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Old 28.02.2017, 21:51
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

Hi Urs Max, many thanks for your reply and all of the helpful information. We've written back to the landlord disputing the bill so I hope he realises that he's in the wrong.
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  #22  
Old 28.02.2017, 21:57
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

Hi Mrs. Doolittle, unfortunately it seems that he did not open a deposit account and due to our inexperience of the Swiss rental system we did not know this was the standard. Every other place/country where we have rented we have never had it in a special account, only given to the landlord and received it back after the agreement ended without problem.
Anyway another battle and another life lesson
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Old 28.02.2017, 22:07
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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Hi Mrs. Doolittle, unfortunately it seems that he did not open a deposit account and due to our inexperience of the Swiss rental system we did not know this was the standard. Every other place/country where we have rented we have never had it in a special account, only given to the landlord and received it back after the agreement ended without problem.
Anyway another battle and another life lesson
very philosophical !

Suggest you get the renters association on the case, or at least open a poursuite against your landlord, you have every chance of winning this one.

1) No protocol signed at beginning of lease
2) 5 months after leaving
3) Ridiculous demands

Sounds like you have at least 3 Aces in your hand already
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Old 01.03.2017, 00:23
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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If he has your deposit, then it is a completely different ball game- and telling him to blow into his shoes ain't going to get your deposit back, is it!?

Too late for you, but for any newbies reading- never, ever rent in CH without becoming immediately a member or Asloca in FRench part, or Mietverband in German part. It is very cheap, and gives you access to professional experienced expertise and advice, + legal support - all along the way. You'll also get much better service from them if you are an existing member rather than just join after you have a problem. Just not worth being without.
Exactly. In addition, the Mieterverband has a service where an expert accompanies you for the final handover and takes care of everything. When we did the handover of our apartment in Luzern, our guy (arranged by MV for only 100CHF) was knowledgeable and made sure everything was done properly.
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  #25  
Old 01.03.2017, 07:56
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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Hi Mrs. Doolittle, unfortunately it seems that he did not open a deposit account...(
I suggest you read the following thread, which addresses the legality of his action wrt the deposit.

Rental deposit to landlord private account?
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  #26  
Old 01.03.2017, 08:19
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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I suggest you read the following thread, which addresses the legality of his action wrt the deposit.

Rental deposit to landlord private account?
Exactly how do you think your advice is helping OP? It's not helpful. Yes, you can demand that the landlord pays the money into a blocked account, but the rent is over, account was never opened, there's no point in any of that.

Correct thing to do: send a letter denying all charges and demand that he pays everything back within some deadline, then go to Betreibungamt to set the legal process in motion.
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Old 01.03.2017, 10:24
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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Exactly how do you think your advice is helping OP? It's not helpful. Yes, you can demand that the landlord pays the money into a blocked account, but the rent is over, account was never opened, there's no point in any of that.

Correct thing to do: send a letter denying all charges and demand that he pays everything back within some deadline, then go to Betreibungamt to set the legal process in motion.
Demanding the deposit is paid into a blocked account until such time as the legal situation is clarified isn't a bad idea. Since the landlord had a responsibility to do that, any refusal can only reflect badly on them.

If you're going to write a letter, may as well put in everything relevant to the case and which may make them think twice.
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  #28  
Old 01.03.2017, 10:33
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

Bullshit. Don't make it any more complicated that it has to be. Demand full repayment, then file a Betreibung. You have to go through Betreibungsamt anyway as the first step to start the legal process. And if landlord thinks he has a case he won't pay willingly into any account now.
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Old 01.03.2017, 11:14
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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Exactly how do you think your advice is helping OP? ....
This bit:

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It is against the law!!!
If it is not legal for the landlord to keep the deposit in his own account, it's another stick to beat him with. An extra bit of leverage to get him to cough up. You could use the same stick to do the levering, if it is sturdy enough.
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  #30  
Old 01.03.2017, 11:21
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

To enforce that right you'd have to go through same legal process as getting the money back from him directly. Why bother with this extra step? Just to practice your german letter writing skills? Waste of time. And money if you pay a lawyer to write that letter. Money that you won't be getting back. Costs of a Betreibung on the other hand are fully recoverable if you win the case.
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  #31  
Old 01.03.2017, 11:39
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

I do not think you can open a deposit account without an actual ongoing rental contract.

For the criminal aspect: Art. 145 Swiss Criminal Code maybe https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a145
Because renter is deprieved of the interest the deposit would incure on a bank account.

Or Art. 138 ?
or Art. 139 ?
or Art. 141 ?
or Art. 141bis ?
or Art. 151 ?
or Art. 158 ?

You could file a complaint with the police where you state you suspect [important] criminal wrong doing and they should investigate if any of the above articles may [important] have been violated and when yes then press charges.

Suspect and may are important, as this is the fine line between false accusation and just a suspicion which is perfectely o.k.
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  #32  
Old 01.03.2017, 11:53
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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Because renter is deprieved of the interest the deposit would incure on a bank account.
You're kidding, right? All these savings accounts pay nearly zero interest today
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  #33  
Old 01.03.2017, 11:58
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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To enforce that right you'd have to go through same legal process as getting the money back from him directly. Why bother with this extra step? Just to practice your german letter writing skills? Waste of time. And money if you pay a lawyer to write that letter. Money that you won't be getting back. Costs of a Betreibung on the other hand are fully recoverable if you win the case.
Betreibung takes time and in the end you may have to go to court to get the money anyway, or start bankruptcy proceedings if you win the Betreibung and the guy doesn't pay.

If, on the other hand, the landlord gets a letter clearly stating which law(s) he broke and to pay up or go to court, maybe he would be more willing to pay up.
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  #34  
Old 01.03.2017, 12:05
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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if, on the other hand, the landlord gets a letter clearly stating which law(s) he broke and to pay up or go to court, maybe he would be more willing to pay up.
He's likely well aware of these laws and just trying his luck here with dumb foreigners, seeing what sticks

He's gonna be much better motivated by a letter threating a Betreibung. Because if you realize the threat, he's gonna have to pay for the Betreibung too. Plus 5% interest since the time you asked for the money back.
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  #35  
Old 01.03.2017, 12:16
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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You're kidding, right? All these savings accounts pay nearly zero interest today
The beauty of that suggestion is:
If you sue, launch a Betreibung, it's under civil law so your cost, your time, your risk. Even getting reimbursed for the cost, which isn't guaranteed, you still have the headache and probably outlays that have been unaccounted for.

If however criminal law has been violated it's the state who does all the work, bears all the costs and risk.

Plus, having been ruled against in a Betreibung is peanuts compared to a criminal law verdict, it amounts to a bazooka rather than an ordinary stick.

OP, did you ever receive the interest you're owed on the deposit? Or at least a summary (Abrechnung)? Not having received any would strongly support any suspicions under what aSITUS mentioned.

Last edited by Urs Max; 01.03.2017 at 12:26.
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  #36  
Old 01.03.2017, 12:18
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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He's likely well aware of these laws and just trying his luck here with dumb foreigners, seeing what sticks
Agree.

Most landlords very well know what they can do and can't do, and that a separate account has to be opened for the rental deposit is very, very common knowledge. Anyone who ever rented here - and that's pretty much everyone - knows that.

And the requested payments are clearly neither here nor there.

If the landlord continues to insist on payment and continues to withhold the repayment of the deposit, this is one of the few times I would recommend to get legal help.
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Old 01.03.2017, 12:20
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

I think the algorithm here is simple: send a letter denying all accusations, set a deadline for repayment, threaten with Betreibung. This should be usually effective. If he doesn't pay, file a Betreibung. If he objects to it, you can then go to the court to settle the case. It'll cost a bit, but on success, court would order him to pay back everything, including court costs, costs of Betreibung, and 5% interest for all your troubles since the date he should have just paid. 5% guaranteed interest is not bad given today's low interest rates. And as the landlord has rental income, he's not going to be bankrupt any time soon, so suing is low risk for you as a creditor.
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  #38  
Old 01.03.2017, 12:29
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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If however criminal law has been violated it's the state who does all the work, bears all the costs and risk.
The obligation to put renter's deposit into a blocked account is civil law. Stop pulling cat's tail with this criminal law nonsense, it's a simple civil case of two parties disputing how much who owes whom.
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Old 01.03.2017, 12:41
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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The obligation to put renter's deposit into a blocked account is civil law. Stop pulling cat's tail with this criminal law nonsense, it's a simple civil case of two parties disputing how much who owes whom.
Correct. Obligationenrecht. Art. 257e OR.
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  #40  
Old 01.03.2017, 15:02
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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The obligation to put renter's deposit into a blocked account is civil law. Stop pulling cat's tail with this criminal law nonsense, it's a simple civil case of two parties disputing how much who owes whom.
Thank you for the verdict, Your Honor.

However you fail to notice that these are two completely different aspects. Although your abrasiveness warrants something rather different, let me explain so even you understand.

One aspect is the material damage suffered, getting the money (deposit and interest earned) is covered by the code of obligations. The other aspect is a potential punishment for the deed itself. Take theft as an analog: If you steal something, not only do you have to return what you stole (and pay for the damage caused, if any) but you can additionally be punished for the deed itself by fine or jail. The former is covered by the code of obligations, the latter by criminal law. OP's case may have these two aspect as well.

Most types of debt lapse after no less than ten years, however interest earned does after five. So unless OP has been credited for the interest earned during the first five calendar quarters should have lapsed already. Which may constitute misappropriation, for example.

By default the deposit itself will lapse after ten years (in September 2019 by my count). However, whenever interest earned is paid or acknowledged that lapsing-span is reset. That's one consequence of any "Abrechnungen" or "Gutschriften" for the interest earned, or entries to that end in landlord's books; another may be indication of a lack of interest in a wrongdoing. In order to clarify this I think OP should simply enquire.

In addition to what aSITUS wrote, once OP demands the deposit back refusal to return the money may well fall under 137.2 of the criminal code (perhaps only after the 12 months the deposit in a Mieterkautionsdepot can be held back have run out). Plus the ten year lapsing span for the deposit and the five years for the interest if demanded as well, will also be reset.

How the authorities view lack of interest payments, if any, is an open question as they're a small amount indeed. But refusal to pay back the deposit, if payment can be proven and refusal were to happen, should make things quite clear.
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