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  #21  
Old 23.11.2011, 15:53
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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For the apartment we are in now we paid upfront for cleaning (about 500 CHF for 60m2) - although I do plan to clean thoroughly just to be safe.
I think it's an (optional) thing in Basel Stadt that the landlord can charge a fixed fee per sqm. I paid the same and I definitely don't plan to do any cleaning when I move out. However, I keep the place pretty clean anyway - as most people would I assume - so it's not as if I'd be handing back something grimy.
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  #22  
Old 23.11.2011, 15:55
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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Moral of the story: Accept a cleaning fee is what you will have to pay when you leave. Do not even waste your time trying to beat it, they will insist it is done. Shop around to find quotes, get a quote in writing that you are happy with so there are no surprises. If it doesnt pass inspection, then your cleaners will have to come back, free of charge. My flat was twice as big as yours and cost me 660CHF so, you have been ripped off somewhat. Sorry
Rubbish - lots of us have handed-over after cleaning ourselves and not having had to pay a cleaning bill.

In fact, at our last place, at the handover inspection - the lady said she had never seen a place so clean!

We did clean the tops of the doors though.
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Old 23.11.2011, 17:16
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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Rubbish - lots of us have handed-over after cleaning ourselves and not having had to pay a cleaning bill.

In fact, at our last place, at the handover inspection - the lady said she had never seen a place so clean!

We did clean the tops of the doors though.

Exception rather than the rule it would seem
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  #24  
Old 23.11.2011, 17:49
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

I was charged in advance 80 CHF for a 18 square meter appartment. The agency told me that when I will move out I don't have to clean anything this 80CHF go directly for that prupose.

I find that even if my appartment is really small compared with yours the rates are much higher for yours... 800 CHF... 60CHF per hour... sounds way to high honestly.

I the end it seems that what you are paying for that price is not the cleaning service itself, but rather the guarnatee that the job will be really thoroughly and in detail done.

What I mean is that, even if you guys did clean the apartmen very well, the agency might be scared that there are really tiny details of the apartment not cleaned and next tenants will complain and will have to pay a professional cleaner.

Then, they prefer to just bring the professional cleaner so that if something goes wrong there is someone to whom complain officially and ask to clean it again.

Of course, the damaged ones in this game are we tenants that have to pay high for a service that we can do by ourselves in a few hours.
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  #25  
Old 23.11.2011, 18:02
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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Exception rather than the rule it would seem
Whether a lot of people do it or only a few is irrelevant; it doesn't disprove plain common sense that you can do it yourself if you have the time/inclination to do it.

While I agree the Swiss standards of cleaning are higher than what is probably held in most countries, it is not as much cleaning as it is polishing and gloss on surfaces, after the basics are taken care of. There are cleaning liquids/cloths made specially for everything you can imagine. If you can read German or can have a neighbor help you with that, it is certainly doable by yourself. I had a sweet old retired Swiss gentleman as neighbor. I (and when my family was there, they too) treated him as a friend, I had never imagined I would have him help me out with practically everything from packing, moving and cleaning when I left CH last week

The previous flat I left was very tiny and new and therefore simpler to clean, I managed everything myself (and I don't even read german and had spent less than a year in CH by then, fortunately there were no chemical disasters)
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  #26  
Old 23.11.2011, 18:09
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

The Swiss standard of "clean" is horendous!

Luckily my daughter-in-law is Swiss and aware of all the little pitfalls in moving out and handing over, and so I have learned that the normal weekly cleaning is just not enough - no way!

It`s the grooves between the floor (and wall) tiles, outside shutters right up into where they retract to, in overflows of sinks and basins, up and behind the water line in toilets as well as in the groove under the seat, in and between door hinges, the underneath of shelves (always remove shelves for cleaning!), pinpricks in walls, etc etc etc ........
In other words - everything should be "as new" and clean - except obviously worn out things like oven/fridge trays, which need discussion as to how old they actually are and needing replacing (at owners expense).

A little trick I always used was to spray some diluted Lavendar water around an hour or so before they arrived for the inspection - it makes the place smell SO fresh
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  #27  
Old 23.11.2011, 18:16
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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Exception rather than the rule it would seem
It doesn't need to be.

Cleaning properly is really hard work and not much fun (ipod or radio helps) but cleaners do not have the same skill-sets as rocket scientists or neurologists - in fact no training is needed at all so there really isn't any excuse for not getting it right.

It really is down to how clean you can get it (as Chandra said, shiny clean is the key).

Preventative cleaning as you go along helps as well.

Having said that, it does help to have a Swiss wife or neighbour who knows what standard needs to be met
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Old 23.11.2011, 18:29
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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Sadly, there is little you can do, and believe me, I share your pain. this happened to me 2 months ago.

I spent 10hours, on my hands and knees, scrubbing floors, switches, doors, kitchen appliances and worktops, everything. 10 hard long hours, as I was determined to avoid the dreaded "Swiss Cleaning Fee". I thought there is no way they can question me.

Well, they said the windows werent cleaned to standard, and tops of the doors. I said ok, I will pay a cleaning fee. I, like you, imagined that it wouldnt be much given I had done all the work already, bar the professional tocuh.

I asked how much this would be, they said around 600

I said I hope not, there is clearly little to do.

Sorry, edit: not twice as big, thought I read 45m2, mine was 92m2, but point still stands I think.

Well, it cost me 660CHF, and looked exactly the same as before.

Moral of the story: Accept a cleaning fee is what you will have to pay when you leave. Do not even waste your time trying to beat it, they will insist it is done. Shop around to find quotes, get a quote in writing that you are happy with so there are no surprises. If it doesnt pass inspection, then your cleaners will have to come back, free of charge. My flat was twice as big as yours and cost me 660CHF so, you have been ripped off somewhat. Sorry
This is outrageous - and a case where possibly confidence in the language might let you down. If I'd cleaned for 10 hours on hands and knees, and knew it was perfect and they would say it had to be done again for 660CHF, I'd really challenge it and say 'OK let's go around and make a list- show me what needs to be done again and why. With pen and paper, and my camera, a torch and a magnifying glass - I'd go over the flat with them and a toothcomb ad ask them to justify any extra cleaning- bit by bit. And for every bit they can clearly show to be defective in cleaning standard, get them to estimate the time required and agree the cost per hour.
No way would I let poncy agents Switzerland me, if I'd ensured with sweat and tears that the flat was spotless. GRRRRRRRRR.

Basically, don't take anybody's word for anything when renting a flat, at either end of the procedure, or you will be Switzerlanded - sadly. Problem is most people as the OP leave it too late and the agents know they can fleece them. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TIME TO GO THROUGH PROCEDURE PROPERLY. If your local language is not up to standing your ground, make sure you have a friend with you who can.
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  #29  
Old 23.11.2011, 18:30
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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Whether a lot of people do it or only a few is irrelevant; it doesn't disprove plain common sense that you can do it yourself if you have the time/inclination to do it.

While I agree the Swiss standards of cleaning are higher than what is probably held in most countries, it is not as much cleaning as it is polishing and gloss on surfaces, after the basics are taken care of. There are cleaning liquids/cloths made specially for everything you can imagine. If you can read German or can have a neighbor help you with that, it is certainly doable by yourself. I had a sweet old retired Swiss gentleman as neighbor. I (and when my family was there, they too) treated him as a friend, I had never imagined I would have him help me out with practically everything from packing, moving and cleaning when I left CH last week

The previous flat I left was very tiny and new and therefore simpler to clean, I managed everything myself (and I don't even read german and had spent less than a year in CH by then, fortunately there were no chemical disasters)


What didn't you understand about spending 10hours on my hands and knees, scrubbing, cleaning, wiping, polishing every area visible

My mum is an OCD clean freak, I know how to clean.

To be told to pay 660CHF because "apparently" some windows were not cleaned enough, and some dirt was at the top of the door was present is a little far fetched don't you think?

But then, they did try charging me for all sorts of things that I managed to tell them to F off about, so think it is merely a Swiss vs Auslander mentality of, "they do not know the rules so we'll screw them"
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  #30  
Old 23.11.2011, 18:33
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

I did my abnahme protokoll successfully for my previous residence, having cleaned it by myself and a helping hand ( 32sqm about 8 hours - total outlay was no more than CHF240 ). Landlord was a rather picky kind of person and signed off on the sheet eventually.
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  #31  
Old 23.11.2011, 18:37
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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What didn't you understand about spending 10hours on my hands and knees, scrubbing, cleaning, wiping, polishing every area visible

You have to do the invisible areas as well.

Ans unless you're flat is very small, ten hours probably isn't enough time.

But it does seem to be unfair for them to have charged you so much to clean the odd thing that you missed.
That sounds more like the 600CHF was 50% for the agent, 50% for the cleaners.
Sadly, that sort of thing isn't unheard of here, either.
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Old 23.11.2011, 18:41
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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What didn't you understand about spending 10hours on my hands and knees, scrubbing, cleaning, wiping, polishing every area visible

My mum is an OCD clean freak, I know how to clean.

To be told to pay 660CHF because "apparently" some windows were not cleaned enough, and some dirt was at the top of the door was present is a little far fetched don't you think?

But then, they did try charging me for all sorts of things that I managed to tell them to F off about, so think it is merely a Swiss vs Auslander mentality of, "they do not know the rules so we'll screw them"
Sorry I didn't read the whole thread and was responding to your specific point that "it is more the exception than the rule".

I do think they tried to cheat you. Moral: One way or the other, good to involve a local neighbor/wife/girlfriend in these matters
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  #33  
Old 23.11.2011, 18:48
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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You have to do the invisible areas as well.

Ans unless you're flat is very small, ten hours probably isn't enough time.

But it does seem to be unfair for them to have charged you so much to clean the odd thing that you missed.
That sounds more like the 600CHF was 50% for the agent, 50% for the cleaners.
Sadly, that sort of thing isn't unheard of here, either.
Yeah, I just took from it as a learning experience really.

I took this flat over, 4.5 room in Wollishofen, 1,850CHF, was decent for the price, but hadn't been renovated in some time. So, was kind of under the impression that they acknowledged it was in a bad shape decoratively and felt they were just trying to get some revamp fees from me.

I would say 10hours was enough time, I waited until the flat was complete emptied of all furnishings, so we're talking bare rooms here, very square in terms of layout.

When they tried charging me for painting, door frames, lights etc, and for the delay of the tenants moving in (because the agents took a two week holiday when the handover was supposed to take place) was when I said enough was enough and put my foot down. I lost 1,000 of my deposit instead of the initial 2,700 they were advocating. So was somewhat happy at the end.

Just meant I was incredibly anal with my new place noting every single defect
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  #34  
Old 23.11.2011, 19:40
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

In a recent move, when I thought everything was spotless, one of the items I had to go back and clean was the cobweb behind the shutters for the patio door!
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Old 23.11.2011, 20:02
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

Well at least they told you what was 'wrong' (yeah, lol) and gave you a chance to put it right and didn't charge you for a full re-clean
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Old 23.11.2011, 22:21
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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I

One month after I moved from Switzerland, I received the final papers from Brjon, including the authorization letter I need to sign to get the deposit back together with a cleaning bill. Now I would like to say that during the last day in the apartment I had cleaned it all, and knew that some more professional cleaning would need to be done. However, the bill came up to CHF 810 at 60/hr, meaning that the cleaning company required 13.5 hours to clean 80m2, which sounds pretty odd for an already clean apartment.

Does someone know if this is a normal procedure or if I'm being ripped-off?
That's the trick they used, saying 'some more cleaning had to be done'. Mine tried the same thing but the agency rep was there and asked me to do it right there and then myself and that too the attic room. I did that. So escaped that but the guy came back saying he had not done the 'Abrechnung' for the heating for the last 3 years (and he had'nt) and that he would do all of the 3 years and send the bill. The system is a ripoff system.
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Old 23.11.2011, 22:56
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

Ahhhhh, you've made me go all nostalgic. Here's my post from years ago. I was properly Switzerlanded back in the day and there was no EF to ask for advice when it happened... Yikes.


Cleaning appartment when moving

Cleaning appartment when moving
When I left my last appartment in 2004, it cost me the princely sum of CHF 2,500 for the cleaning bill. Yes, Two-thousand five-hundred francs!

This was after my gf and I had spent 8 hours cleaning it. It looked sparkly and new when we had finished. My landlady then took it upon herself to clean it for a further 35 hours after we left - yes a whole week's work! I am not sure quite what she did, but the taps did seem to be gold plated by the time she finished. We got a nice bill with for her hourly rate. I particularly remember being charged 2/33 of the floor costs as each wood panel has a 33 year life span. We also got billed to replace the glass teethbrush holder which we broke the week before. Fair enough (though I have a feeling it was replaced with the Villeroy & Bosch version).

Anyway, with a typical British flourish, I grumbled to myself (not to the owner) and then handed over the cash.

Clearly I was ripped off then and I don't want to have a repetition when I next move out. At the time, I was unaware of the collective wisdom of EF.

So the questions I have are:

What is the best way to handle moving out? Is it best to get one of those companies that charge you a flat rate of CHF 1,000 to clean your appt and you dont get charged any more?

Is it best to involve the MV? I recall you can bring one of them in at the same time as the landlord is there and they will make sure you are being billed correctly. We never had an inventory check to start with in the new place as far as I can remember. We just took it on from an ex-colleague, after the bathroom was redecorated. I know, not covering myself in glory here...

Can I claim on any of the costs on any of the insurances? I read something to this effect on another thread, but think I misinterpreted it. I would be very (pleasantly) suprised if you could.

All in all, we live in fear of ever moving again after the last episode!
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Old 23.11.2011, 23:36
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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I have lived in Stafa, Zurich for roughly 4 months until mid-October, and was living in an apartment found through Homegate.ch. The agency is Brjon AG.
For this apartment I had paid a deposit of CHF 2,500, and was paying a monthly rent of CHF 1,640.

One month after I moved from Switzerland, I received the final papers from Brjon, including the authorization letter I need to sign to get the deposit back together with a cleaning bill. Now I would like to say that during the last day in the apartment I had cleaned it all, and knew that some more professional cleaning would need to be done. However, the bill came up to CHF 810 at 60/hr, meaning that the cleaning company required 13.5 hours to clean 80m2, which sounds pretty odd for an already clean apartment.

Does someone know if this is a normal procedure or if I'm being ripped-off?
if you think that's a rip-off, wait til you get quotes for moving your belongings when you leave the country..........
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Old 24.11.2011, 00:09
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

We were 6 people cleaning for approx 6-8hours when we left our shared apartment several years ago. All these people were Swiss and knew the cleaning procedure and consequences here obviously very very well. Moral here being, thats the amount of work knowledgeable locals thought may be required to avoid penalties. Love it or hate thats how its done, and thats how the Swiss do it - I couldnt believe myself the amount of 'invisible areas' that needed to be cleaned, including replacing air filters etc etc. So its not just foreigners who need to clean or are targeted for cleaning, its just life here.

On vacating never leave and say 'yes just send me the bill if more cleaning needs to be done', be there for the handover. Otherwise you may as well say, 'yes just bill me again'.
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Old 24.11.2011, 01:51
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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if you think that's a rip-off, wait til you get quotes for moving your belongings when you leave the country..........
Maybe you can get your company to pay for this if they move you back. If they moved you here, they should move you back no ?
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