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Old 16.10.2020, 13:37
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Hi there,

I hope that you are well.

I was curious as to if there any general rules regarding compensation and/or early cancellation of a rental contract should the conditions not be satisfactory?

Long story short, the water heater keeps on breaking down (3 times within a week), so I cannot use hot water or the heater. This has resulted in me not being able to shower and freezing during the middle of the night. The instances last between 6-18 hours.

Curious if there are general laws I should be aware of? I would like a) compensation (e.g. reduction in rent for the month) and b) if I can leave the contract early to find a better home elsewhere.

Much appreciated for your kind help.

Cheers.

Perhaps an additional detail. I called the property manager every time when the issue arose immediately. And it's 3 times within 2 weeks**.

Last edited by Ace1; 16.10.2020 at 15:18. Reason: Merging successive posts
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Old 16.10.2020, 13:44
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

And what has the property manager done to have the problem fixed?
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Old 16.10.2020, 14:02
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

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And what has the property manager done to have the problem fixed?
I think he just tinkered with the hot water tank, but never solved it. He said he called the company and such.
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Old 16.10.2020, 14:11
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

What's the situation? Single or multi-family house? Apartment building? If you have neighbors making a collective statement is better.

Concerning compensation, it seems you can fight for rent reduction. But you have to start by documenting all the communication with the landlord: registered mail, emails, etc. Maybe the landlord reacts to a registered letter, maybe said letter is proof that you communicated the problem nothing was done and you had to call a technician yourself. So, start with it. https://ratgeber.immowelt.ch/a/wenn-...r-heizung.html
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Old 16.10.2020, 14:46
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

Send a registered letter threatening to deposit the rent at the conciliation office if the issue is not resolved.
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Old 16.10.2020, 16:43
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

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This has resulted in me not being able to shower and freezing during the middle of the night.
The heating is normally turned off at night, 10PM-6AM or so.

Tom
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Old 16.10.2020, 18:17
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

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The heating is normally turned off at night, 10PM-6AM or so.

Tom
Not ours. Not when it's 5 degrees outside at night.
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Old 16.10.2020, 19:31
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

Write it all up: when it broke down, how long for, what the temperature fell to inside if you have a thermometer indoors*, that the tap water was lukewarm/cold, who you spoke to at what time and on what day etc and ask it is resolved promptly.


* get one as if it falls below 18°C inside you can generally get a 10-15% rent reduction. See this article in French and there must be equivalents in German online etc.
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Old 17.10.2020, 14:36
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

Thank you all! It has been quite helpful. I will send a registered letter to them with all the details, as well as a request for rent reduction this month.
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Old 17.10.2020, 18:08
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

I had a similar issue and and took the time to read the manual of the boiler and apparently the time was wrong which was causing all sort of trouble so I adjusted it and increase the time it was supposed to work and the temperature.
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Old 17.10.2020, 20:08
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

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I had a similar issue and and took the time to read the manual of the boiler and apparently the time was wrong which was causing all sort of trouble so I adjusted it and increase the time it was supposed to work and the temperature.
Ah thanks! Maybe I could mention it to them. Unfortunately, the boiler is in the laundry room and in a private area of the apartment, not sure if I'd be confident enough to tinker with it haha.
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Old 24.11.2020, 12:00
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

Quick update - it seems that the heating is still intermittent. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night, and it is super cold. Here, it is around 3C, and not acceptable.

This has been going on and off for 5 times over the past couple of months, with no heating for 10 hours to 2 days at a time.

In this situation, can I request an early termination of contract? (It was signed for a year starting Aug 15).

Thanks.
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Old 24.11.2020, 12:48
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

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Quick update - it seems that the heating is still intermittent. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night, and it is super cold. Here, it is around 3C, and not acceptable.

This has been going on and off for 5 times over the past couple of months, with no heating for 10 hours to 2 days at a time.

In this situation, can I request an early termination of contract? (It was signed for a year starting Aug 15).
So, you already did the step were you sent registered letters stating the problem, asking it to be fixed asap, and threatening with withheld rent to be deposited at the rentals court?
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Old 24.11.2020, 13:28
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

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So, you already did the step were you sent registered letters stating the problem, asking it to be fixed asap, and threatening with withheld rent to be deposited at the rentals court?

Well, all but the later part, yes.

I am just curious if there is any legal basis for leaving a contract early, since many are WFH, and I can't be bothered to deal with this every week.
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Old 24.11.2020, 13:43
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

You wouldn't be requesting early termination of the contract as such, you would be claiming that the contract was void because the landlord failed to deliver their part (i.e. a habitable property).

But in any case surely formally withholding rent is a good step to make sure you have followed all the expected procedures.

Otherwise the landlord may say you didn't give appropriate time to remedy the problem, which is part of the requirement for voiding a contract.

ps. You can always ask for early termination, but from what we've heard of the landlord I don't see much hope in them being helpful.
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Old 24.11.2020, 13:51
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

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Well, all but the later part, yes.

I am just curious if there is any legal basis for leaving a contract early, since many are WFH, and I can't be bothered to deal with this every week.
Well, the legal basis is that the landlord has the right to ask for rent until the end of the contract term. But the landlord can choose to not do it.....if you become too much of a problem after you mention the option to pay the rent to the cantonal conciliation authority. A negotiated leave could be faster than voiding the contract, which I assume as a longer battle.

The rentals court/cantonal conciliation authority is Schlichtnungstellen für Mietverhältnisse in SG https://www.sg.ch/recht/gerichte/org...aeltnisse.html
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Old 24.11.2020, 14:40
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

Only in Ticino

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The heating is normally turned off at night, 10PM-6AM or so.

Tom
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Old 24.11.2020, 15:01
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Re: Heating/hot water stopped 3 times in a couple of weeks

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Only in Ticino
No, not only in Ticino. The house we rented here in Fribourg - all electric - had no heating between 11pm and 6am. Our current oil central heating system usually is the same, but it does have an outside sensor so if it gets cold at night like it is atm it will put heat through the system to maintain a minimum indoor temperature.
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