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Old 27.08.2012, 20:55
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Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

Hi All
I have subletted my apartment for about a year, and have received a deposit from the tenant. The tenant created a SEVERE mess, the state is awful state. The tenant is away, so I have received the keys from some other person.

How can I legally declare that I am not going to release the deposit. I doubt we can come to some mutual agreement, as I reckon I will have to spend 10 hours in cleaning the flat and repair the damaged furniture (and of course charge it from the deposit).

Please advise...

The conclusion is: ALWAYS ask for deposit, you can never know!

Last edited by vlad_island; 27.08.2012 at 21:11. Reason: typo
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Old 27.08.2012, 20:58
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

Has the tenant vacated the property then? I.e. given notice to leave or definitively left?

Or are you simply claiming the property back?

First you have to quantify the damage and cleaning costs before assuming the full deposit I.e. your expense must equal the claim from the deposit.

Was an inspection done at start if agreement to assess condition of apartment pre move?
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:04
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

Thanks for the reply.

I am moving back. The apartment is furnished (my furniture).

There was no initial inspection when he moved in. He has claimed that some particular electronic device was not functioning (now I realize that actually he RUINED it), so I replaced it. He had no other complaints.



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Has the tenant vacated the property then? I.e. given notice to leave or definitively left?

Or are you simply claiming the property back?

First you have to quantify the damage and cleaning costs before assuming the full deposit I.e. your expense must equal the claim from the deposit.

Was an inspection done at start if agreement to assess condition of apartment pre move?
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:06
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

Do you have pictures of before he moved in and now? That will serve you, a lot!
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:09
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

Yes, I have pictures of before (pictures I have put into the ad, though they are general, there is no (and excuse me for this detail) zoom in on the lavatory showing the distinction). Now it is as bad, as if there has been some junky gathering there for years.

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Do you have pictures of before he moved in and now? That will serve you, a lot!
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:13
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

It would of served you both well to have done a pre inspection, otherwise it's their word against yours.

Are you the owner or was you leasing this place prior? Did you have permission to sublease? That could be an issue if you have landlords to answer to about the damages later.

Is deposit in proper renters deposit account?

Is tenant coming back?
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:18
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

The property belongs to an agency, which gave me officially the OK, and is aware of the fact that the flat was sublet-ted.

It is not deposit in special account (that is a common practice for short period sublets). However, we have written a short note with signatures saying that the deposit will be given back given that the flat is at its initial state. I have some pictures. Some dirt is beyond any reasonable limits.

Tenant is not coming back to the flat. Actually the key was given to me by some third party as he is currently away.

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It would of served you both well to have done a pre inspection, otherwise it's their word against yours.

Are you the owner or was you leasing this place prior? Did you have permission to sublease? That could be an issue if you have landlords to answer to about the damages later.

Is deposit in proper renters deposit account?

Is tenant coming back?
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:19
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

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Yes, I have pictures of before (pictures I have put into the ad, though they are general, there is no (and excuse me for this detail) zoom in on the lavatory showing the distinction). Now it is as bad, as if there has been some junky gathering there for years.


To be honest, I would have take loads of picture of everything before with close up, etc.

It is too late now so you have to prove the difference of state between before and after. Did he signed a paper at the beginning on the states he was getting the apartment?
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:23
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

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The property belongs to an agency, which gave me officially the OK, and is aware of the fact that the flat was sublet-ted.

It is not deposit in special account (that is a common practice for short period sublets). However, we have written a short note with signatures saying that the deposit will be given back given that the flat is at its initial state. I have some pictures. Some dirt is beyond any reasonable limits.

Tenant is not coming back to the flat. Actually the key was given to me by some third party as he is currently away.
Ok good.

Sorry I meant is he coming back in a sense he hasn't left country with no indication of a return.

He may feel he has lost his deposit and doesn't expect to get it back.

I think you first need to present your findings and dissatisfaction with the situation. Then go from there.

Have they had notice to clean the flat ?? I assume so.
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:24
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

No. But even the quite general pictures I have, show a difference.
He just signed that it has to be at its intial state.

I was planing to make my calculations, to involve somehow the agency, and charge it from his deposit. What else can I do? (yes, I can imagine that a zoom in of every lamp I have would be helpful, but it is not the case).




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To be honest, I would have take loads of picture of everything before with close up, etc.

It is too late now so you have to prove the difference of state between before and after. Did he signed a paper at the beginning on the states he was getting the apartment?
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:27
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

He will be back in CH in about a month.

Findings presented, waiting for his reaction.

I have informed him very clearly that he has to clean it. And he has agreed -- in written form through the email -- so this can be a key evidence.

However, in case that I say decide to charge him X SFR (and provide explanation and breakdown of charge). May I just charge him and let him sue me if he wishes or is there some other more civilized and/or formal way?

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Ok good.

Sorry I meant is he coming back in a sense he hasn't left country with no indication of a return.

He may feel he has lost his deposit and doesn't expect to get it back.

I think you first need to present your findings and dissatisfaction with the situation. Then go from there.

Have they had notice to clean the flat ?? I assume so.
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:31
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

Did you contact the tennants group? I would believe they have help and informations when tennants sublet?
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:37
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

Sorry I did not understand it.

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Did you contact the tennants group? I would believe they have help and informations when tennants sublet?
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:42
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

You might find that you are 'joint and several'

Meaning that anyone and everyone is liable to any damages when you hand the property back over, without viable evidence that any damage is caused by anyone other than yourself or all the tenants jointly could be difficult..

Try and instal some responsibility into him...
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:48
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

Get in touch with these guys - they're the experts on what rights you have:

http://www.mieterverband.ch/zh_top.0.html
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Old 27.08.2012, 21:59
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

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Did you contact the tennants group? I would believe they have help and informations when tennants sublet?
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Sorry I did not understand it.
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Get in touch with these guys - they're the experts on what rights you have:

http://www.mieterverband.ch/zh_top.0.html


(too short)
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Old 27.08.2012, 22:49
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

Every time I see the words 'sub letting' I feel sick and am ready to faint. Good luck, everything crossed.
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Old 28.08.2012, 10:10
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

I assume you had the standard language in the sub-letting contract to the effect the aparment will be returned in the same condition, and aspects with respects to cleaning. This should protect you. If not, good luck.
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Old 29.08.2012, 21:14
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

Thanks. I will have to clean the place, How much would you charge per hour of cleaning for this?
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Old 29.08.2012, 21:46
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Re: Sublet-ted apartment in bad state-- how not to release the deposit?

You have to give him a day to clean it up himself.

Then hire a cleaning company, take the cost from the deposit. Keep the rest for 12 months, or until he asks for it.
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