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Old 18.02.2010, 13:18
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Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

I live and work in London but I own a flat in France which I hope to relocate to at some stage.

To pay the mortgage on the flat (which is just over the border from Geneva) I rent it out unfurnished through a letting agent.

Unfortunately, the tenant who is currently in the flat has not paid rent for months although he is still employed as a DJ at a Swiss nightclub.

The letting agent has put this matter in the hands of a solicitor so I am facing having to pay solicitors’ fees etc – because the tenant is clearly ‘playing the system.’ (In France, this situation can go on for years.)

As his Swiss employer provided him with an ‘Attestation Employeur’ at the start of his tenancy, I wondered if it might help to write to his employer and include copies of relevant documents.

(I don’t know anything about Swiss HR practices, laws etc but I’m desperate for a lifeline out of this nightmare situation.)

Any advice/suggestions will be gratefully received.

Camille
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  #2  
Old 18.02.2010, 13:21
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Re: Nightmare situation

Welcome to the forum Camille. It does indeed sound like a nightmare, I can't help you but I'm sure a few people here might. Good luck.
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Old 18.02.2010, 13:22
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

Seeing as the contract is presumably French, not Swiss, I'd imagine you should discuss this with a French lawyer, whom no doubt the agency covers as part of their service as an agency. Otherwise what are they for? Good luck.
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Old 18.02.2010, 13:26
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

Given that the Swiss would look upon his behaviour very poorly, my opinion is it wouldn't hurt to send off the letter to his employer. But not sure that will get him out of your flat; and one wonders what he would do out of anger.
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Old 18.02.2010, 13:31
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

You need him out of your flat now. I would also think about direct methods of intervention. I had to deal with the same problem (in London) and employed a security firm to evict the tenant.
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Old 18.02.2010, 13:37
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

The rules are very much in favor of the tenant in France. It can be years before he will leave. I am sure your lawyer has told you this. You can also not remove him in the winter. Before you send a letter to his employer you need to talk with your attorney as this can be considered harassment.

I know this has happened to several people I have worked with. One eventually PAID the person to leave. It was cheaper to do that then pay a lawyer and deal with the stress and no income for all of the time.

good luck to you
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Old 18.02.2010, 13:52
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

I found this website which might help, according to the table it looks like the average length of time to enforce an eviction is 226 days

P.S Winter is from November 1 to March 15
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Old 19.02.2010, 01:01
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

viva la France, eh?
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Old 19.02.2010, 01:15
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

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I live and work in London but I own a flat in France which I hope to relocate to at some stage.

To pay the mortgage on the flat (which is just over the border from Geneva) I rent it out unfurnished through a letting agent.

Unfortunately, the tenant who is currently in the flat has not paid rent for months although he is still employed as a DJ at a Swiss nightclub.

The letting agent has put this matter in the hands of a solicitor so I am facing having to pay solicitors’ fees etc – because the tenant is clearly ‘playing the system.’ (In France, this situation can go on for years.)

As his Swiss employer provided him with an ‘Attestation Employeur’ at the start of his tenancy, I wondered if it might help to write to his employer and include copies of relevant documents.

(I don’t know anything about Swiss HR practices, laws etc but I’m desperate for a lifeline out of this nightmare situation.)

Any advice/suggestions will be gratefully received.

Camille
What a mess. He is not resident in Switzerland so I don't think there is much you can do here. The employer will likely consider it a private matter. But you could contact the employer just to confirm he is employed there and you might mention why. Don't do it in writing. If it were me I'd make his life a misery, whatever it takes. Report him for tax evasion in France...he might be encouraged to leave and then you get your flat back.
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Old 19.02.2010, 05:02
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

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... I had to deal with the same problem (in London) and employed a security firm to evict the tenant.
Using legal means, yes?
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Old 19.02.2010, 05:14
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

You have to make sure that the letting agent has done everything according to the contract (send recommended letters etc...).
If it is not the case, it can be ground for this crook to drag the situation for a long time.
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Old 19.02.2010, 09:18
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

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You need him out of your flat now. I would also think about direct methods of intervention. I had to deal with the same problem (in London) and employed a security firm to evict the tenant.
There was a bloke in newcastle who had a solution to these problems I knew. Because it costs a fortune to get them out in legal fees and time and all that and because he rented out student housing which wasnt that fancy anyway then if he got squatters in over the student summer holidays (meaning his tenants would not be able to start in october when uni kicked off) then he went round and knocked on the door and asked them to move. Then when they didnt he popped down the scrapyard and picked up an old fridge or similar sized object, waited until a couple of days later and in the evening then drove back round and with the help of a colleague through the fridge through the front room window with a shouted message of "get out of my fooking flat",which did the trick every time and the cost of a new window was cheaper than the cost of all teh legal stuff.

so perhaps he also doesnt buy tickets on trains, but it got the job done.
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Old 19.02.2010, 09:24
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

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There was a bloke in newcastle who had a solution to these problems I knew. Because it costs a fortune to get them out in legal fees and time and all that and because he rented out student housing which wasnt that fancy anyway then if he got squatters in over the student summer holidays (meaning his tenants would not be able to start in october when uni kicked off) then he went round and knocked on the door and asked them to move. Then when they didnt he popped down the scrapyard and picked up an old fridge or similar sized object, waited until a couple of days later and in the evening then drove back round and with the help of a colleague through the fridge through the front room window with a shouted message of "get out of my fooking flat",which did the trick every time and the cost of a new window was cheaper than the cost of all teh legal stuff.

so perhaps he also doesnt buy tickets on trains, but it got the job done.
yes. there's the question of legal vs illegal means. if the tenant knows his rights, then the illegal means could cause you hassle unless you're willing to escalate to the point of violence in which case most people will move on (or no longer be a problem ).
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Old 21.02.2010, 15:55
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

Arg messed with my keyboard and I cannot edit the previous message

The point was : don't your tenant have a guarantor for the rent ? I'm French and as far as I know, it's mandatory if you want to rent a flat nowdays.

The easiest way to get your money is to call the guarantor and ask him to pay for the flat. He may accept right away or may not but put pressure on the tenant as most guarantors are family or relatives.

Anyway the general advice in these cases is to try to negociate with the tenants because, as stated before, legal procedures in France are super costly/long/ineffectives.
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Old 21.02.2010, 16:30
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Re: Tenant not paying rent: any advice?

Dunno, wasn't there. I'd like to think so though.
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Using legal means, yes?
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