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Old 21.10.2019, 10:28
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Handover soon and we might be missing a key

Our handover date is fast approaching (31st of October) and going through the documents for the apartment, I found a form similar to the one I sent to the apartment agency to request an extra key 2 years ago when I first moved into the apartment.

The form states that the number of keys is 4, while we only have 3.

I didn't make a copy of the form I sent 2 years ago (dumb I know) but both I and my roommate are 99% certain we never had a 4th key. We always had 3: 1 for me, 1 for her and 1 for the cleaning lady.

I looked all over the place and 4th key is nowhere to be found.

Since we have the handover in 2 weeks, is it better to contact the agency now or just tell them I'm missing a key during the handover?

I need to mention that this is not just us moving out "normal", we're giving the apartment to a subsequent tenant (Nachmieter) so I am afraid this will complicate the whole handover procedure.

Also, besides the handover thing, I would like advice on how to approach the agency. Should I play dumb and ask them how many keys we're supposed to have? I'm not sure I should show my hand but then again I'm pretty screwed either way...

Thanks in advance.
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Old 21.10.2019, 10:35
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

I wouldn't play dumb - I guess they are used to dealing with people all the time so have probably heard all the excuses in the book.

On the other hand, I wouldn't panic, either. I had to help a former boss with the handover of his apartment and he'd lost all the keys except one (numpty!), but the landlord was ok about it. Just billed him for the cost of replacing the missing keys.
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Old 21.10.2019, 10:42
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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On the other hand, I wouldn't panic, either.
Thanks for the reply!

We're panicking mainly because we tried for 2 months to find a Nachmieter and now that we finally did, I don't want there to be any problems.

Do you suggest that I inform them now or at the handover?

Could this be grounds for cancelling the handover? The Nachmieter has already signed the contract and is moving in on the 1st of November so I doubt there's a chance we will have any issues with the handover.
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Old 21.10.2019, 10:49
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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Thanks for the reply!

We're panicking mainly because we tried for 2 months to find a Nachmieter and now that we finally did, I don't want there to be any problems.

Do you suggest that I inform them now or at the handover?

Could this be grounds for cancelling the handover? The Nachmieter has already signed the contract and is moving in on the 1st of November so I doubt there's a chance we will have any issues with the handover.
I doubt they'll cancel the handover. Call them now and let them know. It would sound plausible to them - you are clearing out your stuff and you've discovered there are keys missing. I'm sure you're not the first and you won't be the last.
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Old 21.10.2019, 10:51
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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It would sound plausible to them - you are clearing out your stuff and you've discovered there are keys missing. I'm sure you're not the first and you won't be the last.
That's actually a good idea. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 21.10.2019, 11:06
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

Nothing to do with the nachmieter, landlord makes you pay for the key/lock(s) or not.
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Old 21.10.2019, 11:13
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

Just an option, and it depends on the type of locks you have, could you contact the landlord with the issue and offer to change the barrel of the lock in advance of the handover?

With the UK house that I rent out, I change the barrel of the front door lock between tenants at the suggestion of my joiner because it's so quick and cheap to do. He knew there'd been a number of tradespeople in and out of the place during the refurb, and made the suggestion to protect my new tenants.
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Old 21.10.2019, 11:47
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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Just an option, and it depends on the type of locks you have, could you contact the landlord with the issue and offer to change the barrel of the lock in advance of the handover?

With the UK house that I rent out, I change the barrel of the front door lock between tenants at the suggestion of my joiner because it's so quick and cheap to do. He knew there'd been a number of tradespeople in and out of the place during the refurb, and made the suggestion to protect my new tenants.
Keep the barrel & keys as you can use it somewhere else.
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Old 21.10.2019, 11:56
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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Keep the barrel & keys as you can use it somewhere else.
I've got 3 sets of brass coloured ones in rotation for the front door and two silver coloured sets in rotation on the kitchen door as it leads into the conservatory, so isn't a truly external door despite the 5 lever mortice. That way, no single person/tenant will have had access to both sets of keys simultaneously for a number of years to come.
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Old 21.10.2019, 12:10
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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Keep the barrel & keys as you can use it somewhere else.
Unless it's like ours and you would need to change all of the locks in the building as it also opens the main and basement doors!

Tom
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Old 21.10.2019, 12:14
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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Our handover date is fast approaching (31st of October) and going through the documents for the apartment, I found a form similar to the one I sent to the apartment agency to request an extra key 2 years ago when I first moved into the apartment.

The form states that the number of keys is 4, while we only have 3.

I didn't make a copy of the form I sent 2 years ago (dumb I know) but both I and my roommate are 99% certain we never had a 4th key. We always had 3: 1 for me, 1 for her and 1 for the cleaning lady.

I looked all over the place and 4th key is nowhere to be found.

Since we have the handover in 2 weeks, is it better to contact the agency now or just tell them I'm missing a key during the handover?

I need to mention that this is not just us moving out "normal", we're giving the apartment to a subsequent tenant (Nachmieter) so I am afraid this will complicate the whole handover procedure.

Also, besides the handover thing, I would like advice on how to approach the agency. Should I play dumb and ask them how many keys we're supposed to have? I'm not sure I should show my hand but then again I'm pretty screwed either way...

Thanks in advance.
The document says you received 4 keys, yet you are almost sure you had only three.
Then you ordered an extra key (which obviously can not be mentioned on the document issued before you did). So now you have four keys for sure. Right?
To the landlord you have five by now.

So you lost at least one but more likely two keys. That's a bit much

If you were the "Nachmieter" how would you feel about that?
Be honest, look into the rules of liability insurance, I think it's a case for them.

No need to panic, just be honest and get it over with.
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Old 21.10.2019, 12:24
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

First of all, this is something that you will have to deal with and take responsibility for. It is also quite a common and annoying thing in Swiss apartment buildings and, of course, the Mietverband has experience with it:

https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...chluessel.html

Normally, your insurance (which you should have anyway) will pay for this.

Good luck...
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Old 21.10.2019, 13:15
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

Are you sure you received 4 keys. Your post is a little unclear. It is possible the forth key is being held by the landlord, as this is often done in Switzerland.

Our apartments all have the Kaba locks and come with three keys. We hand over two keys and put the third one in a small sealed box on which the tenant signs. The only was to get the key out is to break the seal with the signature. This protects the tenant from unauthorised entry but also should he leave the key say in the office or loses it, he can still gain entry without having to drill the lock.

If you have lost a key then just tell the landlord. It happens and there's no reason it should jeopardize the new tenant moving in. You may have to pay for a new lock and set of keys, you may even have to pay to have all locks in the building changed if the same key also gives access to common doors, cellars, washing room, garage etc. but your insurance should cover the greater part of this. I seem to recall on our policy there is a CHF 300 own risk we have to pay.
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Old 21.10.2019, 13:33
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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Are you sure you received 4 keys. Your post is a little unclear. It is possible the forth key is being held by the landlord, as this is often done in Switzerland.

Our apartments all have the Kaba locks and come with three keys. We hand over two keys and put the third one in a small sealed box on which the tenant signs. The only was to get the key out is to break the seal with the signature. This protects the tenant from unauthorised entry but also should he leave the key say in the office or loses it, he can still gain entry without having to drill the lock.

If you have lost a key then just tell the landlord. It happens and there's no reason it should jeopardize the new tenant moving in. You may have to pay for a new lock and set of keys, you may even have to pay to have all locks in the building changed if the same key also gives access to common doors, cellars, washing room, garage etc. but your insurance should cover the greater part of this. I seem to recall on our policy there is a CHF 300 own risk we have to pay.
Wow, you are very accurate about this. Our landlord has keys to our flats and we all know it. She is correct about using them though, asking each time there is something that needs done if she can go in and be present while the craftspeople do what ever needs to be done should we not be able to be present. Normally she let's us make our own appointments with them (by having them call us) but things like installing all the glass fiber sockets in each flat of four houses was a project that allowed no individual days.

Sorry, I think I went off topic
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Old 21.10.2019, 17:04
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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Are you sure you received 4 keys. Your post is a little unclear.
The problem is that I am not really sure.

I have 3 keys accounted for but in the form that I found today, there's a table on the form with several column. One is for the code and another for the number (Nummer 4).

So I assumed that means that there are 4 keys in total but as you say, perhaps the Verwaltung has the 4th one? I also located a letter from Verwaltung that says that they sent us an extra key. I'm 100% certain we had 2 keys when we moved in. Plus this extra one, makes 3.

I am not afraid of paying or owning up to my mistake. The problem is that I don't want to give them a reason to charge me because of my ignorance and bad management of the keys. What stops them to say: nah we gave you 4.

Since I'm an expat but also a Swiss national (with kinda bad German), if they managed to slip this past me, I'll have to pay although I don't have a 4th key. It's a shady agency and they've already tried to trick me a couple of times but I caught it.
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Old 21.10.2019, 17:22
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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What stops them to say: nah we gave you 4.
If you signed for having 4 keys, unless you can proof that they have one of those 4 keys nothing besides them being nice/friendly/honest/forgiving (pick the one you please) would stop them from charging you for these costs.

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So I assumed that means that there are 4 keys in total
When it comes to contracts, never assume
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Old 21.10.2019, 17:25
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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I have 3 keys accounted for but in the form that I found today, there's a table on the form with several column. One is for the code and another for the number (Nummer 4).
Exact wording please. Partial quotation out of context does not help. For ex. "Nummer 4" could mean that you got the keys to flat No. 4.
The actual keys sometime have markings such as 4.1 , 4.2, 4.3, etc. denoting key 1 to 3 for flat No. 4.
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Old 21.10.2019, 17:37
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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..... When it comes to contracts, never assume
Never assume. Full stop.
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Old 22.10.2019, 07:38
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

I think the sensible option is to say nothing until the handover. If the Verwaltung / Management company believe there is a key missing, just say "Ah yes, my doofus husband lost it when he was swimming in the sea in Spain". This will ensure you just need to pay for another key to be cut by Kaba, rather than a whole system of locks being replaced. If you subsequently find it, chuck it in the sea.
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Old 22.10.2019, 10:12
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Re: Handover soon and we might be missing a key

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Exact wording please. Partial quotation out of context does not help. For ex. "Nummer 4" could mean that you got the keys to flat No. 4.
Bingo!

I showed the form to the neighbor next door and her flat is #5 so that's what it is.
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