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  #21  
Old 05.07.2011, 15:54
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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Great advice, Lou!!! I just signed up for various insurances including Assurance de menages (Haushaltversicherung), Protection juridique (Rechtsschutz) and Responsabilité civile privée (Haftpflichtversicherung). Although I live in the German speaking side, my French is WAY better than my German, so I did all of the registration and paperwork en français.

I signed up for the insurances last month and we're moving next month. After seeing those minuscule damages, I'm going to run along and look at how long the private civil responsibility policy typically needs to be in place before a claim can be made!!
We just moved out of a house and went through the experience of moving house here. What surprised us was how long it took to get the deposit back or what was left after all the bills were paid. This is because we could not be invoiced until the landlord had received his invoice. He told me (no joke) that some contractors only send him one invoice per year. After three months we finally received the deposit back. We were told under Swiss law that the deposit (or what is left) has to be paid within one year of moving out a place.
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  #22  
Old 05.07.2011, 16:11
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

we just moved out of our old flat and i guess, after reading this thread, we got off easy- 200 chfs for the cleanliness of the bathroom and kitchen, which btw were spotless and shining. but we figured we were lucky they didn't charge for anything else considering so we left it alone. having gone back there the other day to leave the key, we noticed both the kitchen and bathroom ridiculously dirty and dusty because of the work they are doing before the new tenants come in- so we took pics and will wait till the bill comes to discuss.

since you are in pully, you can contact aslocas in lausanne and see what they can do or advise you to do. this amount of charges are crazy- best of luck.
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  #23  
Old 05.07.2011, 17:52
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

Surely the tiny nicks could be infilled without it being too visible! And surely this is normal wear and tear for that period of time. Struuuf.
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  #24  
Old 05.07.2011, 21:08
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

I would very, very strongly recommend becoming a member of ASLOCA (in the French part, Mieterverband in the German part) and asking them for advise.

We had a horrific experience when we moved from Kanton Zurich to the French part, in 2005. The landlady, one of most obnoxious persons we have ever come across in CH, had actually called an independent Inspector to oversee the handover of the flat where we had lived for 4 years. The flat had been cleaned by a professional cleaning company. We agreed with Inspector (who, I must say was very fair) on everything he had pointed as our liability. The landlady reluctantly accepted his "verdict" and put her signature on the form. In spite of all this, eventually she sent us a huge bill and very nasty letters in German, copying our friends through whom we had go the flat.

Mieterverband gave us the right advise and told us how to respond to the landlady. When she received our reply, without any further communication from her, we got our deposit back minus the amount agreed with the Inspector.

I actually wanted to sue the landlady for defamation etc. for dragging our friends into the issue in which they were not the contracted party. Mieterverband again advised that although we were in the right, the expenses for going to court and hiring the lawyer etc. may not be worth the apology we were looking for.

Then, in the French part when we moved from one apartment to another in 2009, the Regie created an issue with the notice period and wanted to deduct one month's rent from from our deposit. Again, based on ASLOCA's advise we wrote to the Regie and asked some questions. Whilst our earlier letters requesting the Regie to see reason had been met with terse responses, maintaining that one month's rent would be deducted from our deposit, our last letter (written on the advise of ASLOCA) had the desired effect. Without any mention of anything that had happened previously, the Regie just quietly responded saying they would be refunding our deposit without any deductions.

Moral of the story, approach these guys as quickly as possible. The landlords adopt a totally different tone once they find that you are being advised by professionals. Their membership of CHF80 or 100 for the year is worth its weight in gold.
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  #25  
Old 05.07.2011, 21:12
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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I am continuously amazed by the LACK of responsibility that landlords themselves assume here (financially or otherwise), especially considering the fact that they rarely seem to update their properties. It took my husband and I EIGHT MONTHS to find a decent new flat in/around Zurich because the majority of the flats had apparently never been updated since the 1970s.
Unfortunately, they wait for someone like wrecker-Lou to move in, and then refurbish everything off her insurance.
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Old 05.07.2011, 21:20
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

You are not supposed to actually USE the kitchen worktops!
You supposed to buy a cheap wooden table and work on that!

Cooking takes place at those bbq places found in parks - the glass stove top in apartments is only for show.

Same goes for the bathrooms - you buy a big tin tub, and bathe in that.
The toilet ....?...well try not to use it. Use public ones.

Floors should only be walked on when wearing socks. They are not designed for shoes!
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Old 05.07.2011, 21:23
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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You are not supposed to actually USE the kitchen worktops!
You supposed to buy a cheap wooden table and work on that!

Cooking takes place at those bbq places found in parks - the glass stove top in apartments is only for show.

Same goes for the bathrooms - you buy a big tin tub, and bathe in that.
The toilet ....?...well try not to use it. Use public ones.

Floors should only be walked on when wearing socks. They are not designed for shoes!
or any kind of paws
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  #28  
Old 05.07.2011, 21:45
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

Threads like this always put me on the verge of a heart attack. My kids have left mini pot-holes in the wooden flooring all over the place.

I've taken out household insurance and personal liability insurance which I hope will cover any costs when we move out, but something doesn't make sense. I'm only paying a few hundred CHF per year in insurance, but the costs to the landlord could easily hit the thousands. It might take a decade's worth of paying insurance bills before it would hit even. So how does the insurer make a profit? Or am I missing out on an insurance / paying the wrong sort of insurance?
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  #29  
Old 05.07.2011, 21:47
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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You are not supposed to actually USE the kitchen worktops!
You supposed to buy a cheap wooden table and work on that!

Cooking takes place at those bbq places found in parks - the glass stove top in apartments is only for show.

Same goes for the bathrooms - you buy a big tin tub, and bathe in that.
The toilet ....?...well try not to use it. Use public ones.

Floors should only be walked on when wearing socks. They are not designed for shoes!
I think all of our family member, from day one of moving in, should wear the full protection mask, clothes and boot all the time if we would like to avoid paying anything

anyway, thanks for everyone's empathy. At least I know I am not too evil to have caused those levels of damage on the tabletop......

by the way, I do have insurance so I'll see what the agent told us after a few weeks. Will keep you guys posted if you're interested to know the result....
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Old 05.07.2011, 21:50
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

Video the apartment when you move in. And then video it at the take-over. Use a really strong camera that shows ALL details. Maybe employ a professional camera person?

We had the guy doing the hand-over empty the water out of the toilet bowl and use a dentists mirror to look up the pipes! Ditto the overflow hole in the sink!
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  #31  
Old 05.07.2011, 21:54
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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Video the apartment when you move in. And then video it at the take-over. Use a really strong camera that shows ALL details. Maybe employ a professional camera person?

We had the guy doing the hand-over empty the water out of the toilet bowl and use a dentists mirror to look up the pipes! Ditto the overflow hole in the sink!
Is it a joke (sorry but I can't stop laughing.....)

I'm just nosy, is it a millions worth of apartment or super brand new one? The guy doing it is the landlord or tenant?
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  #32  
Old 05.07.2011, 21:56
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

The landlord that managed to find the CHF7500 worth of damage used industrial lighting to search the foors for the slightest mark & did actually use white gloves even in the cellar to check the pipes. He was a nasty man who gave all the people moving out the same treatment. I should say though that we have also has really nice landlords in places that we lived for years who never found any damage at all, I only reserve my wrecking skills for the rubish landlords .

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Video the apartment when you move in. And then video it at the take-over. Use a really strong camera that shows ALL details. Maybe employ a professional camera person?

We had the guy doing the hand-over empty the water out of the toilet bowl and use a dentists mirror to look up the pipes! Ditto the overflow hole in the sink!
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  #33  
Old 05.07.2011, 22:49
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

As everyone has insurance, and the insurance companies here seem to just pay out without much of a fight (a) the landlords keep doing it and (b) insurance premiums aren't cheap.

I pay less to insure my furniture and all possessions (which add up to MUCH more than my Ikea-bare apartment here) in central London for less than I pay in Basel.
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Old 06.07.2011, 03:16
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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In case you don't have an insurance, my recommendation would be contact the Mieterverband (renters association). You pay something like 100CHF/year and they can provide you support and guidance in these situations.
Most rental contracts stipulate that you must carry liability insurance. Many landlords ask for proof.

The time to join the Mieterverband and enlist their help is BEFORE you do the handover. Those that know the rules stop landlords from trying to rip off tenants. I attend handovers for my clients so I know what the landlords will try to get away with. It is equally important to have someone there when you take over the apartment. Unfortunately many don't. However, you can still have someone attend when you give the apartment back.

However, just to give a balanced view to this thread, I have seen properties totally ruined by tenants, one quite recently. To say they lived like pigs would be an understatement. If the tenants did not have insurance the landlord will have to cover the cost of the repairs personally as there is no way the rental deposit will cover the extent of the damage.
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Old 06.07.2011, 06:35
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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I think all of our family member, from day one of moving in, should wear the full protection mask, clothes and boot all the time if we would like to avoid paying anything

anyway, thanks for everyone's empathy. At least I know I am not too evil to have caused those levels of damage on the tabletop......

by the way, I do have insurance so I'll see what the agent told us after a few weeks. Will keep you guys posted if you're interested to know the result....
Because for the number of stories you read on here there are dozens if not hundreds that are not charged for damages. So this is why (I would guess) that insurance companies just pay.
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  #36  
Old 06.07.2011, 08:19
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

Well, apparently this is normal. We had a friend move out of an appartment recently in Pully and they charged her 7,000 franc for every small detail. Fortunately, the company she works for handled the situation with their lawyers.

I learned that, at least on the french side, most of the buildings + construction are mafia run. Ever notice when a new building goes up the workers speak Italian? We have Bernard Nicod as the landlord and they are the worst. Complete mafia run organization. No great advice here, but just an observation.
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Old 06.07.2011, 08:46
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

So what do we have here, an English mafia? :-)

(sorry for the OT)
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  #38  
Old 06.07.2011, 11:15
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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You are not supposed to actually USE the kitchen worktops!
You supposed to buy a cheap wooden table and work on that!

Cooking takes place at those bbq places found in parks - the glass stove top in apartments is only for show.
...
Precisely. Our ex-landlord charged us 20CHF for a new roasting tray because it wasn't shiny clean. (Our insurer got that claim off the list)
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  #39  
Old 06.07.2011, 11:53
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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Video the apartment when you move in. And then video it at the take-over. Use a really strong camera that shows ALL details. Maybe employ a professional camera person?

We had the guy doing the hand-over empty the water out of the toilet bowl and use a dentists mirror to look up the pipes! Ditto the overflow hole in the sink!
It would be more fun to video the landlord doing those checks, adding a really sarcastic commentary at the same time.

You could then send copies to everyone in the neighbourhood for a laugh.
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Old 06.07.2011, 12:21
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

I was lucky and had zero deductions of that nature when we moved apartments. Aside from losing the key, which at 600CHF was probably the most expensive plastic and metal I've bought, but all in not a single penny was deducted with regards to damage etc.

After the cleaner had been in I was appalled at the state he had left some things in and was resigned for a big bill in the immediate inspection. It definitely seems we were the exception rather than the rule.

It did take 5 months to get the deposit back though. They always quote they have 12 months to return it but why does it take that long when they get no benefit in holding it (in a locked account with our bank).
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