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Old 20.04.2012, 17:03
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Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

Hi All,

I have a big problem.
I have a 1 year contract for an apartment which cannot be cut short. I rented it last September and have to continue living in it until September.
The apartment is rented under my name and my roommate´s name, but he suddenly decided to leave and said would not pay any more rent. I cannot possibly pay the double rent and I cannot move out for another 5 months. Now, my roommate has contacted the agency telling them he would like to revoke the contract which will also leave me in the street. There is an option for me to re-sign the contract with them only under my name but I reall dont want to be paying the entire rent. Is there a way to make my roommate give his contributions? Do you think the law would be on my side (if I hired a lawyer etc.)? Thank you for your input in advance.
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Old 20.04.2012, 17:05
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

Just to add, it is not the kind of a place where you can get a new roommate, as there are no 2 separate rooms - it is a living room and a bedroom...
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Old 20.04.2012, 17:08
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

To be very blunt and direct, if you can't afford to pay 4 or 5 months rent that your rpoom mate should have paid, what are you going to pay the lawyer with ?
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Old 20.04.2012, 17:28
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

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Hi All,

I have a big problem.
I have a 1 year contract for an apartment which cannot be cut short. I rented it last September and have to continue living in it until September.
The apartment is rented under my name and my roommate´s name, but he suddenly decided to leave and said would not pay any more rent. I cannot possibly pay the double rent and I cannot move out for another 5 months. Now, my roommate has contacted the agency telling them he would like to revoke the contract which will also leave me in the street. There is an option for me to re-sign the contract with them only under my name but I reall dont want to be paying the entire rent. Is there a way to make my roommate give his contributions? Do you think the law would be on my side (if I hired a lawyer etc.)? Thank you for your input in advance.
talk to the local Mieterverband.
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Old 20.04.2012, 17:33
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

What is a Mieterverband? Where can I find them? Worst of all, my roommate took the contract with himself when he was leaving without telling me
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Old 20.04.2012, 17:34
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

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To be very blunt and direct, if you can't afford to pay 4 or 5 months rent that your rpoom mate should have paid, what are you going to pay the lawyer with ?
You are right, Today Only...Any other ideas on how I could make this person pay?
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Old 20.04.2012, 17:36
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

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Hi All,

I have a big problem.
I have a 1 year contract for an apartment which cannot be cut short. I rented it last September and have to continue living in it until September.
The apartment is rented under my name and my roommate´s name, but he suddenly decided to leave and said would not pay any more rent. I cannot possibly pay the double rent and I cannot move out for another 5 months. Now, my roommate has contacted the agency telling them he would like to revoke the contract which will also leave me in the street. There is an option for me to re-sign the contract with them only under my name but I reall dont want to be paying the entire rent. Is there a way to make my roommate give his contributions? Do you think the law would be on my side (if I hired a lawyer etc.)? Thank you for your input in advance.
Contact the local (Miet-)Schlichtungsbehörde (look for the number in the phone book or call your commune/Gemeinde) to get this sorted immediately.

The landlord wants his rent, and it won't matter to him who pays it, as long as it gets paid. So you might run into a problem if he decides to pin the whole apt rent on you.
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Old 20.04.2012, 17:40
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

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What is a Mieterverband? Where can I find them? Worst of all, my roommate took the contract with himself when he was leaving without telling me
http://www.mieterverband.ch/smv_top.0.html
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Old 20.04.2012, 17:41
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

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What is a Mieterverband? Where can I find them? Worst of all, my roommate took the contract with himself when he was leaving without telling me
Well the agency has a copy of it..
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Old 20.04.2012, 17:45
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

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What is a Mieterverband? Where can I find them? Worst of all, my roommate took the contract with himself when he was leaving without telling me
As the Mieterverband will most likely send you to the Schlichtungsbehörde, I would contact the latter directly.

And your landlord should have a copy of the contract, as he is also part of it.
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Old 20.04.2012, 18:00
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

I checked the website you told me and could find the responsible branch for Basel Stadt. I dont know how it works (and my German is close to non-existent), but should I just call them and make an appointment? I hope there would be someone who speaks English....
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Old 20.04.2012, 18:12
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

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I checked the website you told me and could find the responsible branch for Basel Stadt. I dont know how it works (and my German is close to non-existent), but should I just call them and make an appointment? I hope there would be someone who speaks English....
Sure, why not? Writing down what you want/need in English and sending this to them upon request might help a bit as well.
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Old 20.04.2012, 18:36
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

Surely the living-room can double as a bedroom with a bit of give and take. So you can have a flat mate and survive in the meantime. You may have to drop the flatmate's rent a bit - or you take the living-room and buy a screen -available at IKEA.
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Old 20.04.2012, 18:45
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

Ok, so you two co-signed the contract but have only 1 copy? If he's taken the contract with him and he can legally cancel the contract before September then there's obviously nothing you can do. If that isn't possible and he co-signed the contract then you simply pay your share and let the landlord handle the issue, you aren't responsible for his breach of contract if he isn't your subtenant.

In short; get yourself a copy of the contract and talk to the landlord asap.
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Old 20.04.2012, 18:49
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

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Surely the living-room can double as a bedroom with a bit of give and take. So you can have a flat mate and survive in the meantime. You may have to drop the flatmate's rent a bit - or you take the living-room and buy a screen -available at IKEA.
That's a good idea! But with your (Odile's) idea, couldn't OP even have 2 flatmates for the remainder of his rent (one in the current roommate's room) and one in the (shared) living-room/larger room?
Maybe OP should chat with his landlord about the possibility of getting 1-2 roommates immediately and put up an ad for the apt once he is sure that the current roomie is really moving out...
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Old 20.04.2012, 19:58
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

Sticky situation hopefully you will find a solution! Best of luck!
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Old 20.04.2012, 20:34
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

Who's the "flatmate" of the two of you? Normally there's only one name as the locataire/tenant, and the other names are just co-tenants who can change without the rent contract needing to change. If you're the tenant, just sublet to whomever you can convince to use the living room as a shared loung/bedroom, or make yourself be that person and sublet the bedroom. It's only a few months... He can try to cancel the rent contract but if he's just a co-tenant it won't fly.
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Old 20.04.2012, 20:41
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

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If he's taken the contract with him and he can legally cancel the contract before September then there's obviously nothing you can do. If that isn't possible and he co-signed the contract then you simply pay your share and let the landlord handle the issue, you aren't responsible for his breach of contract if he isn't your subtenant.

In short; get yourself a copy of the contract and talk to the landlord asap.
Wouldn't it be more usual that both signatures are need for canceling the contract? And that probably as tenants in common, it means that the owner doesn't actually care which person pays the rent, so long as it is paid - with both tenants being equally liable for the rent. ie: if one does a runner, the landlord can ( and will) be knocking on the door of the aparmtent , asking the person who is still there, to pay. So, if you pay only half the rent, the landlord can still sue you both jointly for the outstanding amount.
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Old 21.04.2012, 01:24
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

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Wouldn't it be more usual that both signatures are need for canceling the contract? And that probably as tenants in common, it means that the owner doesn't actually care which person pays the rent, so long as it is paid - with both tenants being equally liable for the rent. ie: if one does a runner, the landlord can ( and will) be knocking on the door of the aparmtent , asking the person who is still there, to pay. So, if you pay only half the rent, the landlord can still sue you both jointly for the outstanding amount.
Could be you're right. I don't know if this applies but if both people in a partnership (unmarried) sign the contract both have sign the cancellation of a contract according to this (legit) source:

http://www.mieterverband.ch/fileadmi...re_ohne_Tr.pdf

http://www.hev-schweiz.ch/recht-steu...ash=8e80aead42

This source sais if several people signed the contract a single party may leave the flat but still is liable for the rent and can be made to pay. A single party CANNOT unilaterally cancel the contract. Both have to sign and otherwise both parties have to continue paying the rent, in reality that problem is solved by transferring the contract to the remaining tenant (you).
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Old 21.04.2012, 08:53
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Re: Roommate wants to leave before end of contract

Have you actually contacted the landlord and told them that there has been a disagreement ? I would do this because otherwise you have no control over what your ex-friend might agree with the landlord.

You need to let the landlord know that there is a dispute, and that you are looking for a solution.

Then you need to tell your ex-friend that they should at the very least give you a copy of the contract. That would be the least that they can do...

You need to look at what your obligation is. You also need to inform your ex-friend that they are liable to pay the rent if that is true. Otherwise, you need to find a replacement tenant.

Your friend needs to be aware of their own obligations - either they are trying to twist your arm or keep you in the dark so that you don't ask for the money - so you pay the full rent - or they know they are liable.

If you can't live with your friend, and you can't afford to pay the rent solo then you only have two options - move somewhere else, or find a new tenant...because your friend isn't moving back in. In the short time you might be able to try to get money out of this ex-friend, but you know, if he doesn't have the money, he doesn't have the money...

A friend of mine went through this problem many times before she decided to be the sole tenant on a place that she could (in an emergency) afford by herself, and then sublet and charge more than 'half' the rent to the sub-tenant. That's after being burnt too many times....

Question is - what do you actually want to do ? ? ?
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