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Old 08.04.2019, 10:16
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Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

I just moved into a new apartment, not a cheap one (>2800CHF/month), and I hadn't noticed before I moved in that it smelled bad. I'm pretty sure the previous tenants smoked cigarettes inside. It wasn't very noticeable during the viewing or during the handover because all windows were open, but at soon as you close them it becomes awful. I've tried everything, small bowls of vinegar, cleaning some of the walls, I've basically left all windows open for a week and been freezing all along, but to no avail. It just stinks.

Seems like I can cancel my lease any month as long as it's 3 months before, which means if I cancel it now I'll have to move out in August. I honestly think I'll go crazy living in this smell until August. Is there anything I can do? I haven't even signed the protocol yet.

Thanks,
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Old 08.04.2019, 10:19
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

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I just moved into a new apartment, not a cheap one (>2800CHF/month), and I hadn't noticed before I moved in that it smelled bad. I'm pretty sure the previous tenants smoked cigarettes inside. It wasn't very noticeable during the viewing or during the handover because all windows were open, but at soon as you close them it becomes awful. I've tried everything, small bowls of vinegar, cleaning some of the walls, I've basically left all windows open for a week and been freezing all along, but to no avail. It just stinks.

Seems like I can cancel my lease any month as long as it's 3 months before, which means if I cancel it now I'll have to move out in August. I honestly think I'll go crazy living in this smell until August. Is there anything I can do? I haven't even signed the protocol yet.

Thanks,
Speak to the landlord and explain it is unacceptable? If all else fails the walls may need to be repainted.
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Old 08.04.2019, 10:54
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

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Speak to the landlord and explain it is unacceptable? If all else fails the walls may need to be repainted.
Had something similar many many years ago. The landlord tried to stonewall me at first but when I complained often enough he agreed to do some repainting. That didn't totally solve the problem but it got much more bearable. The remaining smell vanished over time.
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Old 08.04.2019, 17:42
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

Very often rental contracts will say that you can smoke but you'll have to pay an extra fee at the end if it stinks, so the landlord should be obliged to do something. Not sure what they can do exactly but it's surely not the first time. The trouble might be if the landlord is a smoker...
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Old 08.04.2019, 18:10
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

Might be a good idea to join the mieterverband now, so they can help you with filling out the protocol and asking the landlord to paint or something
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Old 08.04.2019, 18:19
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

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I just moved into a new apartment, not a cheap one (>2800CHF/month), and I hadn't noticed before I moved in that it smelled bad. I'm pretty sure the previous tenants smoked cigarettes inside. It wasn't very noticeable during the viewing or during the handover because all windows were open, but at soon as you close them it becomes awful.
The fact that the windows were open on both occasions suggests that the landlord was well aware of how much the place stank.

All your belongings, bed linen and clothes will start stinking too.

The residue left by the smoke is pretty toxic to infants and pets too.

Good luck|!
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Old 08.04.2019, 21:00
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

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The fact that the windows were open on both occasions suggests that the landlord was well aware of how much the place stank.

All your belongings, bed linen and clothes will start stinking too.

The residue left by the smoke is pretty toxic to infants and pets too.

Good luck|!




Fairly toxic here too....
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Old 09.04.2019, 07:30
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

The thing is I don't really want the place painted... What I want is to leave the place early, I believe it will always smell like that to some extent.

Could the Mieterverband help me with that?
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Old 09.04.2019, 07:33
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

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The thing is I don't really want the place painted... What I want is to leave the place early, I believe it will always smell like that to some extent.

Could the Mieterverband help me with that?
Call their advice line and ask for an English speaker and explain the situation and see what they say. Just use some initiative and exhaust all your options.
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Old 09.04.2019, 08:27
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

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The thing is I don't really want the place painted... What I want is to leave the place early, I believe it will always smell like that to some extent.

Could the Mieterverband help me with that?
I don't see why you should not be able to leave early. You just moved in and the apartment is not suitable due to the cigarette smell and if you had known (windows were closed during the viewing), you would not have taken the apartment on.

Does anyone know if there is such thing as a cooling off period on rentals? No doubt the Mieterverband will know.

I wouldn't delay, though, in writing to the LL and complaining about the unsuitable living condition of the apartment. Also inform the LL you are talking to the Mieterverband. Rather than have any hassle, the LL might just agree to let you leave.
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Old 09.04.2019, 08:56
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

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I don't see why you should not be able to leave early. You just moved in and the apartment is not suitable due to the cigarette smell and if you had known (windows were closed during the viewing), you would not have taken the apartment on.

Does anyone know if there is such thing as a cooling off period on rentals? No doubt the Mieterverband will know.

I wouldn't delay, though, in writing to the LL and complaining about the unsuitable living condition of the apartment. Also inform the LL you are talking to the Mieterverband. Rather than have any hassle, the LL might just agree to let you leave.



There is no "cooling off" period for either party, you go and see it or not, you put in a request to rent it, you get accepted, you sign the contract and then are BOTH obliged to respect the contract.


Fairly simple and fair to both parties.
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Old 09.04.2019, 12:57
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

https://fragdenanwalt.ch/
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Old 09.04.2019, 17:07
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

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I wouldn't delay, though, in writing to the LL and complaining about the unsuitable living condition of the apartment.
This.

For ordinary defects that are visible/noticeable you have two weeks to complain, otherwise they're seen as your fault. Not sure if that also applies to such a case but there's no need to take that risk, complain immediately and make sure you have proof.

If you give notice now the contract ends at the end of Juli, not August, based on your description. However it may be better to wait with that until you've spoken to the people from the Mieterverband because, and this is a guess, giving ordinary notice may disable you from giving notice with immediate effect as long as that's based on a condition that was already present when you gave ordinary notice.
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Old 09.04.2019, 17:45
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

Or rent an ozone generator... back in the day that's what hotels used to use to remove the smell from rooms...
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Old 09.04.2019, 17:46
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

OP, I'm a little surprised that you didn't notice it by the colouring of the walls - not a dig at all, but maybe an indication that the place hadn't been redecorated within the normal periods required by Swiss rental law - so perhaps another reasoning for demanding it is redecorated, if you want to stay.

I feel for you - > 2800, depending on the area, is not cheap, cheap and you should expect some agreement with a reputable Vermieter (but I don't know if that's the case). Have you tried talking to them?
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Old 09.04.2019, 17:54
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Re: Just moved into new apartment, it smells of cigarette smoke. Am I out of luck?

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I feel for you - > 2800, depending on the area, is not cheap, cheap and you should expect some agreement with a reputable Vermieter (but I don't know if that's the case). Have you tried talking to them?


A couple of years ago 2800 would have been an outrageous rent and you could have expected a really first class appartment for that with all the bells and whistles and unspoilt views of the lake or mountains. Sadly today you can easily pay that in some of the more grotty buildings in boring locations if you require an apartment big enough for a family. I wouldn't assume an appartment with such a price is particularly high end any more.
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