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Old 02.01.2015, 11:30
Mrs. Doolittle Mrs. Doolittle is offline
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Re: SwissCaution - the apartment deposit lenders thread

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You can read many stories here on EF of unsatisfactory hand over at the end of the tenancy. What bothers me is that SwissCaution will pay what the landlord demands and then demand the amount from you, thus you have little control over the hand over.

As an example: I signed a rental contract knowing the landlord demanded an inspection of the kitchen machines at my cost, at the end of contract, by a qualified technician. I disputed this inspection charge, by quoting a consumer magazine article, and the landlord quickly agreed with me. But if I had SC I believe I would have to pay up for this inspection (Which under Swiss law, is illegal to demand!)

If possible I would borrow the deposit from a relative or friend, the money is placed in a Swiss bank account, and is as safe as houses!
Actually Swiss Caution as well as other deposit insurance programmes are very familiar with landlords who want to extort money from tenants but they can only pay out what is agreed upon at the handover. As a tenant you should have liability insurance which will cover damage though there are limitations. This topic has been covered in other threads.

Assuming you don't have any damage, you need to consider what you have paid out to the deposit insurance over 10 years, for example, as compared to the deposit placed in the bank account, which you would get all of it back assuming there is no damage. It becomes particularly expensive if you have a high rent and plan to stay long term in a flat. It is not insurance against damage.

My advice to my clients has always been not to look at Swisscaution from the perspective of how things will go at the end of the tenancy with the handover but rather as a means to secure deposit money if they are short of cash. A landlord can ask up to 3 months deposit.

This is particularly useful for those relocating who are paying their own moving costs or someone just moving here who has no furniture and needs to start from scratch. It is also useful for people moving from one flat to another who still have a substantial deposit for the flat they are vacating sitting in a bank account. In this respect deposit insurance is a great option. What many people do not know is that you can always cancel the deposit insurance (check the dates in the contract carefully for the notice period) and open a rental surety account at a bank with the deposit.

There are still many landlords and owners who will not accept deposit insurance. If you do not want to restrict your options for an apartment as you do not have sufficient funds for a deposit, start saving now.

Sometimes a new employer will loan this to you and you will be expected to pay it back as soon as you start working. As far as I know, it is not taxable as it is not a relocation allowance, since it is being repaid.

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