Moving out from flat & repairs


I recently moved out of my previous flat. When doing the checkout, the landlord noticed mild water damages on the wood parquet. Today I received a bill to repair the parquet. The damage is not big, so it does not need replacing, just grinding. The problem is they quote me for grinding the whole floor instead of just the affected area. So basically 50qm instead of just 0.5qm. And that is because they are afraid of the colour difference.
Is there anything I can do about the situation?

Yes, it’s normal that you have to do a big area, otherwise it will not be uniform.
Maybe if it’s expensive, you should check with your liability insurance?

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Unfortunately, I didn’t take any ( I have one now ), I didn’t know it was for tenants as well. In other countries, it’s mostly for homeowners.

Is the damage noted on the “Abnahmeformular”? And if so, how is it noted?

If its not there, you dont have to pay… either way i wouldnt pay for the whole 50m2… i work in this business :slight_smile:

Dont you have a Privathaftpflicht Versicherung?

They also need to consider the age of the floor. After x years, they anyway have to make the floor. So if x would be 20 and the floor hasnt been grinded for 10 years, then you should only have to pay for 50%.

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Yes it is noted. It just says water damage.
What do you suggest to avoid to pay for the whole floor?

No, I didn’t… I have it now.
Thanks for explaining the rule for the age of the floor.

My german isn’t that good so I can’t skim very fast:

Here you can find tables… if it’s a high quality floor, it should last 25 years, otherwise 10. I think it means that if you live there for more than 10 years and the boden has to be repaired, you don’t pay.

edit: wrong numbers. 30 years maybe? there are different types of parkett.(if it’s parkett)


The years cover the time since it was either put in or last completely fixed and not only your length of stay. You only owe the percentage of the time it should have lasted more. If it is halfway through its life expectancy, you pay half.

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I would simply tell them:

  • You are willing to pay a “Minderwert” for the damage but not for the whole floor
  • Ask them when the last time was the floor got grinded

As some said before, if the “Lebensdauer” of the grind is 10 years, you live there for 10 years and they grind it - no cost’s for you… if its 10 years, you lived there for 5, you pay 50%…

But sometimes by just asking questions and refuse to pay, they let it go because the cost of going into court etc. is much more a hassle than just let it be :slight_smile:

Contact the Mieterverband

I will try that, but in the mean time they are holding my caution. And the cost of what they ask me is 1/2 of my caution. So what happens with the caution if we don’t come to an agreement?

this - just simply contact them and ask… they will help you…

Interestingly enough, if you become a member of a Mietverband, you can get an insurance very very cheaply

Is there a trick involved?

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Yes of course as with most insurances. They pay only what your existing liability insurance doesn’t pay, and of course only if you followed all the rules outlined in the AVB e.g. duty of care, etc. So basically you give them 12 CHF per year, for nothing in return.

If they don’t try to collect by pursuing legal means, you can contact the bank after one year and they’ll have to free the caution then. If the landlord tries to collect (for example, by requesting it from a collection agency (no idea how to name it in English, Office des poursuites et faillites, in French)), it becomes more complex. You can search litigation for free (the authority responsible for it varies from Canton to Canton) but you’d end up with an entry on the collection registry for 5 years if you loose.

None of this is informed legal advice and I’m no specialist of the field. I’d consult with an attorney before making my decision (you can get a short free consultation by asking the lawyers’ association in some Cantons, it’s worth checking on their website).

I’ve lived a pretty similar situation recently. My analysis was that it was worth paying to avoid the hassle (though I was in a state of general tiredness at the time). I ended up paying and getting the hassle because my landlord was a real dumb dumb. Live and learn, I guess.

So I had something similar:

  • I had a deep scratch below my bed that I couldn’t fix myself (I tried buying some wax at Hornbach)
  • I had barely visible “deep” traces under the table because of the feet; only seeable under specific light and angle. Those have been noticed 4 days after I left.

My tenant gave me the quote … 25m^2 of floor to replace + 18h of work → 2.8k, which was a total scam I think. But my insurance did not say anything and took it (I don’t have any franchise, so it cost me exactly 0.-).

But I would have argued very much if I would have paid:

  • 25m^2 was a scam and 18h as well. I would have asked for other quotes.
  • As highlighted by others, I would have paid only 80% (in this case the floor was 2 y.o. out of 10 according to the Miterverband)

I don’t know how this would have ended it; like you I had ~6k of warranty. I think I would have been to Mieterverband and see with them my options. You know, you’re supposed to follow rules like notified the flaws with a letter with signature, etc, that Miterverband knows exactly.

So in the end it seems like I will end up paying…
However, I have a last question. I asked the Verwaltung to get a second offer done by a carpenter I used in the past. I had a quick chat with him over the phone and the price he quoted me was 40% cheaper than the carpenter from the Verwaltung. But the Verwaltung tells me they don’t want to work with a carpenter they don’t know. Is there anything I can do about that?

Tell them you won’t pay more than the price of the market. Send them a formal offer from your carpenter


How many CHF are you being asked to pay?

If it is 1500 CHF consider paying it and moving on.

If it is considerably more, I can only repeat what someone said above join a tenants organisation (ASLOCA in suisse romande - think it is Mietverband in German). They will advise whether you can reduce the amount for depreciation ad help you write a letter referencing the law

Edit: Here is a link with the recommended amortisation tables - article in French but includes a table in German

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