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Old 23.08.2017, 16:52
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So I have a question about tenant's rights in Switzerland (Lugano, Ticino) regarding repairs and injuries in rented property. The glass door of my shower last night shattered when I was closing it, showering me in glass. Luckily it was safety glass and I only have a few minor cuts to my hands and feet. I believe the reason it broke was because it had a broken wheel (it's a sliding door) and that was causing additional stress to the door. The wheel was broken when we first moved in and we notified the estate agent multiple times about it, again when we first moved in. Despite them saying they would arrange a repair, nothing was done, and we gave up. We contacted them immediately when the office opened this morning and they referred me to the amministratore del condominio. However we spoke to her last night and she said she doesn't administer the building any more... So the estate agent's is apparently contacting our agent who seems to be partly out of contact... So it's been a whole day with nothing arranged, and meanwhile an unusable shower and a bathroom full of glass. I'm from the UK and usually when this sort of thing happens; this would be a matter for the local government's "Enviromental Health" team who could order repairs to be done, or a tenant can arrange repairs themselves and charge it back to the agent/landlord. Is it similar here or is there some other reason my estate agent is being unresponsive? Also as I mentioned, I was injured (minor); does that make a difference? Sorry for the long post and appreciate any help anyone can provide. TL;DR: We're renting. Shower door broke during normal use, was already broken (had been reported to estate agent when we moved in, nothing done). I was lightly injured, bathroom full of glass, estate agent doesn't seem to be responding.

And sorry for the poor formatting of that post; not used this forum before!

Last edited by 3Wishes; 23.08.2017 at 19:19. Reason: merging consecutive posts
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Old 23.08.2017, 16:59
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

Do you have insurance? If so, it doesn't hurt to give them a call.

If you've been given the runaround, the normal approach to this is to send a registered letter to whoever you pay the rent to / whoever is written on the contract with your demands.

Tell them you want it fixed within some period (two weeks?).

Make it clear that if this doesn't happen, you will get it fixed yourself, deduct the cost from your next rental payment and send them the invoice/receipt as proof.

Also state that if there is some factor/agency involved, they need to do that part, as you've already tried etc.

Keep it polite but blunt and professional. Forget the minor injury part - since you knew about the risk, you won't get anywhere with it.
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:11
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

Is this the case with something like this? In the UK, ordinarily a "Health & Safety" repair would mandate a response within 24H (and I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty certain broken glass would count); is there no similar rule here?
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:23
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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is there no similar rule here?
No.

Tom
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:24
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

i think you can clean up the broken glass yourself, no? i wouldn't expect a landlord to do that.

then its just a matter of not having a shower door. not a huge issue for a week or so until they install a new one.
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:26
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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No.

Tom
Hmm, that's unfortunate. And I suppose the local government wouldn't be my first port of call either?
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:27
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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Is this the case with something like this? In the UK, ordinarily a "Health & Safety" repair would mandate a response within 24H (and I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty certain broken glass would count); is there no similar rule here?
But you are not in the UK now.

- You should have accident and health insurance to cover any injury caused

- I'm sure you are old enough and big enough to clean up your bathroom so you can use it

- You've been told how to handle the repair issue.

What more can we do..
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:29
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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i think you can clean up the broken glass yourself, no? i wouldn't expect a landlord to do that.

then its just a matter of not having a shower door. not a huge issue for a week or so until they install a new one.
I presume this is another example of UK/CH culture clash then? I most certainly would expect them to sort out everything especially given that they ignored it when I reported it the first time. But ok thanks for the info; appreciate the response.
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:30
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

You broke it, you fix it.

That's how it works here.

Tom
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:32
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

I don't think its a UK/CH difference. I'd take the same stance in the UK (or US) too.
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:32
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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But you are not in the UK now.

- You should have accident and health insurance to cover any injury caused

- I'm sure you are old enough and big enough to clean up your bathroom so you can use it

- You've been told how to handle the repair issue.

What more can we do..
Well I acknowledge what you're saying; I'm just a little surprised (yet again) at the difference in attitudes. I guess I had it easy before coming here... :-)
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:40
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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Do you have insurance? If so, it doesn't hurt to give them a call.

If you've been given the runaround, the normal approach to this is to send a registered letter to whoever you pay the rent to / whoever is written on the contract with your demands.

Tell them you want it fixed within some period (two weeks?).

Make it clear that if this doesn't happen, you will get it fixed yourself, deduct the cost from your next rental payment and send them the invoice/receipt as proof.

Also state that if there is some factor/agency involved, they need to do that part, as you've already tried etc.

Keep it polite but blunt and professional. Forget the minor injury part - since you knew about the risk, you won't get anywhere with it.
All perfect, only the bold part is not the way hwo to do it and could lead to eviction.

Correct is:
Make it clear that if this doesn't happen, you will get it fixed yourself, will recover the cost from them, and if they do not pay in good time you will reduce the rent by this ammount and pay the open amount of the rent into a special rental escrow account at the cantonal rental court.

This is very important:
First, you must notice the landlord that you will reduce the rent.
Second, you must pay the withheld ammount into a special escrow account at the cantonal renters court (mostly at the local cantonal bank).
If you pay the outstanding rent into this account you fullfilled your legal obligations and the landlord cannot evict you because you paid less rent than due.
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:44
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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All perfect, only the bold part is not the way hwo to do it and could lead to eviction.

Correct is:
Make it clear that if this doesn't happen, you will get it fixed yourself, will recover the cost from them, and if they do not pay in good time you will reduce the rent by this ammount and pay the open amount of the rent into a special rental escrow account at the cantonal rental court.

This is very important:
First, you must notice the landlord that you will reduce the rent.
Second, you must pay the withheld ammount into a special escrow account at the cantonal renters court (mostly at the local cantonal bank).
If you pay the outstanding rent into this account you fullfilled your legal obligations and the landlord cannot evict you because you paid less rent than due.
Appreciate the info here; I'd never heard of a cantonal renters court before. I'll give them a little more time but will keep this procedure as a backup. Thanks
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:44
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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Is this the case with something like this? In the UK, ordinarily a "Health & Safety" repair would mandate a response within 24H (and I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty certain broken glass would count); is there no similar rule here?
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meanwhile an unusable shower and a bathroom full of glass. .
Here:
Clean the bathroom yourself. It is not rocket sience.
Send registered letters if you want something done by a certain date. Anything else (email, telephone calls, whatsap etc.) is just an informal.
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:47
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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Appreciate the info here; I'd never heard of a cantonal renters court before. I'll give them a little more time but will keep this procedure as a backup. Thanks
Your welcome. You may also join the Ticino Renters Association.
http://www.asi-infoalloggio.ch/
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:47
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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You broke it, you fix it.

That's how it works here.

Tom
True, yet I think one can debate that allegedely, it was defective from the start, and the defect lead to the damage...

If it was properly done and recorded, I think, there's room for looking into that further.

I don't think it's necessarily on the tenant's responsability.
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:49
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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Here:
-Take picture evidence, especially highlighting the defective part, or even a video.
-Clean the bathroom yourself. It is not rocket sience.
-Send registered letters if you want something done by a certain date. Anything else (email, telephone calls, whatsap etc.) is just an informal.
Fixed that for you.
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:51
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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I don't think it's necessarily on the tenant's responsability.
nobody is claiming its the renters responsibly to replace the glass (although that is also debatable), just to clean up the broken glass....
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:54
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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nobody is claiming its the renters responsibly to replace the glass (although that is also debatable), just to clean up the broken glass....
fix not equal to clean.

jfyi.
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Old 23.08.2017, 17:57
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Re: Tenant's rights (Lugano, Switzerland) involving repairs/injuries in rented proper

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Appreciate the info here; I'd never heard of a cantonal renters court before. I'll give them a little more time but will keep this procedure as a backup. Thanks
Just seen that the depository authority in case of withheld rent in canton Ticino are the local "Uffici di conciliazione" (rental arbitration offices) Here the one of the city of Lugano https://www.lugano.ch/tools/sportell...iliazione.html
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