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Old 26.05.2016, 11:30
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Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

I'd love to hear your stories and tips on how to behave there. Talked to the MV the other day and got some "coaching" from them.

I am going today (bit late to ask here, I know) to try and convince my landlord to lower the rent after the reference interest rate went down. They challenged me saying that prices in Zurich went up in the last 10 years (without proving it in any way) and that my rent is cheap, compared to the average of the area (again, no proof about it). It seems like the arbitration board will likely be in my favour...

Cheers,
G
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Old 26.05.2016, 11:49
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Re: Anyone too their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

What stories?

My landlord lowers the rate accordingly, no issues. And will probably increase similarly when the rates go up, which is fine
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Old 26.05.2016, 11:53
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Re: Anyone too their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

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What stories?

My landlord lowers the rate accordingly, no issues. And will probably increase similarly when the rates go up, which is fine
You are lucky. My landlord (and he is in good company) did not lower the rate when asked. That's why I am taking him to the Schlichtungsbehoerde. I guess others in this forum had a similar experience.
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Old 26.05.2016, 11:58
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Re: Anyone too their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

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You are lucky. My landlord (and he is in good company) did not lower the rate when asked. That's why I am taking him to the Schlichtungsbehoerde. I guess others in this forum had a similar experience.
It's possible that your rent will rise if officially recqlucated, your contract will show some formula, interest rate is 1 item.
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Old 26.05.2016, 12:11
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Re: Anyone too their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

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It's possible that your rent will rise if officially recqlucated, your contract will show some formula, interest rate is 1 item.
The interest in the contract is 2%, which is not the one at the time when the contract was signed (October 2009, it was 3%). Now it's 1.75%. The landlord probably wrote a smaller number to try and avoid (successfully I must say) that we would request a rent reduction when the rate went down between 3 and 2%. Time to fix that
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Old 28.05.2016, 15:50
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

So we went and the procedure was rather quick. We had asked for a translator and, sure enough, there was a lady waiting and ready to translate for us.

There were three people in the board: I believe one from the Schlichtungsbehoerde itself, one from the tenants associtation, and one from the landlords association.

We presented our case, namely that the price should go down as the reference interest rate went down (from 3% to 1.75%) and presented a paper with some calculation (which I did together with the MV) where we were asking for a reduction of about 185 chf/month.

Then the landlord started a 10 minutes show in swiss german about how impossible it would be for her to bring 5 example other flats (not belonging to her) in the same area and of similar characteristics (size, age, etc), basically complaining about the law and, we all started to look at each other smiling for she was just ranting like a mad person .

Then we were asked to leave while the board formulated a "verdict". In the waiting room I talked a bit with the landlady about other things (like a neighbour who I have not seen for a while), trying to easen a bit the situation. At that point she was a calm and reasonable lady to talk to.

When they asked us to go back in, they said that my calculations were wrong (mainly that the price increase rate should have been 0.5 instead of 0.25) and that the discount we should get was around 150 chf, but proposed that we should agree there and then on a 120 chf discount. The landlady would not even consider that and started again ranting and even talking over the board in a rude way.

Because an agreement could not be found, they will now prepare an "urteilvorschlag" (proposal of verdict) where they will state that the rent should be lowered by 150 chf. After we both receive it, we will have 30 days to accept it or reject it, rejecting it meaning starting the court process with all connected costs.

Now I am not totally sure about the urteilvorschlag: the translator said that if the landlady does not react to it within 30 days, then the proposed rent reduction becomes binding, which was new information for me. I will have to talk again to the MV.

Hope this can be useful to other people, still, I would love to hear other people's experiences.
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Old 28.05.2016, 16:37
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

We threatened to take our regie/landlord to court in Geneva - don't know what that is called in French. It wasn't for reduction of rent which we had come to an agreement about separately.

However, it may be worth noting that although they backed down the day before we had to lodge the court papers, our neighbour continued with the process as he had extra issues with them. He won the judgement, but even though he won, the regie/landlord still did not comply! And, indeed, although we were mentioned on the judgement as also being entitled to a refund of some rent from the regie due to the issues we all experienced, ASLOCA recommended that as the judgement stood for a couple of years, we should wait as if we claimed the monies, the regie would simply make life hard for us in some other way.

So even getting that far may not be an end to the troubles, sorry to say.

Why are (so many) regies/landlords so awful? I would like to understand.

Last edited by Salad Days; 28.05.2016 at 16:39. Reason: additional detail added.
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Old 29.05.2016, 13:28
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

My understanding is if the landlord goes to court and loses, then I believe the landlord pays all the costs.

The court normally follows the recommendation of the Schlchtungsbehörde.

Are you asking for the rent reduction retroactively? If a landlord were to drag me to court over this I sure would put up a very big stink considering it is something which a tenant is entitled to.

Have been to the Schlichtungsbehörde three times, have won in all cases. Used a lawyer the first time, second time we used an expert, final time was the same landlord as the second time and the landlord settled after the papers were filed.
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Old 29.05.2016, 14:52
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

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Now I am not totally sure about the urteilvorschlag: the translator said that if the landlady does not react to it within 30 days, then the proposed rent reduction becomes binding, which was new information for me. I will have to talk again to the MV.
Actually, according to www.zivilprozess.ch the Urteilsvorschlag takes effect if it is not rejected within 20 days:

"Der Urteilsvorschlag gilt als angenommen, wenn er nicht innert 20 Tagen abgelehnt wird. Wird er abgelehnt, ist die Klagebewilligung auszustellen. Wird er nicht abgelehnt, hat er die Wirkung eines rechtskräftigen Entscheides (Art. 211 ZPO)."

If it is rejected then the Schlichtungsbehörde issues an authorization to go to court. If the Urteilsvorschlag is not rejected it takes effect (after 20 days).

ZPO = Zivilprozessordnung
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Old 29.05.2016, 15:04
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?



It all seems like allot of trouble.


It is my opinion that if you don’t get the service from the landlord or are not happy with your agreement then the beauty of renting is its easy to move?



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Old 29.05.2016, 15:05
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

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It all seems like allot of trouble.


It is my opinion that if you don’t get the service from the landlord or are not happy with your agreement then the beauty of renting is its easy to move?



Theoretically yes. But it is not always easy to find a place and then a place you can afford and like living in. So it is not that simple
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Old 29.05.2016, 15:11
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

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Theoretically yes. But it is not always easy to find a place and then a place you can afford and like living in. So it is not that simple



Agreed, and I understand that the rules are there to try to avoid conflict but once you start down this path I think there is always going to be issues even if you win.
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Old 29.05.2016, 15:13
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

Expect to be kicked out at the end of the lease.

Tom
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Old 29.05.2016, 15:22
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

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Expect to be kicked out at the end of the lease.

Tom
Actually in the Swiss Code of Obligations Art 271a par.e, tenants are protected from termination of their lease for a period of three years following a mediation or court proceedings in which the tenant comes out on top....
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Old 30.05.2016, 01:13
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It is my opinion that if you don’t get the service from the landlord or are not happy with your agreement then the beauty of renting is its easy to move?
This is so expensive and not easy. You may spend months at least applying for places. If you get one, even just getting your bond back can take many months. Then there are the costs of moving.

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Agreed, and I understand that the rules are there to try to avoid conflict but once you start down this path I think there is always going to be issues even if you win.
I'm not so sure about that. I think that they simply try it on all the time and figure they win some, they lose some. There is no emotion involved on their part, no time. All the expenses, emotional, time and money are those of the tenant, so they have nothing to lose.

We've had lots of bad situations with our regie so far, meaning everybody in the building, but the regie doesn't care....

Last edited by 3Wishes; 30.05.2016 at 01:52. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 30.05.2016, 06:45
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

Am I the only one who thinks all this story is absurd? I mean, sorry for my ignorance in the Swiss law, but the landlord should be free to charge whatever he wants IF THAT IS ON THE CONTRACT.
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Old 30.05.2016, 06:58
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

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Am I the only one who thinks all this story is absurd? I mean, sorry for my ignorance in the Swiss law, but the landlord should be free to charge whatever he wants IF THAT IS ON THE CONTRACT.
No, this is not absurd. There is a part linked to a rate and the rent is lowered or increased with that rate. Check your contract as normally any rental contract should have that link to that rate.
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Old 30.05.2016, 09:06
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

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... but the landlord should be free to charge whatever he wants IF THAT IS ON THE CONTRACT.
Not if Swiss law says otherwise. Statute law can (quite rightly) overrule contract terms.
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Old 30.05.2016, 09:56
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

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Am I the only one who thinks all this story is absurd? I mean, sorry for my ignorance in the Swiss law, but the landlord should be free to charge whatever he wants IF THAT IS ON THE CONTRACT.
So you don't think the landlord should ever be allowed to increase the rent either?
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Old 30.05.2016, 10:01
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Re: Anyone taken their landlord to the Schlichtungsbehoerde?

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It all seems like allot of trouble.


It is my opinion that if you don’t get the service from the landlord or are not happy with your agreement then the beauty of renting is its easy to move?



Easy to find a good apartment? In Zürich? What absolute nonsense.

Apartments that fit your needs are hard to find, and moving often costs significant time and money. Its easier (and more satisfying) to do what the OP did.

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Am I the only one who thinks all this story is absurd? I mean, sorry for my ignorance in the Swiss law, but the landlord should be free to charge whatever he wants IF THAT IS ON THE CONTRACT.
Read up on Swiss law and renting regulations, nitwit.

Last edited by Chuff; 30.05.2016 at 10:40.
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