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  #21  
Old 25.11.2009, 20:29
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

It's a pity that the OP didn't give us any further information when he logged in again this afternoon.

I'd really like to know what happened here. We get great wads of Info to wade through each year well before the AGM to tell us where all our money went.
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  #22  
Old 25.11.2009, 20:35
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

Christ, good luck!
If you need an architect, I have a friend who can pass on her portfolio to you.
She is from Australia, but is living here in Zurich.
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  #23  
Old 25.11.2009, 20:58
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

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We bought an apartment in Lucerne 2 years ago, we bought it on the basis that the nebenkosten would be around 300chf per month, we have now gone from 300chf to 450cf to 850chf and now we just received another bill for 1200chf. We have been to the HEV, lawyers etc. and no-one seems to be able to hlep us. We wish we had never bought this place and cant even sell it with these costs attached to it. Can anyone reccommend an englsih speaking lawyer who specialises in property purchasing in CH that could possibly help us? We feel we were mislead into buying this apartment and want to get it sorted out asap.
First off Nebenkosten are not set in stone for the life of the property. Prices do go up and down regularly. Heating oil for example has risen sharply and there could be other expenses which you will find that your homeowners association have agreed upon during annual budget meetings (Eigentümerversammlung). Have you been attending these meetings..? Do you even understand German that you understand what transpired at those meetings..? You would have received a minutes of the meeting with all the expenses in detail. As I said all of this should be in your annual budget report as the people who actually manage your apartment building (Verwaltung) are not authorized to make changes to the budget without the homeowner's consent.

Second and probably the reason for the jump in prices is the Erneuerungsfond. Since you mentioned "architect" (there is no landlord if you own) I'm guessing this was a new build..? New buildings are not required to have a Erneuerungsfond (renovations fund) until (now here's where I'm not exactly sure) after the second, third or fifth year after completion of building.

I sugest you sit down with someone who can explain all these charges to you in English before you run off wasting money on lawyers who most likely aren't going to be of any help except relieving you of even more money..
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  #24  
Old 25.11.2009, 21:09
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

It sounds like you are not being ripped off, just you don't understand what you got yourselves into. Here apartment ownership is far more regulated than other places; it works well and the property is maintained to a high standard. Sure it costs but it also protects your investment. If you don't understand the sales document yet you go ahead and sign it and pay, well you get what you deserve for being cheap and not understanding or getting a translation.

House/apartment costs approx Chf 500'000.--, translation approx 1'000.-- Which bit do you need to think about ?
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  #25  
Old 25.11.2009, 22:18
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

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Or for those who cannot afford a single detached house, this is the kind of crap that makes people rent because then at least they can't raise the price disproportionately.
Nebenkosten charges are also passed onto tenants. We have a communal underground garage and when something needs repairing, replacing or cleaning, the bill is divided amongst all garage users. Renters and owners pay the same amount per parking space.

One flat that I was interested in had higher Nebenkosten charges than all the others the same size. One of the bedrooms had been divided into two tiny kids rooms - so a higher proportion for everything. It was a ground floor with its own front door, yet lift and hallway cleaning fees were still payable.

I also didn't think that Nebenkosten charges on new builds could be guaranteed. If the reason for the high costs are for finishing things that the builder never completed and should have, then the OP should in fact take it up with the builder.

Last edited by CH_Me; 25.11.2009 at 22:39.
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  #26  
Old 25.11.2009, 22:26
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

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.....The Comune informed us that under Section bla bla bla of the we have the Right To Rip You Off Act. that they can enforce payment under Federal Law of those monies and have the powers to put a loan on your property and take the monies if you don't have the monies or are refusing to pay and you have no say....
goodness, that's harsh!
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  #27  
Old 27.11.2009, 21:43
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

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Nebenkosten charges are also passed onto tenants. We have a communal underground garage and when something needs repairing, replacing or cleaning, the bill is divided amongst all garage users. Renters and owners pay the same amount per parking space.
Sounds strange to me. Normally tenants are responsible for the upkeep of their own appartement which includes minor repairs such as paint jobs. But communal areas such as the entrance area, stairs, parking lots, garden, etc are the responsibility of the Verwaltung unless stated otherwise in your contract.

As not everybody has a car, parking lots (if they are personal) tend to be rented out separtely from the appartment, and maybe this separate contract states that the tenant of the parking lot may be liable for certain repairs?
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  #28  
Old 27.11.2009, 22:11
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

Hi Sam,

There's a good forum for homeowners in Switzerland. There are a lot of experts on there and I think they should be able to help you. It's all german, but I'm sure most of them will understand English.

Good luck!
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  #29  
Old 27.11.2009, 22:50
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

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Sounds strange to me. Normally tenants are responsible for the upkeep of their own appartement which includes minor repairs such as paint jobs. But communal areas such as the entrance area, stairs, parking lots, garden, etc are the responsibility of the Verwaltung unless stated otherwise in your contract.

As not everybody has a car, parking lots (if they are personal) tend to be rented out separtely from the appartment, and maybe this separate contract states that the tenant of the parking lot may be liable for certain repairs?
The garage and pathways are the only communal things I have right now, and tenants are certainly passed on garage heating, cleaning, maintenance (changing light bulbs ect) and maintenance for the garage doors if they rent a space. Here some houses come with 3 places - take them all or don't take the house our neighbour was told. My rental flat was also one contract for the garage place and flat. Rubbish room costs (taking the bins out) and cleaning the communal paths is also charged to house renters.

When renting here I was sent detailed bill from my real estate showing the Nebenkosten breakdown. Things included were charges for heating and cleaning the communal areas, lift maintenance, bins, recycling disposal (carton and paper) and communal washing machine maintenance. Charges were proportioned according to number of rooms in each apartment - and yes - as a tenant I had to pay (less the CHF 250 a month NK amount already paid). How else do the NK charges get so high? When renting, mine was CHF 250 a month or CHF 3000 a year. That has got to include more than just cleaning communal areas and heating - and it did. I though - sod that! Why should I pay that as a tenant? So I went looking for my own place. Landlords here really have it good.

Last edited by CH_Me; 27.11.2009 at 23:04.
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  #30  
Old 27.11.2009, 23:36
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

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Phil, he did buy.
sorry, i meant buy a standalone house, free of 'landlords' or other associations.

i had similar problems buying leasehold in london. you live and learn...
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  #31  
Old 30.11.2009, 17:17
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

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When renting here I was sent detailed bill from my real estate showing the Nebenkosten breakdown. Things included were charges for heating and cleaning the communal areas, lift maintenance, bins, recycling disposal (carton and paper) and communal washing machine maintenance. Charges were proportioned according to number of rooms in each apartment - and yes - as a tenant I had to pay (less the CHF 250 a month NK amount already paid). How else do the NK charges get so high? When renting, mine was CHF 250 a month or CHF 3000 a year. That has got to include more than just cleaning communal areas and heating - and it did. I though - sod that! Why should I pay that as a tenant? So I went looking for my own place. Landlords here really have it good.
It probably depends who you are renting from.

My Nebenkosten are less that 100 Franks. The Verwaltung does a really splendid job. The entrance area, garden and stairs area always spotlessly clean and on the rare ocasions that something such as a light bulb needs replacing its normally done on the same day. During office hours, my emails normally get replied to within an hour and they are extremely helpful. In the 10 years I've lived here the Nebenkosten have gone up by about 10 Franks. But during that time they've renovated the exterior of the house, renovated the stairs and elevator, replaced the communal washing machine by a super luxury modern one and done many other things that improved the overal quality of living there.

I'd be stupid if I tried to buy an equivalent place.
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  #32  
Old 09.04.2015, 21:15
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

we just bought a flat in ZH. We hope not the same will happen to us. we can keep you posted once we move in if they try to increase the nebenkosts. But to ask for a justification of increase is a fair point.
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  #33  
Old 09.04.2015, 21:19
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Re: Being ripped off by Architect and Landlord

NK when we rented: CHF 400/month.

Now that we own the same apartment, CHF 600/month.

Tom
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