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Old 09.01.2016, 17:29
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How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge? If they charge too much no one will come to the viewing and the apartment will be empty (opportunity cost), if they charge too little they are loosing money as they can not rise prices unless there is a new tenant (again, opportunity cost - and even then it is not possible to just rise rents in places like Opfikon when the interest is low)
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Old 09.01.2016, 17:42
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

go to comparis and check the price in the surrounding buildings, then add or remove some based on how new your is.
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Old 09.01.2016, 18:12
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

I highly doubt that this is how it works since there are many factors that comparis does not track.

Apart from this, comparis' "price estimation" that ranks a piece of real estate from 1 (expensive) to 6 (cheap) is somewhat arbirtrary and they are not willing to disclose how they do this and whether they get paid by real estate companies for flagging something as cheap.

Comparis is actually quite evil, they scan homegate and other websites and scrap the content illegally, meaning without consent of the websites owners.
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Old 09.01.2016, 18:34
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

Then don't do it like that.
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Old 09.01.2016, 19:10
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

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How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?
A lot of "landlords" are professional management companies. They don't need to scout Comparis or similar because they already have a sense of what the market will bear. And that's what it is in simple terms - market pricing. A flat downtown is going to cost more than one in the sticks because there's more demand. A larger flat in the same area will be more. A newer flat usually costs more. It's not rocket science and there are loads of sites if you want to search online.

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I highly doubt that this is how it works since there are many factors that comparis does not track.

Apart from this, comparis' "price estimation" that ranks a piece of real estate from 1 (expensive) to 6 (cheap) is somewhat arbirtrary and they are not willing to disclose how they do this and whether they get paid by real estate companies for flagging something as cheap.

Comparis is actually quite evil, they scan homegate and other websites and scrap the content illegally, meaning without consent of the websites owners.
So what's your point then if you already know all the factors? Where is your proof behind the accusation they are doing something illegal?
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Old 09.01.2016, 19:15
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

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A flat downtown is going to cost more than one in the sticks because there's more demand. A larger flat in the same area will be more. A newer flat usually costs more. It's not rocket science and there are loads of sites if you want to search online
It might not be rocket science but it is not trivial either. Can you specify those sites?

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So what's your point then if you already know all the factors? Where is your proof behind the accusation they are doing something illegal?
I don't know all the factors, that is why I opened this thread.

I know a guy who works at Homegate and they are close to suing companies that scrape their content since this is illegal. It is the same as copying an article from 20min.ch and putting it on my blog.
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Old 09.01.2016, 19:27
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

They guess and charge what the market will sustain, its their property fir goodness sake so they jus thave to figure it out.

Not that hard
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Old 09.01.2016, 19:46
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

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How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge? If they charge too much no one will come to the viewing and the apartment will be empty (opportunity cost), if they charge too little they are lo[]sing money as they can not rise prices unless there is a new tenant (again, opportunity cost - and even then it is not possible to just rise rents in places like Opfikon when the interest is low)
As everywhere, small landlords are hostages to the venality and sloth (or beneficiaries of the competence and integrity, but that's maybe less likely) of the estate and rental agent. And when a tenant leaves, s/he may well come up with a totally unsuitable replacement to get out of his/her lease, meaning you have a void period anyway. Such tenants will also leave you with damages you can't fully charge for because you are up against their insurer and the insurer's legal department who will make a low-ball offer.

We can move some of our flats between annual and holiday lets (keeping in mind the Lex Koller and the Lex Weber) and the choice can be difficult. Usually you get less money with holiday lets because they are seasonal and require servicing, but at least you aren't stuck with a tenant for life.
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Old 09.01.2016, 19:51
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

I do wonder this myself in a few cases.

The building I live in is due to be demolished in Summer, as are the one next door and another on the same road. The only building that will be left standing whilst all this work is going on, has a 4th floor / attic apartment without a lift, for rent at 4400 CHF. I've done the comparis checks the going rent in the area is 1600 - 3200, definitely not 4400.

In a situation like this, does the landlord have to disclose the demolition work that will be taking place on both side of the building, and would it be worth making a lower offer?
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Old 09.01.2016, 19:59
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

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It might not be rocket science but it is not trivial either. Can you specify those sites?
You've already mentioned two of the big ones - Comparis and Homegate. I'd say the third big one is Immoscout. This thread has quite a list too, although I don't know how big or reliable some of the other companies are:

List of sites for searching apartments, housing and serviced apartments

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...I know a guy who works at Homegate and they are close to suing companies that scrape their content since this is illegal. It is the same as copying an article from 20min.ch and putting it on my blog.
I am not a lawyer, but websites compile information from other sites all the time. Just look at any travel search engine, for example. I believe when it gets to be illegal is if you (or Comparis in this case) pretend the content is your own and don't disclose the original source. On most Comparis ads I see "contact the advertiser directly" as opposed to "contact us" - that probably gets them through the legal loophole.

Regarding the ratings, it is probably an algorithm that compares prices of all the listings with similar info (number of rooms, floor, age of building, etc.). I suppose the "target price" they reference is simply the average of all the listings with similar features. As much as you might like Comparis to tell you how they do it, they aren't under any obligation to disclose that info. The good news is, you can use Excel and make your own chart to compare, to see if what you're paying (or proposing to charge, if you're going to be the landlord) is within reason.
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Old 09.01.2016, 20:15
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

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As everywhere, small landlords are hostages to the venality and sloth (or beneficiaries of the competence and integrity, but that's maybe less likely) of the estate and rental agent.
Isn't that the reason that "small landlords" often are their own real estate agents?

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[...] rent at 4400 CHF. I've done the comparis checks the going rent in the area is 1600 - 3200, definitely not 4400.
That is why you can and should ask for a lower rent within 30 days after moving in somewhere:

https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...smietzins.html
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Old 09.01.2016, 20:17
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

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A lot of "landlords" are professional management companies. They don't need to scout Comparis or similar because they already have a sense of what the market will bear. And that's what it is in simple terms - market pricing. A flat downtown is going to cost more than one in the sticks because there's more demand. A larger flat in the same area will be more. A newer flat usually costs more. It's not rocket science and there are loads of sites if you want to search online.



So what's your point then if you already know all the factors? Where is your proof behind the accusation they are doing something illegal?
I'm wondering about the "they already have a sense if what the market will bear". In our complex the villa has been empty for over 2 years, our flat was empty for 10 months before we renting it (after negotiating the price, the girl at the management company took more than a year to get over it) and another flat has been empty since July.

Meanwhile, work/maintenance in common areas isn't done and you have to pester the Vervaltung to get anything repaired in your flat.

I'm thinking, if they had a better sense of the market, they'd adjust the rent so the place would be full and they wouldn't have to skimp on maintenance. But it's just me philosophing about a great property which is getting pretty run down although it's not that old...
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Old 10.01.2016, 19:29
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

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Isn't that the reason that "small landlords" often are their own real estate agents?
That works for resident landlords, and we have done that. But my daughter who took care of the high-priced lakeside apartment was transferred by her employer from Paris to San Francisco, and it's not feasible for me to do the management from where I am. For a cheaper flat we used a local hire, but she quit her job and moved to sunnier climes, or something like that.

So we're stuck with agents, who charge a lot more than we did on VRBO, and take nearly half the rent. A lot of their portion seems to go to taxes and fees, and that's another point: the cantonal authorities have cracked down on VRBO and Airbnb landlords, seeking proof of insurance, proof of payment of tourist tax, proof of declaration for income tax, blah blah blah. We always paid those anyway but I suppose not everybody does.
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Old 17.01.2016, 08:48
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

initially we looked at the going market rate and then took some off, to try to attract a selection of tenants to choose from. However, landlords have to give a very good reason not to go with the first applicant.
We were trying to get a tenant whom we could trust to look after our house built less than 10 years before and just help us cover the mortgage. the worth of the view sank after we bought so we could not sell, husband got a job in the US, so we had to rent it out.
the first tenants we had were excellent, but they split up.
Since then we have twice had tenants whom I thought were looking after the place, and we're not. Living in the US, we can't keep popping over at great expense to check on the place; so we lowered the rent to below what the tenants association ( Mietervweband) recommended, bought new appliances, dealt with any repairs they asked for, thinking they pay on time, we have not had heard about any problems from neighbors, they must be OK tenants. Then we found out that they were wrecking the place and we had very high repair bills, which ate right through our buffer. Not being in the country we could not afford to stay and fight the return of deposit, we just have it back. We paid out of pocket, to cover the difference between rent and mortgage and to get the place up to scratch for the next tenants. The next lot of tenants came in and are now beginning to do the same. I think my mistake was not to chase references given and ask the previous Llanidloes for their recommendation.
Whenever I have rented a place I left it in the same state or better than I found it. it's a fallacy that all Landlords are rich, heartless money grabbers!
it has been so upsetting that I'm thinking of getting out the rental business.
I can't complain too much at least we git the mortgage covered to a point where we can now hopefully afford to sell and break even after 15 years.
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Old 17.01.2016, 09:50
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

In your situation, Hoppy, it could be worth (assuming they haven't all changed since you lived there) getting on friendly terms with one of your ex-neighbours. Use them to check the property semi-regularly and either pay them a retainer or, if you can find a neighbour who's also good at DIY, use them as first point of call for any repairs. The tenants can call them instead of you if something doesn't work.

Most agencies (in the UK) charge 10-20% of the rent for this type of "management" service so paying - say - 1000Fr/year to a neighbour to keep an eye on the place should be ok all round. Plus, for the neighbours, it means they have some sort of control in case your tenants decide to throw loud parties every night.
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Old 17.01.2016, 10:54
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Re: How do landlords in Zurich / Switzerland figure out how much to charge?

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We were trying to get a tenant whom we could trust to look after our house built less than 10 years before and just help us cover the mortgage. the worth of the view sank after we bought so we could not sell, husband got a job in the US, so we had to rent it out.
As a tenant, looking to also become a landlord in the U.K., thanks for the insightful post. And if you're looking for a couple of old buggers to be your tenants from 1st April, with references, and the only noise you get out of us is the weekly skype call to his Greek mama, we're here!
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