English Forum Switzerland

English Forum Switzerland (https://www.englishforum.ch/forum.php)
-   Housing in general (https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-general/)
-   -   Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks? (https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-general/296186-robbery-rental-property-who-pays-replacement-locks.html)

adamsko 16.01.2020 13:37

Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Hi Guys,

We got broken into our rental house about a month ago while we were overseas. We got many items stollen but no damage to property.

On the day, we called police that brought detective to do the investigation. It took few hours but the process was smooth. They even called "emergency" locksmith to replace the main lock. We are in canton of Fribourg.

Next day we followed up with real state to update them about what happen and asked them to replace the other locks (same key as main) so we don't have to stay in property thief potentially have access to. As slack as they always are they didn't come back to us. Worried sick that thief can easily get in since he could copied the key (free keys were next to the door). We called lock smith and asked him to replace all the other locks linked to one key. (linked to one key because that's how it was previously)

After I followed up with insurance and claimed damages. They were very helpful and everything went well. Although, they told me they will not cover replacement of locks as it supposed to be covered by owner. They told me to follow up with real state.

I forward real state the invoice from the locksmith and they now pushing back that they'll not cover replacement of the other locks. They will only cover the main lock that was replaced when the police came. The other locks has to be covered by us because we went ahead with replacement. Really? :msnmad:

So we were supposed to stay in the house (thief has potentially access to) for few days and wait until our real state decide to fix the lock? Am I really supposed to pay? :confused:

---

I don't have much trust in our real estate as we had numerous issues already such us:
- replacement of our kitchen fridge toke them almost a MONTH
- we had owner coming to our property unannounced (we didn't report it)
- other small requests can take easily few weeks to get done

amogles 16.01.2020 13:45

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Put the old locks back when you move out and inform your successor that there is a burglar who has the key but that the landlord refuses to pay for replacements.

Susie-Q 16.01.2020 13:45

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adamsko (Post 3137495)

---

I don't have much trust in our real estate as we had numerous issues already such us:
- replacement of our kitchen fridge toke them almost a MONTH
- we had owner coming to our property unannounced (we didn't report it)
- other small requests can take easily few weeks to get done

So sorry to hear, how frightening!

I don't know who is responsible from a legal standpoint. But I can attest that the above is completely normal from all properties I've rented in Switzerland. They don't want to pay for anything...and if they do, they take their sweet time to do it. Good luck!

Guest 16.01.2020 13:46

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Each pays for their own damage, damage to the building is thus the problem of the landlord. So if the main lock was broken it is on the landlord to repair this.

As for replacing your other locks, if you still had all the keys after the burglary there was no need to replace the other locks, and since you gave the order to do so this bill is for you.

Guest 16.01.2020 13:50

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 3137499)
Put the old locks back when you move out and inform your successor that there is a burglar who has the key but that the landlord refuses to pay for replacements.

What gives you the impression that any of the keys got stolen?

greenmount 16.01.2020 13:58

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Susie-Q (Post 3137500)
So sorry to hear, how frightening!

I don't know who is responsible from a legal standpoint. But I can attest that the above is completely normal from all properties I've rented in Switzerland. They don't want to pay for anything...and if they do, they take their sweet time to do it. Good luck!

We had our storage places vandalised and the landlord payed for every damage caused for each apartment - door locks etc. They made all the repairs on the same day, right after someone called them. (yes, the police too came but don't know if it's relevant)

On the other hand when we had something like fridge, dishwasher etc to be repaired or replaced....they took their time..

adamsko 16.01.2020 14:28

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Each pays for their own damage, damage to the building is thus the problem of the landlord. So if the main lock was broken it is on the landlord to repair this.

As for replacing your other locks, if you still had all the keys after the burglary there was no need to replace the other locks, and since you gave the order to do so this bill is for you.
Just to be clear, the other locks that were replaced was from the garage and side entry to the house. It's still part of the property. It wasn't my lock. We had one key that open main door, garage and side door. So there is a difference between main door and side door?

adamsko 16.01.2020 14:31

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

What gives you the impression that any of the keys got stolen?
Well I mean I don't know but there was nothing to stop them making the copy. The spare keys were next to the main door.

Guest 16.01.2020 14:42

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adamsko (Post 3137515)
Just to be clear, the other locks that were replaced was from the garage and side entry to the house. It's still part of the property. It wasn't my lock. We had one key that open main door, garage and side door. So there is a difference between main door and side door?

No, property is property wether it be a toilet seat or a window or a side-door or whatever got damaged by the burglar(s)

Since no keys are missing your landlord does not feel the need to replace all the locks and I can understand that. You however decided that they must be replaced and gave the order yourself, I can also understand this, but more from an emotional point of view than a practical point of view. Your landlord however does not have to pay for your emotions.

Our home has been fully open to all who pleased for some days due to a smashed window and by the burglars fully opened blinds and doors on the back, a truckload was missing and the whole place was a huge mess, but we still had all the keys of which some had been laying in the house, and yes we still have the same locks.

Had you or I had missing keys after this than it would have been a different story.

amogles 16.01.2020 14:51

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adamsko (Post 3137517)
Well I mean I don't know but there was nothing to stop them making the copy. The spare keys were next to the main door.

Not that easy to copy a key in Switzerland.

In fact most standard issue front-door keys cannot be copied on the fly by a locksmith or key cutting service but you need to order spare keys directly from the manufacturer, for which you need to prove you actually own the property.

So i wouldn't worry about that.

st2lemans 16.01.2020 14:56

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adamsko (Post 3137517)
Well I mean I don't know but there was nothing to stop them making the copy. The spare keys were next to the main door.

Were they stolen? :confused:

Tom

aSwissInTheUS 16.01.2020 15:01

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Just a simple question: Did you follow the proper, rental court accepted, procedure to get something fixed in the apartment?

adamsko 16.01.2020 15:27

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Thanks for the replies guys!

To be honest, it was not really an emotional decision but probably more sense that keys can always be copied even if they're checks are in place (i.e. must proof to be owner of property). I get that probably wasn't a wise decision. In the same time, waiting for numerous days for them to come and fix it didn't seem like an option.

I contacted them two times on the same day before I proceeded contacting the locksmith. My mistake is I didn't sent email so have no proof.

In fact, I didn't even check if key is missing..again didn't consider that as factor because I assumed keys can be copied.

Anyway in summary:

Based on above landlord have no obligation to replace the locks within days/weeks. Tenant is just "hoping" it's going to be done soon.

If I replace it myself I can't go to insurance and claim damages either because they'll tell me I should have waited for landlord.

Out of interest, that applies even if the key is taken?

st2lemans 16.01.2020 15:32

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adamsko (Post 3137545)
I didn't even check if key is missing..again didn't consider that as factor because I assumed keys can be copied.

How are they going to copy it without taking it? :confused:

Why copy it at all if there are spare keys available? :rolleyes:

Tom

aSwissInTheUS 16.01.2020 15:37

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adamsko (Post 3137545)
My mistake is I didn't sent email so have no proof.
?

e-mail :rolleyes: :eek: You might send it initially, but e-mail is no proof.

Use registered mail, set an appropriate deadline, threaten that you will deposit part of the rent at rental court if not fixed, and/or that you will get the issues fixed yourself and claim reimbursement.

https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...-schaeden.html

Guest 16.01.2020 15:39

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adamsko (Post 3137545)
Thanks for the replies guys!

To be honest, it was not really an emotional decision but probably more sense that keys can always be copied even if they're checks are in place (i.e. must proof to be owner of property). I get that probably wasn't a wise decision. In the same time, waiting for numerous days for them to come and fix it didn't seem like an option.

I contacted them two times on the same day before I proceeded contacting the locksmith. My mistake is I didn't sent email so have no proof.

In fact, I didn't even check if key is missing..again didn't consider that as factor because I assumed keys can be copied.

Anyway in summary:

Based on above landlord have no obligation to replace the locks within days/weeks. Tenant is just "hoping" it's going to be done soon.

If I replace it myself I can't go to insurance and claim damages either because they'll tell me I should have waited for landlord.

Out of interest, that applies even if the key is taken?

If the keys are taken during a burglary and this appears in the police report than landlord (or an insurance) will have to replace the locks. Our landlord asked us when we returned from holiday if we still had all the keys (also since they allow access to garage/storage/building hall etc..) If missing they would have replaced all, since I had them nobody including me cared.

However there are procedures for such, you can not just call them twice on one day and than immediately just order yourself and hand them the bill.

aSwissInTheUS 16.01.2020 15:40

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 3137531)
Not that easy to copy a key in Switzerland

Not in Switzerland or if you have an unscrupulous friend which is also a lock smith. For some keys all you need is one or two photos to cut a copy.

Axa 16.01.2020 15:45

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adamsko (Post 3137495)
We called lock smith and asked him to replace all the other locks linked to one key....... The other locks has to be covered by us because we went ahead with replacement. Really? :msnmad:

Sadly, the landlord seems to be profiting from he rule that no change can be done to the property can be done without written approval. Thus, if you called the locksmith, you pay. There's ill-intention in the actions of the landlord, but seems to be legal. :msnsad:

I went to a scare like this once. One morning my wife called me to work because the kitchen faucet became a little fountain. Fortunately, all the leaking water was falling on the sink and not the floor. I tried for an hour to call the landlord to ask him if he knew a plumber to fix the issue, no results. Then I called a plumber I found on internet and by the end of the day the large leak was fixed.

Next morning I called the landlord and explained that a plumber came, replaced a faucet, etc. First thing he told me is that I had not right to a reimbursement because I contacted the plumber without his approval. To my luck, he knew and trusted the plumber and verified my story with him. In the end he agreed to pay the repair but warning once again that if repairs were explicitly ordered by him...I pay. If a window is broken, no electricity, or whatever, I should contact him and wait.

The challenge here is that when we have a problem, such as a robbery or a water leak that may flood the apartment and ruin the wooden floor, our minds are not available to think about the typical contract rules.

adamsko 16.01.2020 15:53

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Axa (Post 3137552)
...our minds are not available to think about the typical contract rules.

Spot on, I agree I might have made rushed decision and maybe I should have waited for few days and figure how to block the garage and side entry door from inside....but it felt as crazy idea. I'm not expert on locks so I didn't really think about process of how copying of keys works ;)

Guest 16.01.2020 15:53

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Axa (Post 3137552)
Sadly, the landlord seems to be profiting from he rule that no change can be done to the property can be done without written approval. Thus, if you called the locksmith, you pay. There's ill-intention in the actions of the landlord, but seems to be legal. :msnsad:

I went to a scare like this once. One morning my wife called me to work because the kitchen faucet became a little fountain. Fortunately, all the leaking water was falling on the sink and not the floor. I tried for an hour to call the landlord to ask him if he knew a plumber to fix the issue, no results. Then I called a plumber I found on internet and by the end of the day the large leak was fixed.

Next morning I called the landlord and explained that a plumber came, replaced a faucet, etc. First thing he told me is that I had not right to a reimbursement because I contacted the plumber without his approval. To my luck, he knew and trusted the plumber and verified my story with him. In the end he agreed to pay the repair but warning once again that if repairs were explicitly ordered by him...I pay. If a window is broken, no electricity, or whatever, I should contact him and wait.

The challenge here is that when we have a problem, such as a robbery or a water leak that may flood the apartment and ruin the wooden floor, our minds are not available to think about the typical contract rules.

Immediate emergencies are different, I can even call in services for the neighbours if water is coming out under their door if I can't get hold of the landlord, and the bill is theirs.

As for the faucet, if you could have closed the water supply no emergency, in other cases emergency.

Tom1234 16.01.2020 16:02

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Axa (Post 3137552)

I went to a scare like this once. One morning my wife called me to work because the kitchen faucet became a little fountain. Fortunately, all the leaking water was falling on the sink and not the floor. I tried for an hour to call the landlord to ask him if he knew a plumber to fix the issue, no results. Then I called a plumber I found on internet and by the end of the day the large leak was fixed.

Next morning I called the landlord and explained that a plumber came, replaced a faucet, etc. First thing he told me is that I had not right to a reimbursement because I contacted the plumber without his approval. To my luck, he knew and trusted the plumber and verified my story with him. In the end he agreed to pay the repair but warning once again that if repairs were explicitly ordered by him...I pay. If a window is broken, no electricity, or whatever, I should contact him and wait.

The challenge here is that when we have a problem, such as a robbery or a water leak that may flood the apartment and ruin the wooden floor, our minds are not available to think about the typical contract rules.

The way of thinking here does amuse me.

I once rented a property in the U.K. and the landlady, who lived in London, told me I was the best tenant she had ever had in any of her properties.

The reason was when anything broke, I'd phone up the local plumber, electrician etc and get it fixed and then sent her the bills.

She thought this was much better than her having to waste her time finding a plumber/electrician etc then arranging an appointment that would also suit me, and then getting back to the plumber....and so on.

Time is money and landlords here obviously have too much spare time on their hands.

Guest 16.01.2020 16:39

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom1234 (Post 3137561)
The way of thinking here does amuse me.

I once rented a property in the U.K. and the landlady, who lived in London, told me I was the best tenant she had ever had in any of her properties.

The reason was when anything broke, I'd phone up the local plumber, electrician etc and get it fixed and then sent her the bills.

She thought this was much better than her having to waste her time finding a plumber/electrician etc then arranging an appointment that would also suit me, and then getting back to the plumber....and so on.

Time is money and landlords here obviously have too much spare time on their hands.

A lot here is rented out through bigger agency's and they have their steady firms that give them discounts. Smaller landlords might have their steady adres for such or perhaps even want to try themselves.

aSwissInTheUS 16.01.2020 16:44

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom1234 (Post 3137561)
I once rented a property in the U.K. and the landlady, who lived in London, told me I was the best tenant she had ever had in any of her properties.

The reason was when anything broke, I'd phone up the local plumber, electrician etc and get it fixed and then sent her the bills.

Was the same at my parents place. Called the local tradesmen which came to fix it. As the landlord was the local butcher it was clear who they wanted anyway.

Tom1234 16.01.2020 16:59

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

A lot here is rented out through bigger agency's and they have their steady firms that give them discounts. Smaller landlords might have their steady adres for such or perhaps even want to try themselves.
Then it wouldn't hurt for the landlord to leave the tenant a list of these firms so the tenant can call them out directly when needed urgently.

This sort of thinking isn't rocket science.

st2lemans 16.01.2020 17:19

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Why did you replace the main lock? :confused:

Just the cylinder, or the whole mechanism?

Tom

Guest 16.01.2020 17:21

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom1234 (Post 3137586)
Then it wouldn't hurt for the landlord to leave the tenant a list of these firms so the tenant can call them out directly when needed urgently.

This sort of thinking isn't rocket science.

Hmmm... then you get your tenant calling out your favourite, mates-rates sparky to just change a lightbulb or your go-to plumber to clean the tumbler filter out then you, as the landlord, only find out when you get a bill on your doorstep.

Whereas some tenants might be sensible and only call them out when absolutely necessary, you can't account for useless morons without an ounce of commonsense. Hence, one blanket rule for simplicity. ;)

Guest 16.01.2020 18:29

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Hmmm... then you get your tenant calling out your favourite, mates-rates sparky to just change a lightbulb or your go-to plumber to clean the tumbler filter out then you, as the landlord, only find out when you get a bill on your doorstep.

Whereas some tenants might be sensible and only call them out when absolutely necessary, you can't account for useless morons without an ounce of commonsense. Hence, one blanket rule for simplicity. ;)
In our case the company knows when a bill is for the landlord or when the bill is for the renter and sends the bill to the party who is expected to pay. They even state upfront who is going to get he bill, or what is the deciding factor (Like sewer blockage before or after connection on main pipe)

Guest 16.01.2020 22:03

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Hmmm... then you get your tenant calling out your favourite, mates-rates sparky to just change a lightbulb or your go-to plumber to clean the tumbler filter out then you, as the landlord, only find out when you get a bill on your doorstep.

Whereas some tenants might be sensible and only call them out when absolutely necessary, you can't account for useless morons without an ounce of commonsense. Hence, one blanket rule for simplicity. ;)
Completely agree! We have lived in 5 different countries other than the US and I always had my rental deposit returned. Why? Because unlike a lot of expats (and in my experience, Americans are among the worst reputation-wise), I did a lot of DIY myself but let the landlord know subtly, that I was doing the work or outsourcing it through a handyman I organised. If I saw mold or a structural issue, (common in Singapore!) I let them know straight away. I think that goes a long way in letting them (the landlord) know that you are treating their property as if it were your own. What can I say but it worked for me!

That said, we shall see how this rental in Switzerland goes :D I just recently rented out a parking spot which we never used and my landlord now gets 50% more for the rental. Win/win for both of us as I now pay less and she gets more.

curley 16.01.2020 22:15

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adamsko (Post 3137495)
......... Worried sick that thief can easily get in since he could copied the key (free keys were next to the door). .....

This takes all the wind out of your sails. :rolleyes:

Very sorry for your experience. Hope you feel safe again soon.

Jim2007 16.01.2020 23:15

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aSwissInTheUS (Post 3137550)
Not in Switzerland or if you have an unscrupulous friend which is also a lock smith. For some keys all you need is one or two photos to cut a copy.

Unless they are very old keys/locks it pretty well impossible to get those keys cut unless you bring the barrel out of the lock with you to the locksmith. Iíve become a bit of an expert at removing and refitting barrels among friends and relatives, so many of them have failed to get working keys cut without it.

amogles 18.01.2020 18:02

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom1234 (Post 3137586)
Then it wouldn't hurt for the landlord to leave the tenant a list of these firms so the tenant can call them out directly when needed urgently.

This sort of thinking isn't rocket science.

My landlord has given me the number of a 24 hour repair service. I've never had to use them - touch wood - but I guess it is somebody who knows his way around the building and with who he has negotiated a preferentian rate.

Knowing the building can be a huge pro. So much time can be wasted (and billed) while a repair man tries to work where the water cut-off is or the fuse box.

amogles 18.01.2020 18:06

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adamsko (Post 3137517)
Well I mean I don't know but there was nothing to stop them making the copy. The spare keys were next to the main door.


Even if there was a way of making copies, do you think the burglar would have had the time to take the key to a locksmith, get a copy made and return the original to your house? And if so, why take the risk of returning to the house that he had burgled previously?

doropfiz 18.01.2020 18:30

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 3138159)
... why [would a burglar] take the risk of returning to the house that he had burgled previously?

Because of the household insurance, and even without it, those whose goods have been stolen often go out and buy nice shiny new ones.

amogles 18.01.2020 18:35

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by doropfiz (Post 3138175)
Because of the household insurance, and even without it, those whose goods have been stolen often go out and buy nice shiny new ones.

Thieves often stick to their modus operandi.

Obviously the thief got into the house once without a key, and presumable could do that again.

Returning a copied key and risking walking into a house in which the police are already busy taking fingerprints somehow doesn't balance the advantages.

Guest 18.01.2020 18:43

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 3138159)
And if so, why take the risk of returning to the house that he had burgled previously?

The Dutch had a research into this in 2017, they looked at 300.000 burglary of Burglary/thefts from private households, 4% of the burglary reports were for a house which had also seen a burglary in the 12 months upfront.

There are diff reasons to come back.

- People replaced their stolen goods with new stuff (when we got robbed we went on a shopping spree afterwards, new tv's, new laptops, new camera etc..
- They did see stuff that they did not take along but they want it this time, they either found out it is worth money or they simply could not carry it at first, or somebody now offered them money for it.
- They know the building.

So yes it happens.

But copying a key and hanging it back in another burglary days later would be a first for me to hear about.

adamsko 04.03.2020 13:34

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
...so to give everyone an update after few months. Iíve worked with my insurance. They worked with real state directly. In the end they covered the full costs.

adamsko 04.03.2020 13:36

Re: Robbery in Rental property: Who pays for the replacement of locks?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adamsko (Post 3153912)
...so to give everyone an update after few months. Iíve worked with my insurance. They worked with real state directly. In the end they covered the full costs.

Just to be clear, the insurance company covered the cost.


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:10.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0