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Old 20.01.2009, 20:27
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Experiences in requesting a rent reduction???

Hi all,

I've read a few threads in the forum that make it clear to me that it is possible, under certain circumstances, to make a request for a temporary reduction of monthly rent in the event of building renovations (1, 2, 3). I've even managed to track down a handy table provided by Asloca (=the French equivalent of the Meiterverband) that details the reductions you can possibly ask for depending on what disruptions you are currently dealing with on your rental premises (pdf).

Does anyone have any experience in asking for a rent reduction without going through the renter's association? (I'm not a member, and even if I joined now, they wouldn't help me because they don't provide assistance for problems that arise before you join.)

I'm basically trying to find out if the reductions are somehow pro-rated based on how long the disruptions occur, or if reductions are made on the entire month's rent. Does anyone have any experience in this?

Due to work on the pipes in our building we have been without hot water for two days. We've also wasted most of the heat in the flat because both our apartment door and the front door of the building have been left wide open over the course of two days to allow them to hook up some vacuum truck to the pipes in our bathroom and kitchen. Seeing as our door is only about 2 metres away from the front door, the heat disappears very quickly, even keeping all the interior doors shut. We've have all sorts of pipes and cables strewn over the floor, no running water, and lots of noise, which is a problem because my husband works at home. To make things even worse, because the 'repairmen' managed to break the cold water main today, we are currently without ANY running water, and will be for at least 24 hours. No washing dishes, no showers, no anything. (Although by some miracle, the toilet still works....)

The table I found says that a lack of hot water is worth a 50% rent reduction, but is this reduction pro-rated based on how many days we've been without hot water? And isn't having NO water a bit more serious than just no hot water? We've also had to deal with quite a bit of noise and occasional disruption of our water supply last week when they were servicing pipes in other flats in the building. Having no water in the morning with no prior warning was particularly inconvenient: no coffee, and no showers... I was not exactly a bundle of joy in the mornings last week.

I'm not looking for a free month, but think that a few hundred franks is a reasonable request to make considering that these are more than just minor disruptions. I'm just not sure what would be a typical rent reduction to ask for from Regie given these circumstances. I'd appreciate any stories anyone has to share, or advice to give, regarding how big a reduction I should ask for/expect.

Thanks.

Heather
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