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Old 15.04.2014, 19:59
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Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

On 1st of February last year we moved from one apartment in Bern to another.

We lived in the old town, and needed more space, plus the property management were a nightmare. We complained on several occasions about noise, dirt, broken washing machine for weeks on end, no hot water... In the end we'd had enough of their 'don't care' attitude and up and moved. We had a one month cross over between apartments (handover took place at end of February 2013). We'd completed the handover, paid for a small repair and received our deposit back. End of, right?

Today I was astonished to receive a bill for heating from 1.7.12-28.2.13 for CHF 560. And unfortunately it was only last month I threw out all our documents relating to our old flat (I have a hate for paper clutter) as it'd been over a year since we moved. We were both under the impression we were fully paid up, and completely finished with dealing with the old (and crap) property management company. And now the bill...

Now, it wouldn't surprise me if the company were trying to do us out of some money. But my big question is, can they really send us another invoice if we moved out over a year ago? Do we really have to pay?

Any guidance would be much appreciated!

N
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Old 15.04.2014, 20:02
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

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On 1st of February last year we moved from one apartment in Bern to another.

We lived in the old town, and needed more space, plus the property management were a nightmare. We complained on several occasions about noise, dirt, broken washing machine for weeks on end, no hot water... In the end we'd had enough of their 'don't care' attitude and up and moved. We had a one month cross over between apartments (handover took place at end of February 2013). We'd completed the handover, paid for a small repair and received our deposit back. End of, right?

Today I was astonished to receive a bill for heating from 1.7.12-28.2.13 for CHF 560. And unfortunately it was only last month I threw out all our documents relating to our old flat (I have a hate for paper clutter) as it'd been over a year since we moved. We were both under the impression we were fully paid up, and completely finished with dealing with the old (and crap) property management company. And now the bill...

Now, it wouldn't surprise me if the company were trying to do us out of some money. But my big question is, can they really send us another invoice if we moved out over a year ago? Do we really have to pay?

Any guidance would be much appreciated!

N
Yes they have 5 years to bill you, I once got a bill going back 5.5 years & only had to pay 5 after taking legal advise. I wrote a rude letter in English to the owner (a lawyer) & the management company issued a new demand within a week.
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Old 15.04.2014, 20:03
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

The rule is 5 years so you have to pay.
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Old 15.04.2014, 20:22
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

Well that sucks!

Now I'll need to go through my ebanking transactions to check if we paid something already.
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Old 16.04.2014, 19:11
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

It depends on when they did the final "count" for the heating. I got my final heating bill for my last apartment 8 or 9 months after I moved out. It included all the charges I had paid, and the I had to pay the difference between that, and the heat and maintenance costs for that period.

Is there a breakdown on the bill, how much you have already paid? It should have all the payments you've already made (probably your charges) and all of the costs for that period.
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Old 16.04.2014, 19:30
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

Will be interesting when I return to the uk in a couple of years then.
Current plan is to be in Switzerland for three years.
They will need to write to me care of my UK address, but I will only keep a bank account open in CH for a few months after leaving. UBS monthly bank fees etc.
So if I get a bill say 6 months after we have left ...not sure how I would go about paying it.
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Old 16.04.2014, 19:32
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

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Will be interesting when I return to the uk in a couple of years then.
Current plan is to be in Switzerland for three years.
They will need to write to me care of my UK address, but I will only keep a bank account open in CH for a few months after leaving. UBS monthly bank fees etc.
So if I get a bill say 6 months after we have left ...not sure how I would go about paying it.
From your UK account, it's not difficult but will probably cost 10 in charges.
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Old 16.04.2014, 19:37
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

If it is a large amount , then yes could do it from uk bank. But for smaller bills (less than CHF 100), then they have 6 months to bill me and after that....go whistle for it :-)
Allowing 6 months for someone to bill you , I feel is more than reasonable.
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Old 16.04.2014, 19:43
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

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If it is a large amount , then yes could do it from uk bank. But for smaller bills (less than CHF 100), then they have 6 months to bill me and after that....go whistle for it :-)
Allowing 6 months for someone to bill you , I feel is more than reasonable.
Annual accounts happen once a year some time after the event. 6 months may not be enough, but don't worry they could chase you for the debt in the UK & add recovery costs.
It's hardly surprising foreigners have a problem renting if your attitude is common of foreigners.
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Old 16.04.2014, 19:49
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

They have my CHF 10,100 deposit , so I can't be that much of a risk.

But if anyone wants to chase me in the UK for less than CHF100 ...then go for it. Knock yourself out :-)
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Old 16.04.2014, 19:54
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

We got a bill from Italian Motorways for 4Euros90 nearly 5 years after the event... We paid, no idea what would have happened if we had not
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Old 16.04.2014, 19:55
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

Maybe one solution would be for large amounts via bank xfer from uk and associated costs and for small bills , simply leave CHF 1,000 with the letting agent and ask her to pay them on my behalf. Then send me what's left after 12 months or if a small amount give it to charity.
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Old 16.04.2014, 19:56
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

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We got a bill from Italian Motorways for 4Euros90 nearly 5 years after the event... We paid, no idea what would have happened if we had not
Wake up to a horses head in your bed one morning ?
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Old 16.04.2014, 20:56
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

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But my big question is, can they really send us another invoice if we moved out over a year ago? Do we really have to pay?

Any guidance would be much appreciated!

N
Unfortunately it takes forever for agencies to send the bills for the NK paid "akonto" (on account). Most of the time the readings and billings are done by third parties and the property manager has to wait for the paperwork which they then send on to the tenant.

This is the one reason why agencies ask for a forwarding address. Sometimes the tenant is owed money. Honestly, it can and does happen. It isn't always the case of the tenant paying up.

But in your case, you need to pay. If you study the bill, I think you will see the detail is there. Actual usage and balance due against paid on account.
In your rental contract it would have stated a date "stichtag" which is a date on which the meters must be read so an actual accounting can be done. If you don't have the history anymore, the property manager should have this.
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Old 17.04.2014, 18:26
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

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Wake up to a horses head in your bed one morning ?
Last night's frozen supermarket lasagne..

Say ello to my Lidl friend.
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Old 28.04.2014, 19:00
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Re: Bill 13 months after moved out - do we have to pay?

Went through the bill in detail, checked we were only being invoiced for the amount outstanding and not incl. what we'd paid already, and triple checked my e-banking for payments to the property management company....gotta pay

Let's hope that's the last surprise bill they send.
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