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Defects and shortcomings in your apartment

Inadequate heating, pests and mould – you might notice problems with your apartment when you move in or they might arise later on. What can you do about it?

Lists of defects

When you move into your new apartment you should always draw up a list of defects with your landlord. The list should be as clear and detailed as possible. You might notice some problems only after you have moved in. Depending on your rental agreement, you can still add these to the list of defects up to between 10 and 30 days after you move in. Problems might also arise during your tenancy. You should immediately inform your landlord of these in writing.

The landlord is not obliged to carry out renovations for aesthetic reasons: you usually just have to live with any scratches in the parquet flooring and stains on the walls.

The landlord is obliged to sort out any defects within a specified period. If the landlord fails to do this, the tenant may withhold the rent and request a rent reduction. The conciliation authority and tenants’ associations can help you in this process.

Withholding rent

If landlords fail in their duty to repair a defect, tenants have the right to withhold their rent. Several conditions and formalities have to be met in order for the rent to be lawfully withheld. Contact your canton’s conciliation authority for further information. Rent that has been withheld in the form of a deposit to a third party is deemed to have been paid.

Advice and information

Cantonal conciliation boards (information, advice, documentation)

Your canton’s conciliation authority offers information and advice to both tenants and landlords and can issue you with any application forms you need.

Tenants’ and landlords’ associations

The tenants’ and landlords’ associations also assist tenants and landlords with their respective concerns and interests in matters relating to rent.