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Old 03.11.2015, 10:36
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Landlord not fulfilling lease

Hi everyone,

I believe that my landlord is not fulfilling his part of the lease. In the contract, I have been paying him a set amount for all utilities (except internet) and a concierge service to fix problems in the apartment. While I have had many issues over the past couple months, the current issue is the hot water. Last week the whole building was without it for most of the week. It finally got fixed but broke again on Saturday, was fixed on Sunday, and broke again yesterday (Monday). They don't seem to care about getting a permanent fix for it and with winter coming up and the hot water heating my apartment, this cannot go on. In addition, the landlord had a falling out with the concierge service and just decided to not replace him despite taking money from every tenants' lease each month for it. This means that if something goes wrong on Saturday night, we can't contact the apartment agency until Monday morning.

In the US, we we're allowed to withhold rent when the landlord wasn't fixing the apartment, but that does not seemed to be the case from a previous thread (that was for Geneva and I am currently in Lausanne, Vaud). What are my options for solving this issue?

Thanks
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Old 03.11.2015, 10:44
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Re: Landlord not fulfilling lease

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What are my options for solving this issue?

Thanks
Join Asloca (renter's association) ASAP and notify your landlord by registered letter that you want the faults fixed by [date proposed by Asloca], and that if they don't comply, you will pay part of the rent into a blocked account until the faults are taken care of, while taking the case to the renter's arbitration court.

Note:
If you don't pay full rent (part into a blocked account and the rest to the landlord) your lease can be terminated on grounds of nonpayment of your full rent. So don't simply pay less.
If you go to the renter's association (and pay for membership), they can offer you legal help which can come in very useful.

Hot water/possible boiler (?) issues look like a landlord problem, and therefore it's their job to rectify the issue. But do speak to Asloca to get things sorted in the proper way.

Very useful thread: If you rent a flat/property in ch
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Old 03.11.2015, 12:31
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Re: Landlord not fulfilling lease

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In the US, we we're allowed to withhold rent when the landlord wasn't fixing the apartment, but that does not seemed to be the case from a previous thread (that was for Geneva and I am currently in Lausanne, Vaud). What are my options for solving this issue?

Thanks
Hello. As Glowjupiter said don't do this. This is what you will need to do. Complain of course and send registered letters of this. When they are not compliant, you will need to sue them.

In which case your lawyer will advise you to open a 2nd, 3rd party account, where you will still pay rent, but in an account that you will not be able to access but only by the court. In the event you are the landlord is found guilty, they will make the deductions and the rest of the owed rent will go to the landlord.

However, it may be possible that the landlord can still terminate your lease, and in the end, you will be awarded your attorneys fees and the period of rent where you had no proper working services, but still be out on the street. So be very careful that you work in accordance with the law on this. Often times it proves to be better just to move. I had a friend this happened to. He owned a restaurant in the bottom part of a building, and the meter was there as well. He was told he was paying the electricity just for his area.

One day he got to talking with the other neighbors on each floor. Turns out he was paying electricity for the whole building, and each on of them were paying as well for whole building. And the landlord, who is/was well known in Baden, as they owned several higher end properties, were simply pocketing the rest. Over a 3 year period of time this comes up to alot of money.

So he asked for a return of the money and correcting of the situation. They said they would from that point on but not reimburse him. They even do it from that point on. So he sued them and refused to pay rent to offset the difference.

They terminated his lease, and very quickly sent in repo men to strip all the restaurant equipment out to be used to settle the owed rent. He had 120,000 in equipment they sold off to cover about 21,000(7000 a month in rent, time he was there until being kicked and time until they had a new tenant-another restaurateur who we knew to have the same experience all over again).

In the end, he won his battle in court, getting the overpaid utility bills settled, and refunded. He lost his business, his materials, his reputation, and his relationship, and had massive debts resulting from the ordeal(not from the lawyer).

And was advised by the court he should have followed the proper procedures. He was an EU national, but not Swiss, so he only tried to do what he was familiar with in the EU. Which doesn't mean it matters here.
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