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Old 22.01.2014, 14:22
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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The reason contracts are drawn up and singed, is an assumption of a person's honor.
Actually it's the opposite -- contracts (which of course have legal consequences in the event of default) are required because people are assumed not to honour their word.

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Signing a long contract has one major disadvantage in a rising market to the landlord, he can't keep increasing the rent, it's not greed just less hassle.
Tenancies are strictly regulated in Switzerland. Landlords can't keep increasing the rent in a rising market, whether they have a continuous tenancy agreement or new tenants coming in. Assuming the base interest rate is unchanged, the rent will continue at the same level, unless the landlord invests significantly in refurbishment of the property to justify a rental increase. In most cases, if a tenant leaves a property, the incoming tenant (whether a "Nachmieter" -- following-on tenant -- or a tenant on a new contract) will pay the same rent as the previous tenant.
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Old 22.01.2014, 14:25
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

Yes - the company are helping with up to three months of rent.

I'm just getting concerned as only had 4 viewings in two months (December and January....in perspective) and the leasing agent is being cagey with information - which is hardly reassuring when I'm due to leave in two weeks!

The market is really not as fast in Lugano, plus, it is an expensive flat for a one bed - but IMHO it is good value.

Fingers crossed something comes through.
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Old 22.01.2014, 14:28
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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The market is really not as fast in Lugano, plus, it is an expensive flat for a one bed - but IMHO it is good value.
indeed it is quite pricey for a one-bed place, I have a place I rent out with 2 bedrooms for less - it scores on postcode snobbery but is in Montagnola not downtown Lugano.

Do you have floorplans for the place? It might be worth adding them to the adverts you have - otherwise people just see one bedroom and the price - you're selling the space.
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Old 22.01.2014, 14:38
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

Thanks very much for all the advice! Do you think an excel spreadsheet would be sufficient?

Agreed on the price - but I do think once somebody gets through the door the price is justified - it's that sort of apartment.

Once the removal men have been will update the photos with no furniture which I think will help people get an idea of the space they have available too.
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Old 22.01.2014, 14:40
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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Thanks very much for all the advice! Do you think an excel spreadsheet would be sufficient?

Agreed on the price - but I do think once somebody gets through the door the price is justified - it's that sort of apartment.

Once the removal men have been will update the photos with no furniture which I think will help people get an idea of the space they have available too.
It might be worth your while to offer a rent free period of 1-3 months to get the deal done quickly, especially as the company will pay for 3 months.
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Old 22.01.2014, 16:46
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

OP ...
Browsing the pictures of the apartment, I notice a Guitar and amplifier.
When we first came to CH, I was told about noise and being quiet on a Sunday and after 8pm at night etc etc ....What a myth that turned out to be.
I have people in our apartments , who think nothing of drilling holes in walls at 10.45 pm or a dog barking in the communal lift area at 1am in the morning going out for walkies or on return.

Maybe having moved from a detached house in the UK from in a quiet village , my expectations are too high :-)
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Old 22.01.2014, 16:54
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

Ravenk,

even worse...it's a bass haha! This is partly why we moved to this flat because the walls are as thick as a safe, so you can at least enjoy a film at a good volume late at night without feeling you're disturbing the neighbours..
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Old 22.01.2014, 19:51
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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We thought we would do the majority of this time - however my current job situation turned sour quickly, alongside being headhunted for another company.

I guess in summary - there are no legal workarounds, and no way to get out.
If you were fired and had to leave the country, you had a chance with this situation.

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Hopefully the market will pick up in February or March, or maybe I can make an offer to the landlord to release me from the contract early. Has anybody had experience of this?
I think your best chance is to continue to look for someone to take over the lease. If the apartment rent is really not market value, you can make up the difference personally. For example, you can offer some months free. This is a common tactic to entice new tenants.

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But, however unlikely, it is quite scary thinking of paying up another 2.5 years of a lease in Lugano!
That is the worst case scenario. I know a family still paying rent on an apartment where the lease runs until end of March even though they moved out last year. They contacted me to help find a tenant. I went to look at the flat and I knew I would never find anyone. It was overpriced and the most illogical layout. If it was in a highly sought after area it would get rented.

Sometimes I have suggested to those who are desperate to leave the flat furnished and try to find someone who needs temp housing. This means contacting employers in their area. You may get lucky and find a company willing to take over your lease.
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Old 22.01.2014, 20:05
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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Third, I agree with being locked into 3 years being unreasonable if you are leaving the country. Technically, we have surrendered our B-permits so we do not have the right to work in Switzerland but have to pay a lease in Switzerland.
It does seem harsh, but that's the way it is. We've had examples here before where death doesn't get you out of a contract. The next of kin have had to find nachmieters at a not particularly happy time for them.

I guess the contract is protection for both sides. It's not the landlord's fault if their tenant emigrates or dies (hopefully not, anyway).
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Old 22.01.2014, 20:09
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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It does seem harsh, but that's the way it is. We've had examples here before where death doesn't get you out of a contract. The next of kin have had to find nachmieters at a not particularly happy time for them.

I guess the contract is protection for both sides. It's not the landlord's fault if their tenant emigrates or dies (hopefully not, anyway).
It's less of a bind than if the OP had bought the property! The OP signed the contract knowing it was a 3 year commitment, so should not be an issue for an intelligent person whose services are in demand in more than 1 country.
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Old 22.01.2014, 20:29
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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The OP signed the contract knowing it was a 3 year commitment, so should not be an issue for an intelligent person whose services are in demand in more than 1 country.
To be fair, circumstances change. But I actually know some very nice landlords who got screwed by tenants who decided to move. I wonder why the discussion with the landlord does not take place before the tenant's decision. It is not a guarantee but if a tenant makes an effort to talk to the landlord and explain the situation, sometimes they reach a compromise.

After the fact when the landlord is told of the situation he often resents not having been given the opportunity to talk to the tenant. At least this is my experience.
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Old 22.01.2015, 16:09
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

Hi guys,

One year on, it would good to know any resolution to the opening poster's problem. We are facing a very similar situation, also in Ticino.

Work prospects at our company in CH took a nose dive in summer last year, so to be prudent I started searching and found another job somewhere else. I received a new employment contract in December 2014 to begin work on 9th Feb 2015, but no luck whatsoever with finding anyone to take our apartment in Switzerland.

In two months we've have had two people visit (albeit Xmas), neither seriously interested in taking the apartment. We leave Switzerland in a week, and are now so desperate that we have agreed to pay the first two months for anyone interested to take the place from 1st Feb. Still no takers.

We asked the rental agency to terminate the contract early, but obviously they are not obliged to do so and refused. Their suggestion to the problem was that I should refuse the new job and stay in Switzerland, and if made redundant in the Spring as expected, claim unemployment benefits...

Anyhow, as much as I hate the prospects of running away from obligations, our only practical choice seems to be to swallow the loss on the deposit and default on the rent. It's a horrible thing to consider, but otherwise we'll be paying rent in two countries, and after the appreciation of the Franc, is just impossible. I can't turn down the other job, I was lucky to find another one so quickly as it can take years to find a new job.

I guess I wanted to say that it's easy to lambast people for running away, but when rental contracts are so onerous and you can't find someone to take it over, what else can you do?

waterpau

Last edited by 3Wishes; 22.01.2015 at 16:14. Reason: Sorry, can't post the ad here to get around the rules. ;)
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Old 22.01.2015, 21:06
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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Hi guys,

One year on, it would good to know any resolution to the opening poster's problem. We are facing a very similar situation, also in Ticino.

Work prospects at our company in CH took a nose dive in summer last year, so to be prudent I started searching and found another job somewhere else. I received a new employment contract in December 2014 to begin work on 9th Feb 2015, but no luck whatsoever with finding anyone to take our apartment in Switzerland.

In two months we've have had two people visit (albeit Xmas), neither seriously interested in taking the apartment. We leave Switzerland in a week, and are now so desperate that we have agreed to pay the first two months for anyone interested to take the place from 1st Feb. Still no takers.

We asked the rental agency to terminate the contract early, but obviously they are not obliged to do so and refused. Their suggestion to the problem was that I should refuse the new job and stay in Switzerland, and if made redundant in the Spring as expected, claim unemployment benefits...

Anyhow, as much as I hate the prospects of running away from obligations, our only practical choice seems to be to swallow the loss on the deposit and default on the rent. It's a horrible thing to consider, but otherwise we'll be paying rent in two countries, and after the appreciation of the Franc, is just impossible. I can't turn down the other job, I was lucky to find another one so quickly as it can take years to find a new job.

I guess I wanted to say that it's easy to lambast people for running away, but when rental contracts are so onerous and you can't find someone to take it over, what else can you do?

waterpau
Be careful with your thoughts on "default on the rent" if you are an EU citizen or indeed your new job is in the EU the long arm of the Swiss legal system will catch-up with you and you will end up paying for the rent, legal cost, compensation and .. and .. and ....

On top of that and if they really go after you, you might end up with a bad credit history or even worse a criminal record!

if you are not and EU citizen or your next role is not in the EU, you coming back to the Switzerland and possibly the EU will be a closed matter with possible immediate rejection to any future visa or indeed arrest upon entering Schengen/Swiss territory.

I am not being critical just giving a simple advice :-)

p.s. from the original OP's note on the closed advert it looks like he was able to find a tenant to the property so you might be lucky as well. Keep the faith.

Last edited by we_da_man; 22.01.2015 at 21:55.
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  #34  
Old 22.01.2015, 21:32
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

The drawbacks of renting a property it seems. Your at the mercy of the contract you have signed and agreed to. You could even end up with a criminal record in CH if you walk away from the commitment.
I'm in the same situation, but only while I'm here for three years in CH.
A home owner in the UK, never considered renting. Renting is for mugs, you will never own a property at the end of it , while having a mortgage for 25 years you end up with an asset. Now mortgage free and happy.
Who wants to be paying rent when they are 65 ?
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Old 23.01.2015, 22:32
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

A criminal record for non payment of rent seems harsh, wouldn't it be a civil matter? I certainly never set out to deiberately defraud anybody.

I'm a UK citizen and we should go to the UAE. Not fulfilling obligations is something I would never have considered in the past, but it's so much money, we'd have a financial headache for several years to come if we paid it all. I'd like to be confident we'll find somebody but there are a lot of new build apartments in our area which have gone up in the last 18 months. Comparable ones have around 10-12% lower rents, which makes me think we've paid too much for our place, or somehow rents have decreased.

I guess I could choose the rental agency's solution of turning down the job in UAE, waiting out the likely redundancy in CH in 3 months, and then taking unemployment benefit... which I'm told is another nightmare

Thanks for the advice guys. We've increased the offer to three months free rent from 1st Feb, here's hoping we find someone soon.

waterpau
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Old 24.01.2015, 00:19
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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Be careful with your thoughts on "default on the rent" if you are an EU citizen or indeed your new job is in the EU the long arm of the Swiss legal system will catch-up with you and you will end up paying for the rent, legal cost, compensation and .. and .. and ....

On top of that and if they really go after you, you might end up with a bad credit history or even worse a criminal record!

if you are not and EU citizen or your next role is not in the EU, you coming back to the Switzerland and possibly the EU will be a closed matter with possible immediate rejection to any future visa or indeed arrest upon entering Schengen/Swiss territory.

I am not being critical just giving a simple advice :-)
You are giving bad advice. Unless they owe >100000 of francs on rent, nobody is going to bother trying to bring such a matter to a foreign court. It's not worth it. They are not going to get a criminal record either and nobody is going to ban them form the EU or Switzerland. This is yet another myth that people just love to parrot here. Debt owed to companies and private persons is purely a civil matter. The worst they can end up with is bad credit history in Switzerland. That's it.
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Old 24.01.2015, 04:46
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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I certainly never set out to deiberately defraud anybody.

waterpau


Good! Then don't!
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Old 24.01.2015, 08:57
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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I'm not sure how someone can expect the renter to commit to three years.
Life style changes could happen at the drop of a hat. Unemployment , having to leave CH due to ill health or family issues in home country.
So it must be a risk letting to an expat ?
Thus I would build in the risk of default into the letting cost.
Honor of contract or not lol
It's people like you who don't understand and make no pretence of understanding the Swiss way of life that totaly puts me off renting any of my properties to foreigners.

I do occaisionaly rent to foreigners but i make sure they fully understand what they are committing too and what their responsabilities are and what they have to do if they move out early. When in Rome......

Saying this, if it is a choice between a Swiss person and a foreigner, the dice are pretty much loaded all things being equal.
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Old 24.01.2015, 13:26
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

English way of life as a landlord, my investment/risk= my responsibility.

Swiss way of life as a landlord, my investment/risk= tennants responsibility!

By the way i'm slightly bitter as I'm a landlord in the UK and a tennant in Switzerland.
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Old 24.01.2015, 14:24
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Re: Leaving 3 year swiss rental contract to move abroad

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It's people like you who don't understand and make no pretence of understanding the Swiss way of life that totaly puts me off renting any of my properties to foreigners.

I do occaisionaly rent to foreigners but i make sure they fully understand what they are committing too and what their responsabilities are and what they have to do if they move out early. When in Rome......

Saying this, if it is a choice between a Swiss person and a foreigner, the dice are pretty much loaded all things being equal.
I don't think your comments are helpful at all. No one in this thread has misunderstood the 'Swiss way of life', but as numerous other people have pointed out, circumstances change usually beyond a person's control. When a country has so many foreign workers as Switzerland does, many on short-term contracts, it is inevitable that people will have to move on perhaps before they intended and at short notice. It's not a question of evading responsibilities, but of finding a solution to the problem.
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