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Old 25.02.2015, 18:32
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Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

Hello all,

Hope that someone can advise me on this matter before we speak to our landlord.

Today we received a letter regarding the boiler and a request for 981.50 chf to clean and check it is safe. This has to be done every ten years apparently, would I be right in thinking that as we only rent from our landlord that this is his responsibility not ours?

Any helpful advice would be much appreciated.

Best wishes

Darcy
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Old 25.02.2015, 18:36
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

Are you renting a single family house?

With a single family house, often maintenance costs such as boiler upkeep, decalcifying pipes, chimney maintenance, etc., are indeed the responsibility of the renter - but that should be spelled out in your contract.

If it's not in the contract, or if you are not the sole occupant of the building, speak to the landlord.
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Old 25.02.2015, 18:41
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

Hi Meloncollie,

Yes we are renting a single family house. I will have a look at the contract, I cannot remember him mentioning paying for boiler maintenance, he just asked us to ensure check the oil level on the tank regularly, we had it refilled in April last year and we also had the boiler checked in December as it was not working properly, the problem was corrected but we did not get billed for that. I assume it went to the landlord.

Will drop him a line and see what he says. Just a rather large bill to get unexpectedly.

Darcy
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Old 25.02.2015, 18:52
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

Personally I would think that any sort of check, especially a safety check, that only has to be carried out once every ten years would be the landlord's responsibility.
The only way to find out for sure will be to ask him.
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Old 25.02.2015, 19:01
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

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Personally I would think that any sort of check, especially a safety check, that only has to be carried out once every ten years would be the landlord's responsibility.
The only way to find out for sure will be to ask him.
Hi BelgianMum,

I am going to write to him and find out, going to check the contract carefully first though. Maybe the 10 year check had just slipped his mind.

Darcy
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Old 25.02.2015, 19:47
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

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Personally I would think that any sort of check, especially a safety check, that only has to be carried out once every ten years would be the landlord's responsibility.
The only way to find out for sure will be to ask him.
Nope. Checking and descaling the boiler is the tenants responsibility, particularly in a single family house. Usually it is outlined in the contract. IIRC, descaling is more often than 10 years but the check isn't. If it's not in the contract then the landlord could be out of luck. I would certainly ask for proof of when it was last done and how long the previous tenant was there. It seems bad timing if you're hit with this after only a year in the house.
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Old 25.02.2015, 20:53
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

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Nope. Checking and descaling the boiler is the tenants responsibility, particularly in a single family house. Usually it is outlined in the contract. IIRC, descaling is more often than 10 years but the check isn't. If it's not in the contract then the landlord could be out of luck. I would certainly ask for proof of when it was last done and how long the previous tenant was there. It seems bad timing if you're hit with this after only a year in the house.
That's exactly why I think it should be the landlord's responsibility and something that should be built into the rental. It's very unfair on the tenant who just happens to be living there when this 10 year check has to be carried out.

The routine maintenance check ( but not any work that needs to be done) and regular de scaling plus chimney sweeping seem fair enough but not something that happens every 10 years and costs close on 1000chf even in a single family house.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 25.02.2015 at 21:07.
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Old 25.02.2015, 21:02
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

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That's exactly why I think it should be the landlord's responsibility and something that should be built into the rental. It's very unfair in the tenant who just happens to be living there when this 10 year check has to be carried out.

The routine maintenance check ( but not any work that needs to be done) and regular de scaling plus chimney sweeping seem fair enough but not something that happens every 10 years and costs close on 1000chf even in a single family house.
I totally agree with you. It was in the standard contract written up by the management company. As it turns out it didn't hit our tenants. But if you have, say, 3 tenants in 10 years... It's not fair/right/logical... The 1000f should be divided by 10 and added to the yearly charges.
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Old 25.02.2015, 21:09
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

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I totally agree with you. It was in the standard contract written up by the management company. As it turns out it didn't hit our tenants. But if you have, say, 3 tenants in 10 years... It's not fair/right/logical... The 1000f should be divided by 10 and added to the yearly charges.
It wasn't in our rental contract for the house we rented when we moved here which was the standard contract for Neuchâtel. Hopefully Darcy will also be lucky.
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Old 25.02.2015, 21:13
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

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Nope. Checking and descaling the boiler is the tenants responsibility, particularly in a single family house. Usually it is outlined in the contract. IIRC, descaling is more often than 10 years but the check isn't. If it's not in the contract then the landlord could be out of luck. I would certainly ask for proof of when it was last done and how long the previous tenant was there. It seems bad timing if you're hit with this after only a year in the house.
Yep. We have a boiler in our rental apartment, and by law we are required to pay the maintenance cost. It's written in our contract as well.

But 900.- seems quite high to me. We paid around 400.- two years ago.
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Old 25.02.2015, 21:23
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

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I totally agree with you. It was in the standard contract written up by the management company. As it turns out it didn't hit our tenants. But if you have, say, 3 tenants in 10 years... It's not fair/right/logical... The 1000f should be divided by 10 and added to the yearly charges.
This is exactly the case according to this document: https://www.mieterverband.ch/dam/jcr...uebersicht.pdf

It indeed should be divided by the number of years and added to the yearly charges.
Not sure if it is allowed in the way the OP describes. It could be good to check with the renters association about what to do.
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Old 25.02.2015, 23:25
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

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This is exactly the case according to this document: https://www.mieterverband.ch/dam/jcr...uebersicht.pdf

It indeed should be divided by the number of years and added to the yearly charges.
Not sure if it is allowed in the way the OP describes. It could be good to check with the renters association about what to do.
Maybe you could summarize for those of us who don't speak German? Does is happen to specify house vs apartment?

I just checked my apartment rental agreement and it in fact added to the charges. I remember that it was specified in the contract when we rented out or house that it was the responsibility of the tenants, but I can't how it was charged. Please don't make me dig out the old contract..... I cant' be sure I still have it accessible.
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Old 26.02.2015, 19:30
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

Hi,

Read the letter and the maintenance is for the oil tank, which is most definitely not on the contract. We pay for the chimney to be swept a few times a year and we pay for the oil.

I am hoping he will be reasonable about it considering the short time we have been here.

Thanks for all your replies and advice guys! Much appreciated!
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Old 26.02.2015, 19:55
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

Tank and boiler maintenance (not repairs or upgrades) come under "Heizungskosten" just as surely as chimney cleaning does. If your contract mentions "Heizungskosten" then yes, you are liable for these too.

Costs that are periodic should be prorated though, as k_and_e says. If you have only been here for, say, 3 years out of 10, then you should be liable for 3/10 of the cost. (Actually, you should already have paid it: 1/10 of the cost in each of the last 3 years, regardless whether maintenance was due in those years or not...)

This is the correct, by-the-book way of handling it according to the Mieterverband. House vs. apartment doesn't come into it in principle.

In practice, many owners of single-family houses prefer to have tenants deal with these bills directly as they come in. If this is your arrangement, you may need to pay the bill yourself and claim the remaining 7/10 (or whatever fraction) back from your landlord. (Of course then you continue to pay him 1/10 of the maintenance cost annually, every subsequent year you are in the place.)
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Old 26.02.2015, 20:05
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

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Yes we are renting a single family house. I will have a look at the contract, I cannot remember him mentioning paying for boiler maintenance, he just asked us to ensure check the oil level on the tank regularly, we had it refilled in April last year and we also had the boiler checked in December as it was not working properly, the problem was corrected but we did not get billed for that. I assume it went to the landlord.

Will drop him a line and see what he says. Just a rather large bill to get unexpectedly.
Actually it's quite a small bill.

I'm amazed here in Switzerland that we get seemingly random bills in the thousands that need paying within a couple of weeks or so.

Apparently it's quite normal.
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Old 27.02.2015, 16:24
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Re: Responsibility of boiler maintenance bill

Tom it does seem that get random bills for big chunks of money now and again. I used to get quite panicky about it but just take a deep breath now and get on with it.

Just seems strange he had never mentioned this ten year tank clean and maintenance thing. He is usually quite good at that sort of thing.

Darcy
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