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  #41  
Old 01.03.2017, 20:35
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

What's done is done. It is time to move forward and resolve the matter.

To the OP, what does the landlord do? Does he just own properties or does he have a business or profession? Was the lease in the landlord's name personally or in the name of a business?

His reaction to a Betreibung may be quite different if it is not to him personally.


I just have to say that I find it hard to believe that after living here for as long as you did you were not aware that your deposit should be in a special account, or that leaving an apartment does require paperwork, and not just a handshake. Unlike other countries where the deposit may be used to cover last month's rent, that is not how things work here. What was discussed at the handover about your deposit?
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  #42  
Old 01.03.2017, 20:53
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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.
Yes and if you do not follow civil law you may breaking criminal law.

Walking in a restaurant ordering food and leaving without paying is also a simple civil law case. But it is also, in this case very specifically, a criminal law case Art. 149 criminal code https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a149

The code of obligations specifically states that "the landlord must deposit it in a bank savings or deposit account in the tenant's name" https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...dex.html#a257e
Keeping the deposit for themselves most likely breaks the criminal code in one of the above mentioned cases. I am just not sure which one it is.

The problem with this criminal law offences against property is that they are in most cases only investigated and punished upon complaint by the victim and not ex officio.
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  #43  
Old 01.03.2017, 22:27
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

Fine. Threaten the landlord with a Betreibung and a police Anzeige for violating Art 138 StGB (misappropriation). Double effect in one letter. Is that what you're suggesting? Be careful not to get a counter-Anzeige for coercion though.
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  #44  
Old 01.03.2017, 22:45
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

Not threaten, just do.

If threaten, then in a way which is still o.k. like:

Sollte bis X die Kaution nicht überwiesen sein, werde ich umgehend die Betreibung einleiten und den Sachverhalt auf allfällige strafrechtliche Vergehen überprüfen lassen.

If the rental deposit is not transferred onto my account by X I will immediately start the pursuit process and check if there may be any criminal wrong doing.
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  #45  
Old 02.03.2017, 08:48
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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I just have to say that I find it hard to believe that after living here for as long as you did you were not aware that your deposit should be in a special account, or that leaving an apartment does require paperwork, and not just a handshake. Unlike other countries where the deposit may be used to cover last month's rent, that is not how things work here. What was discussed at the handover about your deposit?
Why?

If things run smoothly, as they probably appeared to during the rent, only a rare few would enquire as people got better things to do with their time. We trust "people in the know" probably on a daily basis.

When you bought your last car, how did you ensure the seller was the lawful owner? Or most any other big-ticket item where the value would justify an extra effort (not to speak of items of small value).

If you're a home owner you probably had significant work done by your own orders. Certainly you made sure the result was what you wanted it to be, but to what extent did you ensure that things were done according to the law? That's exactly why you hire professionals (Generalunternehmer and architect in particular) rather than random amateurs.
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  #46  
Old 05.03.2017, 11:53
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

hello all,
I was just going to submit an update on the situation when I noticed all of the additional responses. Wow, thank you all so much for the invaluable information!
We sent back a reply to the landlord disputing the invoice and requesting the refund of our deposit (only minus some nebenkosten charges that are not disputed). We did not give a date for the refund but hopefully he will agree to pay the money back and the issue will be resolved. I will give an update soon.

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To the OP, what does the landlord do? Does he just own properties or does he have a business or profession? Was the lease in the landlord's name personally or in the name of a business?
The lease was in the landlord's name.


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I just have to say that I find it hard to believe that after living here for as long as you did you were not aware that your deposit should be in a special account, or that leaving an apartment does require paperwork, and not just a handshake. Unlike other countries where the deposit may be used to cover last month's rent, that is not how things work here. What was discussed at the handover about your deposit?
I appreciate what you are saying. However, in the 6 years we lived in Switzerland we only rented from this one landlord. If we had moved around then I am sure we would have found out about the special deposit account. In our previous experiences of renting (of which there are many and in a number of countries) we have always just given the deposit to the landlord with no special account setup except where we are living now. As the signed contract included the deposit amount then the landlord had to return it at the end of the lease minus any agreed charges for damages etc. We assumed it would be the same in Switzerland.

Now I am having a small doubt that maybe the Swiss signed contract that includes the deposit amount may not be enough proof. Is it possible that the landlord could dispute that he even received the deposit if he doesn't have money in a deposit account in our name?
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  #47  
Old 05.03.2017, 12:26
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

One question: OP lived there for 6 years and the previous tenant for 2-3 years, after this period isn't the landlord's obligation to pay for repainting and repairing the apartment?
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  #48  
Old 05.03.2017, 15:09
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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One question: OP lived there for 6 years and the previous tenant for 2-3 years, after this period isn't the landlord's obligation to pay for repainting and repairing the apartment?
Yes. But only insofar the damages and the repainting needed is due to normal wear and tear. You can not live there 30 years, trash the place, and say sorry dude not my problem.
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  #49  
Old 05.03.2017, 22:30
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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Now I am having a small doubt that maybe the Swiss signed contract that includes the deposit amount may not be enough proof. Is it possible that the landlord could dispute that he even received the deposit if he doesn't have money in a deposit account in our name?

You have no bank statement or receipt that you transferred the money????
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  #50  
Old 05.03.2017, 22:34
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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Now I am having a small doubt that maybe the Swiss signed contract that includes the deposit amount may not be enough proof. Is it possible that the landlord could dispute that he even received the deposit if he doesn't have money in a deposit account in our name?
Unless you have proof of the payment I think there is a distinct possibility the landlord could say it doesn't exist. Would a landlord give a tenant keys if the deposit had not been paid? Unlikely. Perhaps you have some correspondence from the time when you paid the deposit.

Did you ask about the deposit at the handover? That would have been a topic to discuss at the handover. Did you give the landlord your bank details in order that he could return it to you?
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  #51  
Old 06.03.2017, 08:52
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Re: Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

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Now I am having a small doubt that maybe the Swiss signed contract that includes the deposit amount may not be enough proof. Is it possible that the landlord could dispute that he even received the deposit if he doesn't have money in a deposit account in our name?
Of course he could dispute it, but I don't think he would have much to stand on. If you can prove your payment the case is clear. Even if you can't, unless he can prove that he invoiced you everything speaks in your favor.

Plus, I think the approach will be the same as with a missing takeover/handover protocol: The landlord is considered the guy in-the-know, he's the one who knows (should know) how things are done lawfully or even properly, even more so as you're foreigners.

The problem would be making him pay as you'd need to "betreiben" (raise a certain civil lawsuit) him. But personally, I wouldn't worry too much at this point, wait and see what he replies.
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