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Old 13.03.2012, 19:15
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Unreturned deposit from short term rental - advice needed, please!

We recently rented a lovely apartment for our skiing week.

Before we stayed there we were told that the apartment had been recently, we were therefore very careful in the apartment; no shoes inside etc. We even cleaned the apartment when we left, which we not required to do.

A week after returning to Dubai I received an email from the Letting agency in Laax to tell me that I would not be getting my 500CHF deposit back because there were some 'spots' on the wooden floor in the bedroom and by the front door. I contested this with the agency and asked for photographic evidence as I felt that we did not cause this and should anyway be classed as general wear and tear.

Three weeks in, the letting agency tells me that she is no longer required to assist me, that I must deal directly with the owner. However they will hold onto the 500CHF until this is resolved. I have emailed twice now to the owner to ask for the photographs, to which he has not responded (my first request was 1 month ago). My sister even offered to visit the apartment last weekend to inspect the spots as she was in the area (and had stayed in tha apartment too). However we were told that this was not convenient.

Feeling a little ripped off! Can anyone PLEASE respond with shedding some light and where i stand with this, legally. It would be much appreciated! It feels like they maybe just keep the 500CHF off every week's rental they make, would make for an nice additional income!
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Old 13.03.2012, 19:45
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Re: Unreturned deposit from short term rental - advice needed, please!

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We recently rented a lovely apartment for our skiing week.

Before we stayed there we were told that the apartment had been recently, we were therefore very careful in the apartment; no shoes inside etc. We even cleaned the apartment when we left, which we not required to do.

A week after returning to Dubai I received an email from the Letting agency in Laax to tell me that I would not be getting my 500CHF deposit back because there were some 'spots' on the wooden floor in the bedroom and by the front door. I contested this with the agency and asked for photographic evidence as I felt that we did not cause this and should anyway be classed as general wear and tear.

Three weeks in, the letting agency tells me that she is no longer required to assist me, that I must deal directly with the owner. However they will hold onto the 500CHF until this is resolved. I have emailed twice now to the owner to ask for the photographs, to which he has not responded (my first request was 1 month ago). My sister even offered to visit the apartment last weekend to inspect the spots as she was in the area (and had stayed in tha apartment too). However we were told that this was not convenient.

Feeling a little ripped off! Can anyone PLEASE respond with shedding some light and where i stand with this, legally. It would be much appreciated! It feels like they maybe just keep the 500CHF off every week's rental they make, would make for an nice additional income!
Nice 1st post... welcome to the forum

I can't help with your situation, but have holiday homes myself and can tell you that sometimes people can cause damage innocently or be unaware they have done so. I have had to retain deposits in whole or part before, and the guests invariably said it wasn't me, when it was.

The owner should be able to provide evidence of the alleged damage, together with repair cost's, and I guess until the situation is resolved the agents are within their right to withhold the deposit. What do the terms and condition of the rental contract say with regard to damage etc, I'd start there. Mine say subject to inspection any deposit refund will be issue 14 days after the guests vacate. This is to allow for pricing or repair estimates to be obtained.

I hope you get this resolved, but feeling ripped off and being ripped off aren't the same... good luck
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Old 14.03.2012, 16:20
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Re: Unreturned deposit from short term rental - advice needed, please!

Many thanks for the response Papa Goose.

I think I wasn't clear in my first post. I am after advice of where you stand as a tenant in contesting the return of a deposit in Switzerland. I do disagree with what the landlord says and find it unacceptable that 1 month after asking there has been no evidence or evidence of repair bills forthcoming.

I do understand the frustrations of being a landlord as I too am a landlord with properties in the UK, France, South Africa and Dubai that are regularly let and never keep a tenant waiting for evidence when it has been requested. Only once have I ever had to withhold a full deposit and this was because the tenants actually burnt the whole apartment down to the extent that the whole roof of the apartment block had to be replaced and my entire apartment rebuilt.

I do feel a little ripped off and suspect I am being ripped off. I am a fair landlord myself and feel that this charge is totally excessive.

Please if anyone else can offer advice on the correct and legal way to contest or seek arbitration for this issue I would be most grateful.
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Old 16.03.2012, 22:01
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Re: Unreturned deposit from short term rental - advice needed, please!

Short term rentals may be covered under the regular contracts and if so, you may want to take it up with the authorities when you return.
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Old 16.03.2012, 23:27
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Re: Unreturned deposit from short term rental - advice needed, please!

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Many thanks for the response Papa Goose.

I think I wasn't clear in my first post. I am after advice of where you stand as a tenant in contesting the return of a deposit in Switzerland. I do disagree with what the landlord says and find it unacceptable that 1 month after asking there has been no evidence or evidence of repair bills forthcoming.

I do understand the frustrations of being a landlord as I too am a landlord with properties in the UK, France, South Africa and Dubai that are regularly let and never keep a tenant waiting for evidence when it has been requested. Only once have I ever had to withhold a full deposit and this was because the tenants actually burnt the whole apartment down to the extent that the whole roof of the apartment block had to be replaced and my entire apartment rebuilt.

I do feel a little ripped off and suspect I am being ripped off. I am a fair landlord myself and feel that this charge is totally excessive.

Please if anyone else can offer advice on the correct and legal way to contest or seek arbitration for this issue I would be most grateful.
Welcome to EF.
I find it somewhat bizarre that you, as a landlord with properties in the UK, France, South Africa and Dubai, should be asking for advice on the matter of a deposit that is being withheld.
It is my personal experience that the laws in Switzerland and are on the side of the landlord, at any rate much more so than in the few other countries where I have lived. I sure hope that you get your money back.
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