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Old 27.09.2021, 19:39
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Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

Hi folks,

I have an issue with the real estate I’m renting my apartment from.

On September 18, I received a reminder with a threat of termination regarding rent I haven’t supposedly paid.

I rent an apartment together with a parking spot and pay a monthly rent of 1590 CHF and 150 CHF respectively. To pay for an apartment I set up an LSV and the real estate agency deducts it automatically from my account. The parking spot is paid by a standing order.

This has been working for a year or so, until it stopped :-)

Beginning of September I noticed that my account has been charger with 1740 CHF although as usual I have paid for the parking space separately. Of course I objected to this transfer and immediately contacted the agency by e-mail to explain the situation. I also did not have the bank details to transfer the correct amount and was hesitant to use the same orange payment slip reference number as I use for payment for the parking spot.

Despite several e-mail reminders I haven’t received a reply from them. On 14th of September I received, however, a reminder with a threat of termination (Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung) asking to pay this time the correct amount (1590 CH) + 39 CHF of reminder fees.

I immediately transferred the money but skipped 39 CHF, as I find it ridiculous…
I also sent them a letter, not registered but with a tracking, explaining the whole situation showing bank extracts with how payments were done in the past and what happened this time, as well as sent them the payment confirmation. Haven’t heard from them in 10 days now…

Not sure what to do next… I am also surprised they sent only one reminder that states that this is the last one and if the whole amount is not paid within 30 days they will terminate my contract as per Art. 257d OR. I thought usually 3 reminders are sent.

It really pisses me off that I spotted their mistake, I reach out to them yet I am being ignored and forced to pay the reminder fees. 39 CHF is obviously not worth fighting with them but it is very upsetting.
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Old 27.09.2021, 19:59
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

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Hi folks,


Beginning of September I noticed that my account has been charger with 1740 CHF although as usual I have paid for the parking space separately. Of course I objected to this transfer
but why?
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Old 27.09.2021, 20:02
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

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but why?
They should have charged only 1590 CHF. The parking spot (150 CHF) was already paid with a standing order. This is how it worked in the past months.

Instead, they charged 1740 CHF on top of the 150 CHF that I already paid, so I obviously objected to this payment. Have I done something wrong?
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Old 27.09.2021, 20:14
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

Have you tried phoning them?
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Old 27.09.2021, 20:19
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

Not yet, this is my last resort... I wanted to have something in writing and in general, I don't like to have this kind of conversation in german.

I thought I'd post here first because maybe they have the right to send me such reminders...
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Old 27.09.2021, 20:26
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

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Not yet, this is my last resort... I wanted to have something in writing and in general, I don't like to have this kind of conversation in german.

I thought I'd post here first because maybe they have the right to send me such reminders...
I would make phoning the first resort, followed up with a registered letter for the avoidance of doubt. Maybe ask a German speaking friend to do the talking. It will be less expensive than getting kicked out.
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Old 27.09.2021, 20:29
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

I'll do it tomorrow, if I don't get a response from them I guess I'll have to pay, regardless of who I think is right...
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Old 27.09.2021, 20:35
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

When the first email was not responded to, that's when you should have called. Always send letters registered.

What's unclear though - Do you owe them money or not? If you do, pay them. If you don't tell them to whistle for it.
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Old 27.09.2021, 20:40
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

Do you want to continue living there, and/or to rent again in Switzerland?
  • If no, then don't bother with the Fr. 39 now.
    They will then give you notice.
    When the inspection is done, when you hand over the keys, it will be meticulous. They will then deduct any damages from the deposit.
    Next, they will deduct the Fr. 39 as well, and refund the remainder to you.
    In addition, those companies (both the landlord and the agent) will never rent out to you again, and your name may get onto a black-list of other landlords, of tenants who do not pay their bills (even if only the "Mahngebühr").

  • If yes, then pay the Fr. 39, immediately.
    Pay both amounts the same way, i.e. not one by LSV and one by separate standing order. (I wonder whether this is perhaps the cause of the error.)
    Accordingly, cancel the standing order at your bank. Change the LSV to be one total amount for both rental contracts, or else to separate LSVs.
    Write a polite, neutral letter to the landlord, saying that you regret that there were some mistakes made with the LSV (you don't have to say whose they were) and that you have now paid all the amounts in full.
    Ask them to please take note of the new LSV details, in these amounts, as follows (attach the details from your bank) and to please confirm that they have done so.

You could either let it go at that. Or else, in that same letter, you might choose to write down the chronology of when they took which amount by LSV, and when you contacted them pointing out the error. Ask them please to refund you the Fr. 39. They might, or they might not. If you do choose write such letter, do not use e-mail. Use a letter in an envelope, registered. Whether you write or phone them about this, make it polite, neutral, and do not complain or accuse with any emotion, but just set out the plain business transactions that were made, in order.

I recommend not even addressing how many reminders they did or didn't send you. My reason for saying that is that your contractual obligation as a tenant is to pay them, in full, before the date stated in your contract, each month. Even if you're using LSV, or whether they're using it correctly or not, the responsibility still rests with you to check, each month, that the payment has been made. I also think that you are more likely to receive the Fr. 39 refund if you don't even go into the field of saying how many reminders they ought to have sent.

Good luck!
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Old 27.09.2021, 20:44
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

I don't know if I owe them the money - when I objected to the LSV I obviously owed them. I was waiting for the e-mail/letter with a payment slip/clarifications. Instead, I got a reminder including the fees. I immediately paid the rent but excluding fees. If I owe them anything at this point, it's just the fees.

This is the game I exactly don't want to play to find out Sending dozens of registered letters just for the pleasure of being right is not worth it, time-wise and financially. I'll give them a call tomorrow and let's see how far I go... it's only 39 CHF but still.
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Old 27.09.2021, 20:47
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

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Sending dozens of registered letters just for the pleasure of being right is not worth it, time-wise and financially. I'll give them a call tomorrow and let's see how far I go... it's only 39 CHF but still.
Yes, this exactly. I fully agree with this, and if it were me, I'd pay the Fr. 39. I'd probably also just let it go, and not try to get it back, because it wouldn't be worth my time or the argument. If I did ask for it back, at all, it would be only once I'd made 100% sure that I had fulfilled all of my obligations to them for all rental payments.
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Old 27.09.2021, 20:48
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

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Yes, this exactly. I fully agree with this, and if it were me, I'd pay the Fr. 39. I'd probably also just let it go, and not try to get it back, because it wouldn't be worth my time or the argument. If I did ask for it back, at all, it would be only once I'd made 100% sure that I had fulfilled all of my obligations to them for all rental payments.
Thanks! Just did the transfer I hope they are fine with two separate transfers though.
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Old 27.09.2021, 21:28
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

Just ring them. In my experience E-Mails and letters don’t really work. When you ring it often gets resolved easily if you’re not confrontational but factual.
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Old 27.09.2021, 21:32
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

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I don't know if I owe them the money - when I objected to the LSV I obviously owed them. I was waiting for the e-mail/letter with a payment slip/clarifications. Instead, I got a reminder including the fees. I immediately paid the rent but excluding fees. If I owe them anything at this point, it's just the fees.

This is the game I exactly don't want to play to find out Sending dozens of registered letters just for the pleasure of being right is not worth it, time-wise and financially. I'll give them a call tomorrow and let's see how far I go... it's only 39 CHF but still.
Hi

Yes, it can be incredibly irritating when endeavoring to deal with Swiss rental stuff, and their unexpected charges. Agree completely with Doropiz - just pay the amount, and then dispute it later.

The last thing you want is to get into a situation where your rating for rentals is affected by a negative input on your „betreibungsregister“, which needs to be clean for any other future rental contracts, as well as any other financial obligations going forward. CHF 39.- is really not worth that.

I completely agree with you, that Swiss customer service is really, really awful. They will ignore you as long as they want if they believe you are in the „wrong“.

I also understand your reluctance to call them. When I first came here in 1986, I had a question regarding my taxes, and after a lot of gathering courage, called the tax office. My first question was: „do you speak English“. The reply I got was „if you don‘t speak Swiss German, then what are you doing here“.

But times have fortunately changed, and you should never expect something like that anymore.

After you have paid, call them. Ask for details of these transactions. You might be pleasantly surprised how many would love to practice their English on you ��
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Old 27.09.2021, 23:09
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

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Yes, this exactly. I fully agree with this, and if it were me, I'd pay the Fr. 39. I'd probably also just let it go, and not try to get it back, because it wouldn't be worth my time or the argument. If I did ask for it back, at all, it would be only once I'd made 100% sure that I had fulfilled all of my obligations to them for all rental payments.
The OP is not really clear about why the landlords think she owes money to them. I would not pay anything until I’ve established I really owe something. Probably best found out via a simple phone call.
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Old 27.09.2021, 23:17
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

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The last thing you want is to get into a situation where your rating for rentals is affected by a negative input on your „betreibungsregister“, which needs to be clean for any other future rental contracts, as well as any other financial obligations going forward.
while it's good to not have entries on there, it's not a total disaster. I know people who've been able to get rental contacts despite bad debts. It just tends to cost more and you can't get quite so nice places!

If the entries are in dispute, most decent agencies ignore them anyway. I know a couple who got a mortgage despite disputed entries.
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Old 28.09.2021, 12:11
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

The problem is, it's not exactly a renters-market right now. Not in Zurich anyhow.

Usually, if you overpay, companies will refund the money, at some point.
No worries, no fuss.

At the very start of my journey here, instead of paying 50.50 for the Swisscom bill, I somehow mixed up comma and decimal-point (because it was vice-versa in the German vs. the Swiss eBanking) and ended up paying 5050.00 CHF.

Swisscom phoned me after a couple of days and wanted to return the overpayment ASAP (their billing system probably wasn't geared to have such a large positive balance for residential customers...)

What people who come from other countries don't understand is that you should really pay all your bills on time here. Rent and health-insurance at the very top.

The potential costs of being in arrears in one of those are much higher than any overpayment you could make.

Fighting over a couple of hundred CHF with your landlord or health-insurance provider is a surefire way to make your life here totally miserable (and that's on top of being the Ausländer not speaking the native language).

Do. Not. Do. That.

There are always people you can talk to, at any company, however large it is.
Usually, they are even mentioned on the notice-board near the entrance of the building.
Use your (shiny) phone, call them, talk to them. They will listen. It is their job.
Just as yours is to pay the bills.

BTW: my landlord sent me a new payment slip mid-month because they apparently have switched banks or billing-systems (again) and expects people to switch over by the end of the month. A couple of days later and I would have been away until well into October....

That reminds me to check if I can add them to my eBills and receive extra bills (for extra Nebenkosten) directly into my eBanking.
I have almost everything that isn't LSV or auto-payment setup as eBills these days.
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Old 28.09.2021, 12:43
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

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Do you want to continue living there, and/or to rent again in Switzerland?
Can you be more melodramatic? OP didn't exactly explained the situation, but if s/he paid what s/he owns and if there are no reasons for the "Mahngebühr" nothing bad will come out of not paying it.
Been there, done that. No need to unnecessary scare people.
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Old 28.09.2021, 16:24
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

To be fair to OP I re-read the original post. As I understand it:

- She has been paying her apartment rent (SFr1590) by monthly direct debit and a separate amount (Sfr150) for the parking space by monthly standing order

- (By mistake?) the landlords deducted both amounts via DD.

- OP disputed the amount deducted - I assume it was therefore clawed back from the landlords? OP also contacted the landlords via email to report the error. The landlords did not respond to email(s).

- The rent went unpaid and the OP got a reminder plus reminder cost of SFr39 even though she had emailed them several times.

It sounds like the landlords are in the wrong, and in the OP's position I would have emailed the landlords immediately on getting the incorrect bill and backed it up with phone call if they did not respond within a day.

In the OP's situation I would now phone the landlords to resolve the issue. If OP is a member of the Mieterverband it may be worth getting in contact with them if the landlords insist on playing silly buggers.

HTH.
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Old 28.09.2021, 16:30
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Re: Reminder with threat of termination / Mahnung mit Kündigungsandrohung

This is what exactly happened. After I slept over it and realized that my permit B will expire soon and I will be applying for permit C, I decided to pay the reminder fees regardless of who I think is right. The 39 CHF is not worth the headache I could possibly have if they really terminate my apartment... Christmas coming, I'm going to be abroad etc.

Thank you all for your advice!
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