Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Housing in general
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08.02.2018, 21:00
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vaud
Posts: 2,082
Groaned at 138 Times in 98 Posts
Thanked 3,768 Times in 1,445 Posts
Mikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond repute
Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Hi all. Any advice appreciated.

We had some windows fitted in the house. Local small company. Happy with the quality and finish.

Two windows are missing a small internal bracket, which the company are trying to get sourced and fitted as its an error they are missing.

Today, we received a letter from a company we don’t know directly but it explains are the subcontractor our window company used for the installation. Because of these missing brackets he hasn’t paid them because the job is not finished. They clearly dispute this.

They have told us we need to pay 10k chf (their fee to him) for the work they did as its at our property or they will take a poursuites out in the house (and I assume us). Clearly this is crazy because they have no contract with us but switzerland sometimes is quite unique. For the legal experts on the forum, do they have any mileage here ? How can they possibly ask us to pay for a service we did not arrange with them ?

Off to speak to lawyer tomorrow but often EF knows more than paid up lawyers.

Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08.02.2018, 21:38
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Misery, but not the SoT one
Posts: 18,504
Groaned at 308 Times in 240 Posts
Thanked 13,553 Times in 7,787 Posts
Medea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

No expert, but it sounds like a try on to me. As you said, you've had no contact with this company, they were hired by the window company. Their contract is with them, not you.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Medea Fleecestealer for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 08.02.2018, 21:40
eng_ch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Up where the air is clear
Posts: 1,421
Groaned at 4 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 1,254 Times in 663 Posts
eng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Switzerland has a thing called "Bauhandwerkerpfandrecht" in German; if a tradesman is not paid, they can put a lien on your property for the amount owed, which would then be paid to them from the revenues from the sale of your property.

I'm guessing the sub-contractor is struggling to get any money out of the window company at all at the moment and are using this as a way to get you to exert pressure on the window company. TBH I would be miffed too if I were the sub-contractor for the window company to be withholding 100% of payment for what sounds like a pretty minor error.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank eng_ch for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 08.02.2018, 21:46
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vaud
Posts: 2,082
Groaned at 138 Times in 98 Posts
Thanked 3,768 Times in 1,445 Posts
Mikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Quote:
View Post
Switzerland has a thing called "Bauhandwerkerpfandrecht" in German; if a tradesman is not paid, they can put a lien on your property for the amount owed, which would then be paid to them from the revenues from the sale of your property.

I'm guessing the sub-contractor is struggling to get any money out of the window company at all at the moment and are using this as a way to get you to exert pressure on the window company. TBH I would be miffed too if I were the sub-contractor for the window company to be withholding 100% of payment for what sounds like a pretty minor error.
Ok that’s understandable in the event we had hired the tradesman. In fact we have paid the window company - in full - so it is with them that the dispute lies. What’s the detailed part is we haven’t hired the tradesman here, we are not the defaulter.

Thanks for the info, we’ll waste no time in talking to a lawyer tommorow.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Mikers for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 09.02.2018, 03:07
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Leimbach, Zürich
Posts: 2,972
Groaned at 147 Times in 115 Posts
Thanked 2,840 Times in 1,487 Posts
EdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Quote:
View Post
Switzerland has a thing called "Bauhandwerkerpfandrecht" in German; if a tradesman is not paid, they can put a lien on your property for the amount owed, which would then be paid to them from the revenues from the sale of your property.

I'm guessing the sub-contractor is struggling to get any money out of the window company at all at the moment and are using this as a way to get you to exert pressure on the window company. TBH I would be miffed too if I were the sub-contractor for the window company to be withholding 100% of payment for what sounds like a pretty minor error.
This is all true, but than they should put a lien on the property of the one who gave the order since that is the person who owes them. Else you would get the situation that OP has paid the bill and still could see his property seized event he did not order this company or took the duty to pay their bills.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09.02.2018, 03:25
ivank's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: ZH
Posts: 2,115
Groaned at 74 Times in 63 Posts
Thanked 1,818 Times in 1,020 Posts
ivank has a reputation beyond reputeivank has a reputation beyond reputeivank has a reputation beyond reputeivank has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Check the formal legal prerequisites - https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...ndex.html#a839

* "Die Eintragung hat bis spätestens vier Monate nach der Vollendung der Arbeit zu erfolgen." - if the works finished more than 4 months ago, you can tell them to f*** off

* "Sie darf nur erfolgen, wenn die Pfandsumme vom Eigentümer anerkannt oder gerichtlich festgestellt ist" - don't sign, don't agree with anything they say, then they have to go through a court first.

Quote:
View Post
This is all true, but than they should put a lien on the property of the one who gave the order since that is the person who owes them.
Yeah but that'd go through an ordinary bankruptcy, not Bauhandwerkerpfandrecht.

Quote:
Else you would get the situation that OP has paid the bill and still could see his property seized event he did not order this company or took the duty to pay their bills.
It's totally possible and that's the tragedy here. GU goes bankrupt and then you owe the money twice
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank ivank for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 09.02.2018, 08:59
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Lugano
Posts: 219
Groaned at 5 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 227 Times in 107 Posts
LuganoPirate has earned the respect of manyLuganoPirate has earned the respect of manyLuganoPirate has earned the respect of many
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

If your dealings were entirely with the contractor, and you signed the work receipts with the contractor, who you also paid in full, then you are not liable.

If the SC goes to the office des poursuites, you can of course make objection. After reconciliation and no agreement it will go to court. There is precedence in this by the TF but only if you only dealt solely with the contractor.

It may be worth a few hundred francs to a lawyer (which I'm not, but have had experience of this) for peace of mind.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank LuganoPirate for this useful post:
The following 2 users groan at LuganoPirate for this post:
  #8  
Old 09.02.2018, 10:13
aSwissInTheUS's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Zurich area
Posts: 8,272
Groaned at 66 Times in 59 Posts
Thanked 12,026 Times in 5,429 Posts
aSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Quote:
View Post
If your dealings were entirely with the contractor, and you signed the work receipts with the contractor, who you also paid in full, then you are not liable.
That depends under what condition you signed the contract, how the tradesmen was employed, and what PoA was given to the contractor.

See Code of Obligations
The Contract for Work and Services starting at Art. 363 https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a363
v.s.
The Agency Contract starting at Art. 394 https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a394
but also Agency without Authority starting at Art. 419 https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a419
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09.02.2018, 10:41
curley's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: canton ZH
Posts: 6,547
Groaned at 75 Times in 70 Posts
Thanked 6,691 Times in 3,620 Posts
curley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Quote:
View Post
......* "Sie darf nur erfolgen, wenn die Pfandsumme vom Eigentümer anerkannt oder gerichtlich festgestellt ist" - don't sign, don't agree with anything they say, then they have to go through a court first.....
This!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09.02.2018, 12:37
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 12,520
Groaned at 266 Times in 174 Posts
Thanked 14,869 Times in 6,304 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Tell them to fix the missing brackets!
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 09.02.2018, 17:54
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Lugano
Posts: 219
Groaned at 5 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 227 Times in 107 Posts
LuganoPirate has earned the respect of manyLuganoPirate has earned the respect of manyLuganoPirate has earned the respect of many
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Quote:
View Post
Tell them to fix the missing brackets!
I was thinking the same. I don't know the amounts, but I don't see why the contractor could not deduct say CHF 750 until the work is completed.

Unless the contractor is being very dishonest, but that's pretty unusual behaviour from a good company.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09.02.2018, 19:02
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Zurich
Posts: 47
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 55 Times in 16 Posts
BostonToZurich has made some interesting contributions
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

My first job out of college was working in construction management. We built the retail stores inside of malls.

Part of my job was collecting lien releases. We as the GC, had to get a lien release from all of our subcontractors before the client would pay us (meaning, we had to pay them all before we got paid), or get a release for the amount they had already been paid.

Because, in the US. If we did not pay our subcontractor, then they had the legal right to put a lien on the property. I'm guessing it's somewhat the same in Switzerland.

This move sounds familiar, because often we would withhold payment to the sub, if there was a dispute around quality or any "punch-list" items. Sometimes, they would try to end run us and threaten the end customer with a lien, which in turn made them pressure us to pay the sub. But, over some brackets.. doesn't seem worth it all.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank BostonToZurich for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 09.02.2018, 21:01
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vaud
Posts: 2,082
Groaned at 138 Times in 98 Posts
Thanked 3,768 Times in 1,445 Posts
Mikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Hi all,

So after a day on the phone yo are as usual all correct and this astonishing situation is not only true, but common apparently. I’m now trying to get Hold of the contractor to express in clear terms that as I’ve given him all the payment I order him to pay the SC. We are likely to need to pay someone extra (separate from this) to fit the missing brackets but our priority is to avoid the lien.

Once again thanks for the responses. I can’t say how much I like the fact that the regular users of the forum, with our many different fields are able to give out gold standard advice which is often of better quality than costly services.

I will update this thread with the outcome.
Reply With Quote
The following 11 users would like to thank Mikers for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 10.02.2018, 17:03
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 407
Groaned at 16 Times in 14 Posts
Thanked 188 Times in 111 Posts
poot is considered knowledgeablepoot is considered knowledgeablepoot is considered knowledgeable
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Quote:
View Post
If your dealings were entirely with the contractor, and you signed the work receipts with the contractor, who you also paid in full, then you are not liable.

If the SC goes to the office des poursuites, you can of course make objection. After reconciliation and no agreement it will go to court. There is precedence in this by the TF but only if you only dealt solely with the contractor.

It may be worth a few hundred francs to a lawyer (which I'm not, but have had experience of this) for peace of mind.
This just isn’t true: Please refrain from writing such things (maybe based off how other counties work) when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

It can happen that you legally have to pay twice for work, if the sub-contractor doesn’t get paid for work. This nearly happened to me and also to many others I know about.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank poot for this useful post:
The following 2 users groan at poot for this post:
  #15  
Old 10.02.2018, 23:45
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Leimbach, Zürich
Posts: 2,972
Groaned at 147 Times in 115 Posts
Thanked 2,840 Times in 1,487 Posts
EdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

A question from my side, what actions can be taken towards the main contractor?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank EdwinNL for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 10.02.2018, 23:49
ivank's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: ZH
Posts: 2,115
Groaned at 74 Times in 63 Posts
Thanked 1,818 Times in 1,020 Posts
ivank has a reputation beyond reputeivank has a reputation beyond reputeivank has a reputation beyond reputeivank has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Sue them for money and just hope they have any left
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11.02.2018, 10:06
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 821
Groaned at 11 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 364 Times in 254 Posts
Tinkiwinki has earned some respectTinkiwinki has earned some respect
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

curious from my side

how could this have been avoided (if at all)?
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Tinkiwinki for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 11.02.2018, 10:09
roegner's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 6,676
Groaned at 212 Times in 184 Posts
Thanked 7,159 Times in 3,596 Posts
roegner has a reputation beyond reputeroegner has a reputation beyond reputeroegner has a reputation beyond reputeroegner has a reputation beyond reputeroegner has a reputation beyond reputeroegner has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Quote:
View Post
curious from my side

how could this have been avoided (if at all)?
I do not really understand how someone can be forced to pay again, if the contract was with company x and company x was paid in full?

Also very interested to learn how that can be avoided!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11.02.2018, 10:26
AbFab's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 6,969
Groaned at 315 Times in 211 Posts
Thanked 9,041 Times in 3,202 Posts
AbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Quote:
View Post
I do not really understand how someone can be forced to pay again, if the contract was with company x and company x was paid in full?

Also very interested to learn how that can be avoided!
When we bought our first house off plan here some 20 years ago, like a good Brit I took all the contacts to a lawyer. They were useless and said lawyers don't usually do this in Switzerland (it's done with the local Notoriat)

However, the lawyer did impart the fact that under Swiss law, if the workers were not paid by the developers, they could come directly to us for their money.

There appears no way around this other than having legal insurance and asking the developers at every payment whether they were paying their sub-contractors - and asking the subcontractors (many were small one-man outsfits) whether they were being paid OK. We did this and were lucky...
__________________


************************************
Fed up of smoking? 10 tips to quit in 10 days
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank AbFab for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 11.02.2018, 13:08
marton's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Kt. Zürich
Posts: 8,721
Groaned at 257 Times in 223 Posts
Thanked 12,002 Times in 6,584 Posts
marton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Threat of poursuite from subcontracting company

Quote:
View Post
When we bought our first house off plan here some 20 years ago, like a good Brit I took all the contacts to a lawyer. They were useless and said lawyers don't usually do this in Switzerland (it's done with the local Notoriat)

However, the lawyer did impart the fact that under Swiss law, if the workers were not paid by the developers, they could come directly to us for their money.

There appears no way around this other than having legal insurance and asking the developers at every payment whether they were paying their sub-contractors - and asking the subcontractors (many were small one-man outsfits) whether they were being paid OK. We did this and were lucky...
Indeed,
I personally know of cases of people who paid the main contractor (GU) who did not subsequently pay their subcontractors and then had to pay twice.

It seemed to me that some GUs made a business of this
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank marton for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Witness of threat and almost violence Gummybear Daily life 73 01.09.2012 10:08
Receipt of Swiss social help=threat to B permit? Argent Permits/visas/government 7 24.04.2012 20:11
Female, early 30s, recently married: threat of babies in the eyes of HR people? Aleydis Employment 29 09.04.2012 00:42
Lack of reply from health insurance company kerzenlicht Insurance 6 09.05.2011 09:54
Iran, International threat or only threat to Israel ? ukal123 International affairs/politics 23 16.03.2011 02:28


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 09:50.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0