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Old 01.06.2021, 13:52
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Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

Hi,

A year ago I left Zurich, which included also handing over the apartment. Everything was made via a big and famous real-estate agency of the area.

I paid for a damage, and I won't get specific intentionally now, for which I realized a year later by contacting the tenant, that it was never fixed.

What should I do to make things right? I am more annoyed by the behavior, rather than the money paid.

PS: As an additional info on their behavior, when I got the apartment I've been told it was a known issue and no need to report it in the damage list. I was naive, since everything else was strictly recorded in a swiss manner, and the company own a quarter of Zurich, so I assumed they were correct. This led to a discussion over the check out day, for which I obviously did not have any ground and I accepted to pay for the fixing - had no choice. But this later discovery made me feel I should do something about it.
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Old 01.06.2021, 14:10
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

It's not uncommon in the car rental industry to charge full repair price per piece of damage but then to either get all the damage fixed in one go at a discount or to not repair the damage at all. If you have a car accident and the insurance pays for cosmetic damage you don't need to get the damage fixed. The landlord maybe one day will fix that damage maybe in ten years time when they do renovations, or maybe never will. Whether they can do that or only actual costs can be charged I do not know.

If you think that the damage was there already then that's something you can challenge. Does the new tenant have this damage listed on their list of existing damages?
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Old 01.06.2021, 15:50
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

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If you think that the damage was there already then that's something you can challenge. Does the new tenant have this damage listed on their list of existing damages?
Is not too late to challenge? If not, how can I do that? I don't know where to start, honestly.

The tenant has the damage on the list, and he asked what intention they had about such damage, but had not reply since then.
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Old 01.06.2021, 16:06
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

What's to challenge?

You pay the cost of the damage, if the owner decideds to fix it immediately, later, or never is up to them, not you.

Tom
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Old 01.06.2021, 17:09
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

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What's to challenge?

You pay the cost of the damage, if the owner decideds to fix it immediately, later, or never is up to them, not you.

Tom

I think that challenge was meant, in the context form Landers, to not being recognized guilty for the preexistent damage. It was not related onto fixing it. It was a comment on my observation when I mentioned that I was considered responsible (see PS in my message).
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Old 01.06.2021, 17:17
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

As others pointed out, the owner does not need to fix the damage: you are paying because you decreased the value of the apartment.

E.g. you rented a 500k chf apartment and did 1k of damages, so you returned a 499k apartment and you need to compensate for that.
Whether the next tenant if fine with taking over a 499k vs 500k apartment is between the next tenant and the landlord, not you.

(this is about damage part, not the part where you got assigned the damage unfairly)
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Old 01.06.2021, 17:20
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

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Is not too late to challenge? If not, how can I do that? I don't know where to start, honestly.

The tenant has the damage on the list, and he asked what intention they had about such damage, but had not reply since then.
Well, send the new tenant the proof that you paid for it. So they can go and kick them in the ass to get a move on!

That's about all you can do. But it's a good deed for the new tenant at least.
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Old 01.06.2021, 17:20
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

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I think that challenge was meant, in the context form Landers, to not being recognized guilty for the preexistent damage. It was not related onto fixing it. It was a comment on my observation when I mentioned that I was considered responsible (see PS in my message).
Did you already get your deposit back? I assume some calculation like initial deposit minus damages was done and you got some money back. There should be a signature of acceptance or a date limit to contest the deposit calculations.

So, still possible to contest the calculations? Otherwise is indignation for nothing.
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Old 01.06.2021, 18:35
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

Some of the agents are pretty dishonest though..

At my current place the kitchen worktop was being replaced as we moved in, literally work on-going as we're there with the movers.

The previous tenant called us nearly a year later to ask if it had ever been replaced.. The regie was holding back their deposit until the worktop was replaced. not before.

To me that's just plain dishonest.. No excuse. We all know the practices that go on.
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Old 02.06.2021, 17:45
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

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Did you already get your deposit back? I assume some calculation like initial deposit minus damages was done and you got some money back. There should be a signature of acceptance or a date limit to contest the deposit calculations.

So, still possible to contest the calculations? Otherwise is indignation for nothing.
I had all my money back minus the damage, stating "price for fixing the kitchen [...]". I had no clue if I am still in time: I have read the contract, there was not mention of it if i remember, so I guess is related to some basic Swiss law.

(Still, is a few 100s CHF, not 1000s, is more a principle of honesty)

If I can't get the money back, I will follow the advice from @curley and send the proof to the new tenant. At least I did something. Obviously would not make sense to pay 1000s CHF for a lawyer.
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Old 03.06.2021, 01:10
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

I had a client who scratched the glass cooktop and at the handover, the amount we agreed the client would pay was nowhere near the cost of a replacement, as the landlord never intended to replace it. The assessment of the cost of damages is calculated based on the age of the item if the landlord decides to live with the damage, (like the scratch in the glass cooktop).

In my experience the landlord cannot pocket the money for the replacement if the agreement was to replace the item and the tenant was charged for that rather than less money for damaging something and causing it to lose value.

If as a tenant you opted to use your insurance to cover the damage charges, the insurance company would be within their rights to ask for the invoices to show that something was in fact replaced, if that was what was agreed to, before paying up.
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Old 03.06.2021, 01:40
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

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What's to challenge?

You pay the cost of the damage, if the owner decideds to fix it immediately, later, or never is up to them, not you.

Tom
It is not quite as simple as this. There's the damage which cannot be repaired and the item loses its value but still functions, just doesn't look as nice. A scratch in the glass cooktop is an example.

Then there's damage which can be repaired, like a scratch in the wood floor, or a cracked floor tile. The damage can be calculated, or the cost of the repair.

Lastly there's damage which is really unacceptable to live with and cannot be repaired. This requires a complete replacement. This could be a crack in a glass door, or a mirror cabinet. The property owner would get a quote but a tenant can also get this in advance. If the tenant is charged for this, the work has to be done.
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Old 03.06.2021, 16:57
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

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If the tenant is charged for this, the work has to be done.
Nope, you pay for the value lost, not for repair or replacement. The OP has moved out, livability of the apartment is none of their bussiness any more. As difficult or frustrating this may be to accept, a repair of any sort is the owner's sole decision. It's what it means to be the owner.

A few years ago a neighbor damaged my car while it was parked in front of the garage. I got a cost estimate for the repair, the neighbor accepted it (he could have one done on his own, but at his cost) and paid. I had the damage superficially covered for a fraction of the cost, the neighbor had no say in that decision. If I decided to sell the car, the damage would reduce the price, but that's Ok as I'd already have received make-good for that.
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Old 03.06.2021, 17:54
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

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Nope, you pay for the value lost, not for repair or replacement. The OP has moved out, livability of the apartment is none of their bussiness any more. As difficult or frustrating this may be to accept, a repair of any sort is the owner's sole decision. It's what it means to be the owner.

A few years ago a neighbor damaged my car while it was parked in front of the garage. I got a cost estimate for the repair, the neighbor accepted it (he could have one done on his own, but at his cost) and paid. I had the damage superficially covered for a fraction of the cost, the neighbor had no say in that decision. If I decided to sell the car, the damage would reduce the price, but that's Ok as I'd already have received make-good for that.
How many handovers have you done? I have many years of experience in this business and I know that value lost is not always what a tenant pays for. Yes, the owner and tenant can agree on an amount to compensate the owner for the reduced value of the item.

But the owner can decide to repair or replace when it is justified and the tenant or his insurance pays upon proof of completed work (with an invoice).

When a tenant receives their deposit back they are entitled to see the backup.

In the OP's situation since it is not known what the item is, the new value, or the age, one cannot say what amount is fair. If the tenant damaged an item that was near the end of its life span( there are tables for this) it would cost far less than if it were new.

I use the example of the glass cooktop. It is not difficult to scratch these. Even a superficial scratch will show up when it is clean. The owner might be angry but replacement is not necessary. If there is a crack in it, manufacturers recommend replacement so the owner is entitled to replace it and that amount could be very different than the cost of a scratch.

If a tenant loses keys they pay for the replacement of cylinders and keys. There is no loss of value for fewer keys.

Owners have rights but so do tenants. In this case I think it might be too late for the tenant. This is the downside of doing a handover without the assistance of someone who knows how the system works.
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Old 03.06.2021, 23:04
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

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How many handovers have you done? I have many years of experience in this business and I know that value lost is not always what a tenant pays for. Yes, the owner and tenant can agree on an amount to compensate the owner for the reduced value of the item.

[snippedysnip]
And what is it exactly you disagree with?

The way I understand you you vehemently agree, except where you put words in my mouth by implying that I said the price new is what OP has to pay. If the landlord decides to demand less than what's due, that's neither here nor there.
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Old 05.06.2021, 17:26
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Re: Paying for damages never fixed (via real-estate agency)

To make things simpler I can for sure give context on what the problem is: there is a thick marble cover on a wall, and a corner of it was cracked away from someone before me.
Given the size, the price feels like just for a repair. At the handover, with me and the new tenant, the agent went quite specific, orally, in how he planned to fix it and how (although I never heard of marble repairs honestly). He used this explanation to justify the price that I was about to see.

A side note: such agent is from a big company, and for every problem they justify the delays by telling me that they have to get aligned with the owner. Owner which is unknown to me, since every contract is at the name of this, big, company.
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