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  #21  
Old 17.10.2009, 08:50
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Re: Nebenkosten bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

I bothered to read my latest Heiz- und Betriebskostenabrechnung.

I noticed a section for cable TV - Kabelfernsehen with this breakdown:

Kabelfernsehen 1315.60
Honorar 56.60

I pay 20% of that, so my part is CHF 274.45

Can anyone suggest what am I getting for that sum of money? And can I choose not to pay?

I have something in the wall in the living room with three sockets. One is a female connector for an analogue TV signal. Signal strength is very poor on many channels. My cable modem is connected to the second. The third connector looks like a male coax outlet.
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  #22  
Old 17.10.2009, 11:09
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Re: Nebenkosten bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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Can anyone suggest what am I getting for that sum of money? And can I choose not to pay?
Usually you get basic cable service for that money. CHF 274 per year equals about CHF 22.85 per month which sounds about right. Usually a number (at least 30 or so) analog TV and radio channels are included. With some cable providers you also receive quite a number of digital channels if you have a digital receiver.

Yes, you can choose not to pay the fee and have the cable connections in your house/apartment sealed, but...

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I have something in the wall in the living room with three sockets. One is a female connector for an analogue TV signal. Signal strength is very poor on many channels. My cable modem is connected to the second.
...most likely you will have to abandon your cable modem and switch to ADSL.
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  #23  
Old 23.12.2009, 15:28
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Re: Nebenkosten bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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Forgot one tiny thing- Is it a legitimate request for me to ask the Verwaltung for copies of the supporting vendor invoices?

Sorry, but in my line of work I see errors in this kind of stuff all the time. Not to mention the occasional fraud/defalcation. I know this is Switzerland, but believe me, it can happen anywhere.
It does happen in Switz...fraud and defalcation. I am sure one can ask for copies of the invoices.

Very good point.
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  #24  
Old 23.12.2009, 15:36
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Re: Nebenkosten bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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I am sure one can ask for copies of the invoices.
I'm not sure about copies, but you have the right to access and examine the relevant paperwork at your landlords' office within 30 days.
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  #25  
Old 23.12.2009, 15:45
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Re: Nebenkosten bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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I'm not sure about copies, but you have the right to access and examine the relevant paperwork at your landlords' office within 30 days.
At the office ? I hope not. I hope it can be accessed at the local tenant protection agency's offices.
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  #26  
Old 10.01.2010, 20:56
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Re: Nebenkosten bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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At the office ? I hope not. I hope it can be accessed at the local tenant protection agency's offices.
Why should your landlord's documents be available at the tenant protection agency's offices? The agency will come into play only if there's a disagreement between you and the landlord.
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  #27  
Old 11.01.2010, 09:31
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Re: Nebenkosten [extra rental costs] bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

As a renter, you're pretty much obliged to pay these bills, but the landlord should include a breakdown of costs list. If someone puts salt on the path to keep the ice at bay / changes the lightbulbs in the hall / installs a clothes hanger in the cellar: it'll go on 'nebenkosten'. The waste containers are an additional fee charged by the council, regardless that you use city waste bags. It all adds up Far better to ask the landlord to increase the rent to cover these end of year annoyances. If in doubt, contact the 'mietverband' for advice, as these extra costs are limited AFAIK to protect shady practices.
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  #28  
Old 12.01.2010, 18:25
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Re: Nebenkosten bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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Why should your landlord's documents be available at the tenant protection agency's offices? The agency will come into play only if there's a disagreement between you and the landlord.
Actually that's what I meant. If there is a dispute the agency comes into play and will ask for the detailed invoices. If it goes further than that the details will be asked for even there. Once there is a dispute the landlord has to provide detailed breakdown of costs as there has been a lot of shady stuff going on in this area.
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  #29  
Old 12.01.2010, 18:26
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Re: Nebenkosten [extra rental costs] bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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As a renter, you're pretty much obliged to pay these bills, but the landlord should include a breakdown of costs list. If someone puts salt on the path to keep the ice at bay / changes the lightbulbs in the hall / installs a clothes hanger in the cellar: it'll go on 'nebenkosten'. The waste containers are an additional fee charged by the council, regardless that you use city waste bags. It all adds up Far better to ask the landlord to increase the rent to cover these end of year annoyances. If in doubt, contact the 'mietverband' for advice, as these extra costs are limited AFAIK to protect shady practices.
Some contracts have nebenkosten as a flat monthly fee. It then should include everything you mentioned above no ?
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  #30  
Old 12.01.2010, 18:33
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Re: Nebenkosten [extra rental costs] bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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Some contracts have nebenkosten as a flat monthly fee. It then should include everything you mentioned above no ?
Nebenkosten is an estimate and not the final figure. You can pay more, if say oil prices increase and you use oil for heating, or you may end up paying less. I got a refund once
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  #31  
Old 12.01.2010, 18:50
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Re: Nebenkosten [extra rental costs] bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

I have not read all the posts here, but I would recommend the Mietverband and Rechtschutzversicherung. We moved into a rental house in 2002 and signed a 2-year lease. At the end of the first year we got a bill from the Vermieter that included a lot of "extras" for which we did not consider ourselves responsible. We contacted our Vermieter but he played dumb, so we gave the case to the Rechtschutzversicherung which reduced the "extras" by Sfr 300.
When we moved out we made sure that there was an inspection following the cleaning and signed off with the Vermieter. 3 months later he wrote to us stating that there was a water bill for Sfr 800 which we should split 50/50 with him. Apparently the house had stood empty for this time and he had never checked it (according to a neighbour). Clearly a tap had been left open. Once again our Rechtschutzer cleared it up with no cost to us.
You should read the rental agreement and ask for help on anything you don't understand. In addition to the Mietverband, Beobachter has plenty of articles on renting and will help (if you sign up for an Abonnement).
Good luck!
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  #32  
Old 13.01.2010, 09:57
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Re: Nebenkosten [extra rental costs] bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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I have not read all the posts here, but I would recommend the Mietverband and Rechtschutzversicherung. We moved into a rental house in 2002 and signed a 2-year lease. At the end of the first year we got a bill from the Vermieter that included a lot of "extras" for which we did not consider ourselves responsible. We contacted our Vermieter but he played dumb, so we gave the case to the Rechtschutzversicherung which reduced the "extras" by Sfr 300.
When we moved out we made sure that there was an inspection following the cleaning and signed off with the Vermieter. 3 months later he wrote to us stating that there was a water bill for Sfr 800 which we should split 50/50 with him. Apparently the house had stood empty for this time and he had never checked it (according to a neighbour). Clearly a tap had been left open. Once again our Rechtschutzer cleared it up with no cost to us.
You should read the rental agreement and ask for help on anything you don't understand. In addition to the Mietverband, Beobachter has plenty of articles on renting and will help (if you sign up for an Abonnement).
Good luck!
Good point about Rechtschutz versicherung. Membership with the Mieterverband includes the rechtchutz for landlord tenant issues.
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  #33  
Old 13.01.2010, 09:59
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Re: Nebenkosten [extra rental costs] bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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Nebenkosten is an estimate and not the final figure. You can pay more, if say oil prices increase and you use oil for heating, or you may end up paying less. I got a refund once
In some contracts, nebenkosten is mentioned as 'pauschal'. Apparently that means all inclusive. Otherwise it is an estimate as you mentioned. So the contract needs to be checked whether it is mentioned or not. That is my understanding of this issue.
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  #34  
Old 14.01.2010, 00:35
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Re: Nebenkosten [extra rental costs] bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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In some contracts, nebenkosten is mentioned as 'pauschal'. Apparently that means all inclusive. Otherwise it is an estimate as you mentioned. So the contract needs to be checked whether it is mentioned or not. That is my understanding of this issue.
Yes, in the case where the NK are "pauschal" the tenant pays a fixed monthly fee but it has to be clear what is included in this.

Nebenkosten are made of up different components. There are heating costs, water costs, electricity costs and maintenance costs. A contact should state what is included in the Nebenkosten. For example, it is possible that NK just cover heating and water, but the tenant will receive a bill for electricity.
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Old 15.01.2010, 20:37
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Re: Nebenkosten [extra rental costs] bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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Yes, in the case where the NK are "pauschal" the tenant pays a fixed monthly fee but it has to be clear what is included in this.

Nebenkosten are made of up different components. There are heating costs, water costs, electricity costs and maintenance costs. A contact should state what is included in the Nebenkosten. For example, it is possible that NK just cover heating and water, but the tenant will receive a bill for electricity.
point noted. Hopefully the amount to be paid by the tenant is within a certain limit. There have been a lot of shady practices in this area.
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  #36  
Old 24.11.2010, 20:17
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Re: Nebenkosten bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

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My landlord included copies of the invoices from the heating fuel supplier but not the smaller items.
mine did the same. it was more documentation than invoices.
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  #37  
Old 19.01.2012, 13:02
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What means inkl. Nebenkosten

I know that means extra costs but which extra costs? All of them?

I just spoke to someone about a apartment which says Nebenkosten inkl. and then he said there is Electricity and Gas extra???

Is this normal or is he just being sneaky?
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  #38  
Old 19.01.2012, 13:08
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Re: What means inkl. Nebenkosten

Normally it includes heating, water, building maintenance costs etc. For example, we have someone who comes and maintains the gardens, brings fire wood for the building, and hoovers and cleans the hallways, stairs etc.

You will be billed separately for electric in most cases, though I think I have seen examples of people having electric within their NBK costs.

Likewise, with heating, my understanding is although you are paying a set amount within the NBK, that doesnt rule out any end of year adjustment depending on your usage so it supposed to work that you top up at the end of the year or potentially get a refund. NOt heard many examples of refunds, and when I left my last apartment I had to pay about 170 or so on top of what I was already paying. I was a bit annoyed about this as asked why I was not receiving invoices, seemed a bit shady to me, but hey, Switzerland and all.
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  #39  
Old 19.01.2012, 13:10
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Re: What means inkl. Nebenkosten

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I know that means extra costs but which extra costs? All of them?

I just spoke to someone about a apartment which says Nebenkosten inkl. and then he said there is Electricity and Gas extra???

Is this normal or is he just being sneaky?
Normally Electricity is not included. I've never seen any apartment with gas appliances in all the apartments I've been in in Switzerland (presumably because they don't have any) so I don't know if gas would be shared between all the neighbours.

Nebenkosten are all the costs shared between the neighbours within the same building sometimes more than just one building. These are normally heating costs for heating fuel, maintenance of communal greens/areas as well as the wages of the hauswart etc. You will normally get a breakdown of this every year and be asked to pay more if needed or get a refund if you have paid too much.

As long as the Nebenkosten is 15-20% of the rent I wouldn't worry too much.
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  #40  
Old 19.01.2012, 13:10
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Re: Nebenkosten [extra rental costs] bill includes lots of extras. Please help!

There are threads on this subject in the sticky at the to of this section. Maybe they give more info which might clear things up a bit.
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