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Old 25.02.2017, 09:57
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Luxembourg
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Invoice for damages received from landlord 5 months after leaving!

Hello all,
I would really appreciate any advice on a situation I have with my previous Swiss landlord. I have read a lot of threads on this forum, which have been really helpful but I couldn't find the answers to some of my questions.

We lived in the Zurich area and rented an apartment from October 2010 until August 2016 (5 years 11 months). When we moved into the apartment it had not been freshly painted and, from what we remember the landlord telling us, the previous tenant had lived in the apartment before us for 2 - 3 years.

The landlord told us that he planned to repaint the entire apartment before the next tenants moved in. The apartment was in good condition (only normal wear and tear) so didn't need to be repainted although a fresh coat of paint would be nice. In fact, some potential tenants would have been willing to rent the apartment "as is". We had painted 2 small walls, which the landlord had agreed to and had even given us the paint. As the landlord was planning to repaint the whole place he told us we did not have to paint them back to white. Also, it was never discussed that we would be liable for any portion of the painting cost.

Before handing back the keys and moving out we did a walk through of the apartment with the landlord. As he had not provided a Wohnungsabnahmeprotokoll when we moved into the apartment we did not have an official document to sign when we moved out. However, no issues or damages were identified and he was ok with the condition of the apartment.

At the end of January (5 months later) we received an invoice from the landlord. He included the invoice from the painter for the full cost of repainting the apartment (SFr. 5,500), which included painting the walls, windows, doors and radiators. Also, he gave us an invoice prepared by his painter for our portion "Reparaturn Von Mieterschaden" for SFr. 2,000 (36% of the total)! Obviously, we are very surprised and angry since there was no damage to repair. Currently, we are waiting for the landlord to explain how he calculated the 2nd invoice

Based on information on the Mieterverband website, I understand that the landlord has a limited time to inform us of any defects after the apartment is handed over (one week) otherwise he cannot make a claim. Is my understanding correct?
Also, I understand that paint has a life of 8 years so we should not be liable for any cost for painting the walls since it had not been painted for at least 8 years but what about windows, doors, radiators?

Many thanks in advance for your help and advice.
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