Planning and attending your pre-exit and exit inspection
It is often helpful to agree on a pre-exit inspection with the real estate agency or owner. You can ask for an inspection shortly after you have handed in the lease cancellation letter.
The goal of a pre-exit inspection is to agree on any repair work that needs to be undertaken.
Your insurance policy might pay for damages caused to the apartment by accident. Not waiting until the final exit inspection allows you to ask your insurance company to open a claim file in good time (and while you are still in Switzerland).
- Gather all your correspondence with the agency during tenancy
- Gather all proof of maintenance during tenancy
- Book a date for a pre-exit inspection and an exit inspection
- Attend the pre-exit inspection
- Obtain quotes from cleaning companies
- Repaint or rebuild any items which you may have changed back to their original state
- Undertake minor maintenance repairs (fill holes, change joints)
- If necessary open a claim with your insurance company
- Get the apartment cleaned as close as possible to the exit inspection
- Be present at the exit inspection
- File quotes from cleaning companies
- File quotes for repairs
- File general correspondence with the real estate agency
Need to know
When you leave the property, you are not expected to return it in the exactly the same condition as when you received it. Normal wear and tear resulting from normal use of the premises is acceptable.
Some agents and landlords attempt to have departing tenants pay for renewals to the apartments and it is important to remind them that aside from the standard maintenance items, it is their responsibility to refresh the apartments on a regular basis (8 to 10 years).
The exit protocol ends with a section where you accept (or do not accept) responsibility for certain damages. Be sure to only sign this section if you agree to contribute financially to repair the damage.
In some cases, the real estate agency indicates a sum of money on the exit protocol document which you should pay to them as reparation for the damage. Hello Switzerland tip: do NOT sign if the amounts indicated are higher than the contractual deductible (excess) of your third party liability insurance policy.
How to proceed
1. During the exit inspection, the real estate agent should compare notes with the original entrance inspection protocol. If damage was noted at the entrance inspection, then you should not be held responsible for it at exit inspection
2. At the end of the inspection you will be asked to sign the protocol. Only sign if you fully agree or indicate a "reserve" next to a specific item. The exit document is as much your document as that of the landlord
3. If you end up having some liabilities which are over the amount of your deductible, pass on all documentation to your insurance company and ask them to liaise directly with the real estate agency or owner
The agency should notify you by post within 3 - 4 days of the inspection about any liabilities which remain. No additional claims can arise after that.
Where to find help
Relocation service providers can help you prepare for the exit inspection and support you throughout the process.
Relocation service providers will:
- help you ensure that the real estate agent or owner is applying standard Swiss practices in the pre-exit and exit inspection process
- provide guidance in steps and timelines working up to the exit inspection
- clarify tenant contractual and maintenance responsibilities before and during the exit inspection
If you do not already have access to a professional relocation services provider through your employer, Hello Switzerland‘s free Relocation Helpline offers advice and support:
Swiss Relocation Helpline
- free advice from locals
How should you prepare? How can you avoid being held unfairly responsible for damages? We have the answers!