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  #21  
Old 17.04.2018, 13:59
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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Why?

-To avoid the sudden surprise of having to pocket 2000chf or more-

-To avoid being dependant on idiots who can't manage their property and communication and suddenly have to pay extra XXX thousands francs

-To be able to budget your rent and associated costs instead of having to deal with a suddent 100% increase on the later.

-To avoid giving your "credit card" to agency/landlord saying "go ahead, spend all you want, I will have to pay for it legally anyway".

-To avoid being dependant on others' expenses (think the friendly neighboor using/wasting plenty of water simply because pigeon n°1 will pay a share of it?). Am I exagerating? Is it not in this very forum that someone had a water leak and had to pay thousands? What if the leak is called "the neighboor"?

-To have a clear agreement on the cost of renting the property

Shall I continue?
Yeah, I got that, but I don't see much value from the side of the lessor.
I guess there's the benefit of not having to install separate meters for stuff.
And he might actually win some if he puts it sufficiently high enough to account for "borderline abuse" cases.

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All landlords are money-grubbing monsters, after all.
I'd never select a fixed price for utilities over being billed for usage, given the choice.
Well maybe not all landlords, but a very significant majority are, so I agree with you.

As for the fixed price, I completely agree. I'd rather budget it myself than someone else.
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  #22  
Old 17.04.2018, 14:07
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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Nothing constructive about your input so far, so nope we are not having such debate.

You might have lived in Romande, I don't, my experience however is that I have rented for years myself, but also that I have rented out apartments myself. And I and other people I know who did/do this find it completely normal to explain something to a renter when it comes to costs and such. You on the other hand seem to consider every landlord to be some evil boogeyman with whom contact should be avoided as much as possible.

And hey, perhaps he is asking so much because OP has used so much, which makes it all but the landlords fault, but you immediately jump to conclusions and as often with you the landlord is a money hungering monster.

"The question: Hello Landlord, the costs for heating are much higher than I anticipated, off course I will pay for what I use since that is fair and my obligation, but could you in short explain to me how these costs are exactly calculated so I understand this better and perhaps this helps me look on how to reduce my usage?
Is in my world a normal question. In your world it is a sign of weakness toward your monster who then will use this knowledge to commit more fraude to be able to squeeze all money out of you...

Thanks Judge, I forgot your omniscience and that you ultimately decides on what is right and wrong, even on topics you have absolutely zero experience on.

I see your are not accepting the difference in communication, which is fair enough. I see that there is two contrasting method, one where one is ignorant and attempt to communicate and obtain information from who can quickly become a costly nuisance (time, money, efforts). Another where one first educate/learn about the exact situation, then have a constructive communication with who can become a partner or at the very least who will realise that it won't be so easy to abuse.

As for my world, which you are almost entirely ignorant, it's full of experiences of abuses by agency/owners in Swiss Romande and by numerous other tenancy related experiences abroad. We are talking hundreds, and no, I don't have to justify who I know and how I acquired that experience.

In fact maybe the problem relies here, that because you were once an owner, you think that everything can be resolved easily because that's what you would do.

In fact, I don't even care about the OP, I merely gave what I know is to be a previous advice based on far too many experiences with local context. Also I have commission de conciliation and Swiss lawyer experience on the subjet.

Please, go ahead, feel free to stereotype and take the situation lightly, it won't be your money or time in the end, if it ever comes to that.

PS: I am not the one seeing the owners as monsters, it's more the ASLOCA. I do see them as a contractual other party to whom I have rights and obligations. That does not prevent me from knowing that there are numerous agencies/owners acting as monsters around here. Simply because they can't and they are regularly feeding on small fishes who are too ignorant or weak to defend themselves.
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  #23  
Old 17.04.2018, 14:18
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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None of those apply.

1)I'd never select a fixed price for utilities over being billed for usage, given the choice.

2) If the landlord is "offering" a fixed price for utilities without a good reason such as the absence of individual meters, s/he is obviously going to cover his/her backside and make sure that the amount is well in excess of the upper range of expected usage. All landlords are money-grubbing monsters, after all.
1) I respect your choice. I know too many families who will be in financial troubles if they are suddenly facing a 2K CHF bill due to poor planning/management/communication.

2) I fail to see the problem with agreeing that bills will be X fixed amount and thats all. If you want to purchase my car for 15K CHF it's your choice, you sign a written agreement and that's the end of it. The fixed utilities bills are providing a serious advantage to protect against heavy price fluctuation.
As for the amount in excess, again, once /if the bill is actually lower than the fixed amount, the money stays in the landlord/agency, so they can "win" too.
In fact, it might motivates them to be more considerate/manage better the property to reduce costs. For example by refuelling the heater when the cost is lower as opposed to when it's empty or convenient. Or it might encourage them to actually isolate the building as opposed to transfer the cost to the tenant(s).

I completely agree that it's not perfect or "the best compromise" nonetheless it's an option with it's own benefits/issues, to be considered and acceptable by law.

Now, to come back to the topic, that is why I suggested the OP to check what is written in the tenancy agreement because, even if most likely it's not a forfait (fixed amount), it is a possible scenario which will changes the situation greatly. And I would strongly advise you to be cautious about making such assumptions that in 99% of the case it's not true, therefore it's not true. I just happened to be surprised myself about that in 3 recent and successive experiences.
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  #24  
Old 17.04.2018, 14:23
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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Thanks Judge, I forgot your omniscience and that you ultimately decides on what is right and wrong, even on topics you have absolutely zero experience on.

I see your are not accepting the difference in communication, which is fair enough. I see that there is two contrasting method, one where one is ignorant and attempt to communicate and obtain information from who can quickly become a costly nuisance (time, money, efforts). Another where one first educate/learn about the exact situation, then have a constructive communication with who can become a partner or at the very least who will realise that it won't be so easy to abuse.

As for my world, which you are almost entirely ignorant, it's full of experiences of abuses by agency/owners in Swiss Romande and by numerous other tenancy related experiences abroad. We are talking hundreds, and no, I don't have to justify who I know and how I acquired that experience.

In fact maybe the problem relies here, that because you were once an owner, you think that everything can be resolved easily because that's what you would do.

In fact, I don't even care about the OP, I merely gave what I know is to be a previous advice based on far too many experiences with local context. Also I have commission de conciliation and Swiss lawyer experience on the subjet.

Please, go ahead, feel free to stereotype and take the situation lightly, it won't be your money or time in the end, if it ever comes to that.

PS: I am not the one seeing the owners as monsters, it's more the ASLOCA. I do see them as a contractual other party to whom I have rights and obligations. That does not prevent me from knowing that there are numerous agencies/owners acting as monsters around here. Simply because they can't and they are regularly feeding on small fishes who are too ignorant or weak to defend themselves.
Not aware of why his bill is so high you said that the landlord makes communication mistakes, you said the bill was suspicious, you said the landlord does not respect OP, you said that the landlord sees him as an ATM, you called the landlord an idiot who can't manage his property.

But I am the one stereotyping......

Your opinion on landlords is very clear and pollutes your vision in a case where there is not yet a dispute or problem.
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Old 17.04.2018, 14:26
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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Yeah, I got that, but I don't see much value from the side of the lessor.
I guess there's the benefit of not having to install separate meters for stuff.
And he might actually win some if he puts it sufficiently high enough to account for "borderline abuse" cases.
As you said, the lessor won't have to invest in expensive meters or installations.

Also, the lessor can actually control the budget and know the actual cost of the entire property. Think about scenarios when there's no tenants, the lessor (owner) must also pay for the shared bills.

Next, there is the possibility to actually earn additional money, by having a fixed amount -agreed by tenants and realistic- and managing the bills efficiently. As I said, for example investing in an isolation can be tax reduced and also reduce the energetic losses of the property, reducing heating cost, increase property value and ultimately, reducing the heating bill. Something which can be transfered to the owner's budget instead of the tenant's budget. More control, more possibility for profit.

Also, it's possible when tenants have to pay a lot more for utilities bills, they can realize the real cost of renting the property and move on. There is the possibility that the property will remain empty and some rent will be loss for the owner/lessor.

Plenty of scenario which can be in favor or the lessor. Let's be honest, in current market and seeing the amount of possible tenants, landlords/lessors/agencies can pretty much do as they please without much consequences. That's why there's Asloca and numerous cases in "commission de conciliation" every months.
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  #26  
Old 17.04.2018, 14:26
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

Can you post your bill here OP, (and feel free to take out name/address/ID)
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  #27  
Old 17.04.2018, 14:31
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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CHF4,000 a year seems steep for a 100m2 flat.
We pay the same or more.

Tom
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Old 17.04.2018, 14:33
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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Your opinion on landlords is very clear and pollutes your vision in a case where there is not yet a dispute or problem.
There's a problem already. As for the approach on how to handle it, like I said, there is one which is safer and recommended by professionals and one which is based on ignorance, good will and hoping for the best.

While I think it's great to be positive, I can tell you that being Mr Nice will bring nothing when it will come to actual related legal discussions. That is still a possible unpleasant scenario.

What's the saying, best to be safe than sorry?


PS: My opinion on landlords is indeed very clear, but not for you. I don't see why knowing your rights and obligations necessarily translates into "landlords are evil". Or why being prepared before communicating with the landlord is perceived as disrespecting them.
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Old 17.04.2018, 14:36
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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As for the bill, of course, it depends on the usage, nonetheless I find it high. Especially consider that it was set at 150chf/months and turns out to be 333chf/months. That's at the very least, suspicious.
Howso?

Ours was 150/month for 25 years, with the end of year balance due slowly increasing to over 3k/year. We received a detailed bill, for the whole building, so I know that it was correct.

Tom
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Old 17.04.2018, 14:38
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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PS: My opinion on landlords is indeed very clear, but not for you. I don't see why knowing your rights and obligations necessarily translates into "landlords are evil". Or why being prepared before communicating with the landlord is perceived as disrespecting them.
Your opinion on landlords is clear to all of us since you expressed it so clearly.

Oh BTW:

- I never said that preparing before a talk is a sign of disrespecting towards the other.
- Knowing ones rights does not translate into "landlords are evil" all the things you posted on the other hand do.

For the rest I will ignore your further postings in this topic, it is boring to me and even more boring towards the rest of the members.
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  #31  
Old 17.04.2018, 14:41
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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If so, why would anyone want to have a contract with "fixed amount"?
For single rooms with no metering of electricity, heat, and water.

Tom
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  #32  
Old 17.04.2018, 14:45
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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Not aware of why his bill is so high you said that the landlord makes communication mistakes, you said the bill was suspicious, you said the landlord does not respect OP, you said that the landlord sees him as an ATM, you called the landlord an idiot who can't manage his property.

But I am the one stereotyping......
.
I don't have to know why the bill is so high to be able to declare that there has been a communication mistake. As soon as the owner knew about the significant additional costs, there should have been some communication. Especially that 2K CHF is only the amount requested to 1 tenant. Which means that the bill significantly went beyond what was estimated in writing.

My opinion, which you have problems to respect or accept, is that the owner should have informed in due time about the situation, so the tenants can anticipate that into their budget. To me, it's clearly a communication mistake, I stand by my opinion.


As for the landlord being an idiot who can't manage his property, I also stand by the fact that such a difference between the written cost in the tenancy agreement and the reality does provide a basis for being called an "idiot who can't manage his property". I agree, there is a marging between what could have happened and what really happened (which we don't know all details, we only know the conclusion). Nonetheless I think it's a fair assessement at this stage.

I almost forgot that you know it all and that you would have done better. Maybe instead of judging start by respecting other's opinion, even when they differ with your perception on how you are doing things.
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  #33  
Old 17.04.2018, 14:58
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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Howso?

Ours was 150/month for 25 years, with the end of year balance due slowly increasing to over 3k/year. We received a detailed bill, for the whole building, so I know that it was correct.

Tom
I find it suspicious:

1) Because there is a trend of abuses in the region, supported by facts:
http://www.asloca.ch/blog/suisse-vos...es-locataires/

2) It says clearly in the law that when the estimation is made, it must be based on the most accurate calculation possible. It even specifies how these costs should be calculated to be fair, suggesting a 3 or 5 years average based on real expenses made on the property.

There is also an important consequence of significantly innacurate utility bill, is that it can be the legal basis for the tenant to contest a raise in rent as it greatly differs than what was set in writing in the contrat de bail.

Source, quoting various parts of the Swiss Law:
http://www.arcid.ch/fileadmin/user_u...mann-junod.pdf

Here, as a reminder, the actual utilities bill is 100% more than expected. Twice as much!

Therefore, I find legitimate to call it suspicious and I strongly suggest, like you did yourself, to consult/verify the detailled bill.
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Old 17.04.2018, 15:03
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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For the rest I will ignore your further postings in this topic, it is boring to me and even more boring towards the rest of the members.
Omniscience, it's "you and them" vs me now, I forgot, you are the judge.

PS: if you want to ignore me, start by doing with actions and not by words, no need to actually inform me of your pathetic intentions.

PS2: Mr Judge is also being an hypocrite, how come suddenly there's an additional groan on what constitute "my further posting". I though you would be ignoring my further postings? Do you also have problem respecting your own actions? I guess we have a point in common then...


As for me boring you, I did not realise that I had to entertain you, I was giving the best advice possible to the OP's difficult situation and we happened to have a conflict of opinion which seems to disturb your idealistic conception of the world.

Last edited by CorsebouTheReturn; 17.04.2018 at 15:23. Reason: adding PS2
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  #35  
Old 17.04.2018, 15:13
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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I don't have to know why the bill is so high to be able to declare that there has been a communication mistake. As soon as the owner knew about the significant additional costs, there should have been some communication. Especially that 2K CHF is only the amount requested to 1 tenant. Which means that the bill significantly went beyond what was estimated in writing.

[...]

As for the landlord being an idiot who can't manage his property, I also stand by the fact that such a difference between the written cost in the tenancy agreement and the reality does provide a basis for being called an "idiot who can't manage his property". I agree, there is a marging between what could have happened and what really happened (which we don't know all details, we only know the conclusion). Nonetheless I think it's a fair assessement at this stage.
"Everybody" knows that it is only a prepayment on account and that the actual costs depend on usage, energy price, etc.

Interestingly there seem to be several court cases about too high utility bill: https://www.ktipp.ch/artikel/d/neben...-ohne-grenzen/
were landlords were indeed idiots which could not calculate the anticipated costs.

On the otherhand we have this other case on EF where actual water usage seem to be more than threefold of what is the national average.

One would have to look at the actual utility bill, charges due per contract, and then find out if the estimate was wrong or the usage way above average.
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  #36  
Old 17.04.2018, 15:19
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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"Everybody" knows that it is only a prepayment on account and that the actual costs depend on usage, energy price, etc. .
Thanks I agree with the expectations that the utilities bills of type "accomptes" are a prepayment and can fluctuate reasonably depending on usage.

That does not change the fact that these costs have to be closely based on real calculations /average and that a bill which is more than double is suspicious, at the very least.

And that's not only my opinion but the Swiss law clearly covers that and even offers some references on calculation, as I quoted before.

So yes, there has been a communication mistake made by the owner, I don't know if it was intentional or not.

Which is why, I stand by my opinion of exercing extreme caution on the topic to avoid losses (financial, time, etc...).
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Old 17.04.2018, 15:20
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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the heating is divided over all apartments and we now are asked to pay an extra CHF 2000 for the last year which makes our charges for heating and hot water about 4000 for the year and this seems so far from the costs taken from our rent?

we used to rent a smaller apartment and either had to pay around Chf200 more a year or even got a bit back so the current bill is not what we expected.
That comparison may be valid, or not. A lot depends on insulation, for which the house's age is a good indicator. Sometimes also on your neighbors unless you have individual meters.

In my (addmittedly limited) experience, 250.- a month for utilities and charges for an older (and not-so-well insulated) 100m2 apartment is nothing unusual.

The landlord has an inherent interest to make artificially low monthly charges as that makes the rent look lower, so it's a good idea to request the previous year's final calculation. But a regie/landlord isn't required to oblige so he may block that since it's a landlord's market (and has been for years).
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Old 17.04.2018, 15:31
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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In my (addmittedly limited) experience, 250.- a month for utilities and charges for an older (and not-so-well insulated) 100m2 apartment is nothing unusual.
I'm not being pedantic, I correct you to have your opinion on the actual cost.
The OP mentionned 4K this year which is 333.33chf /months and not 250chf.

It's still 33% higher than your amount, seems significant enough to point it out.

In my experience it seems it can be considered on the higher side, even for an old property. Of course, what was the usage?
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Old 17.04.2018, 15:51
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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I'm not being pedantic, I correct you to have your opinion on the actual cost.
The OP mentionned 4K this year which is 333.33chf /months and not 250chf.

It's still 33% higher than your amount, seems significant enough to point it out.

In my experience it seems it can be considered on the higher side, even for an old property. Of course, what was the usage?
And we are 400+/month on a 100m2 apartment.

So, seems quite normal for me.

Tom
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Old 17.04.2018, 15:59
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Re: Heating costs advice needed

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And we are 400+/month on a 100m2 apartment.

So, seems quite normal for me.

Tom
And we are 170chf/month on a 100m2 apartment, and we are in colder location than you, 750meter high, poorly isolated old junk building (no roof isolation, no decent walls isolation and "naked walls" from garage and outside walls, old mazout heater, with idiots leaving doors and windows open for hours in full winter...).



So which one is the norm then, if we find it both "normal"?

I could also speak about people who have their own house, I'm not sure it's relevant since then there is some form of control by the owner... Yet financially it's even less than that.

I definitely respect your opinion, unlike Mr Judge, I simply think there are justifications to investigate further, in the OP's interest.
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