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Old 23.11.2011, 11:35
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Exorbitant cleaning bill

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?
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Old 23.11.2011, 11:39
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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Does someone know if this is a normal procedure or if I'm being ripped-off?
Both.
Did you have your flat signed off by the agency at the handover?
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Old 23.11.2011, 11:42
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

Yes, it was signed off by agency on the last day, noting only that "some more cleaning" is required in the bathroom. I thought that's only fair since I had to take a shower after spending 10 hours cleaning the apartment and running around the town to finalise some things. I was flying back home that very same day. However I never expected a bill for 13.5 hours of cleaning.
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Old 23.11.2011, 11:48
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

That bill seems somehow too high for an already clean 80m2 apartment. Did you do a move out inspection, walk through (Übergabe) with the landlord?
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Old 23.11.2011, 11:51
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

As cleaning bills go it look quite reasonable. If in doubt you should have asked for quotations...
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Old 23.11.2011, 11:53
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

Yes it is a rip off. They obviously cleaned it all again, even though it was probably cleaner than a 4 star hotel!

There isn't anything you can do. For other members: you need to get it in writing, on the handover statement, exactly how many hours of extra cleaning is required.
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Old 23.11.2011, 11:56
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

Get a cleaner with an Abnahmegarantie as it makes the Abnahme protokoll process much easier.
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Old 23.11.2011, 11:58
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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Yes it is a rip off. They obviously cleaned it all again, even though it was probably cleaner than a 4 star hotel!

There isn't anything you can do. For other members: you need to get it in writing, on the handover statement, exactly how many hours of extra cleaning is required.
There are other threads that explain that, in general, the Swiss standard for cleanliness can be higher than that of people from other countries.

If the OP cleaned for only one day, unless they were really fast and efficient, they probably didn't clean well enough.
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Old 23.11.2011, 12:00
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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Get a cleaner with an Abnahmegarantie as it makes the Abnahme protokoll process much easier.
When I moved into an apartment, the previous tenant had a cleaner
with Abnahmegarantie, and it cost him 1100CHF.

I thought it was outlandish and absurd, but apparently it is the
going price.
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Old 23.11.2011, 12:00
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

cleaning bill seems ok, as cleaning bills go here

your biggest mistake was signing the handover with them putting "some more cleaning" on it

nothing you can do, move on with your life
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Old 23.11.2011, 12:01
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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That bill seems somehow too high for an already clean 80m2 apartment. Did you do a move out inspection, walk through (Übergabe) with the landlord?
Yes, that was on the last day in the apartment, and I left the apartment with the employee of the agency. I did ask if further cleaning would be required, and he replied that only some cleaning would be required especially in the bathroom, which cannot be larger than 4m2.
They insisted that the apartment should be clean before I leave, and I took my time to clean every corner from 4am. If I would have known that professional cleaning would be brought in to clean it all over again, I wouldn't have touched in, and wouldn't have been at the airport late.
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Old 23.11.2011, 12:02
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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Yes, that was on the last day in the apartment, and I left the apartment with the employee of the agency. I did ask if further cleaning would be required, and he replied that only some cleaning would be required especially in the bathroom, which cannot be larger than 4m2.
They insisted that the apartment should be clean before I leave, and I took my time to clean every corner from 4am. If I would have known that professional cleaning would be brought in to clean it all over again, I wouldn't have touched in, and wouldn't have been at the airport late.

then the bill would have been twice as much
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Old 23.11.2011, 12:10
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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However, the bill came up to CHF 810 at 60/hr
CHF60.- /h the new CHF120k a year for cleaners...

Where can I apply?

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then the bill would have been twice as much
The OP clearly got shafted, you can do one of the following:
1) Pay and forget about it.
2) Speak to the Verwaltung and if you can get hold of the person you spoke to they might be able to reduce the bill.
3) Don't pay and be prepared to fight it.
4) Send them a registered letter with a two fingered salute.
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Old 23.11.2011, 12:41
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

You have been Switzerlanded!
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Old 23.11.2011, 13:09
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

We paid our rental agency 800 chf deposit for the cleaning when we moved in. When we left, we didn't have to clean anything beside taking the dust. The were going to clean it.

800 chf for 100 square meter.
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Old 23.11.2011, 13:43
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

We get a professional cleaner in each week to do the usual vaccuum, bathroom/toilet, kitchen, floors etc cleaning, and we are charged 30CHF an hour. Each week it takes them 3hrs total 'man hours' and they do a very good job of our 130m2 flat.

But then, we live in the middle of nowhere in Aargau

Puddy
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Old 23.11.2011, 13:50
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

I read all these posts about cleaning costs and standards but we went to look at an apartment yesterday and it was pretty manky. They probably charged the outgoing tennant a fortune but never actually did the cleaning.

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.

We really need to move to a 2 bed but all this 'handover' nonsense is putting me off moving!!!
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Old 23.11.2011, 13:59
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

We all live and learn. We got shafted for 60.-/hour additional cleaning by a previous landlord of a house we left.

This was 13 years ago in rural canton Fribourg. We vowed there and then we would never let that happen to us again.
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Old 23.11.2011, 14:23
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

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

Last edited by JBZ86; 23.11.2011 at 14:26. Reason: mistake
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Old 23.11.2011, 14:50
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Re: Exorbitant cleaning bill

Just as a data point - I just accepted an offer from a cleaning company to do our end of tenancy cleaning (125sqm apartment) for 900 all incl with guarantee. Hope there's no catch to it though.
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