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  #21  
Old 10.07.2021, 18:10
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

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Of course the other significant consideration pertaining to a slow court process, is any financial loss or loss of opportunity waiting for the court might result in, and whether the aftermath of that would be worth any perceived win (I think everyone loses in conflicts to different degrees).
I agree with you that most conflicts, unless they are completely clear with no doubt about the situation, and even in that case unless the other party can be brought to understand why they are wholly in the wrong, very often end up causing damage and loss to both parties. Worse, since realistically, very rarely is any case so absolute. Landlords and tenants may very well have good reason to complain about each others' behaviour or payments, and this is especially so once they're both annoyed, and forget to even try to find the will to cooperate.

For this reason, some conflicts are, in my opinion, worth walking away from, and cutting one's losses.

On the other hand, I also have a friend who will quibble with the supermarket cashier if the 50% sticker on his yoghurt won't register on her till and he's told to pay the full 70 Rappen. And he genuinely feels much better when she gets her supervisor who manually overrides the till's programming and gives him back his 35 Rappen. I knew a divorced couple who were still fighting each other in court about maintenance payments for their children by the time these children had grown up and made them grandparents. I can't be dealing with life like that. Each person has to know their own limits, of course, and assess how much effort they're willing to make, and how much time and money they're prepared to spend on their quest to be proved right (if that is, in fact, possible), and what the other kind of loss will mean to them, for example the bad feeling of not having stood up for oneself and spoken out what was true and right.

Specifically in Switzerland, as opposed to some other countries, it's worth knowing that the losses for which one can sue are almost always only the real, factual money that one didn't get and was due, or had to spend extra because of someone else's failing, and in many cases even these amounts have guidelines. The Swiss system doesn't generally award large sums for compensation on an emotional or psychological level, so hardly ever will any party be made to pay to make up for "pain and suffering" or "loss of dignity" or "inconvenience". Just the actual bills related to the actual matter.
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  #22  
Old 10.07.2021, 18:10
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

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In case you can share further, did your matter end at mediation, or in court, and how was the entire experience from your perspective? Was it you who requested the mediation, or the landlord? Was either side caught unawares by the mediation? How was the relationship once the dust settled? Feel free to ignore these questions, if you'd like to keep all this private.
I don't really know how one could be caught unawares by the mediation, at least not unless one has been refusing the correspondence beforehand. By the time that hearing is to be had, one has had a chance to try to sort things out without having to go to the Schlichtungsbehörde.

In our case, the Mieterverband was sure we were right about at least most of what we were claiming, and taught us the flat truth about the parts we'd overestimated. So it was the Mieterverband lawyer who asked for the mediation, having helped us to work through a number of possible outcomes, and to moderate our expectations. We had worked out how much our overall loss (and inconvenience) would be if we lost everything, and he told us how he would lead us, and we had agreed with him, in advance, on what he could concede.

The landlord arrived scoffing and blustering, and while my lawyer was asking if we could settle any part, the landlord, instead, tried to intimidate us into withdrawing our claim before we went into the room. Our lawyer just took the landlord's words, and phrased them in terms of the law, saying: "Mr Landlordname says you should give up on your claim, the one you have in terms of Article...., where it states that.... because he thinks you're likely to lose everything. However, given that Article... and Article... both say that...... do you have any reason to want to concede what you probably have a good case of keeping?"

As some point in the hearing, the lawyer said he wanted to talk to us alone, so we were granted permissing to use another side office for a few minutes, while he explained some aspect to us. We could have requested that, too, had we wanted to, and it would have been granted us.

In our case, the end result of the mediation was that we agreed to move out, but the Mediator made it very clear that we had done no wrong and didn't have to go. We just wanted out, by then. However, the landlord was told to leave us in peace, and given how angry he was, that in itself was a shield worth gaining. Besides, we got it all on our terms, in the sense of being granted protection to not have to vacate if we didn't want to, not for the next year, and also permission to give a mere fortnight's or month's notice (I can't remember) to leave whenever we wanted. That took a lot of pressure off us, which was the main benefit. We gained time and quiet. When, after some months, we found another place we liked, we could just move and stop paying, except for those remaining weeks.

The only small regret we had, later, was that we had not thought, at the time, to negotiate that we could give the apartment back without doing a full clean. The landlord was a strange case. His whole anger was because of a misjudgment on his part, through which he had confused us with someone else. Even when the mediator proved his error to him by making him peruse the documents with all the names, he just couldn't let go of his anger and froth. Since he so vehemently wanted us out, no matter what, he might even have agreed to just getting his keys back and letting us walk away. That would have really been the cherry on the top. As it was, of course we left everything in good order and properly cleaned.
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  #23  
Old 11.07.2021, 15:44
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

Thank you again for all the time you're spending explaining all of this. It's very informative, and I appreciate your time and energy. I am very sorry you went through that, as I am sure it was painful, and noone escapes unscathed from conflicts, I think.

------------------

My feeling is that a lot of people have no clue about it, until they learn about it through problems (like so many governmental systems - either their own problems, or problems people close to them experience and tell them about). If they never have problems, and noone else close to them does either, they never hear about it. No criticism should be implied - a person needs to focus their energy and time on things that matter in any given moment, and can't possibly focus on everything.



My other feeling is there's a fear of such governmental systems, that repels people, and makes any mention of them difficult.


When I am volunteering, I see how much fear people have of any official letters they receive, and how ready they are to pay any amount of money out, to stop the problem theiy perceive they now have from escalating.


I've been approached a few times by people on the street who'd normally come to us through volunteering, who were so afraid of a letter they'd received, they didn't feel they could wait to get help.


I hear regularly stories of stubborn, private landlords, who simply ignore the law, and state their opinions on matters (with the belief that most renters will comply out of fear). Sometimes in volunteering, I am supporting people in the aftermath of disputes, who moved out, out of fear of consequences. Such landlords are so brash and uncouth, as to gleefully hang over the heads of renters that "it's better that you leave".



It's an uphill struggle to cope with a conflict, to deal with instability in one's living situation (a primal need), and then to try to understand it all in an unfamiliar language (whether the native language is a dialogue like Swiss German, or a language like Arabic), whilst friends and acquaintances ooh and ahh dramatically with every twist and turn (which only adds to the level of anxiety, but carrying it all alone is also pretty awful).


I think a lot of people struggle to back-down when they're wrong. You'll see it on this site, too - no apologising for wrongdoing, no apologising for hurt caused. We're pretty entrenched in being right, to our detriment. Your landlord's behaviour is pretty common and human sadly, I reckon.


I agree wholeheartedly about picking and choosing one's fights. I know people who are ready for a fight at any moment, and they're unhappy, and constantly on alert. They miss a lot of life's joys, and they don't seem to ever feel at peace.
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  #24  
Old 12.07.2021, 03:11
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

Specifically with regard to tenants: too many do not know that they should get themselves a membership of the Mieterverband or ASLOCA. Having that would save so many people so much trouble, as members have free access to legal advice with regard to their tenancy. It helps to get one's facts straight, and certainly helped us not to have unreasonable expectations of our perceived rights, and to know when it would be better to insist, and when better concede some parts, even when we were in the right.

Getting into difficulties with one's landlord can happen to even the most law-abiding, reasonable people. But especially if a person's behaviour, temperament, background or disabilities could predispose them to getting into conflicts, this service really can bring great relief, and prevent trouble.

Membership costs Fr. 95 a year, which is very cheap for the amount of services they provide. Even so, that can be quite a lot for someone who is living on unemployment benefits from a low salary, needs to be on social security, or who has a low pension. In such cases, the membership might be a kind gift. I wonder whether an organisation could be found, to donate or subsidise membership in such cases.
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Old 12.07.2021, 11:38
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

Those stickers are there for a reason!

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On the other hand, I also have a friend who will quibble with the supermarket cashier if the 50% sticker on his yoghurt won't register on her till and he's told to pay the full 70 Rappen.
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  #26  
Old 12.07.2021, 14:25
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

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Those stickers are there for a reason!
Yes, of course. I gave that example to show how we each have our own personal cut-off point, of when we think the effort is worth it. While one person would think and feel that the time is well invested, to push through and assert his rights, even if it takes a while, someone else (in the example of the 70 Rappen yoghurt with a 50% sticker, that's me) would prefer to spend less time (which I find more precious) involved in the interaction, and would rather just concede so as to move on, sooner.

This principle applies to any kind of mediation or legal wrangling. Neither way of proceding is necessarily right or wrong, and of course it depends on the situation and potential outcome... and a lot on one's personal preferences and temperament.
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Old 13.07.2021, 15:17
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

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Yes, of course. I gave that example to show how we each have our own personal cut-off point, of when we think the effort is worth it. While one person would think and feel that the time is well invested, to push through and assert his rights, even if it takes a while, someone else (in the example of the 70 Rappen yoghurt with a 50% sticker, that's me) would prefer to spend less time (which I find more precious) involved in the interaction, and would rather just concede so as to move on, sooner.

This principle applies to any kind of mediation or legal wrangling. Neither way of proceding is necessarily right or wrong, and of course it depends on the situation and potential outcome... and a lot on one's personal preferences and temperament.

Also energy and effort, conscious we have limited reserves of each of those, as well as time. It's impossible to fight everything, assuming the same person also wants to foster love and friendships, and pursue hobbies amd futher education, and be at peace sometimes, and so we must choose which hill we'd be willing to die on.


I've found the question "is it important to be right, or is it important to be happy?" often valuable to reflect on, when petty disputes inevitably arise.



A person can miss-out on a lot of life, by fixating on "winning", as it pertains to incidental bumps. The yoghurt situation can easily consume half an hour. It could result in ranting at loved ones and being short-tempered with them. It could make a person late for dinner, or leave them feeling devoid of the will to sit and watch the sun go down, because they are still feeling so fired-up about the injustice.
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