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Old 08.04.2011, 17:21
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Getting screwed by property management...help

So I did my handover today and several things were brought to my attention about the condition of my flat. Before bursting at the seams with the frustration, let my emphasize the fact that my wife and myself took very good care of our flat. We thought we would be here longer than we actually were.

First thing: The "evaluator" look through the entire flat, writing down absolutely everything that was wrong. I knew it was going to be like this, but she brought up a couple things that I thought were way off. She told me that there were several scratches on the stove (glass surface) and that she was going to charge me a fee for the eventual replacement of the stove. Granted, it's ONLY 200 francs, I felt a bit upset at this. It's not like the functionality of the stove was impaired, it's not even that you can see it when you look at it. It's a scratch that is only seen if you take out a flashlight and shine it across the surface of the cook-top. Again, it's not deep, and you can't normally see it, yet I have to pay 200 francs just for the eventual replacement. I think this is BS. I have a clause in my contract that states "normal wear and tear is expected." Pretty sure this falls under that category.

Second thing: They told me that the entire floor would need to be sanded down and re-surfaced because there were small (really small) dents in the floor where my wife had stepped off of the place mat with her high heels on. The entire floor is essentially one large wood floor, like any typical wood floor would be. But I stated to them that this should also fall under normal wear and tear. It's only in one area, and you can't even see it if you're not looking at it with some sort of horizontal light! It's something that I never noticed and I lived there for 3 years. They want to charge me over 6000 chf to have the floor fixed. I told them we would see what my insurance agent has to say about it.

So this is where we stand. I have my agent going out to the flat with the evaluator on Monday or Tuesday. I want the evaluator to explain to him what needs to be fixed. I'm hoping he scoffs at her and tells me not to pay a dime. There were other things that I will be paying for because there were several things that I agreed with the evaluator about. But these two I feel are completely ridiculous.

Has anybody else had similar problems? I may be looking for legal help if this matter can not be resolved the simple way. I know that without pictures this is a very difficult matter to comment on. So I am looking for opinions, for or against. Thanks.
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Old 08.04.2011, 17:28
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

There is a small claims court in Widikon which is free for all disputes regarding
apt. rent and so...

Dont give in to them ..... that for sure come under wear an tear,
are you meant to fly in your apt. in order not to touch the floor ?

And also an oven, after 3 years of use its expected that it has the odd scratch on it.

DONT LET THEM RIP YOU OFF
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Old 08.04.2011, 17:33
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

I highlighted this in my post earlier in the week.

The hob is a particular favourite for them to inspect. Light scratchs can be "lifted" with the right cleaning fluids. But deep glass scratches should be paid for.

High-heels and parkett floors are a no-no. As mentioned, you should use the appropriate wax kit to repair the damage.

If you're not used to a Swiss handover you should have someone do it for you. They are incredibly detailed. After all, they are when you move in, to ensure you know EXACTLY what condition you receive it in - normally immaculate.
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Old 08.04.2011, 17:42
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

Did you signed the protocol at handover? if you signed the protocol there should have been a note about both damages and in this case if you decide to go to court, you will end up paying anyway.

I think the landlord is looking to make money, next time you rent in a parkett floor apt, all shoes off at the entrance with no exceptions.

There is a place for renters where you can have them help you with this issue.
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Old 08.04.2011, 17:43
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

...AND what is the name of the property management..help other expats avoid firms like this one,....
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Old 08.04.2011, 17:47
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

If your paying for a new stove then I'd ask them for the old one.

1. To make sure they really do replace it.

2. If a new one costs 200 CHF then you might get something for it on EF/Ricardo.

3. Even if you don't, it will look to them like you don't trust them. That's got to make you feel a bit better
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Old 08.04.2011, 17:48
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

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I highlighted this in my post earlier in the week.

The hob is a particular favourite for them to inspect. Light scratchs can be "lifted" with the right cleaning fluids. But deep glass scratches should be paid for.

###use the blue liquid for diswashers, it will hide them pretty well.

High-heels and parkett floors are a no-no. As mentioned, you should use the appropriate wax kit to repair the damage.
#### yes, buy sand paper re-sand area and apply many layers of wax to areas damaged. will cost time but not 6000 grand.


If you're not used to a Swiss handover you should have someone do it for you. They are incredibly detailed. After all, they are when you move in, to ensure you know EXACTLY what condition you receive it in - normally immaculate.
dont let them take you to the cleaners, tell them you will hire someone to do it for you. Dont let them take over the repairs this is how they get you with the charges
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Old 10.05.2011, 11:13
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

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They are incredibly detailed. After all, they are when you move in, to ensure you know EXACTLY what condition you receive it in - normally immaculate.
It really depends on the property management company. Some are meticulous, others are simply good at marketing the Swiss reputation for cleanliness. For instance, the property I stay at is run by Wincasa. My flat was pretty dirty when I moved in and I know all they did was pay the onsite housekeeper 200 CHF to clean it up. I know because I was there installing lights when she was cleaning. She did nothing outside of vaccuuming and wiping a few appliances down. Normal wear and tear was apparent everywhere (kitchen, floors, bathroom, etc.)

We made a list of all known defects and took some digital photographs as evidence of the condition of our place before we moved in. We sent it to Wincasa for their records. That is really the best thing to do.

I am moving out in a few months and know I will be in for a battle myself as I am sure Wincasa will try to make all sorts of suspicious claims. So, hopefully my "evidence" comes in handy.
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Old 10.05.2011, 16:39
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

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It really depends on the property management company. Some are meticulous, others are simply good at marketing the Swiss reputation for cleanliness. For instance, the property I stay at is run by Wincasa. My flat was pretty dirty when I moved in and I know all they did was pay the onsite housekeeper 200 CHF to clean it up. I know because I was there installing lights when she was cleaning. She did nothing outside of vaccuuming and wiping a few appliances down. Normal wear and tear was apparent everywhere (kitchen, floors, bathroom, etc.)

We made a list of all known defects and took some digital photographs as evidence of the condition of our place before we moved in. We sent it to Wincasa for their records. That is really the best thing to do.

I am moving out in a few months and know I will be in for a battle myself as I am sure Wincasa will try to make all sorts of suspicious claims. So, hopefully my "evidence" comes in handy.
Wincasa is the worst regie I've ever dealt with in Switzerland. But on the goo side for you, they probably will do the same shoddy job of inspection when you leave so unless you really break/ruin something my bet would be you have nothing to worry about.
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Old 10.05.2011, 17:41
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

It sounds like your landlord is shaking the tree to see what comes out. Pass it to your household insurance - let the landlords argue the toss with them.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 12.05.2011, 09:33
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

Sorry for those not understanding French; I don't speak German, so could not find the appropriate bit or a German version. The text comes from http://www.tsr.ch/emissions/abe/1371...a-hausse.html; it is extracted from a TSR show dedicated to consumers' law.

Important in the text below is in in particular the details on depreciation. Note that both wood floors and wall paperings have a depreciation of 10 years. Hence, in case of replacement or resanding, you can only be asked for the percent. In your case, you stayed 3 years, so at the max you can be asked for a 70% of 6000. Not great, but already less.

Check http://www.mieterverband.ch/. they protect and support the renters and offers even their presence at the handover in case of contentious.


Etat des lieux
Autre phase délicate dans la vie du locataire, l'état des lieux. Lors de l'entrée, si l'appartement dans lequel vous emménagez est en mauvais état, il est recommandé de filmer ou de prendre des photos. Vous risquez en effet de vous voir imputer les dégâts d'un autre. Lorsque l'on quitte un appartement, comment savoir ce qui est de l'usure normale ou ce qui relève du véritable dégât ? Après avoir occupé un appartement durant de longues années, la gérance ne peut pas vous demander de le rendre absolument dans l'état où vous l'avez trouvé, avec le temps, les choses se défraîchissent forcément. Par contre, il doit être vidé et nettoyé. A partir de là, c'est une question d'appréciation et de négociation.

ABE s'est livré à l'exercice de l'état des lieux, en compagnie de Françoise Gabriel, consultante à l'Asloca Lausanne. L'association propose d'ailleurs à ses membres de les accompagner en cas de problème lors de l'état des lieux L'appartement mis à disposition par une gérance est un 4 pièces, au premier étage, où vivait une famille de 5 personnes. Dans certaines chambres les tapisseries ont été refaites, parfois le sol.

Tapisseries

La durée d'amortissement est de 10 ans. Tout ce qui dépasse l'usure normale peut être reproché au locataire. En revanche, si la tapisserie se décolle, c'est plus vraisemblablement un problème à la pose, voire de l'humidité. Le locataire n'y est pour rien.

Par contre, les traces de crayons sur la tapisserie vaudront au locataire sortant qu'on lui demande de participer à leur remplacement, déduction faite de la vétusté. C'est-à-dire que si elles ont 6 ans, il participera, au grand maximum, à 40% des frais de remise en état...»

Parquet

La vitrification des parquets s'amortit elle aussi sur 10 ans. Lors de l'état de lieux, tout dépend de l'importance des marques sur le sol. Si elles sont profondes, on pourra demander le ponçage du parquet et sa vitrification à neuf.

Equipement manquant

Tout ce qui a été loué avec l'appartement, au départ, doit être remis en ordre. Donc s'il manque une prise et un cache-prise, il faudra les remplacer. Même chose si du matériel faisant partie de l'appartement a été cassé.

Sanitaire (porcelaine)

On admet que l'émail d'une baignoire soit usé après 10 ans. Mais s'il y a des trous, ou de profondes marques, c'est manifestement un dégât. Le locataire devra y aller de sa poche. A moins que la baignoire ait plus de 40 ans. Dans ce cas-là, on considère qu'elle est amortie. Cette règle est valable pour toute la porcelaine.

Stores

Dans le canton de Vaud, les règles et usages locatifs déterminent que c'est au locataire de procéder au remplacement des sangles de stores.

En règle générale, l'état des lieux relève de l'appréciation au cas par cas. Il faut toujours pouvoir déterminer l'âge des installations. Le locataire peut donc exiger les factures d'origine au bailleur qui lui réclame des frais de remise en état. C'est à lui de faire la preuve que les dégâts reprochés dépassent l'usure normale. Méfiez-vous des conventions de sortie, qui équivalent à une reconnaissance de dettes. Si vous les signez sans avoir vérifié les montants, vous risquez de perdre tout ou partie de votre garantie de loyer.
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Old 12.05.2011, 10:00
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

Interesting about the depreciation time vs time resident.

So I move into an apartment with a new parket floor and stay 5 years...if I totally trash it I pay half the replacement cost ?

What if the parket was there already for 10 years before I move in ? I pay nothing ?
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Old 12.05.2011, 10:13
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

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Interesting about the depreciation time vs time resident.

So I move into an apartment with a new parket floor and stay 5 years...if I totally trash it I pay half the replacement cost ?

What if the parket was there already for 10 years before I move in ? I pay nothing ?
There are complete lists of how long something should last and as far as I know you pay a percentage based on how long it was still supposed to last. I do believe floors should last more along the line of 20 years, though.
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Old 12.05.2011, 11:09
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

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Interesting about the depreciation time vs time resident.

So I move into an apartment with a new parket floor and stay 5 years...if I totally trash it I pay half the replacement cost ?

What if the parket was there already for 10 years before I move in ? I pay nothing ?
Thats my understanding. There was the same system in Munich when I was there, except it was only 8 years.
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Old 12.05.2011, 11:15
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

Its stories like these that make me dread leaving my apartment. I got mine brand-new

OP, it sounds like they are trying to see what they can get away with. Small scratches on stoves are considered wear and tear. I'd call up the mieterverband and seek their advice. If you arent a member, you'd have to pay for their legal services but based on principle, I'd rather pay the mieterverband to know my rights than some unscrupulous and greedy landlord.

Good luck.
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Old 12.05.2011, 17:58
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

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Important in the text below is in in particular the details on depreciation. Note that both wood floors and wall paperings have a depreciation of 10 years. Hence, in case of replacement or resanding, you can only be asked for the percent. In your case, you stayed 3 years, so at the max you can be asked for a 70% of 6000. Not great, but already less.

Parquet

La vitrification des parquets s'amortit elle aussi sur 10 ans. Lors de l'état de lieux, tout dépend de l'importance des marques sur le sol. Si elles sont profondes, on pourra demander le ponçage du parquet et sa vitrification à neuf.
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Interesting about the depreciation time vs time resident.

So I move into an apartment with a new parket floor and stay 5 years...if I totally trash it I pay half the replacement cost ?

What if the parket was there already for 10 years before I move in ? I pay nothing ?
WHOA!! Please be careful what you are writing. People sometimes take what is written on EF as someone the truth.

Floors do no last only 10 years. The varnish on the parquet/wood floors should last 10 years. This is very much not the same thing. Can you really imagine changing the floors every 10 years? Floors can last many decades.
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Old 12.05.2011, 18:08
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

But surely sanding and varnishing a floor cannot cost 6000 chf?
It's such an easy job, wouldn't take more than 2 days if you allow for drying in between layers. I should make a career switch!
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Old 12.05.2011, 18:10
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

I had many problems too for "normal wear and tear" things. I managed to get all my deposit back with a letter from my lawyer. I think if they see you are serious about getting your money back they will not fight you back because they know they will not win.
But think in all the people leaving it and not fighting...they get a lot of money from those!
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Old 12.05.2011, 18:23
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

Well, the text says what it says.
Hardwood floors of course last longer than 10 yrs, in the same way a wall lasts longer; but the surface treatment is supposed to be spoiled after 10 years, so that is normal wear and tear.

In the same way as a bathtub last 40 yrs... but its surface is dull after 10, and can be re-done.

The main point is, even if you are sometimes stuck with some stuff, it is good to investigate what is wear and tear assumed to be for that item, and challenge the management to pay only the correct fraction of the restauration.

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Old 12.05.2011, 18:26
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Re: Getting screwed by property management...help

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... Pass it to your household insurance - let the landlords argue the toss with them...
That's what we did. Got a 3'600 bill down to 1'500, some of which was paid for by the insurance.

We didn't need the deposit money back in a hurry. The landlord was quite desperate. If he hadn't tried to screw us around, he would have got it much more quickly. As it happened, he had to wait months for my insurance company to get things sorted... and I wasn't about to hurry them up!
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