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Old 25.01.2012, 16:44
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Do the Swiss take 'back-handers'? Surely not?!

Hi Everyone,
I hope I'm not opening a can of worms here or being really naive!
I've just arrived in Lausanne to start a new job next week, I've managed to agree a sub-let for the month of February, and I've applied for a few properties available at the start of March. So far, so good I was thinking to myself.

But just today I met with the Swiss guy I'm subletting from, and he was really sceptical that I'd get somewhere by March, even though I've applied. "Do you have anyone 'helping' you?" he asked me.

He suggested that there are some ways to make sure your name is at the top of an agent's list, and that you need to be in the top one or two applying to be even in with a chance of securing a let.
He didn't know precisely how it works (he's owned his place for 20 years) but he claims that there are people (are they the property agents? I don't know?!) who will accept about 2000CHF and make sure that they find you something.

Is this true?!! And is so, then even more importantly, does anyone know how I might set up this sort of arrangement in Lausanne or environs?! If this is the done thing then I'd rather join them than try to beat them...

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice you can give on this matter.
Best,
Deirdre
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Old 25.01.2012, 16:47
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Re: Do the Swiss take 'back-handers'? Surely not?!

Was he asking for money to be paid Western Union to his Nigerian bank account
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Old 25.01.2012, 16:55
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Re: Do the Swiss take 'back-handers'? Surely not?!

He he hhe I thought at first you meant 'backhanders' across the face ???? WTF I thought.

I've personally never heard of such a service going on and on the other hand I could imagine that it exists as there is definately a bit of a housing crisis here in Cheeseville.

http://www.gratis-inserate.ch/

http://www.homegate.ch/

http://www.wg-gesucht.de/wg-zimmer-i...149.0.1.0.html

http://www.immolist.ch/index.php?pid=3&lng=en
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Old 25.01.2012, 16:57
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Re: Do the Swiss take 'back-handers'? Surely not?!

Read around and you'll find tips for helping you secure an offer, such as:
  • include a reference from your employer
  • include a copy of your payslip or contract showing your salary
  • letter showing you have no debts from the relevant local authority
  • apply quickly, deliver the application in person if possible
  • make sure you fill out the form completely, don't leave any questions unanswered or ambiguous
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Old 25.01.2012, 17:14
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Re: Do the Swiss take 'back-handers'? Surely not?!

Why do you think we have Chf 200.-- and even Chf 1'000.-- notes ?
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Old 25.01.2012, 17:33
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Re: Do the Swiss take 'back-handers'? Surely not?!

I just moved in the middle of December, the only painful thing we had to do was pay double rent (1/2 month for the new place and 1/2 month for the old place). We are still shocked and amazed we got our new apartment without any "help" as well, money, or friends of cousin's uncle's wives who happen to work in the realty agency.

You're actually in a good place subletting, I'm assuming you don't have to give long notice to leave.

I'd also recommend www.immostreet.ch, and my realty company www.gerance-crot.ch (they never show up on those other websites). There is also www.anibis.ch, a type of craigs list. We listed our apartment there, and it was taken over after 4 days.

The only other advice I have is DON'T WAIT if you see something you like. Sometimes you wait 2-3 days to make a call for a visit, and the apartment can be gone already. Good luck with your search!
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Old 25.01.2012, 23:49
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Re: Do the Swiss take 'back-handers'? Surely not?!

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer and it's very useful to hear of other peoples' experiences.
I've just set up my Western Union account so fingers crossed...
(joke)
Thank you!
Deirdre
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Old 26.01.2012, 00:08
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Re: Do the Swiss take 'back-handers'? Surely not?!

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He didn't know precisely how it works (he's owned his place for 20 years) but he claims that there are people (are they the property agents? I don't know?!) who will accept about 2000CHF and make sure that they find you something.
The name escapes me, but there are people/companies who search for properties for person, people, companies either who want to rent or buy. This service is used more by people whose time is more important than money.

In your case I am presuming it is not necessary if you have the right doumentations. Dont hang around
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Old 26.01.2012, 00:15
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Re: Do the Swiss take 'back-handers'? Surely not?!

I once got an apartment by doing the illogical thing.

The apartment was advertised on Internet, I phoned the occupier on Monday whom informed me that 10 people were viewing the place next Thursday, and I was welcome to come along too.

I then downloaded the application form from the agency website, added the certificate of no debts (Betreibungsamt - Poursuites office) and delivered my application to the agency on Wednesday morning. I got the flat without even seeing it! Agreed I risked having to pay the Fr 100,-- charge if I cancelled the contract, but as I could not make the viewing on Thursday I thought it was worth a try, and it worked!
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Old 26.01.2012, 01:24
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Re: Do the Swiss take 'back-handers'? Surely not?!

Mata Dienst and others are finding agents that charge you around CHF3K. Search the forum for experiences on using them.
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Old 26.01.2012, 12:53
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Re: Do the Swiss take 'back-handers'? Surely not?!

Yes, Swiss people are quite normal really. Some are wonderful and funny, some are boring, some are even racists, some are honest, and yes, some take back handers, or rather 'under the table' as we say in Romandie. It takes all sorts to make a nation, good, bad ... and even ugly.

PS the majority don't.
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