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Old 13.01.2014, 13:17
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Apartment move-out - Obligations

Hello,

I had a question about obligations when moving out of an apartment.

In my rental contract there is a cleaning fee which charges by the square meter. This is a flat fee. Therefore, am I required to pay for cleaning myself? If I do not do any cleaning, will the rental agency take the fee out of the deposit - is this an acceptable way to go?

The rental agency also mentioned that I am responsible to show the apartment. Is this correct? Or am I simply required to give a key to the agency/give permission to enter the apartment? (I am not currently living in the apartment anymore).

I would really appreciate any advice!
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Old 13.01.2014, 13:41
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Re: Apartment move-out - Obligations

Why don't you copy/paste your post here into an email and send it to your rental company? I'm sure they would be able to answer much better than anyone on here that doesn't have a copy or your contract
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Old 13.01.2014, 14:15
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Re: Apartment move-out - Obligations

I forgot to add that neither of these conditions is in the contract. Rather the rental agency said that these conditions were part of Swiss law. The rental agency has given me their answer but I wanted to get some other opinions, perhaps from people in similar situations or people more familiar with Swiss law. Thanks again!
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Old 13.01.2014, 14:19
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Re: Apartment move-out - Obligations

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Hello,

I had a question about obligations when moving out of an apartment.

In my rental contract there is a cleaning fee which charges by the square meter. This is a flat fee. Therefore, am I required to pay for cleaning myself? If I do not do any cleaning, will the rental agency take the fee out of the deposit - is this an acceptable way to go?
Yes, this usually happens. If you leave the apartment in an unacceptable state i.e. not in the condition in which you took it over, they will take the cost of cleaning out of your deposit.

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The rental agency also mentioned that I am responsible to show the apartment. Is this correct? Or am I simply required to give a key to the agency/give permission to enter the apartment? (I am not currently living in the apartment anymore).

I would really appreciate any advice!
Presumably they think you are still living there so any people wanting to view the apartment would need you to let them in and show them round the apartment at a mutually acceptable time. Have you informed the agency that you have moved out?
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Old 13.01.2014, 15:12
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Re: Apartment move-out - Obligations

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Yes, this usually happens. If you leave the apartment in an unacceptable state i.e. not in the condition in which you took it over, they will take the cost of cleaning out of your deposit.
Thanks for the answer, that makes sense to me.


Presumably they think you are still living there so any people wanting to view the apartment would need you to let them in and show them round the apartment at a mutually acceptable time. Have you informed the agency that you have moved out?
Yes, I told them that I have moved out but they still seem to think I am responsible to show the apartment.
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Old 13.01.2014, 15:24
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Re: Apartment move-out - Obligations

Have you given notice for the official moving date or just moved out early? Because if it's the latter then yes, the onus is on you to find another tenant to take over the remaining part of your lease by advertising it, showing people around, etc. If you've moved out early and don't find a tenant then you'll be liable for any outstanding rent due until the next official moving date.

If you've given due notice and have moved out on an official moving date then it's down to the agency to find the next tenant. Any cleaning/repairs needed to the apartment will be taken out of your deposit. Have you actually done an official handover to the agency where all the things like cleaning, anything that needs repairing, etc, are checked over by both you and the agency? If not, you need to do this because otherwise you could be charged for anything without having any recourse against what the agency says.
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Old 13.01.2014, 15:48
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Re: Apartment move-out - Obligations

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Hello,

I had a question about obligations when moving out of an apartment.

In my rental contract there is a cleaning fee which charges by the square meter. This is a flat fee. Therefore, am I required to pay for cleaning myself? If I do not do any cleaning, will the rental agency take the fee out of the deposit - is this an acceptable way to go?

...

I would really appreciate any advice!
The most important advice I'd give is:
  1. Hire a cleaning company with an Abgabegarantie. This means that they guarantee the management accepts their cleaning job.
  2. Make sure the contract states that the cleaning company will be present at the handover ("Abgabe" or "Übergabe") and that they will perform any required re-cleaning at no extra charge.
  3. Get recommendations from people who had a good experience. There are some rotten apples out there and they can leave you hanging.*

Don't be guided by price alone: there are full-price cleaning companies that suck, and there are low-cost ones that do great work. (I used Speedy Reinigung from Jona for my recent move, and they did a fantastic job at 1/3 lower cost than the other places I got quotes from. I'd be happy to share the contact info with you, but I'm not sure if they service your region.)


If you do not leave the apartment flawlessly cleaned, the apartment management will hire a crew again at your expense -- and it'll be a flat fee the same as if it hadn't been cleaned at all. (And you can be sure that the management will not shop around to get you a good price.)


*At my old apartment, the management and I showed up at the Übergabe only to find that it had not been cleaned at all. As it turns out, the cleaning company the outgoing tenants had hired simply didn't show up at all! The management then had to rush to hire a crew to clean it so I could move in.
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Old 13.01.2014, 16:51
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Re: Apartment move-out - Obligations

Basel is not like all the other Cantons. Zurich, for example have a strict cleaning protocol whereas in Basel you leave a flat in the condition you received it.

Basel apartments are left 'besenrein' - roughly translated to 'swept clean'. You do not need to hire a company to guarantee handover because you'll only get ripped off. Also, the going rate for cleaning in Basel is 6CHF/m2
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Old 13.01.2014, 18:19
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Re: Apartment move-out - Obligations

You're in Basel. The standard contract here (doesn't mean everyone has it, it's just the default) is to pay a fixed cleaning charge per sqm when you move in.

When you move out, you simply take away all the contents and walk away. The flat will be cleaned by the landlord/agency at no further cost to you. Any damages, of course, will be covered the usual way (insurance, typically).

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I forgot to add that neither of these conditions is in the contract. Rather the rental agency said that these conditions were part of Swiss law. The rental agency has given me their answer but I wanted to get some other opinions, perhaps from people in similar situations or people more familiar with Swiss law. Thanks again!
Did you or did you not pay a fixed cleaning fee when you moved in? If you didn't, then this doesn't apply to you. Obviously. And in future don't put "in my rental contract there is" when you later admit it's not actually in your contract at all.

You are NOT responsible for actually showing people around your flat; but you are (I think) responsible for arranging mutually convenient times for people to visit. Giving the keys to the agency covers that, as any time becomes convenient for you and the agency can sort out times with potential new tenants.
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Old 13.01.2014, 19:02
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Re: Apartment move-out - Obligations

For the vewing, Gribi wanted me to be there at days of my choice. They were happy with two hours twice one week in the evening and one time same the week after. Very little trouble, I just had to be dressed on those evenings. I survived.
The inspection showed that they really wanted the flat clean. As Adrian says, not sure I had to legally, but they renovated the flat when I moved in and I could express some wishes they respected. So I wanted to give them the flat clean back. They even allowed to keep a little hole in the wall for a conveniant but not necessary TV cable.
My stance on it: the cleaner the flat, the more flexible they are with the details.
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