Monday, October 06, 2014

Thanks for spending 250,000 francs with us. Now about that scratch…

The Frau has one word for her apartment handover meeting. Amazement.

She was prepared for the best that Swissness could offer. And still. She was…here is a nice way of saying it…dumbfounded.

It’s more the concept of the thing than the thing itself. It's the fact that you could spend over CHF 250,000 on rent while living 8+ years in a place and still be subjected to scrutiny over a small crack on a light switch plate (not her fault! already noted on the move-in protocol, yippee!) or be shown that a piece of 40-year-old plastic is broken with a sad shake of a head and point of a finger. It’s almost unbelievable except it’s Switzerland, so it’s believable.

Here are a few highlights from the handover:

One of the apartment managers actually ran her finger over the top of one of the doorknobs and proclaimed it not clean enough. This same woman proceeded to pull the lining out of the fridge to check the cleanliness of that. Thanks to the fact that The Frau spent CHF 2,000 getting the place cleaned, the cleaners kept working as the woman kept criticizing so The Frau got her money's worth.

Two 40+ year-old pieces of plastic that held the window shade cranks were documented as broken. Yes…they were 40 + years old. Should this be surprising or The Frau’s fault?

The glasses in the bathroom that the movers packed by mistake were pointed out as missing and it was recommended that they be shipped back to the rental agency from the USA, once they arrived. This seemed stupid and costly to The Frau. The issue was resolved after a quick run to Migros when The Frau proved to the rental agency people that yes, the glasses could be replaced for a mere 5 SF and a little last-minute moving stress.

How much will all of this “wear and tear” cost The Frau beyond the 250k she already spent in rent? She’ll let you know in two months. Apparently that’s how long it takes to get any of your deposit back. Perfect timing, since by then her Swiss bank account will be closed and she will get to pay bank transfer fees on top of any small remaining pocket change. Yippee.


Dilly said...

Good luck with the move, and with the adjustment back to life at "home". (I can totally empathise with what you spoke about in your last post that Switzerland somewhat ruins living in most other places...!). Also, something that may be helpful if the Régie (or whatever they're called in the German part) takes money off your deposit is speaking to the renters' association - we have had friends who have had problems that have found them super helpful. Hilariously in francophoneland they are called ASLOCA, but this appears to be the equivalent for Zurich canton

Ice Charades said...

I moved back to the US as well after three years in Hamburg. It seemed like many of the expats we knew also left this summer and I heard some stories much like yours in how ridiculous landlords can be. A friend said the landlord there was a fork missing in a furnished apt and she had to go through the original lease to prove it was missing all the time.

One has to wonder if this is a part of why Germans (and probably the Swiss too) don't move so much.

Arielle said...

We were in the same situation when we moved out of our appartment in Zürich. After 1 1/2 year, the Verwaltung considered some walls needed to be painted at our charge. I still don't understand why. They were considering that we should pay 40 chf for the same exact glasses we found at Migros for 4 chf! We only got our deposit back after 6-8 months (once they figured the part of the charges we needed to pay). It was way easier when we moved out of our appartment in Lausanne! The woman from the Régie was not as picky and we got our deposit back within 2 weeks. I tell you, it feel sometimes as if it is two different countries. In your situation, you should only pay 20% of the bill, as you lived there for 8 years. Well, good luck with the big move!

Hattie said...

Bummer. Be sure to turn in your car license plates or risk having the police knock on your hotel room door at 7:00 a.m. demanding their "stolen Swiss government property," ie the plates. That actually happened to my husband.
I also recommend getting some therapy, because, if you are at all like me, you will experience reverse culture shock. A lot of it was feeling incredulous at what I had put up with.

Magda said...

I have been living here for 5 years and I must say I never stop being amazed at how ridiculous Swiss rules can sometimes be. I received a 50 CHF fine for a 0.10 I did not pay!!!! It cost 2 CHF to go to the post office to pay this 0.1!!

Cathy said...

What HAPPENED? Did you get your bond back? You can't keep us in suspense like this.

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