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Old 11.11.2011, 09:04
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paying deposit and first rent before contract is signed

Hi,

I read a lot of very useful stuff here, so thank you

And I would like to know your opinion about my situation.

I'm going to rent a flat. I checked the flat, filled the application and woman from the company Foris Immobilien called me that I got it and in few day she sent me contract and papers about special account for deposit.

The owner of the flat is some man not the company. So on the contract and "deposit account" is his name, but all papers go through the company Foris Immobilien.

I was in their office to sign all papers and the woman told me that the owner is on holiday now and he will come in December and I'm supposed to send deposit and first rent to his account and he will put deposit on that special account when he is back. Also I asked when will I get signed contract and she said that he has to sign it, so I suppose that it will be also in December. The woman from company will give me keys from the flat on Monday, but I haven't paid yet.

What do you think?
1. Is it normal, that the landlord is renting his flat through agency?

2. All papers look good, but is it normal that I'm supposed to pay before I have contract in my hands?

3. Can I tell the woman that I want some proof from her company, before I pay? But what does she have to give me that I'm really safe?

Thank you for your advice
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Old 11.11.2011, 09:46
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Re: paying deposit and first rent before contract is signed

Hello and welcome to the Forum.

1) Yes
2) Yes
3) Yes, more or less. Although not watertight, ask for a cover letter from the agency stating the agreement and that you've paid in advance. Things go well based on the honour system here, but do get a receipt at least.
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Old 11.11.2011, 09:54
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Re: paying deposit and first rent before contract is signed

Thank you very much , I feel much better now, especially after reading all posts about how everybody wants just get money from people
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Old 11.11.2011, 10:00
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Re: paying deposit and first rent before contract is signed

I wouldn't pay the money into the owner's private bank account.

Check out this Thread with general details on renting and comments on the matter of deposit payments. The money should go into a special account set up for that.
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Old 11.11.2011, 10:13
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Re: paying deposit and first rent before contract is signed

...also this post from the Apartment Scam Thread (loads of information about renting in the Sticky at the top of this forum).

Remember that if the money goes into the guy's private bank account, however many pieces of paper you have to prove you put it there, you still might have to fight to actually get it back.
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Old 11.11.2011, 10:21
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Re: paying deposit and first rent before contract is signed

I read all these threads. There is "Mieterkautionssparkonto" in Zurcher Kantonalbank, but he has to sign it first and that will be in December. But yes, that's why I wrote here, because I don't like the idea of sending money to his account. Maybe I should tell the woman from agency that I will pay just first rent and deposit in December, when the account will be settled. But what if she says that she will not give me the apartment until I pay?
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Old 11.11.2011, 10:29
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Re: paying deposit and first rent before contract is signed

I've really no idea if this would work, but could you ask your bank if there is another method which would secure the money for the guy, but not let him get hold of it without your permission? I think I would contact my bank and ask.
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Old 11.11.2011, 10:30
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Re: paying deposit and first rent before contract is signed

Normally the deposit money goes into an account in your name which has a special condition attached to it requring the owner to confirm the necessary conditions have been met to release the funds at the end of the contract. I would not deposit it in the private name of the owner since that would mean later on if there is a dispute they simply say we don't remember that and keep the money. The trust based account approach is the recommended where it is your money but subject to the special rules for release.

You will then declare the balance in your tax return and a small deposit amount comes.

Most of the banks have suitable accounts for this purpose.
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