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Old 29.04.2011, 20:39
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My family nightmare!!

My husband had a tragic ski accident in Feb which left him hospitalized for 39 days, he is now in a rehab facility to learn to speak and use his hands. Our 90 day notice for our house was due March 30 and at this point my husband was unable to speak and understand. After long days at the hospital and trying to take care of 2 small children, I called the Regie and they have spent 2 weeks trying to contact the owner, who now says that she is holding us to our lease of the automatic renewal of 2 years as we were 18 days late on our notice. I do know that I was 18 days late on my 3 month notice but I have offered to give them a 3 month notice and pay for the extra month. My husband my never work again and I really need to save money and move into something that can give us some staying power.. Any advice on this would be appreciated. We are American on a B Permit - my 2 children are in the local school, so to stay here and find something cheaper would give them some normalcy during this difficult time.
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Old 29.04.2011, 20:55
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Re: My family nightmare!!

Hi- I have absolutely no legal knowledge- but just want to say how sorry I am about what you are going through. I sincerely hope somebody here can help. How good is your French? How old are the kids? If you need language support or occasional looking after kids- get in touch by pm. I live in the Neuchatel Jura, not tooo far, am Swiss and native French speaker. Bonne chance.

Edit- thanks for the arti. re extraordinary notice with good cause, Zigger. Again, if you want help with discussing this with the landlord, or write a letter for you to explain the full situation, I'd be only too glad to help. Also if you need to get away for a week-end with the kids.

Last edited by Odile; 29.04.2011 at 21:18.
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Old 29.04.2011, 20:58
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Re: My family nightmare!!

Get in touch with www.asloca.ch, it's a tenants' association which you can join and they would be best placed to give you some advice regarding the situation with your apartment contract / notice period.
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Old 29.04.2011, 21:03
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Re: My family nightmare!!

I am very sorry to hear of your difficulties. Do you have enough money to live on? Don't hesitate to ask the commune for help.

As far as I know you cannot be dismissed from a job while you are still too ill to work. But I do not know how that would affect your B Permit. I think you ought to ask a lawyer soon: there are places where you can get 1 hour of free legal advice.

You only need to find one person who is willing to take over the housing contract. I see you live on the south side of lake Leman, you should be able to find someone working in Geneva quite easily. But then you will have problems finding somewhere for yourselves to live!
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Old 29.04.2011, 21:07
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Re: My family nightmare!!

It seems strange that the contract defaults to an automatic two year extension. usually after the 12 months it just becomes a three month notice period. Worth checking these details out.

I wish your husband a speedy and full recovery.
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Old 29.04.2011, 21:11
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Re: My family nightmare!!

I am also really sorry to hear about your situation. This is the last thing you need to be dealing with.

Art. 266g allows for "extraordinary notice" when there is a "good cause". Given that your husband can't work and the subsequent reduction in income, you can probably use this to terminate the contract, but (sorry, there is always a but) the landlord will probably not do this willingly, which means you need to go to the landlord-tenant dispute resolution office. The link that Sandgrounder gave you is a good option. Also: http://www.permanence-juridique-geneve.ch/index.php. This is an inexpensive legal consultation service that can explain how to file your claim. I don't know if they speak English but the numbers are there so you can call and find out. (If you do speak good French, here is the link, I think, for the rent dispute resolution court: http://ge.ch/justice/tribunal-des-baux-et-loyers.)

Good luck. It sounds like you have a good case and I think you should be able to get out of your contract, particularly if you live in an area where finding new tenants would not be a problem. I am sorry I can't help more but my French is more than just a little rusty.
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Old 29.04.2011, 21:31
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Re: My family nightmare!!

Very, very sad indeed.
I have never done business with this guy:
https://www.xing.com/profile/Peter_Lutz6
but in the "Germans in Switzerland" forum on xing.com he always posts very helpful advice (concerning taxes, social-security, money in general).

So, if you don't already have a specialist (or aren't one yourself) dealing with your situation, it might be helpful to contact him.
Even if he cannot help you, he certainly knows a lot of people who can.

In your situation, the house is only one of several problems, I'm afraid.
So, I would say you need professional advice.
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Old 29.04.2011, 21:42
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Re: My family nightmare!!

Hi i like all of us wish you well and am very impressed ŵith your strength when some would just fall apart. However if your husband was working then he has accident insurance an you should ask to see tge terms as it should cover at least a prportion of his salary , maybe all. Hope it helps you
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Old 29.04.2011, 22:06
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Re: My family nightmare!!

I'm very sorry to hear about this. I was in a similar situation with my father.

What really saved us was a law insurance for medical cases. Please check your health insurance, depending on the scheme sometimes the mentioned insurance is included.

I wish you lots of energy and strength.
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Old 29.04.2011, 22:44
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Re: My family nightmare!!

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It seems strange that the contract defaults to an automatic two year extension. usually after the 12 months it just becomes a three month notice period. Worth checking these details out.

I wish your husband a speedy and full recovery.
Just a quick point - the complete term renewal is the norm here I'm afraid the three month notice thing is on some agency managed apartments, but when it is direct it renews at the same term length.

To the poster: I work for Nestle and can post this property for rent on the nestle intranet there is a whole set of properties that get rented out before they ever hit the public Market this way. Drop me a pm if you would like me to do this.
Mike
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Old 29.04.2011, 23:37
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Re: My family nightmare!!

Have you tried to contact IV, Im so sorry to read what you are going trough, Im too far to offer any help, but i will have you and your family in my prayers. I feel too conected with your story, I also have 2 little kids and a husband that needs my help to be dressed, fed, etc. It requires a lot of strengt and im sure you have it, things will clear little by little you will see. IV pays my husband because he can no longer work, also my kids have their rente. And in case you need extra help it exist something called Spitex.
Hope you can find help soon.
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Old 29.04.2011, 23:48
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Re: My family nightmare!!

Does the owner know your full situation? If so, I think she is pretty hard-hearted, but I would follow the advice given earlier and contact Asloca and see what possibilities you have to get out of the contract sooner. Assuming the house you are renting is not over-priced, you should also be able to find a new tenant relatively easily, so try that avenue as well.

Hope things work out for you and your family.
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Old 30.04.2011, 00:01
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Re: My family nightmare!!

So sorry to hear this, wish you all well.

You do have a long & hard road in front of you but there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Check with your husbands employer what they have in the form of accident insurance. Possibly (hopefully not!) they will not be too helpful so maybe somebody here could suggest a good lawyer? I assume, maybe incorrectly, that as your husband is American then he works for a major Swiss based company that has generous insurance?

As others suggested you should contact a tenants association to see what your rights are in regards to your accommodation.

Good luck & success
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Old 30.04.2011, 06:24
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Re: My family nightmare!!

If you find another tenant then your out of the 2 year contract. You might try http://www.ronorp.net for Geneva (unfortunately you only get access after creating a login, which you can always delete afterwards). It's the city page for Geneva. If you wish I can post the details in German for the Zurich pages - just in case someone is interested in a re-location to Geneva.

Off Topic: in the course of time you might need specialized medical assistance. The Rehab Clinic in Bellikon has an excellent reputation and accepts patients all over Switzerland and from abroad (e.g. not living in Switzerland, I mean). It's miles away from Corsier, but at time you might be interested.



The clinic is from the SUVA the accident insurance. Please check also with the employer about this. From your work he should be insured for accidents at work place and off work place.


I really wish my best for your situation. It's difficult, but you will also find some little pockets of energy and motivation, which you did not even think they existed.
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Old 30.04.2011, 08:41
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Re: My family nightmare!!

Thanks to all for all the great advice. I have an appointment with Alsoca (rental asso.) on Monday. I also have a meeting with the Regie and the guy who manages the owners money on Tuesday. The more I think about this, I question whether the owner knows the entire situation. A person would have to be very hard hearted. She is so wealthy the she lives in Monaco for tax reasons and will not give a family in our situation a break when we are willing to give a full 3 month notice. I wonder if the Regie and money manager are playing hardball with me because this may affect their commissions. I have tried find the owners phone number on the internet - no luck. Any suggestions??
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Old 30.04.2011, 08:46
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Re: My family nightmare!!

Have you put your case in writing to the agent ? Including a letter from a doctor stating that he will be unable to work for a very long time ?

I'm sure Asloca can help you to find a fast solution, and best of luck finding somewhere suitable to live that fits your budget....
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Old 30.04.2011, 09:04
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Re: My family nightmare!!

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Just a quick point - the complete term renewal is the norm here I'm afraid the three month notice thing is on some agency managed apartments, but when it is direct it renews at the same term length.

To the poster: I work for Nestle and can post this property for rent on the nestle intranet there is a whole set of properties that get rented out before they ever hit the public Market this way. Drop me a pm if you would like me to do this.
Mike
Going for meeting with Regie on Tuesday - also have meeting with Alsoca to discuss my tenant rights. If my only option is to release the property I may get you to post at Nestle - that would be very helpful...
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Old 30.04.2011, 09:12
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Re: My family nightmare!!

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Thanks to all for all the great advice. I have an appointment with Alsoca (rental asso.) on Monday. I also have a meeting with the Regie and the guy who manages the owners money on Tuesday. The more I think about this, I question whether the owner knows the entire situation. A person would have to be very hard hearted. She is so wealthy the she lives in Monaco for tax reasons and will not give a family in our situation a break when we are willing to give a full 3 month notice. I wonder if the Regie and money manager are playing hardball with me because this may affect their commissions. I have tried find the owners phone number on the internet - no luck. Any suggestions??
Like Swisspea says, put it all in writing and send it to the agent registered delivery (costs CHF 5). They have to sign for the letter and you have a receipt so they can't deny they ever saw it. All sounds a bit suspect but there will be a solution out there.
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Old 30.04.2011, 09:23
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Re: My family nightmare!!

In my opinion this is a typical response from an absent landlord. The secretary tells her "There is trouble in Geneva", she replies, "Tell them to stick to the contract, and contact the Regie, that's what they are paid for".
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Old 30.04.2011, 10:04
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Re: My family nightmare!!

Don't let yourself be played upon and stand by your rights !!!!

This is not a situation to back off. Your personal life and finances are much more valuable than the problems with your housing resp. this contract which I doubt will have a legal standing if you have to fight it through.

To force someone into a long term contract is basically not well accepted in Switzerland, although you can see it quite often.

There are even voices who say a automated renewal is against consumer rights. If need be you can also contact the consumer rights association. They are very helpful and provide legal assistance.
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