Tenancy LawWorks

Tenancy law: My dishwasher has been broken for several months and the management does nothing. What can I do?

The tenant can demand the repair of a defect in the leased property by the lessor, if it appears during the rental period. The defect must be legally recognised. Minor maintenance is at the expense of the lessee, who cannot therefore demand financing from the landlord. 

If the tenant is responsible for the damage, he will have to pay the repair costs himself!

The property has a defect if the tenant cannot use it as provided for in the lease contract.  

Let’s use the example of a broken dishwasher: the tenant did not cause the damage and can no longer wash his dishes. The function of the object is therefore hindered.

From a legal point of view, the dishwasher has a defect that the landlord is obliged to rectify. 

According to Article 259 of the Code of Obligations, the lessor must rectify the defect with :

  • A restoration of the concerned object;
  • A rent reduction proportional to the defect;
  • The payment of damages;
  • The assumption of the lawsuit against a third party.

The Tenant must send a registered letter informing the management of the defect. This letter must at all costs contain

  1. A deadline for the defect to be repaired.
  2. A threat to deposit the rent if the landlord does not act.

We recommend that you have this letter written by a lawyer, they can be very persuasive!


After this period and without any response or action by the management, the tenant may deposit the rent. 

Consignment of the rent prevents the landlord from collecting the payment. The tenant will pay it to a consignment fund. 

The tenant must obtain a rental deposit form from the competent cantonal authority and send it dated and signed to the landlord (always by registered mail!). This will put additional pressure on the landlord to settle the defect in your accommodation. Read this article which details the rent deposit!

The tenant will then have 30 days to request a conciliation hearing from the relevant court, failing which the money will be returned to the management.


Do you want to convince an uncooperative landlord? Let Lawrence negotiate with him and assist you in your legal steps!

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