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Old 04.12.2013, 10:21
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Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

Well the problem is little complicated...We moved in the apartment one year back. When we took on the apartment it was not painted, the shower area was discolored, and this we brought to the notice of the agency immediately .and they agreed to that. Within one month of moving into the apartment the walls of the shower area started getting black and we told the agency about it and they said it was coz of lack of proper ventilation ( though we knew it was a structural issue) . At that time we cleaned the walls ..till now twice and due to the uncertainties about our stay in Switzerland we could not change the apartment also. Now, recently again we asked him to get the bathroom painted and he sent a specialist to check it. Yesterday we got a mail from him ..stating that the walls mildew is coz of lack of ventilation ( despite the fact that we ventilate the house 2-3 times regularly) and it needs special paint and would cost 1400 chf.

please suggest what should we do. Went to the mieterverband but the person said its complicated and need to go to legal way or move out of the apartment.

Please , guide as the agency is saying that we have to pay the cost even if we move out.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:34
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

Here's the skinny.

You can go to "court" and discuss it and it'll fall 50/50 to be paid. I've witnessed this happening and it was clear it was rising damp - but to get expert opinion will cost 3000+.

So suggest 50/50 or state you'll take the legal route. It's the best you'll get in my opinion.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:34
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

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.......and they said it was coz of lack of proper ventilation ( though we knew it was a structural issue) ......
How do you know it is a structural issue?

Does the bath/shower room have a window? An extractor fan? How often is the shower used?

If it has neither a fan nor window - and you take frequent hot showers you will need to ensure that the room is adequately ventilated/dried. This hasn't changed since you moved in and so you would be liable for repairs due to inadequate ventilation.

The above situation is not uncommon in older buildings - and can be reduced/minimized by using a dehumidifier in the room after showering. It is cheaper to buy/run one then to deal with the mold.

Once a wall has become "infected" with mold it is a bugger to get rid of it - and will require special (read expensive) treatment to get a good finish.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:34
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

Hi mitali,

Welcome to the Forum. You are not alone. Here are some threads that discuss this issue at length (found using the search box with the UK spelling, and narrowed down a bit).

  1. Mould ( Schimmel ) Problem - Solutions? (72) 12.Feb.2012
  2. Mould in Bathroom ceiling ( Schimmel ) (5) 11.Jan.2012
  3. Mould - here we go again! (1) 10.Jan.2012
  4. Mould in the conservatory (4) 3.Apr.2011
  5. Mould / Mold Problems (1) 28.Feb.2011
  6. schimmel [mould] problem with landlord (116) 13.Jan.2011
  7. Mould removal [product recommendations] (6) 13.Jan.2011
This problem is quite common in bathrooms here, because not all of them have windows and the fans are sometimes blocked. Also it seems they don't often use sealant paint on the ceiling, so even when you do ventilate there can be problems.


Hopefully there will be some help for you in the threads I have posted. Odds are you're going to have to pay something, but the question is how much. Good luck!
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:36
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

These agents are sometime really frustrating but if you have everything documented, you can find a way out.

I was in similar situation after 1 year of stay in my previous flat and when multiple reminders had no effect, We wrote a letter to the agency stating that the living condition in the flat is not appropriate, we will no longer give rent and the rent will be deposited in court form today unless they take immediate action in resolving my problem.

At first the agency was upset for obvious reasons but then they took prompt actiona nd everything was resolved in few weeks without any invoice.

In your case, they have blamed you for the fungus so first you have to prove it wrong and then take any further action.

I fear that at the end you may have to pay up.

All the best.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:41
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

You ventilate the place regularly and the onus is on the agency to prove otherwise.

Take it to arbitration. It won't even go there and the agency will back down.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:50
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

Are you a member of the Hauseingentümerverband (HEV)? Even though the word says organisation of house owners, I'm pretty sure you can join being a tenant as well. The HEV helps in situations like this with good and solid advice. Mould can have various reasons, bad ventilation is one, structural issue another. Not that easy to say from the comfort of my chair. Still, repainting does not do the trick if there is a deeper problem. Maybe it existed before and just took some time to resurface. We had a similar problem in the house we moved in, part of the bathroom walls and ceiling were mouldy, but with a proper cleaning with a special anti-mould product and then painting with mould-resistant paint and opening the window for 5 minutes after every shower did the trick and for 2 years now nothing came back. Oh, CHF 1,400 sounds quite steep for just a bathroom paint job, unless it's as big as some people's flat.
What can you do? Would they allow you to paint yourself? Maybe you can check with your agency what previous' handover protocols say? Do other tenants have the same problem?
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:53
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

These threads pop up as soon as the cold weather approaches.

'Tis the season of mold.

Mold is not only a problem in older buildings. It can be in newer as well.

Bathrooms without windows are a challenge. You need to maintain (clean) the exhaust fan unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. Some filters are washable, others need to be replaced.

But if you have a window in the bathroom, incorrect airing will make matters worse. NEVER PUT THE WINDOW ON TILT!

For correct airing you need to open the window fully. This is not just in the bathroom, this is in all rooms.

There are simple dehumdifiers you can buy for the bathroom which do not require electricity.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:53
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

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If it has neither a fan nor window - and you take frequent hot showers you will need to ensure that the room is adequately ventilated/dried. This hasn't changed since you moved in and so you would be liable for repairs due to inadequate ventilation.
If a bathroom has neither fan or window built into it from the start, then surely it's not sufficiently ventilated at all no matter what you do, so how would the onus be on you to prove you ventilated it well enough? I don't think that wouldn't hold any water legally if there is literally nothing you can do about it in the first place.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:57
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

Edit.. Noticed you went to the Mieterverband.. For those who want the link see below.

Its complicated here in CH, landlords truly rule the land



-----

http://www.mieterverband.ch/

Make friends with these folks, some speak english but if you send an email should be ok as well.

I recently went through something and they told me, tough luck, you are screwed.

I at least heard it from a third party that is not biased.

also its 60 CHF (Approx) a year including 3rd party liability insurance. Cant go wrong with that.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:59
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

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If a bathroom has neither fan or window built into it from the start, then surely it's not sufficiently ventilated at all no matter what you do, so how would the onus be on you to prove you ventilated it well enough? I don't think that wouldn't hold any water legally if there is literally nothing you can do about it in the first place.
You are starting with the premise that the bathroom always had mold. That may well not be the case.

The starting point should be: This bathroom has no mold.

If after a certain point there is mold it indicates that the conditions have been excessively humid. This could be avoided through adequate cross ventilation - open windows elsewhere causing a transfer of the moist air - or by use of a dehumidifier.

If you have a non venting room then it is worth making sure you take adequate steps to prevent mold.

Remember that at the time when many of these non-venting rooms were built the daily ritual of 1 (or 2) hot showers per person per day wasn't the norm - and therefore the problem wasn't so common.
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Old 04.12.2013, 11:05
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

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You are starting with the premise that the bathroom always had mold. That may well not be the case.

The starting point should be: This bathroom has no mold.

If after a certain point there is mold it indicates that the conditions have been excessively humid. This could be avoided through adequate cross ventilation - open windows elsewhere causing a transfer of the moist air - or by use of a dehumidifier.

If you have a non venting room then it is worth making sure you take adequate steps to prevent mold.

Remember that at the time when many of these non-venting rooms were built the daily ritual of 1 (or 2) hot showers per person per day wasn't the norm - and therefore the problem wasn't so common.
That's all neither here nor there.

If the landlord was asking for the bathroom to be repainted normally, I could maybe understand. The landlord is asking the tenant to pay for mold preventative measures. That's not the tenant's responsibility.

It is the landlord's responsibility to have a bathroom that can be used as a bathroom should be used without the bathroom growing potentially dangerous mold!
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Old 04.12.2013, 11:10
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

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Remember that at the time when many of these non-venting rooms were built the daily ritual of 1 (or 2) hot showers per person per day wasn't the norm - and therefore the problem wasn't so common.
This is true. Also, many bathrooms were fitted with a bathtub only, and were not really intended for showering.

For example, one of our bathrooms has a wood ceiling(oak). There is a large bathtub but it was never designed for showering. There is a window, but ideally the oak ceiling needs to be replaced.
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Old 04.12.2013, 11:12
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

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You are starting with the premise that the bathroom always had mold. That may well not be the case.

The starting point should be: This bathroom has no mold.

If after a certain point there is mold it indicates that the conditions have been excessively humid. This could be avoided through adequate cross ventilation - open windows elsewhere causing a transfer of the moist air - or by use of a dehumidifier.

If you have a non venting room then it is worth making sure you take adequate steps to prevent mold.

Remember that at the time when many of these non-venting rooms were built the daily ritual of 1 (or 2) hot showers per person per day wasn't the norm - and therefore the problem wasn't so common.
Erm, nope, I'm assuming that the bathroom is starting for a non-mold perspective. Then I m assuming that due to lack of adequate ventilation via window or built in fan, that it can potentially develop mold despite the best efforts of the tenant. Due of course, to the lack of adequate ventilation. Seems pretty logical.

People get showers, it's unavoidable nowadays no matter what people did 30 years ago, and it should be the landlords job to ensure the room functions for it's everyday usage.

I would be interested to see what the Mieter Verband say about this...
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Old 04.12.2013, 11:19
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

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That's all neither here nor there.

If the landlord was asking for the bathroom to be repainted normally, I could maybe understand. The landlord is asking the tenant to pay for mold preventative measures. That's not the tenant's responsibility.

It is the landlord's responsibility to have a bathroom that can be used as a bathroom should be used without the bathroom growing potentially dangerous mold!
The landlord is asking the tenant (who at present will continue to stay) to repair the damage they have caused - and to do so in such a way that the damage won't happen again - due to their maintenance of the room.

We don't actually know how the OP uses the bathroom, frequency of use and the actions they take to alleviate the moisture. Nor do we have a detailed knowledge of how the room is ventilated.

As such we can base our understanding on:
- The OP mentions discoloration - so it is possible to assume mold had been an issue in the past
- It would suggest that the landlord was aware this could be an issue if the room wasn't adequately ventilated.
- The issue reappeared.

Logic says that if the issue reappeared then the room wasn't adequately ventilated. There is little the landlord can do to prevent that.

IMHO painting with the mold prevention paint is not a permenant fix for the problem
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Old 04.12.2013, 11:23
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

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The landlord is asking the tenant (who at present will continue to stay) to repair the damage they have caused - and to do so in such a way that the damage won't happen again - due to their maintenance of the room.
Bullshit. It's not the responsibility of the tenant to improve the apartment.
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Old 04.12.2013, 11:28
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

http://www.bag.admin.ch/themen/chemi...x.html?lang=de

There is a document here in English regarding what you should do OP
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Old 04.12.2013, 11:51
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

Dear All,

Thanks for the suggestions...and would like to add

1. I checked with my neighbor today and she too told that they have a similar problem but the area is less. They also have a special paint on that wall.

2.We open the windows regularly after the shower. and at least 2 times for the entire apartment.

3.The house owner when initially came he agreed that the bathroom was discolored and it shows that the mold was there before we moved in ..only it was not growing as the apartment was vacant.

4. I checked with my neighbor and she told that this apartment has a problem and before we moved in 3 tenants changed this house within one year and we were the fourth.

5.Also, there is lil mildew in small room behind the furniture. The owner on his initial visit said that he would share the expense..and i said bathroom is ur responsibility and now he is putting everything on me.

6 . Everthing is on email..all conversations from day one...

Its the matter of right and wrong....not just payment....I would have no issues in paying if it the walls were clean at the time of possession and would have discolored after we moved in....
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Old 04.12.2013, 12:06
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

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Logic says that if the issue reappeared then the room wasn't adequately ventilated. There is little the landlord can do to prevent that.

IMHO painting with the mold prevention paint is not a permenant fix for the problem
Yes, by installing a ventilation system if none
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Old 04.12.2013, 12:18
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Re: Mold issue( Landlord wants us to pay)

Sir,

I would like to clarify again that the walls were already discolored in the shower area and the agency agreed to it as we brought it to their notice within a week of moving in the apartment and they accepted it to be part of the protocol...all approvals on mail, so it is not right to say that we caused the damage...it was already damaged . If i wipe the walls they come in the same condition as was when we moved i here.



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The landlord is asking the tenant (who at present will continue to stay) to repair the damage they have caused - and to do so in such a way that the damage won't happen again - due to their maintenance of the room.

We don't actually know how the OP uses the bathroom, frequency of use and the actions they take to alleviate the moisture. Nor do we have a detailed knowledge of how the room is ventilated.

As such we can base our understanding on:
- The OP mentions discoloration - so it is possible to assume mold had been an issue in the past
- It would suggest that the landlord was aware this could be an issue if the room wasn't adequately ventilated.
- The issue reappeared.

Logic says that if the issue reappeared then the room wasn't adequately ventilated. There is little the landlord can do to prevent that.

IMHO painting with the mold prevention paint is not a permenant fix for the problem
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