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Old 17.11.2013, 08:27
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Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

I moved in to what was supposed to be a "dream flat" 20 months ago but sadly there's been lot's of structural problems since shortly after moving in. The problems got worse over time and things recently escalated between the landlord and myself and she served me notice.

I then went to the local Schlichtungsbehörde who gave me advice on how to pursue the issue. Several letters went back and forth via the Schlichtungsbehörde who have now set a date in December for us to appear at their court and try to settle the matter.

Nothing has been said to me yet about costs for this whole process and I can't find anything where it says if either of us have to pay?? Does anyone know out there if there will be charges for this mediation session? If so, who pays?
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Old 17.11.2013, 09:36
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

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I moved in to what was supposed to be a "dream flat" 20 months ago but sadly there's been lot's of structural problems since shortly after moving in. The problems got worse over time and things recently escalated between the landlord and myself and she served me notice.

I then went to the local Schlichtungsbehörde who gave me advice on how to pursue the issue. Several letters went back and forth via the Schlichtungsbehörde who have now set a date in December for us to appear at their court and try to settle the matter.

Nothing has been said to me yet about costs for this whole process and I can't find anything where it says if either of us have to pay?? Does anyone know out there if there will be charges for this mediation session? If so, who pays?
I believe it's free.
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Old 17.11.2013, 09:40
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

Could you ask the Mieterverband this question? They might know.
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Old 17.11.2013, 11:02
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

What is a Schlichtungsverfahren?

Maybe an short explanation could help others who might find themselves in a dispute with a landlord.
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Old 17.11.2013, 11:13
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

It is a mediation.

I had to pay for the one I was involved in, and add the costs to my demand for compensation from the other party. I was also granted it by the mediator.

Perhaps this is Canton-dependent.
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Old 17.11.2013, 12:24
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

Hi there Simeon, Thank you for that. Maybe it is Kanton dependent. I'm in Bern so we'll see. Were the charges high though (roughly). Hope it wont cost me an arm and a leg like everything else over here.

On the other hand if I retroactively ask for a reduction in rent to the hassle I've had in the flat for the past 20 months that might cover the costs.
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Old 17.11.2013, 12:45
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

My "Schlictungsverfahren" took place in Canton Schwyz, the home base of the "beklagte Partei" ( defendant). There it cost Fr. 200.

I don´t know much about landlord- tenant issues. There, I had very good luck in CH. I hope you can get a fair judgement.
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Old 17.11.2013, 13:01
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

We went twice to the "Schlichtungsbehörde" in Zurich and didn’t have to pay anything. Once we had to claim our legal right to live longer in our former apartment. Our former landlord had send us a cancelation letter of the rental contract just 4 days before Christmas in 2010...We went to "Schlichtungsbehörde" in March 2011. Afterwards it turned out that our landlord didn’t even have a permission to tear down the house and build a new one (that was the official reason for our cancelation)…
The 2nd time we went there to claim some sum of our rent back as we moved out this year in August. Here we succeeded only a little bit. In the end we got 25% back.
But most important: we didn’t have to pay anything for these "Schlichtungsverfahren". Only if you take it further to the next step (which is the court aka "Mietgericht") then you most likely have to pay for the court costs (depending on what kind of legal insurance you have + if you in the end have right or not).

I hope I could help you to have a clearer overview.

Cheers
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Old 18.11.2013, 10:30
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

Thank you Spillmoreoil. I'll post an update after the 12th December when I have my hearing.

It's definitely a good system to have in place but I hope I don't have to use them again. I'd just rather have piece and quiet where I'm living
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Old 18.11.2013, 18:03
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

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Thank you Spillmoreoil. I'll post an update after the 12th December when I have my hearing.

It's definitely a good system to have in place but I hope I don't have to use them again. I'd just rather have piece and quiet where I'm living
I have been (more than once) and there were no costs for the session.

If you take an expert with you, they may charge you.

Each party is assigned someone who is supposed to represent them. The landlord's representative is usually someone who works in property management. If you German is not adequate to argue, consider taking someone who can argue for you.

Keep in mind this is not court and the parties are meant to try and resolve matters. Most landlords are keen to start getting their rent money paid to them personally.

What I can tell you is that by the the time you get to this stage the relationship between tenant and landlord is so acrimoniuos that living in peace afterwards is rarely possible.

Good luck with this and hope you have a favourable outcome.
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Old 12.12.2013, 18:36
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

So my mediation session was today and it went really well. It was in Thun and there were no charges for the process. The landlord took the notice back and I can stay in the apartment. The work to repair the faulty floor will take place and during this time I will find alternative accommodation, not pay rent or utilities and can move right back in as soon as the work is completed. Result!
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Old 12.12.2013, 18:48
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

Isn't this "Schlichtungsverfahren" applicable to all sorts of disputes and not only landlord-tenant disputes? As I understand, this a step before going the actual Legal route.
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Old 12.12.2013, 20:10
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

as I understood it you can go to the Schlichtungsamt for anything but will have to pay for certain things if it comes to a mediation session like mine today. I didn't have to pay because rental issues are covered for free. If we hadn't have come to an agreement though it would have gone to court and then of course fees would have been applied.
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Old 09.07.2021, 15:31
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

I have a few questions about alpbabe's last few posts. I wonder if someone wcan help me.



Her landlord took the notice back during the session. Could he also have done this beforehand, before they had the session, rendering the session unnecessary?


Is the next step to court something that's chosen, or something that automatically happens when the parties cannot agree (even if the parties don't request it)? Alpbabe mentions "it would have gone to court", which leads me to believe there's no choice involved.
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Old 09.07.2021, 18:30
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

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Could he also have done this beforehand, before they had the session, rendering the session unnecessary?
Only if both parties are Ok with that.
Notice given is binding, but as usual pretty much anything goes as long as all involved agree.
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Is the next step to court something that's chosen, or something that automatically happens when the parties cannot agree (even if the parties don't request it)? Alpbabe mentions "it would have gone to court", which leads me to believe there's no choice involved.
Neither happens automatically.

In my experience a Schlichtungsbehörde also provides free advice, without (or before) having been called upon as an arbiter.

Either party need to call on the Schlichtungsbehörde (SB), which mediates to find an agreement. The main aim is to find an agreement, not to get the maximum for either party. Only with their recommendation in hand can a matter be taken to court (Mietgericht), which is also a deliberate action. Usually, a canton has more than one SB, with each responsible for a certain area; it looks like BS is an exception to that rule.
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Old 10.07.2021, 00:16
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

In my experience, forcing mediation is a way of also forcing both sides to do their homework and think about a solution, instead of endless avoidance, fantasy thinking or irritating argument with no purpose...



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Old 10.07.2021, 04:24
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

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Her landlord took the notice back during the session. Could he also have done this beforehand, before they had the session, rendering the session unnecessary?
Yes, I believe they could have made any better arrangement before the session.

We went to a Schlichtungsbehörde and were represented, there, by a lawyer of the Mieterverband (= tenants' association). Getting that free lawyer for the matter is part of the insured benefits for members of the Mieterverband.

The reason the matter got as far as it did was because the landlord made demands, we asked for something else, and nothing budged.

When we arrived on the day, though, and greeted the other side's lawyer and the landlord, while we were still standing in the passageway, our lawyer asked his opponent: "I'd just like to know: have you perhaps reconsidered any part of the matter, such that we could perhaps reach a compromise, right now? Could we settle one or more of the points here, before we go in?" Although the other lawyer declined, he did not seem surprised by the question. It seemed that they both deemed that to be a reasonable way to go about matters.

Last edited by doropfiz; 10.07.2021 at 04:48.
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Old 10.07.2021, 04:43
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

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Is the next step to court something that's chosen, or something that automatically happens when the parties cannot agree (even if the parties don't request it)? Alpbabe mentions "it would have gone to court", which leads me to believe there's no choice involved.
No. There is definitely a choice involved. Ideally, the Schlichtungsbehörde succeeds in guiding both sides through a process of mediation, such that each side may compromise a bit, so that the matter can be settled in reasonable way. The whole purpose of the Schlichtungsbehörde is to help people avoid going to Court.

Take, for example, Party A, convinced of his position and arrived at the Schlichtungsbehörde determined to fight for his rights, but then actually did listen and learn that his position has no substance since he had mistakenly based his assumptions on something other than the local law. He might have been ready to go to Court, but then, having been persuaded of his error, he could back down and settle for a less advantageous arrangement.

Alternatively, perhaps during the proceedings it becomes clear that Party A is insisting on something that makes no sense and has no legal basis, and the officers of the Schlichtungsbehörde set this out clearly, yet Party A persists, then Party B will know that, no matter what, the case is likely to be going to Court. I say "likely" because Party A will push it there, since he wants to insist. In a clear-cut case (and most are not, after all), Party B will know they'll have to sit it out and go through all the effort of the Court Case, and do all that work which will cost them, even though they are fairly certain of victory. In that case, Party B might consider - even though they know they're in the right - giving up some of their rights and conceding to some or all of what Party A wants, whatever it would take to settle with and be rid of Party B, and to prevent Court costs escalating. They could offer to do that, and Party A could accept, any time before, during or after the Schichtungsbehörde hearing.

To go to Court is a slow procedure, and one's file has to chug through the waiting list before the Court gets around to dealing with it. At any point along the way, the parties could settle, by one party giving in completely or partially to the other parties demands. As soon as they have a signed agreement that they've worked out a settlement, they no longer need the Court, and can withdraw the matter from Court.

Last edited by doropfiz; 10.07.2021 at 09:29.
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Old 10.07.2021, 16:30
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

Thank you, doropfiz, especially for the party A and B explanation, as that's so easy for everyone to follow (making it really useful for discussion now, and as a future reference material).


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.



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 wonder if some landlords end up in mediation and court a lot.
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Old 10.07.2021, 18:08
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Re: Who pays for a Schlichtungsverfahren

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Thank you, doropfiz, especially for the party A and B explanation, as that's so easy for everyone to follow (making it really useful for discussion now, and as a future reference material).
I hope so. Thank you.

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I wonder if some landlords end up in mediation and court a lot.
Yes, I think some landlords (and indeed some tenants) are habitual offenders.

For so many, many years, the landlords were necessarily always the stronger party, but since the Mieterverband (in German) and ASLOCA (in French and Italian) became established, there's at least a fairly good lobby for the tenants. I'd heartily recommend that every tenant joins this association which can provide a lot of help for a relatively low annual fee.

For the landlords, there is the HEV, and also Casafair, where they, too, can get legal guidance to make sure they're doing the right thing.

In a certain sense, these Tenants' Associations try to prevent a matter even getting as far as the Schlichtungsbehörde. They do that by explaining the law very clearly, to the tenants, and trying to nip any silly aspirations in the bud. If their legal experts see that the tenant has a point, then they will tell the tenant what to write to the landlords, and tell them which laws apply to the matter. In one case in which I was involved, the law was clearly 100% on the side of the tenant but the landlord would not pay up. Persistent letters naming the laws did, after about six months, (tenant going back to the Mieteverband each time to ask what to write in the next letter) finally cause the landlord to buckle and pay the tenant what was due... and all that without getting even as far as the Schlichtungsbehörde. In that case, the relationship was not tarnished at all, as the landlord conceded and paid up, and the tenants continued to stay there for many years.
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