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Old 01.06.2010, 14:21
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Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do"

I am moving out of Switzerland after living here for a year and a half, due to me finding a job abroad. Given that, i have given my 3month (!) notice to my landlord on April 30th via email. They replied saying that they also would like the notice via regular post, which i have done. The letter arrived to them May 4th, and because of that they are calling the three month notice starting June and not May because the 'letter' arrived not in April but in May (4th).

Is there a way i can find justice with this? I have given them a three month notice via email, no one informed me that there was a need for a letter. And if so, a 3 day delay in the arrival of the letter is sufficient to be responsible for an appartment for another month?

Like rest of Europe, is there any clause that if i am moving for work reasons i shouldn't be bound to a three month liability for the appartment?

And my very last question, the company responsible for the appartment has been sending people over to check my appartment (on the 3rd floor), even though they were interested and applied for the appartment on the 2nd floor. The reason being, the apartment on the 2nd floor is vacant, no one is there to show it, and the person in the company responsible for the building is too lazy to come and show it her self. I even believe that a person who applied and got approved for my appartment was given instead the apartment on the 2nd floor. Is this also the 'rule'? Is there anything i could do about this?

Sorry to bother you with my rumblings but i am up to my head with all the bureaucratic nonsense i have to go through to get anything done here. And more, the calling of the 'rules' i always hear is only when it is for their own benefit.

Thanks a lot.
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Old 01.06.2010, 14:32
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

What did your contract say about giving notice? Always fall back to the contract. Did it say by snail mail only? I suspect so, because most standard housing contracts have a clause saying that the landlord will require 3 months notice VIA registered mail, and the LATEST your notice should reach them is end of March, June or Sept. I have a bad feeling that you might be screwed on that and will have to pay the extra month.

I will try the soft approach with the agency first - apologising for your ignorance sending the notice via email rather than snail mail. See if it works. In the meantime, are you a member of the Mieterverband? Speak to someone from there:

http://www.mieterverband.ch/
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Old 01.06.2010, 14:35
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

What Summerrain said... plus you can always try to get somebody else to take over the apartment for you before the lease runs out - search for the term "Nachmieter" - but that means advertising, open house night etc.

Best tell the Landlord to send you all forms, so the prospective tennants can fill them out while they are visiting your apartment and you can send them to the landlord straight away for evaluation... better be active than dragging this on until it's too late.
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Old 01.06.2010, 14:38
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

The email clearly shows the Landlord acknowledging the termination.
That is the same purpose as that registered mail serves.
I dont think it would be acceptable for him to say that notice was not served sufficiently. This would require either a precedent or further legal examination and certainly appears to me as a layman to be a grey area.
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Old 01.06.2010, 14:40
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

I have contact them after the fact, and of course i got the reply you always get in switzerland "I am sorry but this is the rule", like a scene from the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"! Unfortunately, the contract did state via post but my poor understanding of German did not help with the fine prints. But still, i've lived in four countries so far never before an email was not considered a liable way of informing anyone about anything, and more a three day delay in the notice for a 3 month liability is a ridiculous, lame, excuse for money hungry buisinesses.

Regardless, thank you for the advice. I've heard of the service and will try to contact them if s**t hits the fan.
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Old 01.06.2010, 14:42
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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The email clearly shows the Landlord acknowledging the termination.
That is the same purpose as that registered mail serves.
I dont think it would be acceptable for him to say that notice was not served sufficiently. This would require either a precedent or further legal examination and certainly appears to me as a layman to be a grey area.
You are right - electronic means of communication is still a grey area in many world wide courts too.

Sorry to be so negative but the Swiss are notoriously a stickler for rules - the agency can easily turn around and say that acknowledgement doesnt mean acceptance. They can hide behind the iron clad contract where it most likely will state that notice must be given by registered mail only. You will be hard pressed fighting against that one.

Last edited by summerrain; 01.06.2010 at 14:56.
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Old 01.06.2010, 14:43
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

Good luck, and I think, as Upthehatters mentions above, it may be worth reiterating the fact that they acknowledged and indeed responded to your emailed notice within the regulated time.
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Old 01.06.2010, 14:44
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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What Summerrain said... plus you can always try to get somebody else to take over the apartment for you before the lease runs out - search for the term "Nachmieter" - but that means advertising, open house night etc.

Best tell the Landlord to send you all forms, so the prospective tennants can fill them out while they are visiting your apartment and you can send them to the landlord straight away for evaluation... better be active than dragging this on until it's too late.
I have been trying to get a person to take over the lease from me. However, i feel that at least one person filled the application for my appartment and instead was given the appartment on the second floor that has been vacant for quite some time now. They tried to do the same thing with me when i first applied for the appartment i am living now. They are the bottom of the barrel these people.
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Old 01.06.2010, 14:58
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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The email clearly shows the Landlord acknowledging the termination.
That is the same purpose as that registered mail serves.
I dont think it would be acceptable for him to say that notice was not served sufficiently. This would require either a precedent or further legal examination and certainly appears to me as a layman to be a grey area.
Unfortunately email is not an acceptable method for terminating the lease. Termination is done by registered mail and the date it must be received by is stated in the lease. These are the rules. It helps to read and understand one's lease in order to follow them.
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:05
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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Unfortunately email is not an acceptable method for terminating the lease. Termination is done by registered mail and the date it must be received by is stated in the lease. These are the rules. It helps to read and understand one's lease in order to follow them.
Fair enough, these are the rules! I should have known better, i take that. However, a 3day delay suffices for one extra month? On which planet? I am not applying for a stay of execution!

And if these are the rules, what happens when i have to take time off from work to show the apartment to someone who is interested for the apartment below, but the landlord does not feel like coming all the way here to show the apartment that is vacant??
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:06
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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I have been trying to get a person to take over the lease from me. However, i feel that at least one person filled the application for my appartment and instead was given the appartment on the second floor that has been vacant for quite some time now. They tried to do the same thing with me when i first applied for the appartment i am living now. They are the bottom of the barrel these people.

Do you have the name of the person who applied for your apartment? Do you know for a fact that the person was given a different apartment in your building although they applied for yours? If this is the case and you can prove it, you should be off the hook. If you found a solvent person who applied for your apartment, but the company offered them another, you have indeed been screwed. But you need facts to back this up.
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:06
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

I've rented in a few countries and never had a get out clause for finding work elsewhere. As the renting out of properties is how they make a living, I'm not surprised that they're not prepared to give you a month's rent, galling though that is. If you were renting out an apartment, would you voluntarily give up a month's income. ( I might, but I'm soft like that ).

Them hassling you to show off your apartment to help rent out the apartment below is a complete no-no. You have NO obligation to do that. But you could use it to your advantage. "I'll show people round your empty apartment, if you honour my email notification".
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:10
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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But you could use it to your advantage. "I'll show people round your empty apartment, if you honour my email notification".
Excellent suggestion.
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:12
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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Fair enough, these are the rules! I should have known better, i take that. However, a 3day delay suffices for one extra month? On which planet? I am not applying for a stay of execution!

And if these are the rules, what happens when i have to take time off from work to show the apartment to someone who is interested for the apartment below, but the landlord does not feel like coming all the way here to show the apartment that is vacant??
Even 1 day counts for 1 extra month. The best thing you could do is to advertise the flat yourself and only show people the flat on weekends or whenever you have time. If you have no time at all then hire a flat agency to handle it, it will probably cost less than the extra months rent you will have to pay.... as already said... get application forms from your house-owner and do it yourself..... it may end up cheaper....
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:12
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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Fair enough, these are the rules! I should have known better, i take that. However, a 3day delay suffices for one extra month? On which planet? I am not applying for a stay of execution!

And if these are the rules, what happens when i have to take time off from work to show the apartment to someone who is interested for the apartment below, but the landlord does not feel like coming all the way here to show the apartment that is vacant??
I understand your frustration. Obviously you have a contract where you can give 3 months notice at any month. You are lucky it is not another 3 months for the notice.

You do not have to take time off work to show your apartment. It is not dark in the evenings, you can show the apartment after work or on weekends. You only have to worry about showing your apartment. The vacant one is your landlord's problem. I thought you said it was rented to someone who looked at yours?
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:21
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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I've rented in a few countries and never had a get out clause for finding work elsewhere. As the renting out of properties is how they make a living, I'm not surprised that they're not prepared to give you a month's rent, galling though that is. If you were renting out an apartment, would you voluntarily give up a month's income. ( I might, but I'm soft like that ).

Them hassling you to show off your apartment to help rent out the apartment below is a complete no-no. You have NO obligation to do that. But you could use it to your advantage. "I'll show people round your empty apartment, if you honour my email notification".
I tend to go by human interaction and relations rather that the rules. It actually really drives me crazy when i hear those words. I am trying to restrain myself from provoking any further for the moment. Given they have my deposit and i know they can go the whole nine yards with it.

It's not even me showing the vacant apartment. They send people to check my apartment, and then present them with the contract for the apartment below!
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:22
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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Sorry to be so negative but the Swiss are notoriously a stickler for rules
Not true - I have known Swiss to break rules with merry abandon if they stand to GAIN financially from it. The reverse situation unfortunately all too often sees the 'rules' being invoked as a sort of face-saving approach to extracting every last franc from a situation. Not one of the more redeeming facets of life here I'm afraid.

I should note that I have experienced one exception to this - strangely enough Billag 'gifted' me a month's charge for notifying them of our arrival in Schweiz which was quite nice.
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:22
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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Do you have the name of the person who applied for your apartment? Do you know for a fact that the person was given a different apartment in your building although they applied for yours? If this is the case and you can prove it, you should be off the hook. If you found a solvent person who applied for your apartment, but the company offered them another, you have indeed been screwed. But you need facts to back this up.
I am working to clarify this as we speak.
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:23
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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Not true - I have known Swiss to break their rules with merry abandon if they stand to GAIN financially from it. The reverse situation unfortunately all too often sees the 'rules' being invoked as a sort of face-saving approach to extracting every last franc from a situation. Not one of the more redeeming facets of life here I'm afraid.
Couldn't have said it any better!
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:25
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Re: Help with rental property and landlord..."This the rule there's nothing we can do

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It's not even me showing the vacant apartment. They send people to check my apartment, and then present them with the contract for the apartment below!
Well, you mentioned that the vacant apartment has already been rented, so ce'st la vie. I am sure you have much more things on your plate like relocating to another new country - than huffing and puffing about that.

I would contact the mieterverband as soon as possible though, rather than wait to find out about your options (possibility of challenging the email notice) and plan your next steps from there. Good luck.
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