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Old 08.05.2016, 16:47
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End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

My partner and I just moved out of a two room apartment. The day before the move when we were due to do the final polish of the place I was hit with a serious health issue and was in hospital and so my partner had to go it alone. He is not the best at cleaning at the best of times and had me to worry about on top of that. The place was very clean, oven, cupboards, washing machine filters, floors, walls, etc. although it was not ruthlessly clean and windows needed another good gloss. It was damn close though.

We did the handover and were told that it wasn't fully up to standard and that including the replacement of the fridge inside plastic container which had a crack in it that it should cost 600.
They have now sent us a bill for just over 1000 saying 850 was for cleaning.

We lived in rural part of Thurgau so we do not expect to pay Zürich prices; also this seems way too much for an apartment that was pretty much clean. We are being swindled for sure here. Is there anything we can do?
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Old 08.05.2016, 16:52
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

Your first step would be to ask them to provide a reciept from the cleaning company that shows the actual cost of cleaning. Did they actually pay a cleaning company to do the cleaning, or did they just estimate it then charge you a fee....

The replacement item for the fridge you may find very costly. We paid 150chf for a new door for the freezer compartment of the refrigerator from electrolux - stupidly expensive for what was just a piece of plastic... but that's how it goes.

It does sound ludicrously expensive, but if you authorised them to do the cleaning (ie. accepted that it wasn't clean at the handover) then it's pretty hard to not avoid the cost...
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Old 08.05.2016, 17:27
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

To be honest we agreed to c. 600 worth for all in - this is almost double what they told us at the handover.

Will definitely ask for receipt from the cleaning company and if possible verify it after - we are not going to pay them without that.

We also had made a huge mistake in taking the apartment at a stupid price for what it was so they probably just thought that we had money to burn or something. Lessons learned for sure - we got much better value in our new accommodation.
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Old 08.05.2016, 18:52
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

If you didn't stay long, they might also be sort of trying to get your deposit because they lost money having to find a new tenant...

Our apartment is cheaper than what we could technically afford, but we have other living costs in that in order to travel 'back home' we need to go halfway around the world, and with three kids...our landlord was worried we wouldn't stay because we'd go find a more expensive but more fancy apartment.

On the other hand, overprice your apartment and rent it out to foreigners who don't know better, and they probably won't stay long, by Swiss standards, because they will soon realise they've been over-charged and will find something else.

Our Landlord wished us a 'happy 10 years' when we signed the lease...we've been in our current place for 6 years this month, the longest we have lived anywhere in our married lives...
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Old 08.05.2016, 18:58
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

Cleaning 40 sq meters from base condition should only cost about Fr 400, so that price a rip off. Also ask to see the receipts for the plastic drawer, if I remember an Elektrolux drawer only cost about Fr 30,--

You should refuse to pay the extra charges and go to arbitration. Your local court will give you the details of the "Schlichtungsbehörde". The first hearing of one hour is fairly cheap.

https://www.google.ch/?gws_rd=ssl#q=...gsbeh%C3%B6rde
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Old 08.05.2016, 18:59
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

Thurgau: http://www.erechtsverkehr.tg.ch/xml_...ion/f13805.cfm
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Old 08.05.2016, 20:19
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

Thanks, it did feel way too high going by everything I read here.

Any idea of what that cost for the first hour would be, or how many hours it would likely entail? My partner wants to pay the money and be done with it but maybe it's because I did most of the work I just feel no way should we give in that easy.

We didn't take any pictures of our finished cleaning - it was all so last minute in the end because I wasn't there to manage it, but the landlord did take pictures of the unfinished windows and odd spots.

Also, surely if we agreed 600 with them during the handover that ought to have been the last word on it? Hope that will make a difference legally wise.
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Old 08.05.2016, 21:00
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

The arbitration charge will depend on the value of the quarrel and the type of dispute. As your case is fairly simple, I think the court will tell you how much it will be before you start the process. Apply soon, you might spend a few weeks on a waiting list.

Next time join the Mieterverband (About Fr 70 per year) and consider hiring an expert witness for the handover (Maybe Fr 150) .
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Old 08.05.2016, 21:35
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

I'd have thought that the price for last-minute cleaning could be many times the regular price. If they have to call in emergency cleaners it won't matter too much if it's dirty or only a little bit dirty. But yes, I'd ask for the receipts. There might also be administration charges.
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Old 08.05.2016, 21:38
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

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I'd have thought that the price for last-minute cleaning could be many times the regular price. If they have to call in emergency cleaners it won't matter too much if it's dirty or only a little bit dirty. But yes, I'd ask for the receipts. There might also be administration charges.
I don't think cleaning companies impose a last minute cleaning charge or at least I am sure it is easy to find one who doesn't. Also they did say 600 at the time of the handover - I hope that is legally binding.
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Old 08.05.2016, 21:54
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

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I don't think cleaning companies impose a last minute cleaning charge or at least I am sure it is easy to find one who doesn't. Also they did say 600 at the time of the handover - I hope that is legally binding.
If the cleaning isn't up to standard at handover, and the property managers are tasked with finding a cleaner, you will get (lol) taken to the cleaners.

Not much choice other than paying. Probably was CHF85/hr for 10 hours worked billed, with CHF150 admin cost for the property management. If you can do better yourself, you need to do better yourself!

A lot or a little dirty isn't the issue; it is instead that a cleaning company needs to be hired and they bill per hour, and usually go from 10-12-14hrs for 2.5-3.5 rooms.

Cheap hourly costs for any household tasks like cleaning is around CHF35-40/hr (a person working individually). It is around CHF65-80/hr for anything run through a company, like the professional cleaning services. Next step is around CHF120-150/hr for plumbing, electricians, etc., .
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Old 08.05.2016, 21:59
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

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If the cleaning isn't up to standard at handover, and the property managers are tasked with finding a cleaner, you will get (lol) taken to the cleaners.

Not much choice other than paying. Probably was CHF85/hr for 10 hours worked billed, with CHF150 admin cost for the property management. If you can do better yourself, you need to do better yourself!

A lot or a little dirty isn't the issue; it is instead that a cleaning company needs to be hired and they bill per hour, and usually go from 10-12-14hrs for 2.5-3.5 rooms.

Cheap hourly costs for any household tasks like cleaning is around CHF35-40/hr (a person working individually). It is around CHF65-80/hr for anything run through a company, like the professional cleaning services. Next step is around CHF120-150/hr for plumbing, electricians, etc., .
I can't do any better from a hospital bed There were 5 hours left of cleaning max - and at a stretch, so the 400 quoted earlier is more likely the appropriate figure.
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Old 08.05.2016, 22:00
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

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If the cleaning isn't up to standard at handover, and the property managers are tasked with finding a cleaner, you will get (lol) taken to the cleaners.

Not much choice other than paying. Probably was CHF85/hr for 10 hours worked billed, with CHF150 admin cost for the property management. If you can do better yourself, you need to do better yourself!

A lot or a little dirty isn't the issue; it is instead that a cleaning company needs to be hired and they bill per hour, and usually go from 10-12-14hrs for 2.5-3.5 rooms.

Cheap hourly costs for any household tasks like cleaning is around CHF35-40/hr (a person working individually). It is around CHF65-80/hr for anything run through a company, like the professional cleaning services. Next step is around CHF120-150/hr for plumbing, electricians, etc., .
The agency still needs to provide invoices to justify the charges.
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Old 08.05.2016, 22:02
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

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The agency still needs to provide invoices to justify the charges.

Of course, and they should provide the invoice for any services.

My solution: either get a 200k+ salary or leave CH!
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Old 08.05.2016, 22:06
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Re: End of tenancy c.40m sq: cleaning charges problem

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Of course, and they should provide the invoice for any services.

My solution: either get a 200k+ salary or leave CH!
The ability to pay isn't the problem so it's not really the/a solution in this case though I am sure it would solve others!
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