2011, 13:14
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

gee can you believe that we got money back? not much only 96 CHF but still...poor OP
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Old 08.07.2011, 14:15
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

Thanks everyone who passed by.

It seems like whilst living in Switzerland there are many ways the Landlord will not be out of pocket... So when moving into a New Let Property - a word of warning - try to get a contract that will state you are only liable for utility bill increases from the start date of your entry of contract to the property and not for someone elses liability from up to 5 years back...

Moderator, please close this thread.
Thanks
Ben
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Old 08.07.2011, 15:31
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

try to get a contract that will state you are only liable for utility bill increases from the start date of your entry of contract to the property and not for someone else's liability from up to 5 years back...

Surely you're only liable for the time YOU rent(ed) the appartment? Not for any previous tenants liability....

Last edited by Anjela; 08.07.2011 at 15:32. Reason: punctuation....
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Old 08.07.2011, 16:17
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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try to get a contract that will state you are only liable for utility bill increases from the start date of your entry of contract to the property and not for someone else's liability from up to 5 years back...

Surely you're only liable for the time YOU rent(ed) the appartment? Not for any previous tenants liability....

Anjela, I wrote this as I have been told and have also read my contract and it seems like My Contract / Landlord leaves the gate / door open to back date up to 5 years regardless of who was living there. Just wanted to warn peeps out there... Any further advise - pointers are appreciated...

B
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Old 08.07.2011, 16:23
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

don't close the thread too soon! afaik, the maximum they can charge above what they already charged in nebenkosten is around 600chfs per annum. so if it all relates to one year, then you might be able to reduce it.
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Old 08.07.2011, 16:24
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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Anjela, I wrote this as I have been told and have also read my contract and it seems like My Contract / Landlord leaves the gate / door open to back date up to 5 years regardless of who was living there. Just wanted to warn peeps out there... Any further advise - pointers are appreciated...

B
tell them to go jump and find the old tenant.
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Old 08.07.2011, 16:29
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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don't close the thread too soon! afaik, the maximum they can charge above what they already charged in nebenkosten is around 600chfs per annum. so if it all relates to one year, then you might be able to reduce it.
I don't think this is true as we were hit for 900+ chf and were told by our HR person in CH to just pay it.
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Old 08.07.2011, 16:31
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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try to get a contract that will state you are only liable for utility bill increases from the start date of your entry of contract to the property and not for someone else's liability from up to 5 years back...

Surely you're only liable for the time YOU rent(ed) the appartment? Not for any previous tenants liability....
I have heard that this can happen but that the previous tenant is supposed to leave funds tocover it in some such fashion. Never understood hoe that was supposed actually work. Yet another Swiss nodus operandus that I didn't get to understand.
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Old 08.07.2011, 16:31
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

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Anjela, I wrote this as I have been told and have also read my contract and it seems like My Contract / Landlord leaves the gate / door open to back date up to 5 years regardless of who was living there. Just wanted to warn peeps out there... Any further advise - pointers are appreciated...

B
In which case I think it's time to mention ASLOCA, I'm afraid I can't remember what it's called in the german part of Switzerland. Even if they can't help with this (and that contract does sound a little dodgy), they might be useful in the future; reading new contracts for example... to avoid similar problems next time.
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Old 08.07.2011, 16:32
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Re: Anyone? Back-dated Fuel Bills Charged ?

Just got some back dated power bill for 2009. Just more proof of how screwed up this country is in some ways. If you can't charge the proper rates at the proper time, how is it my responsibility to make up for that?
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