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Old 14.01.2020, 11:43
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Deposit return, any rules?

During the handover of my place, we agreed with the landlord/company that they would deduct 250chf for minor blemishes on our apartment. Now, 1 1/2 months later I am still waiting for them to return the money. They claim before xmas they were waiting for the invoices from the contractors.... Is there some rule/law around the return of this money? My next email to them will be that I'm passing this to my lawyer...
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Old 14.01.2020, 12:25
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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During the handover of my place, we agreed with the landlord/company that they would deduct 250chf for minor blemishes on our apartment. Now, 1 1/2 months later I am still waiting for them to return the money. They claim before xmas they were waiting for the invoices from the contractors.... Is there some rule/law around the return of this money? My next email to them will be that I'm passing this to my lawyer...
They have 12 months to return it. You are jumping the gun threatening lawyers. Much better to send them a polite email confirming the 250 deduction and asking for an estimate of when you will receive the deposit back.
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Old 14.01.2020, 13:19
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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They have 12 months to return it. You are jumping the gun threatening lawyers. Much better to send them a polite email confirming the 250 deduction and asking for an estimate of when you will receive the deposit back.
Obviously, I started with that, now twice... Thanks for the info...!
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Old 14.01.2020, 13:34
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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Obviously, I started with that, now twice... Thanks for the info...!
They have a year, and no lawyer is going to change that.
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Old 14.01.2020, 13:51
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

And especially with Xmas in the way, it can easily take weeks or even months for their suppliers to generate invoices. And they may also be waiting for the annual communal electricity & insurance bills to calculate your share of the Nebenkosten pro rata.
In short, 6 weeks, over Xmas? Not a hope yet. But as soon as you hit 12 months +1 day, you can demand that the bank holding your deposit release it to you.
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Old 14.01.2020, 14:30
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

Ok, thanks for that info.. That's why I'll never put down a deposit again and with swisscaution or such service.. Investing that that same money into something which is low risk would have yielded better returns..
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Old 14.01.2020, 14:36
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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Ok, thanks for that info.. That's why I'll never put down a deposit again and with swisscaution or such service.. Investing that that same money into something which is low risk would have yielded better returns..
Maybe, but if you want to rent here again you're going to have to. I doubt any landlord/agency will rent a property to you without a deposit.
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Old 14.01.2020, 14:41
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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And they may also be waiting for the annual communal electricity & insurance bills to calculate your share of the Nebenkosten pro rata.
They might also need to fill up the oil tank in spring before they can determine the actual heating cost. Might easily take till summer before all is settled.

The law is Art. 257e Code of Obligations https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...dex.html#a257e
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Old 14.01.2020, 15:17
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

Name and shame the regie, but stick to the truth. Give the story to 20 minutes, they love this stuff.
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Old 14.01.2020, 15:50
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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They might also need to fill up the oil tank in spring before they can determine the actual heating cost. Might easily take till summer before all is settled.

The law is Art. 257e Code of Obligations https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...dex.html#a257e
It's a new building and heated by gas... I got the final electrical / water bill which I have paid... Anyway, I'll continue to wait.. When I moved to another flat with the same company, they returned it earlier... I continue to think that the likes of swisscaution or such a solution for the deposit insurance is better...
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Old 14.01.2020, 18:57
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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They have 12 months to return it. You are jumping the gun threatening lawyers. Much better to send them a polite email confirming the 250 deduction and asking for an estimate of when you will receive the deposit back.
I don't think the 12 months rule is as you put it.

See here: https://www.beobachter.ch/wohnen/umz...tion-mit-ihnen

Translated with Google:

When must the deposit be released?

Many disputes about the deposit only arise at the end of the rental or after moving out. Many landlords think they have a year to release the deposit.

But this is not the case: Tenancy law stipulates that the release must take place as soon as the deposit has fulfilled its function. This is usually the case when the tenant has paid all rent and ancillary costs and there is no longer any need to repair tenant damage. In such cases, it should be possible to pay the deposit without any problems within 30 days.

If the landlord refuses to voluntarily release the deposit, the tenant can go to the arbitration board. Or he leaves the money on the deposit account for a year.

Because: If the landlord has not made a legal claim to the deposit even one year after the end of the rental, the tenant can have the account closed without his consent.

In this case, the landlord is allowed to withhold the agreed 250, eventual heating etc expected costs but needs to release the rest asap.
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Old 14.01.2020, 19:39
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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It's a new building and heated by gas... I got the final electrical / water bill which I have paid... Anyway, I'll continue to wait.. When I moved to another flat with the same company, they returned it earlier... I continue to think that the likes of swisscaution or such a solution for the deposit insurance is better...
The electricity/water bill comes from a third party (the EKZ in Zurich, The Stadtwerke in Winterthur, don't know who covers Schaffhausen). They can basically issue the last bill a day after you moved.

Gas for heating, the "Abwasser" (sewage) and what ever is in the "Nebenkosten" can only be calculated properly when the "Nebenkosten"-year ends. Where I live that is around June. It will still be pro rata (= correctly calculated) for you.

If they are not willing to take the chance of you not paying that bill if they send you one by then, they will not free the deposit.
I never had that problem but it's not the first time I hear it. Still, end of year is never a good time to expect efficiency with things that lack priority to them.
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Old 15.01.2020, 05:34
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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If they are not willing to take the chance of you not paying that bill if they send you one by then, they will not free the deposit.
Yes but the issue is they cannot do that. They are only allowed to keep deposit to pay for expected costs, nto all of it. So what they should do is keep an amount and free up the rest.

We did this exact procedure with a subtenant of ours - freed up his deposit and kept a few hundreds until heating costs were settled.
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Old 15.01.2020, 19:39
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

The saga continues... So they wrote today saying the dishwasher needed to be repaired due to blockage. Well, the cleaning staff used the dishwasher 1 day before the handover and it was working perfectly fine. I'm sure why I can speak to them (cleaning company) and attest to that and let the landlord company know. So they want to nail me with that fee also now. I need to review my handover sheet, but there was nothing wrong with that machine at all and the only issue I think is the new tenants are inept.

I was using my own hob and washing machine in the unit also, so they got zero use whats so ever and were new as we took over the apartment as new from builder.
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Old 15.01.2020, 21:19
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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We did this exact procedure with a subtenant of ours - freed up his deposit and kept a few hundreds until heating costs were settled.
Good solution. Also explained here: https://www.weka.ch/themen/bau-immob...tenabrechnung/

But only works if tenant is willing to forgo the security of a deposit in his own name.
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Old 15.01.2020, 22:22
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

Had to go through something similar, so I feel for you. They tried to charge me for things that can be classified as normal wear and tear (silicon paste in the bathtub). They put it in the handover document, and I signed it. Afterwards, I was told by several people that I should not pay for such a thing. I tried multiple times to contact the agency to explain the situation. The agent was always on a meeting, or away on a viewing, or unavailable. I was trying to get in touch with her for 2 months, but every time a secretary was asking for my name and refusing to connect me to the agent or her superior. I sent an e-mail, explaining the situation and agreeing to pay part of it (according to swiss rental tables, the silicon should be replaced every 7 years and I was living in the flat for 6 years). Of course they neglected my e-mails, they never got back to me.

After 2 months, I realized that there is no point in fighting such a thing. The dispute was about CHF 300, the deposit was CHF 5'200. So I signed the damn document and sent it to them. Fortunately, I had the CHF 4'900 within a week.
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Old 16.01.2020, 10:38
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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Had to go through something similar, so I feel for you. They tried to charge me for things that can be classified as normal wear and tear (silicon paste in the bathtub). They put it in the handover document, and I signed it. Afterwards, I was told by several people that I should not pay for such a thing. I tried multiple times to contact the agency to explain the situation. The agent was always on a meeting, or away on a viewing, or unavailable. I was trying to get in touch with her for 2 months, but every time a secretary was asking for my name and refusing to connect me to the agent or her superior. I sent an e-mail, explaining the situation and agreeing to pay part of it (according to swiss rental tables, the silicon should be replaced every 7 years and I was living in the flat for 6 years). Of course they neglected my e-mails, they never got back to me.

After 2 months, I realized that there is no point in fighting such a thing. The dispute was about CHF 300, the deposit was CHF 5'200. So I signed the damn document and sent it to them. Fortunately, I had the CHF 4'900 within a week.
Yeah, I hear you... Sometimes it's worth fighting and sometimes not... In our case, since the apartment was new, they expect it to be returned better then we got it from the builder... In some of their claims, they are unreasonable for sure.

I'm going to contact them and tell them to speak with the cleaning staff who used the machine the day before without fault. They are an outside party and would express an unbiased opinion.
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Old 16.01.2020, 11:23
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

First find the lifespan table from the Mieterverband - it shows how long any given item is expected to last and they can only charge you pro rata.
Secondly check your handover Protokoll. They cannot charge you for anything you haven't signed to accept. So if they are now trying to charge you for the dishwasher but the Protokoll says it's OK, they're trying it on.
Mieterverband is your essential friend here: I had similar when an ex landlord tried to get me to pay for an entire new parquet in 3 rooms at full cost when it was at least 21 years old and I'd only signed off on 2 m2. My insurance seemed to be on the landlord's side and it took a registered letter drafted by the MV lawyer with my financial calculations to get them to back down.
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Old 16.01.2020, 13:22
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

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First find the lifespan table from the Mieterverband - it shows how long any given item is expected to last and they can only charge you pro rata.
Secondly check your handover Protokoll. They cannot charge you for anything you haven't signed to accept. So if they are now trying to charge you for the dishwasher but the Protokoll says it's OK, they're trying it on.
Mieterverband is your essential friend here: I had similar when an ex landlord tried to get me to pay for an entire new parquet in 3 rooms at full cost when it was at least 21 years old and I'd only signed off on 2 m2. My insurance seemed to be on the landlord's side and it took a registered letter drafted by the MV lawyer with my financial calculations to get them to back down.
Thanks for the input.. Looking at the invoice I see that the service on the machine was done 23 days after we moved out and the new tenents were using it. Will they also be asking me in 3 years about things which don't work...

I will look up the Mieterverband also... Reviewing now a 2nd time the handover Protokoll and it shows the machine was in perfect health...
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Old 16.01.2020, 13:36
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Re: Deposit return, any rules?

Was the deposit paid to a blocked account or did the landlord keep the money on his own account. If the latter he has broken the law.

He is able to keep the deposit until all communal costs, heating, repairs etc have been settled. If the money is on the blocked account then you agree to release the CHF 250 to him, and he agrees to release the balance to you. He should do this as soon as the accounts are settled, but he has 12 months maximum to do so.

Part of the reason for this was certain services could only be accounted for at the end of the year, so to ensure the services were paid for the landlord was allowed to keep the deposit for that period. The better landlords would keep an estimated part, the others, everything!

Now everything is digital and virtually instantaneous this no longer relies, and if he has agreed with you CHF 250, why does he now want to wait for contractors to submit invoices??
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