Wealth managers and their way of thinking

Hi all!

I’m having a conflict with my former landlord who refuses to free the caution and is pushing for a small damage payment (circa 800.-) without judicial ground for it (my interpretation, though I am pretty sure of this one). He’s a wealth manager and the word about him is that he tries to pull all kinds of tricks whenever he can to avoid paying what he owes or get money that doesn’t rightfully belongs to him.

He’s now threatening to ask for collection of the amount he is claiming. Up to there, everything is thoroughly dishonest, but normal: anybody can seize a collection office without having to prove cause and the fees to do it are pretty low, he’s not risking much and may gain 800.- if I give in to the threat.

The question is, how far would he be willing to go? Past the first few steps that are cheap, he’d be facing higher fees and more time consuming legal procedures (which I’d rather avoid, although I won’t pay something I don’t owe for that). I’m trying to understand his psychology, which is very alien to me.

Has anybody here experience with what can be the thinking of a wealth manager? As a person dealing with hazards mitigation, I’d take low risk low hanging fruits but think twice before jumping into more risky waters where I’d have to frontload higher fees. That’s what I think a rational person would do (who’d hire a lawyer for thousands of franks to get CHF 800?). Would waving threats to the deeper end ever be in the toolbox of a wealth manager? I was under the impression that their job enties being conservative rather than reckless.

Any feedback appreciated. I am, of course, not expecting a final answer to my specific conundrum, just some thoughts to feed my peace of mind and better figure out if he’s behaving like a trapped animal or a predator on the hunt.

Thanks in advance for any tip you’d be willing to share.

ETA: I’m not excluding the possibility that, in his deluded mind, his claim is 100% legit and I’m some kind of unreliable monster for not paying what he’d consider rightfully due. Would going into rightful frenzy to try and gather that fit into a normal wealth manager behavior or would they be more poised and accept that, sometimes, crossing a small amount as a loss is better than long and painful procedures?

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Maybe he has a legal insurance (quite likely if he is a landlord). He won’t pay anything to engage into a legal procedure.

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Aaaaand, that is true. Can’t believe I haven’t thought about this one on my own. It’d be about the time he’d have to put toward it, then. It’s much more likely he’d be willing to push it to the deeper end than I originally thought.

Wouldnt take this too serious, he will incur cost if he sends you a payment notice. You should then simply reject it. Based on this, he could only take you to court. Good thing is that the rental court is both for free and that you don‘t need a lawyer. Its an advisory council that helps everyone and as long as you have all materials together, they will do the evaluation even if you don‘t know any single paragraph - a lawyer won‘t help you.

Better thing is, based on legal practice you could agree for a settlement (take some money and get lost); but he cant force you to such. He can only force you to pay damages as incurred. Meaning that you don‘t legally need to pay for Zero, unless he paid a third party to fix the damage.

So the game is best playd that you:

  1. tell him (if needed in writing) that you refused accountablity
  2. Will reject any payment orders, so that he would only incur cost for such and would hence need to pull you to court
    => Propose to him that he should directly take you to court, and thereby safe the payment notice hassle for both Parties (don‘t do this in writing as it could qualify as a corrcion)
  3. Wait for 12 months (post the time you moved out). If he didnt take you to court by then, write to the Bank and ask them to release the payment to you. If you can evidence you moved out more than 12 months ago, they must and will pay you the money.

So worst case you just need to wait for 12 months / have some cash idling somewhere but hey, given zero interest rates consider it as part of your non-risk investments in your asset allocation and lean back.

Should he actually take you to court and present an invoice from a repair… then its a different situation but still: you don‘t owe him legal fees as no need for a lawyer and no court fees and you then just hand this over to your liability insurance. They will for free defend you against any claims for liability raised against you.

Should you not have a liability insurance; then take one out NOW. Especislly if you aim to get wealthy somewhen will you need one. Otherwise, would be a shame if a liability claim voids you from all your property. Its the only supplemental insurance you truly need in Switzerland…

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@TeaCup: thanks a lot! That’s basically what I had figured out.

I’ve already answered to his threat by stating he had no claim and I would reject any payment order sent my way.
I’ve written to the bank asking for the release of the amount in guarantee after 12 month and preemptively telling them that I was opposing any claim from my landlord on it.

So basically, now, I should forewarn my liability insurance that these proceedings are happening (because gathering the documents and sending them to them is less taxing for me now than it may be at a later point when under more pressure), sit, relax and wait.

Thanks for your input.

By the way, don’t liability insurance just pay for those without questions? (might not be worth your time to fight it)

You got it all right, now relax and wait what happens. He will now realise you were no easy money. It can be he still sends you a payment notice to bug you a bit (just to satisfy his ego). If this happens, ensure you reject it in time.

Likely, he will just give in now but you never know if his ego is worth the few francs he loses on a payment notice. Making you wait for 12 months will likely please his ego enough…

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If you just agree to pay, you can easily be stuck in the middle as liability insurance only pays for credible claims. Meaning if you are not sure it was a proper claim, I wouldnt settle myself and just forward the claim to the insurance. If they don‘t cover, you are likely safe to reject as well. They know what to pay and what not.

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Indeed, so just forwarding the claim sounds indeed like the the safest play. If it’s too small for them to care, they’ll just pay, if not they can pay for the lawyers anyway :slight_smile:

Edit: also would Mieterverband membership also help here?

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They’re asking for either an entry/exit inventory (and we don’t have an entry inventory because my ex-landlord is that bad at his activity, meaning he doesn’t have a base state of the house to base his claims on) or that I acknowledge responsibility for the so-called damages, which would open myself to liability.

I’d rather have my liability insurance decide for themselves what the best course of action is, we’ll see what they say.

Edit:

I don’t have one yet but I’m definitely considering getting one in the future, if only just to show support. :slight_smile: We’ll see if I change my point of view when I grow older and I may dabble in landlorship myself (not planned, but who knows?).

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What is the dispute over - what is he asking you to pay for?

If he didn’t have a move in and move out inventory or état de lieu then he is going to struggle to make you pay for anything even if you have damaged something

I would join ASLOCA / Mieterverband it usually costs about 80 CHF for the year and ask them to help on this case. I am pretty sure they will sort this out for you… and also calm your nerves

It’s a pretty complex situation where I’ve done several mistakes, mainly due to the fact that I was in a bad state of mind (lots of professional pressure) and he’s been very agressive in his way of keeping pressure on my shoulders. There were actual damages when I moved out and we settled for that in a written agreement. That agreement had a reservation that he is now using on things that were not the object of said reservation.

I didn’t want to get my liability insurance involved at the time for all sorts of bad reasons, that was a very poor decision. What I’m trying to learn from this experience is to put a bigger focus on my life balance in order not to have work-induced stress cost me high indirect costs like this one. I’m not there yet. :wink:

That’s good advice. For whatever reason, I wanted to wait until this case was done with but there really is no reason for it. Membership request sent!

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Will be interested to hear how it goes

And what are the actual damages? Having an agreement where you leave open potential unnoticed damages was certainly not the best idea… also did you cause the other now claimed damages (potentially unknowingly? e.g. mold due to lack of ventilation)

Did I cause it? Maybe, maybe not. It’s on a drain that is used for both my former appartment and the landlord’s one. The problem appeared shortly before the term of the lease, when both my landlord and I were in our respective appartments.

It’s been discussed while drawing the agreement in front of a notary, though, and has then been agreed to be paid by the landlord if the problem was due to the drains. He was fearing for the washing machine linked to the drain and the reservation has been specifically made for that machine and that machine only. The text of the agreement is pretty clear on that (btw, if you’re reading this, dear ex-landlord, hi! :smiley:)

The details of this story are pretty messy. The landlord thinks that his appartment was in a perfect shape when I moved in, while it was already pretty old and not especially designed to be lived long term in (it’s sort of a vacation chalet). I was having very, very little time to handle the move and have cut a few corners, which is why I’ve not discussed much during the agreement and taken on more than I should have - which, incidentally, may have given the signal to my landlord that he could milk me as much as he wanted, which is what I have to correct now by being very firm in all my dealings with him.

We’re basically out of the lender-renter relationship and more on a “sticking to the terms of a contract” basis at this point, which is part of what my ex-landlord seems not to understand. I’m confident in my posture but, as always, I may be wrong and a judge may handle the case differently from how I envision it.

By the way, thanks everybody for your replies. I’ll handle things from here and keep you informed once everything is over, which could take some time.

Have a nice and joyful week!

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What I find interesting is that you equate

  • the behavior of one specific person - your landlord who is (by chance) also a wealth manager - in the “situation” you have with them
  • with the generalized cohort of all wealth managers, and try to understand their “group thinking” :grin:
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:smile:

It’s more my nature scientist dealing in natural hazards way of thinking side showing: it’s not so much that I equate the two things but that I’m trying to cover my blind spots and think in terms of scenarii.

At this point, there seem to be basically two options:

  • either he’s clueless and has no idea what he’s stepping into. There are a good trail of clues pointing in that direction. That’s not a scenario that worries me, he can flail around all he wants and bear the costs of it.

  • or he’s cultivating a clueless face but is really very calculating in the background, meaning he is taking calculated risks and is ready to pursue every opportunity I’m giving him.

That second option is my real worry. What I’m seeing doesn’t fit what I’m thinking of a good wealth manager (not that I think that most wealth managers are good at what they do, neither that he is skilled at anything). He seems to be clueless at real estate and poor at risk assessment (my analysis). I’m trying to figure out what another person with his background would have done in his situation to understand better what his play may be if he is the calculating-wearing-a-mask sort.

So, I’m searching for clues more than for a definitive answer (which I’ll only get if he goes to the deep end of things - which could be fun in its own way). :smiley:

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Hanlon’s razor says ”Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

In this case stupidity could be substituted with incompetence or greed. He sounds like the type of landlord who wants the tenant to pay for everything. The wealth manager aspect may only show itself as focusing on the profits and trying to pick pennies where they are easily available.

Unfortunately there are many tenants who do not know their rights and many landlords who prey on that fact. Many landlords don’t realize that the rent is already a compensation for normal wear and tear.

Personal example: when moving out of an apartment the Verwaltung sent us a helpful list of things to take care of. That included having all appliances serviced by a professional at our cost. I wrote them a polite email citing the law and the Mieterverband also explicitly stating that we will not take over such costs. They replied on the same day and said we don’t have to pay for the service.

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What do you mean with “reject in time” ? I thought he just had to throw it away.

Also how do you know in which court he takes him?(might be a dumb quesiton)

They will surely pay, and ask you to pay your part (in my case would be 200chf)

someone should sue them.

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