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  #61  
Old 10.10.2011, 16:19
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Re: Contesting Rent

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Then why not ask the multinational company which moved you to find the flat and pay for it as well ? After all, they brought you here so they have to do the whole apartment thing. And if they don't you can always stay where you are. Don't move at all.
That's a bit simplistic, don't you think? Not all of us (even in Vaud) were moved here by our 'huge multinational employers'.

Anyway, if employers with deep pockets were paying for everything don't you think landlords would raise the rents even further, making the situation worse than ever?
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  #62  
Old 10.10.2011, 16:25
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Re: Contesting Rent

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That's a bit simplistic, don't you think? Not all of us (even in Vaud) were moved here by our 'huge multinational employers'.

Anyway, if employers with deep pockets were paying for everything don't you think landlords would raise the rents even further, making the situation worse than ever?
Possibly a bit simplistic you are right there but only a bit. So then it means that expats have moved on their own, at least some of them. In that case you should be paying the same rent as the 'locals'. If the companies with deep pockets paid for everything, they would know the local market situation 'bit' better than newly arrived expats. In fact the very term expat is actually used in a different sense here.
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  #63  
Old 11.10.2011, 11:24
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Re: Contesting Rent

There is nothing to suggest in law or otherwise that expats should not be paying the same rent as the 'locals'. However, many expats are unaware of local laws and tenant rights, and real-estate agencies take advantage of that.
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  #64  
Old 11.10.2011, 20:39
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Re: Contesting Rent

... and so do many expats- as many come on large salaries which easily cover those costs. Some are totally unaware that the rents they pay are way higher than 'normal' as they are not aware of the market.
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  #65  
Old 11.10.2011, 20:43
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Re: Contesting Rent

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I would so like to know why, in the apartment block I'm in in Lausanne, more than half the apartments are empty, but not offered for sale or rent.
I've been here nearly 3 years now and the same apartments are still empty.
I just can't understand what goes on here, when I'm endlessly hearing how difficult it is to find something to buy or rent.
Anyone know the answer?
Maybe they are waiting for it to be empty, as people eventually leave- so that they can bulldoze and totally replace, or sell on for that purpose? Why not ask the agency and report back???
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  #66  
Old 12.10.2011, 16:34
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Re: Contesting Rent

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I would so like to know why, in the apartment block I'm in in Lausanne, more than half the apartments are empty, but not offered for sale or rent.
I've been here nearly 3 years now and the same apartments are still empty.
I just can't understand what goes on here, when I'm endlessly hearing how difficult it is to find something to buy or rent.
Anyone know the answer?
Yes, my husband and I noticed the same thing over in St-Sulpice where we live. When you walk around at night, you regularly see that maybe 1/4 of the lights are off (the same ones are always off).

Our conclusion: the gerances (the big guys, not the small landlords) are controlling supply to inflate prices.

They also do stuff to manufacture urgency. When we were looking for houses, at every place we went we were told that an expat from Philip Morris had just been there to see the place so we'd better put our application in right now.
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  #67  
Old 12.10.2011, 16:40
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Re: Contesting Rent

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Then why not ask the multinational company which moved you to find the flat and pay for it as well ? After all, they brought you here so they have to do the whole apartment thing. And if they don't you can always stay where you are. Don't move at all.
Umm, in this case, that "huge multinational" is the Swiss government. We're scientists doing important work for the good of humanity.

But the discussion is bigger than you and me; all the people of Vaud are getting screwed. I object to these abusive practices on these grounds.
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Old 12.10.2011, 16:55
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Re: Contesting Rent

Wow this is getting interesting...

I tried to explain in another thread about rental prices and how they develop etc, but noone seemed to care much...

It's very interesting to know the tenants actually have rights to contest the rent after they accept the rental contract! Which puts the burden of proof on the landlord to show that the rental increase is not abusive and also ensures that the tenant doesn't just lose out in fear that someone else will just snap the place up regardless of the rent!
I actually received a letter when I first moved in to where I'm living now, a couple of years back, with an explanation that the rent was increasing however I never knew you could contest, the place was completely renovated but I'm sure I would have been able to knock the price down a bit!

Unfortunately like many noted, many of the expats just put up and shut up because they first of all don't master the local language, and are in a difficult situation where they are forced to accept whatever they get given!
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  #69  
Old 01.12.2011, 13:18
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Re: Contesting Rent

I am in a similar situation: picked an apartment in the center of Lausanne, rental rate increased by 35% compared to the previous tenant. I was suggested by him to go to ASLOCA, I've been there and I was told by them that I have to complain, writing a letter to the Commission de Conciliation, and that I will surely win, because 35% is "too much" (I asked "compared to what?", but the consultant's answer was not a real answer...)

Now I am thinking if it is worth or not to send the letter.
The main point is, the contract duration is just 16 months (renewable, of course). I am afraid that even though I obtain a reduction, in one year I will have to start looking for a new flat, because the gerance will not extend the contract and will try to find another ex-pat who will pay what they want. I wonder whether my fear is reasonable.


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The law in the Canton of Vaud stated that for a new rental contract, the rent increase over the previous contract should not be abusive. This is normally done via a calculation of mortgage rates and consumer price index. However, there is an exception clause where the rent can be raised even higher if it is conforming to the current market conditions. The burden is on the landlord/gerance to prove that. If you think the rent increase is abusive, then you have 30 days from the time you move in to contest that. If the initial mediation is unsuccessful, then you can contest it at a court.

Expats are often ignorant of such regulations and hence accept the abusive rent increases without further investigation.
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Old 06.12.2011, 08:07
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Re: Contesting Rent

Doubt it. Chances are if you pay on time the gerance will overlook the rocky beginning It's pretty hard to evict people, anyway, and they know it.

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I am in a similar situation: picked an apartment in the center of Lausanne, rental rate increased by 35% compared to the previous tenant. I was suggested by him to go to ASLOCA, I've been there and I was told by them that I have to complain, writing a letter to the Commission de Conciliation, and that I will surely win, because 35% is "too much" (I asked "compared to what?", but the consultant's answer was not a real answer...)

Now I am thinking if it is worth or not to send the letter.
The main point is, the contract duration is just 16 months (renewable, of course). I am afraid that even though I obtain a reduction, in one year I will have to start looking for a new flat, because the gerance will not extend the contract and will try to find another ex-pat who will pay what they want. I wonder whether my fear is reasonable.
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Old 24.08.2012, 16:48
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Re: Contesting Rent

Upon examining this old thread I realized I have never properly told the tale in full about what happened. We negotiated directly with the real estate agent via letter, while at the same time got lawyered up to prepare to go to court. A couple of months later and after a number of Lettre Recommandée's, we reached an agreement for the new rent that is roughly 30% more than the old rent, which is reasonable considering some renovation work have been done before we moved in.

The lawyer charged us ~1000 CHF for her troubles of an one hour meeting with us and a few phone calls to the managing agent. The amount was quickly recuperated in rent savings a few months down the track.

So the system works. If you feel that the rent is abusive, by all means complain through the right channels and have your case heard. That will keep the few real estate agents from abusing their power and maintain the average rent at reasonable levels for all of us, Swiss or non-Swiss.
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  #72  
Old 24.08.2012, 17:41
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Re: Contesting Rent

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Upon examining this old thread I realized I have never properly told the tale in full about what happened...

So the system works. If you feel that the rent is abusive, by all means complain through the right channels and have your case heard. That will keep the few real estate agents from abusing their power and maintain the average rent at reasonable levels for all of us, Swiss or non-Swiss.
Very useful info. Thank you so much for following up and explaining how it all worked out. I've seen threads that were just left hanging and I appreciate tidy endings.
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Old 24.08.2012, 18:12
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Re: Contesting Rent

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Doubt it. Chances are if you pay on time the gerance will overlook the rocky beginning It's pretty hard to evict people, anyway, and they know it.
Well it seems to be a limited contract at the outset.
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Old 24.08.2012, 18:21
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Re: Contesting Rent

I wonder if people contest the rent through any kind of channels, their names will be blacklisted by the regies, which will make it very difficult in the future to get another apartment. The regies have too much power these days.
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Old 24.08.2012, 19:16
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Re: Contesting Rent

Wow. Good for you. I'm quite surprised. But happy to learn something new every day.

I'm still curious to know the specs on the apartment.


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I wonder if people contest the rent through any kind of channels, their names will be blacklisted by the regies, which will make it very difficult in the future to get another apartment. The regies have too much power these days.

I don't think that there is a black per se. But some landlords do ask for a reference from your previous landlord. I have about it it on here. But never saw it myself. Maybe it's more in the German part.
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  #76  
Old 24.08.2012, 19:23
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Re: Contesting Rent

at least in lausanne many regies know that people will contest if they jack up the price. our regie showed us the rate they could charge and how much they are charging us, for example. they were quite honest in saying that the going rate for the stats on this apartment were xxx amount but they know we could easily go to asloca and bring it down to yyy amount, so they are charging us the yyy amount to avoid being sued to begin with.

that being said, many regies are using a year by year contract wherein they state that they can review the contract after the first year. we were concerned about this at first (and i do think it is to avoid keeping a tenant who sues to decrease the rent, but how can you prove that?) but after speaking to asloca,they would have to have a lot of complaints/issues to do so.

renting in lausanne is certainly not easy, or cheap!
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Old 27.08.2012, 12:02
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Re: Contesting Rent

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that being said, many regies are using a year by year contract wherein they state that they can review the contract after the first year. we were concerned about this at first (and i do think it is to avoid keeping a tenant who sues to decrease the rent, but how can you prove that?) but after speaking to asloca,they would have to have a lot of complaints/issues to do so.
Then it may make even more sense to contest the rent, which as I understand would give you an automatic 3-year protection against contract termination.
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