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Old 05.08.2011, 23:59
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fair charges?

We just moved out of an apartment because the owner sold it and the new owner declared “Dringender Eigenbedarf”
Fair enough, but we’d only been there (and in Switzerland) 10 months, and they must’ve had it up for sale before we moved in.
So after the shock of having to find another apartment and consequently a new school for my 5 year old (who was just getting into being a part of the neighbourhood crowd), we moved.

The handover seemed to go fairly well, as we had professional cleaners in etc. but the new owner and the old agent spent over 3 hours inspecting every last item. (they sent me off for a coffee).
Honestly it was laughable they looked like Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson peering at every square mm of surface.
I handed over the keys and they said we’ll get your deposit returned.

Now the rub.

The old agent charged the new owner CHF 640 for those 3 hours “Wohnungsabnahme”
The new owner said this was my fault and demanded CHF 500 before he would give me my deposit back.
We agreed on CHF 320 and I got my deposit back. (minus the CHF 320) I expected to see some demand for money, this being Switzerland after all.

The new owner then made a claim on my insurance for re-painting the walls etc. all due to very superficial marks (we have a 5 y.o.) and evidence of squashed mosquitoes (they were endemic last summer).
(Half the marks were there before we moved in but we just accepted them as not a big deal)
My insurance paid all except; CHF 200 excess; the servicing cost of all the appliances; and for new shower filters. Total CHF 550.

The new owner is now claiming all of this from us.
The servicing of the appliances came up at the handover and I just said I had not realised it was in the contract (I had no German at the time) and he said “OK I will take care of it”.

Now although I was rightly miffed about being thrown out of our apartment in less than a year, having done nothing wrong, I did not blame the new owner, I blamed the old ones for renting to us and then selling it from under us.
The cost of moving is not cheap (cleaners, removal firm, time off work, looking for a new place, etc etc) and I reckon I am close on CHF 5,000 out of pocket, again after only 10 months here.

My gripe is; had I known he would try to extract more money from me I wouldn’t have agreed to that initial CHF 320, but I was desperate for my deposit back as the move had cleaned me out.
The thing is he probably has more entitlement to this claim than he did for the initial CHF 320.

Any Advice?

Another issue with the move was the timing, we got 4 months’ notice but agreed to move out a month earlier as we had found somewhere and they wanted us in 2 months earlier. This was fine with the new owner.
However the old agent is now sending demands for rental of the car parking space for the month I wasn’t even living there and the new owner was. (I don’t think he bought the parking space)
This is the same agent who took the keys from me so knows full well I had no access, knew full well my agreed moving date, and the same agent who denies knowing the apartment was up for sale when they rented it to us.
There is no way I am paying that bill I would rather go to Swiss jail.
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Old 06.08.2011, 09:47
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Re: fair charges?

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We just moved out of an apartment because the owner sold it and the new owner declared “Dringender Eigenbedarf”
Fair enough, but we’d only been there (and in Switzerland) 10 months, and they must’ve had it up for sale before we moved in.
So after the shock of having to find another apartment and consequently a new school for my 5 year old (who was just getting into being a part of the neighbourhood crowd), we moved.

The handover seemed to go fairly well, as we had professional cleaners in etc. but the new owner and the old agent spent over 3 hours inspecting every last item. (they sent me off for a coffee).
Honestly it was laughable they looked like Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson peering at every square mm of surface.
I handed over the keys and they said we’ll get your deposit returned.

Now the rub.

The old agent charged the new owner CHF 640 for those 3 hours “Wohnungsabnahme”
The new owner said this was my fault and demanded CHF 500 before he would give me my deposit back.
We agreed on CHF 320 and I got my deposit back. (minus the CHF 320) I expected to see some demand for money, this being Switzerland after all.

The new owner then made a claim on my insurance for re-painting the walls etc. all due to very superficial marks (we have a 5 y.o.) and evidence of squashed mosquitoes (they were endemic last summer).
(Half the marks were there before we moved in but we just accepted them as not a big deal)
My insurance paid all except; CHF 200 excess; the servicing cost of all the appliances; and for new shower filters. Total CHF 550.

The new owner is now claiming all of this from us.
The servicing of the appliances came up at the handover and I just said I had not realised it was in the contract (I had no German at the time) and he said “OK I will take care of it”.

Now although I was rightly miffed about being thrown out of our apartment in less than a year, having done nothing wrong, I did not blame the new owner, I blamed the old ones for renting to us and then selling it from under us.
The cost of moving is not cheap (cleaners, removal firm, time off work, looking for a new place, etc etc) and I reckon I am close on CHF 5,000 out of pocket, again after only 10 months here.

My gripe is; had I known he would try to extract more money from me I wouldn’t have agreed to that initial CHF 320, but I was desperate for my deposit back as the move had cleaned me out.
The thing is he probably has more entitlement to this claim than he did for the initial CHF 320.

Any Advice?

Another issue with the move was the timing, we got 4 months’ notice but agreed to move out a month earlier as we had found somewhere and they wanted us in 2 months earlier. This was fine with the new owner.
However the old agent is now sending demands for rental of the car parking space for the month I wasn’t even living there and the new owner was. (I don’t think he bought the parking space)
This is the same agent who took the keys from me so knows full well I had no access, knew full well my agreed moving date, and the same agent who denies knowing the apartment was up for sale when they rented it to us.
There is no way I am paying that bill I would rather go to Swiss jail.
Unfortunately you signed the contract to rent the apartment so now you have to comply with the terms.

I suspect you can be charged for the parking space as you left 1 month early, again the terms will be in the contract.
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