Heinz Reichenbach fears that he will be left sitting on CHF 10,000 in damage after welfare recipients demolished two rooms in his hotel. While the municipality of Baar is denying responsibility, the SVP is collecting money for the hotelier.
They seem to have been smoking in the room. And taking drugs. They were also noisy until late into the night and had people staying overnight without giving prior notice. Heinz Reichenbach, the host of the Hotel-Restaurant Ebel in Inwil, expressed his frustration when sending two e-mails to the Social Services of the municipality of Baar on 12 August: "We’ve had enough, although I have respect for all of you who work at the Social Welfare office," he says, while explaining to the municipality why he terminated the two rental contracts.
The reason for Reichenbach's frustration was the tenants of rooms 5 and 6 in the Hotel-Restaurant Ebel. Between February and August 2021, the two men, originally from Maghreb, lived in Reichenbach's hotel, with the rent of CHF 1200 per room being paid by the Social Services of the municipality of Baar. Heinz Reichenbach had the following to say about this:
"That has been a lesson for me. From now on, I will only accept guests at the normal hotel rate, and will accept no-one from the Social Welfare Office."
Because the two tenants not only disregarded all the agreements, such as the smoking ban, being quiet at night and the corona measures, he had to renovate both rooms after they moved out at the end of August. The landlord thereby had to replaces two mattresses, duvets, pillows in each room; he also had to fit a new washbasin and have the walls repainted, as they had been turned yellow from the smoke. Reichenbach says:
"I couldn't rent out the rooms as they were. The renovation cost me about CHF 10,000."
The restaurant Ebel in Baar. Tenants are said to have devastated rooms here.
Image: Stefan Kaiser (Baar)
And he had had to pay all of this himself. Contrary to his expectations, the municipality is not contributing to the costs of the repair. On request, the municipality states that it cannot comment on the individual case, but generally only acts as an intermediary, and is not a contracting party – even when it pays the rent. In doing so, it is bound by social assistance regulations, has no scope for goodwill, and must "deal with taxpayers' money in a prudent manner."
"That may all be true," replies "Ebel" host Reichenbach. "Nevertheless, I would have hoped for a little assistance. The municipality is thereby avoiding its responsibility, following the motto: 'After us the deluge.'"
Landlord expresses thanks for the appeal for donations
"Rich municipality of Baar, but very stingy," headlined the "Weltwoche", which was the first to report on the case from Baar, and which had been informed by the SVP (Swiss People’s Party) there. The party is now organising a fund-raising campaign for hotelier Reichenbach: under the title "Solidarity for the Restaurant-Hotel Ebel", the SVP Baar is collecting donations for the host, who is now faced with paying all the costs himself, as the two social welfare recipients did not take out any private personal liability insurance: "In addition to the expression of solidarity, we want to point out this error in the system," says SVP section president Adrian Rogger.
It should not be the case that a private person now has to bear all the costs, because no one in the municipality feels responsible. Adrian Rogger doesn’t think much of the argumentation of the municipality:
"They now say they’re not responsible. But, strangely enough, the local council always seems to easily find money for other things."
Heinz Reichenbach says that the SVP appeal is a very nice gesture, and he accepts it gratefully. The municipality, on the other hand, doesn’t want to comment on the appeal for donations, but states, however, that no insurance would anyway pay for wilful damage. And it writes: "The present case is now closed as far as the municipality is concerned. Whether Mr. Reichenbach wants to rent out rooms to welfare recipients in the future is (as before) up to him."