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  #21  
Old 19.09.2011, 07:22
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

A polite but firm email to the rental agency is a beginning. They should take care of things from there.

If you make an appointment with their contractor (remember, he works for them/the landlord) - and that contractor does not show up - the first thing I would do is to email the agency. I don't know why you did not do this ? That's the first thing I would do...it's up to the agency to chase the contractor, not you...

If the agency knows nothing, they cannot do anything. My landlord is very 'reasonable' - we currently have a clothes dryer that is broken, and he will be horrified to hear today that the repair guy came, ordered parts and then did not reply for 10 days - that's considered very inefficient by swiss standards - so I expect (based on previous experience) that we will have a reply within 24 hours of him receiving our email and sorting things out...

My advice?

1. Email the agency informing them that the contractor did not show, and a piece has fallen from the ceiling on your head (no major injury).
2. If you can't handle this sort of complaint without thinking immediately of suing them, then contact the renters association so they can give you an idea of your rights in this situation.

Accidents happen, problems happen, and contractors are going to usually take the 'it'll be fine' approach to avoid having to pay extra money out - but if you don't report it to the agency/landlord, they can't do anything, now, can they ? Sure, it was 'scary' to have something fall on your head, but no one was hurt, and it's annoying but the first thing is to just email the agency and inform them of the situation.

The whole issue with repair/non-repair of the floor etc is a separate issue. You have agreed to live with the problem rather than accept their solution, so you live with it. It does not become 'ammunition' for war...unless you let it become that way, and that's only going to end badly in my experience...sure, I've had crappy landlords, including one that I had to threaten to call the police for, but usually the polite/clear/immediate action gets the solution I am looking for.
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  #22  
Old 19.09.2011, 07:23
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

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If you have that in writing, you could claim of their liability insurance.
If not, and you have no witnesses, you should seek a lawyer.
Try your insurance company first , if you have a legal aid policy.
Errrrrr, ...
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  #23  
Old 19.09.2011, 08:15
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

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Oh god. Don't do that. UTH, do you ever give *good* advice?

If you call the Mieterverband, the first thing they'll tell you is not to withhold the rent, as the rental agency then has the right to kick you out for not paying. If it comes to that, there is a special government organization which can arrange for a safe account to pay the rent into until such time as it'd decided who gets how much... In the meantime, the best advice is, as usual, to call the Mieterverband. Even as a non-member, they have a hotline you can call that will cost some nominal amount for a 20 minute consultation.

Alternatively, call up the rental agency and tell them what happened. Sometimes they're reasonable, but if you go that route, I don't recommend an aggressive approach.

As I said before, the contract will have already been breached. They cannot enforce a contract (i.e. kick him out) if the contract is in breach by themselves. Also, as it it his intentions to pay rent, and the matter would be resolved soon, eviction proceedings would never even get off the ground. He is quite entitled to withhold portion and keep it in a separate account. I argue that if the place is not livable, then that portion is reasonable at 100%.
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  #24  
Old 19.09.2011, 08:28
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

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We have some renovatins in our building. Well, in fact a new floor is being built right now. As a result, (well, I am not certain, but it seems like there cannot be any other reasonable factors for this) we have some severe problems in our flat: One of the heaters is severly damaged; the wooden ceiling in our bathroom has become unstable. We contated the agency, and after long and stuborn calls we made them calling some construction manager that arrived to take a look at our problems. He concluded that these problems should be fixed, and we were supposed to fix an appointment last week, but he skipped it. Now, a piece of the wooden ceiling has fallen on my head while I was taking a shower.
It was scary and very unpleasant.

Do you think I can go to the court with this and demand a compensation? I think that wooden pieces falling in tenants' heads is way too much.
Frankly I'm shocked that they didn't find a temporary place for you to live during the construction. There should have been precautions taken to protect the tenants and property below the construction area.
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Old 19.09.2011, 09:55
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

There is very solid advice already on what would be a good way forward. If I may summarize what I see as a good suggestion:

1) Make up your mind: what do you want ? For them to pay for a hotel ? Or reduced rent ?

2) Write a letter (formal, NOT angry or excessively pushy), have it properly translated into German and send it to them. Make sure they get it, so perhaps registered mail would be a good idea.

3) Follow up with your contact at the Agency kindly but firmly. Make sure they understand you want REASONABLE compensation.
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  #26  
Old 19.09.2011, 10:03
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

oh dear, the plague that is "lack of personal responsibility" is spreading

so just to get it straight, you saw the ceiling was damaged, you took a shower, some fell but didn't hurt you, now you want some money.

where there's blame there's a claim
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Old 19.09.2011, 10:15
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

The rental agency will need to know of any damage caused to your apartment. In turn, they will contact the construction companies and start haggling until everything is fixed.

It's in the rental agency's best interest to get any damage fixed now because they too will save money in the long run.

Contact your rental agency today. Take pictures and send it to them. I guarantee you they will fix the damage as soon as possible.

That's how it works in 1st world countries.
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Old 19.09.2011, 10:19
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

Yup, that would be the best procedure to follow.
But.. your last sentence is kinda strange Oly
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Old 19.09.2011, 10:55
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

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I can not believe Switzerland is a 3rd world country.

So the company says it has problems but not EXPLICITELY demands to move to an alternative place paid by them.

For me it having a problem is not necessarily needs to move.

For me he can sue the company for negligence. That is how a 1st world has to be run.
The last sentence was basically a reply to the above post.
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  #30  
Old 19.09.2011, 11:35
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

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a piece of the wooden ceiling has fallen on my head while I was taking a shower.
It was scary and very unpleasant.
So Dear Readers, bearing in mind that we live in a society where, for example, one can dig up the tram tracks to a couple of feet deep, leave a couple of warning cones at either end to to alert the public to the big hole in the road, and if the public falls into it it's their fault and problem...

...would anyone care to hazard a guess at the levels of compensation that might be awarded for getting a bump on the head from a bit of wood, including all the scary and unpleasant feelings that might have accompanied said wood drop?

...would anyone care to hazard a guess as to how much the lawyer will cost to push such claim, bearing in mind that the lawyer's bill will be footed directly and in advance by the plaintiff?

I'm looking forward to hearing these figures, coz then we can compare them directly with the costs and compensation that my missus had and got for getting knocked off her bike by a car, spending two weeks in hospital, including a couple of broken ribs and various other injuries, being housebound for a couple of months , and not being able to work for another couple of months after that, with associated loss income .

i think some of you might be in for a seriously eye-watering surprise.

Also, faites vos jeux, and mir luägä...
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  #31  
Old 19.09.2011, 12:45
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

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...would anyone care to hazard a guess at the levels of compensation that might be awarded for getting a bump on the head from a bit of wood, including all the scary and unpleasant feelings that might have accompanied said wood drop?
Zero. Switzerland does not lower itself to the litigious culture than other countries have.
PS: that's 0 CHF, which at least is worth more than 0 USD or 0 EUR

The only way to get compensation for the wood drop is if you paid to get it fixed yourself, and could provide receipts of the repair costs - then the repair costs and a bit for eg travel and effort - would be repaid.

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...would anyone care to hazard a guess as to how much the lawyer will cost to push such claim, bearing in mind that the lawyer's bill will be footed directly and in advance by the plaintiff?
Thousands of CHFs. Lawyers get paid well in almost all countries, and in Switzerland, very well for Swiss standards.

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I'm looking forward to hearing these figures, coz then we can compare them directly with the costs and compensation that my missus had and got for getting knocked off her bike by a car, spending two weeks in hospital, including a couple of broken ribs and various other injuries, being housebound for a couple of months , and not being able to work for another couple of months after that, with associated loss income .
Switzerland tends to award for direct losses, eg: loss of income, costs involved with the incident (that can be proven by receipts), etc.
Indirect losses: such as "I now have mental torture because of the incident" tend to be rewarded with little to no compensation whatsoever.

Now, where's my popcorn...?
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  #32  
Old 19.09.2011, 12:58
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

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The last sentence was basically a reply to the above post.
ah ok, couldn't figure it out.
Thanks
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  #33  
Old 19.09.2011, 13:10
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

Unrelated to the ceiling falling down, you could also ask for a reduction in rent for the whole time that the construction has been going on. Here is the link (in German) from the Mieterverband.

Google translate:
Am I entitled to a rent reduction if the property has defects?
Answer: For the period in which you have to live with the shortcomings, or where you work by correcting impaired in the use of your rental property, they have to by law to a rent reduction claim.
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  #34  
Old 19.09.2011, 13:15
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

Once again for everybody:

BECOME MEMBER OF THE MIETERVERBAND !!!

These people handle such problems on a daily base, it's their business and they are good. They will give you detailed advice on how to proceed, if you are a member. It is known that in Switzerland agencies try to avoid costs and are not really helpful. Their attidtude usually changes quickly when they have to deal with the Mieterverband.
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  #35  
Old 19.09.2011, 17:11
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

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Zero. Switzerland does not lower itself to the litigious culture than other countries have.
PS: that's 0 CHF, which at least is worth more than 0 USD or 0 EUR
Correct. And correct.

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Thousands of CHFs. Lawyers get paid well in almost all countries, and in Switzerland, very well for Swiss standards.
Almost correct. The legal bill was very easily, one might even say "(un)comfortably", into 5 figures.

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Switzerland tends to award for direct losses, eg: loss of income, costs involved with the incident (that can be proven by receipts), etc.
Indirect losses: such as "I now have mental torture because of the incident" tend to be rewarded with little to no compensation whatsoever.
Correct. The key phrase here being "...that can be proven..."

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Indirect losses: such as "I now have mental torture because of the incident" tend to be rewarded with little to no compensation whatsoever.
Correct.



And there goes the gong!


So WJ's Other Half finishes the game with a score of , putting them well into the lead! She gets to keep The broken ribs and bashed and bruised legs, arms and torso, The absence from work for four months, The pain over two years later, and The grand total in cash for the physical and mental pain and anguish of 0chf (which as has been observed is at least worth more than 0USD or 0EUR, though clearly not as much as 0GBP).


Now, about this bit of "probably" wood...? You were saying...?
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  #36  
Old 20.09.2011, 10:58
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

Is there a french speaking version of the Mieterverband? Went to the site but didn't see an option to switch to french (or any other langauge for that matter).

(sorry for the slight off topic post)
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  #37  
Old 20.09.2011, 11:00
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

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Is there a french speaking version of the Mieterverband? Went to the site but didn't see an option to switch to french (or any other langauge for that matter).

(sorry for the slight off topic post)
http://www.asloca.ch/
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  #38  
Old 20.09.2011, 11:28
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Re: Accident in our flat caused (probably) by construction and renovation

Contact Asloca, explain them the problem, subscribe with them, ask them to do inspection, and get a report done with suggested recommendation, all this they will charge to the agency a,d they will take any legal steps required + dealing with them regarding the alternate accomodation
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