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Old 02.08.2012, 17:44
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Again obnoxious landlord

Hi,

I have a question related to our landlord demands' for repairs and payments. I've read the forum but could not figure out the answer to my problem, will much appreciate either comments or directions to the answers.

We have a long dispute with our landlord about many things in the apartment that are kind of broken, potentially need a replacement but are not longer manufactured. We have built-in sunken lights in the kitchen cabinets and a bathroom that have cover glass broken or lost, they are functioning but are really hot. I am not sure but we might have broken one of them, the second we took off and then lost when we tried to make the light to work (apparently the electric contacts are not good and the lights in both places often blink or turn off by itself).

We asked the landlord to deal with it a year or so ago, and he said he'll have to replace the whole systems which would cost us not less than 100CHF each. We thought it ridiculous, to pay more than 200CHF when replacement of two small covers are needed, but he still insists on that.

Now he found a dent on our garage door (outside, in the public area, on the very bottom). The dent is completely cosmetic, does not prevent the door from functioning properly. We do not remember hitting the door ourselves, and the dent could have been easily made by a car (or something flying from under its wheels) exiting from another garage that faces ours. The landlord tells us that it is nevertheless our fault and our responsibility. Again the doors like that are not longer manufactured, he says he would need to change all the garage doors (8 of them!) and charge us for that. And then he adds -- do not worry, insurance will pay.

Not only I feel it is great abuse by insurance, but it could not be right for himt to charge us for the whole "complex". Can anyone comment on the legal aspect of our situation? We went to Asloca, they told us not to react to the landlord and simply bring them when we move out. Yet landlord sends letters with his demands every month or so and makes our life quite miserable...

Thanks for your help in advance!
KTZV
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Old 02.08.2012, 17:53
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

In principle, you are responsible for the appartment. Any damage caused during your occupancy is for you to repair/pay, even if it's not your fault.

However, the law does make certain allowances for natural wear and tear. So if the equipment is no longer manufactured, that implies it is old, and if it's old, it may be subject to wear and usage which means it's not your repsonsibility to replace old with new. It depends on the precise situation and the law is quite complex so it might be good if you talked to somebody like Mieterverband.

It is certainly not your responsibility to pay for the garage doors of others. That is ridiculous.
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Old 02.08.2012, 18:40
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

Have a word with Asloca before you hand over any money. They are the experts in deciding what is your responsibility to pay.

http://www.asloca.ch/asloca-vaud
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Old 02.08.2012, 19:07
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

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Have a word with Asloca before you hand over any money. They are the experts in deciding what is your responsibility to pay.

http://www.asloca.ch/asloca-vaud
The OP stated that he/she had already done so.

Best advice is to start looking for a new place to live, sorry.
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Old 02.08.2012, 19:18
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

When you move out make sure there is an ASLOCA witness. You will have to pay for the witness, but for your peace of mind it will be worth it.

The law works on your side: as everything has a lifetime. Your insurance will only pay for any damage caused while you were living there, and only for the value, not the complete new price.

Maybe a metal garage door has a lifetime of 20 years. If your garage door is 19 years old, and your landlord says it needs replacing, your insurance will only pay for one year, ie one twentieth. The landlord will be paying for nineteen twentieths of the cost of a new door.

So stop worrying, he is obviously bullying you. Try and ignore him.
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Old 02.08.2012, 23:39
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

Thanks all for your replies!

I am wondering if anyone had the same type of landlord: essentially it seems that when he was equipping the house he got a lot of things that were going out of production (and perhaps got them at huge discount). Now, when the equipment needs just small repairs, they are not possible as spare parts are no longer available. The landlord demands then to replace the whole thing and get it all new and at our (tenant) expense. This is the case for the lights in the kitchen and bathroom, our garage door, the shades on the balcony (the colors are not longer available), the balcony railings, and I suspect some other things I am not yet aware of.

In our case, we even called the producer of the glass covers for lights, and they told us that they can make the parts but the size of the order should be in 100s -- can you imagine ordering a 100 of light covers to fix one?

Asloca lawyer did not refer us to any specific legal chapter, just told us not to pay attention to the landlord -- we are trying to do exactly that, but sometimes it is very difficult indeed.

Thanks again and sorry for venting off my frustration!
KTZV
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Old 03.08.2012, 00:40
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

They send those letters to make you afraid as they know you are not from CH. Stop them.
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Old 03.08.2012, 01:09
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

Ask for reduction of rent as your life is disturbed.
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Old 03.08.2012, 01:21
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

Well, of course they know that I am not Swiss. To stop the letters and almost constant discussions with the landlord on the topics like "what do we need to do with the dent on the garage door?" we either need to move out or to find a relevant page in a legal doc that we can show him.

We cannot move out until the next year. Although we would love to part ways with the landlord, the move out now seems too tough: we have 2 years contract and the landlord would make sure to find millions of reasons for not accepting proposed tenants, our neighbor has already gone through it. Plus our kids go to local school and are happy with it. We also prefer do not go to the dispute tribunal : even if we win, our life might get even tougher with our "inventive" landlord.

I guess, in reality, there is no way to stop the landlord, him being a j**k... I am perhaps looking for some rules that I can quote and that can stop him for a while, until he invents another way to demand something. We are really here biding time, waiting until the end of the next year and the end of our contract...

Thanks for reading it! KTZV
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Old 03.08.2012, 16:47
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

If he is really bothering you then just confront the issue. Ask him what he proposed be done with the garage door. When he gets a quote and asks you to pay the whole thing, you take the letter to ASLOCA and write him back saying that you're only responsible for 1/8th of 1/19th (or whatever the calculations is). That'll shut him up.
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Old 03.08.2012, 18:32
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

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Thanks all for your replies!

I am wondering if anyone had the same type of landlord...
We didnít have a landlord which was bothering us about the repairs during our renting time, but the demands that were made when we moved out were completely absurd.

The landlord has to prove that the damage to the garage door (or anything else) was done by you, and that the damage was caused by incorrect usage. As mentioned, everything has a lifetime. If you damage anything in the apartment, then the landlord has to prove that the damage was done by improper usage, and your part of the repair payment has to be calculated according to the age of the damaged item. For example, if you damage a 45-year old stove, the landlord cannot make you pay for the new stove.

This is good to know that you feel that just letting the insurance pay for everything is not the right way. Why is the landlord asking you to pay for repairs now, while you are living in the apartment? Normally this is settled when you move out.

Anyway, prepare to get an enormous bill when you move out.
We didnít use any special witnesses from insurance when we were moving, I think this is not what insurance is for. We got a huge bill but at the end we paid nothing. If you like to have any details send me a pm .
For now try to ignore the landlord. Do not pay anything that you do not agree with!
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Old 03.08.2012, 18:58
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

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Thanks all for your replies!
...essentially it seems that when he was equipping the house he got a lot of things that were going out of production (and perhaps got them at huge discount). Now, when the equipment needs just small repairs, they are not possible as spare parts are no longer available. The landlord demands then to replace the whole thing and get it all new and at our (tenant) expense....
Again, this point seems to get somehow lost with some landlords and rental agencies
The landlord could replace the whole apartment building if he wants, but this has NOTHING to do with your share of the payment. What you have to pay is not equivalent to the amount that the landlord has spent to replace the broken thing.
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Old 03.08.2012, 19:49
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Re: Again obnoxious landlord

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We didn’t use any special witnesses from insurance when we were moving, I think this is not what insurance is for. We got a huge bill but at the end we paid nothing. If you like to have any details send me a pm .
For now try to ignore the landlord. Do not pay anything that you do not agree with!
Not from the insurance company but from the tenant's association (ASLOCA or Mieterverband). They charge a fee to come and do the handover with you. THey know their stuff and make sure that the landlord doesn't take advantage of you. It is well worth the small investment...

You could also threaten to start a mediation process against him (it's free). That tends to get a landlord to focus. I don't think that ignoring him is a good solution. He sounds persistent. In fact ignoring problems is never a good tactic here. For some reason or another they don't just disappear...

Link to the mediation web site in Lausanne:

http://www.vd.ch/themes/territoire/d...-non-agricole/
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