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Old 18.10.2012, 14:07
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Need Advice: Where can I find free legal advice and/or help with a renters problem?

My apartment is brand new as of this year and my boyfriend and I just moved in in August. In September (within the 30 days we were given to find problems with the apartment) my boyfriend shut the front door with the key on the inside in the lock. When he went to open it again, he couldn't because it was locked. Because the landlord is a companx, we couldn't get help from them and instead contacted the general manager. He found someone to open the door, but the lock had to be broken and we had to pay upfront 700 CHF to get in the apartment. Because the lock was broken it cost additional funds to fix it. Now the landlord wont pay us back the 700 CHF and wants us to pay the additional costs because the company that makes the doors says there is no way that that could have happened and refuses to reimburse the landlord, who refuses to reimburse us. Even though the landlord says we are in the right and did everything we should have.

Anybody have any advice? It seems here in Switzerland there is no legal advice for free (even though I am a student), and no procedure to resolve the issue except to go to court which is expensive.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 18.10.2012, 14:19
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Re: Need Advice: Where can I find free legal advice and/or help with a renters proble

Get in touch with the renters association (Mieterverband or Asloca), possibly they can give you some advice.

Here in German for Canton Bern and also in French for the city of Biel/Bienne. My German is not that good, but I am fluent in French - if you don't speak either and need any help understanding the French website, feel free to PM with questions, I'd be glad to help if I can (with the language).
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Old 18.10.2012, 14:33
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Re: Need Advice: Where can I find free legal advice and/or help with a renters proble

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My apartment is brand new as of this year and my boyfriend and I just moved in in August. In September (within the 30 days we were given to find problems with the apartment) my boyfriend shut the front door with the key on the inside in the lock. When he went to open it again, he couldn't because it was locked. Because the landlord is a companx, we couldn't get help from them and instead contacted the general manager. He found someone to open the door, but the lock had to be broken and we had to pay upfront 700 CHF to get in the apartment. Because the lock was broken it cost additional funds to fix it. Now the landlord wont pay us back the 700 CHF and wants us to pay the additional costs because the company that makes the doors says there is no way that that could have happened and refuses to reimburse the landlord, who refuses to reimburse us. Even though the landlord says we are in the right and did everything we should have.

Anybody have any advice? It seems here in Switzerland there is no legal advice for free (even though I am a student), and no procedure to resolve the issue except to go to court which is expensive.

Thanks for your help!
maybe you can get a statement from the company that broke the lock tht it was actually locked and the key was on the inside. i can only imagine that the key was in and on the cusp of turning and then turned when the door closed. i could see them arguing that this was the user's fault unless you can show somehow there is a technical malfunction with that particular lock (or design of lock).
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Old 18.10.2012, 15:37
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Re: Need Advice: Where can I find free legal advice and/or help with a renters proble

Handel on the inside side, door knob on the outside side? Key in lock partly turned? Oooops. Nothing wrong with the lock but normal operation. Unfortunately your fault. You break it, you pay it. Sorry, but it was lecture 1 of class 101 Lock Functions.

Or do you have handles at inside and outside? Then it was a case of very, very bad luck.

hint: Please do not miss lecture 1 of 101 Third Party Liability Insurance.

Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 18.10.2012 at 16:07.
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Old 18.10.2012, 15:46
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Re: Need Advice: Where can I find free legal advice and/or help with a renters proble

I'm confused. Did he lock himself out of the house? Or could he not get the key to turn anymore?
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Old 18.10.2012, 21:06
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Re: Need Advice: Where can I find free legal advice and/or help with a renters proble

If you lock yourself out why is that the problem of someone else to fix?

As the Kaba style locks require to be turned mechanically, and if the manufacturers have said it wasn't a defective lock (Phils explanation is actually the most likely) I don't know how you can argue against that. Logically they unless you get an independent inspection by a locksmith (which will cost) and providing he thinks it was defective, you could try to recover your cost via the courts (which costs) and would be in a still be in weak position. The likelihood manufacture/owner is most likely to win, and you get their cost to... see where that's all going.

Unpalatable as it may be, I wouldn't hold out much hope of re-imbursement... and make sure the key is all the way in the unlock position in future
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Old 07.01.2015, 19:55
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Re: Need Advice: Where can I find free legal advice and/or help with a renters proble

Hello,

I have recently moved out of an apartment run by a small company who own 5 apartments in the same building. When I moved out I went through the usual check list to make sure there were no damages and to make sure I would get my 1500 chf deposit back. The only details written on the form were to very small scratches on the bed side table and the floor. We both signed the paper and i assumed maybe they would give me the money back minus maybe 100 chf MAX! They are now saying there are loads of problems (which I believe to be a lie) and want an extra 650 chf on top of my deposit. In the bill, all the problems listed are not of the form we filled out and signed on the day I left the apartment. I would like to think I have an argument as after the document was signed and I moved out they have changed the whole story? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

J
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Old 07.01.2015, 20:39
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Re: Need Advice: Where can I find free legal advice and/or help with a renters proble

Tell them to look at the signed form. unless it says something about them having more time to find any defects you can tell them they are shit out of luck.

If they give you trouble call the agency and tell them asloca will be in touch with them. ( you will have to join them) and be done with it
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