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  #21  
Old 29.07.2012, 11:51
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

Yes, it is hard to find a flat. Yes, it's a landlord's market. Yes, it's tough out there in Geneva (and elsewhere in Switzerland.) But that's the reality of moving to Switzerland. The awful housing situation is something people need to understand before considering a move here.

Switzerland is a victim of it's own success, so to speak - the major employment centers are over-crowded, the infrastructure cannot cope with the influx of new residents. So many people chasing what little available housing there is means that landlords have their pick of tenants, at whatever terms they wish.

If you don't agree with a clause in the contract, try to negotiate around it - upfront before signing. You might get lucky - or the landlord might tell you to take a hike. You do need to be prepared for the latter outcome, though.

Bottom line, you must abide by whatever you agree to. You can't sign a contract and then expect not to be held to it's terms - the landlord, with the law squarely behind him, will come down on you like a ton of bricks. Look at it from the other side: the landlord also can't change terms of the signed contract midstream, either - which protects you.

I do indeed sympathise with anyone trying to find housing today, it's a jungle out there, no doubt. Hope that you can find something that meets your needs - and wishing you all the best.
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  #22  
Old 29.07.2012, 11:55
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

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I don't know what kind of negotiating power the relocation agency has. If I sign it as it is, just want to know at the renewal, how things will be. Want to hear from people have similar experience. It is easy to say don't sigh it and keep looking. But in Geneva, finding an apartment is so hard.
But what is your relo agent doing? They should know what the terms are before they find this stuff for you or, are you doing what you are doing here and second-guessing the relo agent, getting yourself in a pickle and expecting the agent to bail you out?

Really, these are all questions that you should be discussing with the agent. They are being PAID to help you, that is their job. If you don't trust them them then tell them and get someone else. Getting information here (where we don't even know half the story) is just going to create confusion.
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  #23  
Old 29.07.2012, 12:09
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How come? Was it written in the contract that it was a fixed term lease or not?
I have not read the contract yet. I just receive the letter from regie they accept my application for the flat, but it is going to be fixed term.

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But what is your relo agent doing? They should know what the terms are before they find this stuff for you or, are you doing what you are doing here and second-guessing the relo agent, getting yourself in a pickle and expecting the agent to bail you out?

Really, these are all questions that you should be discussing with the agent. They are being PAID to help you, that is their job. If you don't trust them them then tell them and get someone else. Getting information here (where we don't even know half the story) is just going to create confusion.
In Geneva, and only in Geneva, it has become common that regie uses this kind of fixed term to take advantage of tenants. The term is not specified in the ad. They just told me after they accept my application.

Last edited by Guest; 29.07.2012 at 12:34. Reason: Merging two posts
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  #24  
Old 29.07.2012, 12:15
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

So you didnt sign any contract then?
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  #25  
Old 29.07.2012, 12:16
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My options are
1. Accept the term and renew the lease at mercy of regie
2. Walk away. But it is difficult to find other apartments, and I fear the regie will force me to pay penalty
3. Renegotiate the term, but not sure how easy the regie is

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So you didnt sign any contract then?
I have not signed anything. I don't like the term, but refusing to sign also is difficult

Last edited by Guest; 29.07.2012 at 12:35. Reason: Merging two posts
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  #26  
Old 29.07.2012, 12:20
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

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My options are
1. Accept the term and renew the lease at mercy of regie
2. Walk away. But it is difficult to find other apartments, and I fear the regie will force me to pay penalty
3. Renegotiate the term, but not sure how easy the regie is
Thats right. You either go away or try and negotiate. But dont be surprised if they say no
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  #27  
Old 29.07.2012, 12:23
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

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Thats right. You either go away or try and negotiate. But dont be surprised if they say no
Yes. So I want to hear if there is anyone who are forced to sign similar contract and how easy it is to renew it at expiration
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  #28  
Old 29.07.2012, 12:37
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

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Yes. So I want to hear if there is anyone who are forced to sign similar contract and how easy it is to renew it at expiration
That depends on the regie and/or the reason the contract is fixed

Maybe it was easy for someone. Maybe someone else didnt manage and got kicked out.

Good luck
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  #29  
Old 29.07.2012, 12:37
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

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Yes. So I want to hear if there is anyone who are forced to sign similar contract and how easy it is to renew it at expiration
Nobody is ever forced to sign any accommodation contract.

This isn't The Sopranos.
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Old 29.07.2012, 12:38
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In geneva, as landlord, it makes sense. Rent for a year fixed term, kick out the tenant, hike prices and repeat.

Try negotiating a longer or indefinite term contract with a rent increase clause in, if this is whaty the LL wants.
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  #31  
Old 29.07.2012, 12:46
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the landlord, with the law squarely behind him, will come down on you like a ton of bricks. Look at it from the other side: the landlord also can't change terms of the signed contract midstream, either - which protects you.
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Nonsense, the landlord has to go to court, it can take a long time to force you to leave, they will get you out eventually.
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  #32  
Old 29.07.2012, 12:50
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

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Yes. So I want to hear if there is anyone who are forced to sign similar contract and how easy it is to renew it at expiration
No one is "forced to sign" anything. If you don't like the terms, then walk away or try to re-negotiate. Given the current market, the latter seems unlikely to succeed but is still worth a shot nonetheless.

Even if someone here has been faced with the same "rental trick" as you call it, that does not automatically mean your outcome will be the same as theirs, even if they were able to sucessfully renew their contract upon expiration. That said, however, I guess some advice from such individuals would be helpful to you as well, in addition to that already given by other commentors on this thread.

Good luck!
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  #33  
Old 29.07.2012, 12:57
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

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Nobody is ever forced to sign any accommodation contract.

This isn't The Sopranos.
That is in theory. What are you going to do if it is so difficult to find one place? Plus, I may have to pay hefty penalty if I walk away, which I think is extremely unfair. Because they give me a very nasty contract, and if I refuse to sign, they will charge me penalty?
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  #34  
Old 29.07.2012, 13:07
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

Isha, is that a huge piece of KFC that the woman in your avatar is holding?

Oh, and to bring it back on topic, the usual rules are that if you request a contract to let an apartment but do not proceed (i.e. don't sign the contract), you will be liable to pay a fee to the regie. This is usually in the range of CHF 100-300 and is clearly stated on the application form. The fee you mention (CHF 200 + half a month's rent) sounds excessively high, but if that fee was advised to you, that's what you'll have to pay. If you ask very nicely, there's a tiny chance the regie will waive some of that fee. But only a tiny chance.

If you sign the contract and then pull out, you'll be liable for the full rent for the entire fixed term of the contract. Be very sure before you scribble your signature on that contract!
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  #35  
Old 29.07.2012, 13:11
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

And to answer the (probable) next question, the contract is valid even if its in a language you dont understand
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  #36  
Old 29.07.2012, 13:19
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

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Isha, is that a huge piece of KFC that the woman in your avatar is holding?

Oh, and to bring it back on topic, the usual rules are that if you request a contract to let an apartment but do not proceed (i.e. don't sign the contract), you will be liable to pay a fee to the regie. This is usually in the range of CHF 100-300 and is clearly stated on the application form. The fee you mention (CHF 200 + half a month's rent) sounds excessively high, but if that fee was advised to you, that's what you'll have to pay. If you ask very nicely, there's a tiny chance the regie will waive some of that fee. But only a tiny chance.

If you sign the contract and then pull out, you'll be liable for the full rent for the entire fixed term of the contract. Be very sure before you scribble your signature on that contract!
If I request a contract, and I withdraw, i will pay the penalty. No problem. But now they draft an non standard contract which I do not like at the beginning, why should I have to pay penalty if I challenge the term of contract? I think the regie should pay me because they waste my time and my oppportunity to look for other apartments.
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Old 29.07.2012, 13:21
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

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If I request a contract, and I withdraw, i will pay the penalty. No problem. But now they draft an non standard contract which I do not like at the beginning, why should I have to pay penalty if I challenge the term of contract? I think the regie should pay me because they waste my time and my oppportunity to look for other apartments.
you may not necessarily get a penalty if you can't agree contract terms. and the contract isn't non-standard.
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Old 29.07.2012, 13:27
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

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you may not necessarily get a penalty if you can't agree contract terms. and the contract isn't non-standard.
Swiss law says fixed term contract is only allowed in special circumstances. If the regie wants it just because of ease to increase rent, that is unlawful.
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  #39  
Old 29.07.2012, 13:27
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Re: Fixed term rental contract

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you may not necessarily get a penalty if you can't agree contract terms. and the contract isn't non-standard.
A great deal will be what was the OP told, how was the flat advertised? If he had knowledge then he is stuck.
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Old 29.07.2012, 13:29
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A great deal will be what was the OP told, how was the flat advertised? If he had knowledge then he is stuck.
The flat is advertised in the regie's website, without any mentioning it is a fixed term lease

The rent is actually a bit lower than the market rate. 2000 for 4 pieces in a good location. So I suspect they want a fixed term contract so they can easily increase rent at renewal

Last edited by Guest; 29.07.2012 at 13:33. Reason: Merged two posts ... again.
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