Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Housing in general  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05.02.2015, 23:25
kayo's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 91
Groaned at 11 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 77 Times in 30 Posts
kayo is considered knowledgeablekayo is considered knowledgeablekayo is considered knowledgeable
Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Hi,

I have a question with regards to repair of utilities in my apartment. The toilet flush in my apartment broke down recently (have lived here 5 years, the building is 8 years or so old) due to normal wear and tear.

I called the hauswart and the defective flush pump was replaced and fixed fairly quickly. 6 weeks later, I have a letter from my rental company that states that any small damages caused by ordinary use are my responsibility (along with a invoice).

The letter refers to Article 259 para. 1 of Switzerland Obligations (CO). My question is a breakdown caused by wear and tear considered damage? I will call and question this with the apartment people, but just wanted to get an opinion from here.

Thanks,
KO
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06.02.2015, 00:08
adrianlondon's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 9,211
Groaned at 171 Times in 154 Posts
Thanked 25,643 Times in 6,892 Posts
adrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

You have to pay for wear and tear too. it's a stupid system (imo) where the landlord gets you to pay for crap old stuff they should replace, but that's the way it is.

Your contract will state the maximum amount you need to pay. If the invoice is above that amount you don't pay anything. This amount may be fixed (eg 200 CHF) or a percentage of your rent.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank adrianlondon for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 06.02.2015, 09:12
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: ZH
Posts: 717
Groaned at 5 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 648 Times in 338 Posts
daffy99 has an excellent reputationdaffy99 has an excellent reputationdaffy99 has an excellent reputationdaffy99 has an excellent reputation
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Quote:
View Post
the defective flush pump was replaced and fixed fairly quickly. 6 weeks later, I have a letter from my rental company that states that any small damages caused by ordinary use are my responsibility (along with a invoice).
Write back a nice letter and inform them of the fact that you are aware of the concept behind "Kleiner Unterhalt" (https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...satzteile.html), that you of course fully agree with the idea, and that the repair in question is without doubt not at all Kleiner Unterhalt.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank daffy99 for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 06.02.2015, 10:22
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 27,511
Groaned at 1,731 Times in 1,321 Posts
Thanked 31,919 Times in 15,270 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

How much is the bill?

Tom
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06.02.2015, 10:29
John_H's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Up above Nyon
Posts: 3,135
Groaned at 83 Times in 51 Posts
Thanked 3,869 Times in 1,540 Posts
John_H has a reputation beyond reputeJohn_H has a reputation beyond reputeJohn_H has a reputation beyond reputeJohn_H has a reputation beyond reputeJohn_H has a reputation beyond reputeJohn_H has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

It's generally 150.- or something for small repairs no?

I think the idea is fine in principle otherwise the admin of having the regie call somebody out to change a light bulb and bill the landlord would be crazy.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06.02.2015, 11:13
kayo's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 91
Groaned at 11 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 77 Times in 30 Posts
kayo is considered knowledgeablekayo is considered knowledgeablekayo is considered knowledgeable
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Hi Daffy99,

Thanks for the link and the clarification. Based on the mieterverband site, it seems any repair that cannot be done by the renter and needs a skilled person is not considered "small repair" and has to be paid by the landlord.

I sent them this link and an email asking clarification on this. Will keep you posted.

FYI, the invoice is for just under CHF150.00

Thanks,
KO

Quote:
View Post
Write back a nice letter and inform them of the fact that you are aware of the concept behind "Kleiner Unterhalt" (https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...satzteile.html), that you of course fully agree with the idea, and that the repair in question is without doubt not at all Kleiner Unterhalt.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank kayo for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 06.02.2015, 11:21
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 27,511
Groaned at 1,731 Times in 1,321 Posts
Thanked 31,919 Times in 15,270 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Quote:
View Post
the invoice is for just under CHF150.00
Then it's 'small repair' and you have to pay.

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 06.02.2015, 17:55
kayo's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 91
Groaned at 11 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 77 Times in 30 Posts
kayo is considered knowledgeablekayo is considered knowledgeablekayo is considered knowledgeable
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

It might be a small amount, but its my hard earned money. So I am going to question it and ensure its a legit request for payment .

Quote:
View Post
Then it's 'small repair' and you have to pay.

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users groan at kayo for this post:
  #9  
Old 06.02.2015, 22:45
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 27,511
Groaned at 1,731 Times in 1,321 Posts
Thanked 31,919 Times in 15,270 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Quote:
View Post
it seems any repair that cannot be done by the renter and needs a skilled person is not considered "small repair" and has to be paid by the landlord.
A toilet repair can easily be done by the renter and does not require a skilled person.

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 06.02.2015, 23:30
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: ZH
Posts: 717
Groaned at 5 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 648 Times in 338 Posts
daffy99 has an excellent reputationdaffy99 has an excellent reputationdaffy99 has an excellent reputationdaffy99 has an excellent reputation
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Quote:
View Post
A toilet repair can easily be done by the renter and does not require a skilled person.
Replace "can" with "may" and I will be the first to agree.

I have a ventilation fan in my bathroom which I am ... discontent ... with. The thing all by itself comes in at about CHF 100. But, apparently, the previous tenant(s) and their renovation servants saw to see it fit it to almost glue it to the ceiling. (Paint, lack of screws, whatever - it will not come down easily.)

Which in turn makes me consider writing to the administration, asking for advice on how to proceed. Because when I start taking it down myself to replace it, with me not being obliged to (which I am perfectly capable of), yet at no cost to them, there will certainly be some collateral damage (which I am quite unwilling to cover, to be honest).
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07.02.2015, 13:50
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 694
Groaned at 14 Times in 10 Posts
Thanked 541 Times in 282 Posts
tooki has an excellent reputationtooki has an excellent reputationtooki has an excellent reputationtooki has an excellent reputation
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Quote:
View Post
I have a question with regards to repair of utilities in my apartment. The toilet flush in my apartment broke down recently (have lived here 5 years, the building is 8 years or so old) due to normal wear and tear.
1. I don't think it's normal for a toilet flush to wear out within 8 years, so I question whether it could be called ordinary wear and tear.
2. If the skill required to repair it exceeds the handyman skills of an ordinary person (i.e. if it's something a typical person requires the services of a professional for), then it's not "kleiner Unterhalt", regardless of the cost. The kleiner Unterhalt rules are there to stop tenants from calling an electrician to change a light bulb or a painter to patch a nail hole, and then billing it to the landlord. It's not intended to absolve the landlord of all responsibility for small repairs. (For example, a defective light switch doesn't cost much to replace, but since most people have not been trained in electrical systems, an electrician is nonetheless required to perform the repair safely, and consequently cannot be billed to the tenant.)

The Mieterverband website has a sample letter for refusing a bill for a repair. I suggest you send one.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank tooki for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 07.02.2015, 13:57
BKN BKN is offline
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Adliswil
Posts: 14
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
BKN has no particular reputation at present
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

My agency is kind enough for these small repairs like replacing the light from fridge or cleaning the blockages in shower sink. They haven't charge us anything. May be you should have a word with your landlord and if they dont agree then yes you will have to pay.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07.02.2015, 15:07
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Quote:
View Post
1. I don't think it's normal for a toilet flush to wear out within 8 years, so I question whether it could be called ordinary wear and tear.
2. If the skill required to repair it exceeds the handyman skills of an ordinary person (i.e. if it's something a typical person requires the services of a professional for), then it's not "kleiner Unterhalt", regardless of the cost. The kleiner Unterhalt rules are there to stop tenants from calling an electrician to change a light bulb or a painter to patch a nail hole, and then billing it to the landlord. It's not intended to absolve the landlord of all responsibility for small repairs. (For example, a defective light switch doesn't cost much to replace, but since most people have not been trained in electrical systems, an electrician is nonetheless required to perform the repair safely, and consequently cannot be billed to the tenant.)

The Mieterverband website has a sample letter for refusing a bill for a repair. I suggest you send one.
The toilet flush would go kaput quicker than 5 years if you live in a hard water area. We had to change ours twice within the last 5 years and were not billed, but I believe this is due to our house being a brand new build and perhaps insured by manufacturer or developer for certain years.

Not everyone is qualified to replace the toilet flush and if I were to even attempt it, I know I will potentially create a major problem.

I know laws in UK and CH are different but as a private landlord in UK I would absorb these costs without a blink, and have a 5 star cover for such instances so the tenant can access such services 24/7 without having to pick up any costs.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 09.02.2015, 17:41
kayo's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 91
Groaned at 11 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 77 Times in 30 Posts
kayo is considered knowledgeablekayo is considered knowledgeablekayo is considered knowledgeable
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Hi Nixi, Papa Goose and Sublime,

Not sure what the groan was for?

If you look at the post from daffy99 and the link from the meiterverband, its clear that the "small repair" is not one that qualifies for payment from me but the landlord.

Just because there is a groan button does not mean u use it randomly. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

Cheers,
KO


Quote:
View Post
It might be a small amount, but its my hard earned money. So I am going to question it and ensure its a legit request for payment .
Reply With Quote
This user groans at kayo for this post:
  #15  
Old 09.02.2015, 18:51
Papa Goose's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ägeri
Posts: 3,700
Groaned at 193 Times in 162 Posts
Thanked 4,254 Times in 1,805 Posts
Papa Goose has a reputation beyond reputePapa Goose has a reputation beyond reputePapa Goose has a reputation beyond reputePapa Goose has a reputation beyond reputePapa Goose has a reputation beyond reputePapa Goose has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

If it's something that you could reasonable do with special knowledge or expertise the yes it's likely down to you.

So, if you have a cistern from which you can remove the lid, and the mechanisms simply unscrews for replacement, then see the 1st paragraph in Daffy's link. This would include something that has failed due to excessive calc build up btw. If it's a concealed cistern then it's a little different, but in the main always best to ask BEFORE you commit to works who is liable for the repair... saves things like this, and that was why you got a groan from me on that post.
__________________
How do you know if a Frenchman has been in your garden.... your rubbish is gone, your dog is pregnant.... but at least your cabbages are pest free

Last edited by Papa Goose; 10.02.2015 at 18:33.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Papa Goose for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 09.02.2015, 19:27
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: TI
Posts: 148
Groaned at 5 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 208 Times in 110 Posts
chrissie7 has an excellent reputationchrissie7 has an excellent reputationchrissie7 has an excellent reputationchrissie7 has an excellent reputation
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

The current issue of the Mieterverband's M&W (Mieten & Wohen), which I received today, has an article on precisely this question: Kleinigkeiten gehen ins Geld. Haven't had time to read it through completely, but the gist is that the ceiling for small repairs a tenant is expected to pay for is lower than one might think.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 30.04.2015, 10:53
kayo's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 91
Groaned at 11 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 77 Times in 30 Posts
kayo is considered knowledgeablekayo is considered knowledgeablekayo is considered knowledgeable
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Hi all,

A short update on this question that I had asked. I printed out the link from Daffy99 and wrote a letter explaining my concern and sent it to the company that manages my apartment.

I followed up with a call a few weeks later and was told I would not have to pay the amount and this would be handled by the agency

Thanks to Daffyy99 for the info. Also thanks to everyone else for their good feedback.

Regards,
KO
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank kayo for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 30.04.2015, 11:04
adrianlondon's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 9,211
Groaned at 171 Times in 154 Posts
Thanked 25,643 Times in 6,892 Posts
adrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Good to know - thanks for the update. I thought any repair under a certain amount had to be paid; the bit about it having to be an "easy" repair was new to me.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank adrianlondon for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 06.09.2017, 17:26
JBZ86's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Zurich and various mountains
Posts: 3,713
Groaned at 521 Times in 338 Posts
Thanked 4,258 Times in 1,944 Posts
JBZ86 has a reputation beyond reputeJBZ86 has a reputation beyond reputeJBZ86 has a reputation beyond reputeJBZ86 has a reputation beyond reputeJBZ86 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Similar situation myself and not sure on my obligations.

Two repairs need fixing;

1. Broken ceramic hob - damaged from falling herb pot from above cupboard

2. 6" hole in wall - this seems structural wear and tear - paper thin wall adjoining with terrace doors that has just crumbled

Insurance will cover.

Landlord is telling me to arrange the craftsmen to come do the repairs.

Is it my responsibility to coordinate that?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06.09.2017, 17:32
JagWaugh's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eglisau
Posts: 7,481
Groaned at 47 Times in 46 Posts
Thanked 14,131 Times in 5,506 Posts
JagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Breakdown Repair in apartment. Who is responsible?

Quote:
View Post
Landlord is telling me to arrange the craftsmen to come do the repairs.

Is it my responsibility to coordinate that?
From a purely practical standpoint it's a lot easier if you coordinate it an just inform the landlord/hauswart.

It's your apt, and your schedule. Surely you want to determine when the work should be carried out. If the landlord coordinates it then you end up with them having to clear an appointment with you, or they just inform you when they've chosen and if that doesn't suit you they're not all that bothered.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank JagWaugh for this useful post:
Reply

Tags
apartment, charge, repair, responsible




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Who is responsible for damage during a storm? Flashman4 Insurance 27 13.07.2013 13:29
broken door, who is responsible? tolalala Housing in general 7 30.06.2009 11:34
who is responsible for maintenance of appliances? jiggy_fly Housing in general 19 19.03.2009 15:30
Mailbox Repair - who's responsible? pmacaodh Housing in general 6 12.07.2008 13:04
Damaged Imports - who is responsible? litespeed Business & entrepreneur 4 16.03.2007 10:42


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 05:03.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0