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  #21  
Old 16.03.2014, 23:50
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

talk to the LL. ask them to cancel and sign a new one just with you.
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Old 16.03.2014, 23:54
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

First tell the landlord what you will be doing.

To begin, resign your contract with the landlord by sending a registered letter. Show the flat mate a copy of your resignation, tell her you are leaving and she can pay all the rent now. Do not pay any more rent directly, but pay your share of the rent into an escrow account with the agency.

Hopefully your flat mate will now move out, and quickly.

Next sign a fresh lease with the landlord, and pay him your half of the money owed him. You will still be liable for the flat mate's share, but at least she might leave.

Don't ever, ever, live with anyone without a contract between you!
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  #23  
Old 17.03.2014, 00:05
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

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First tell the landlord what you will be doing.

To begin, resign your contract with the landlord by sending a registered letter. Show the flat mate a copy of your resignation, tell her you are leaving and she can pay all the rent now. Do not pay any more rent directly, but pay your share of the rent into an escrow account with the agency.

Hopefully your flat mate will now move out, and quickly.

Next sign a fresh lease with the landlord, and pay him your half of the money owed him. You will still be liable for the flat mate's share, but at least she might leave.

Don't ever, ever, live with anyone without a contract between you!
A high-risk strategy to say the least. Do it this way round and you run the risk that your housemate may in fact decide to stay put, and then you have to look for a new place to live.

Organize things with the landlord first, get him to cancel the contract with both of you and then re-sign a new one with just you. In the meantime, try to get your housemate to sign a paper documenting whatever division of rent you agree on: better late than never. (I agree that she doesn't have much incentive to sign, but it can't hurt to try.)

EDIT: This approach is legally impossible anyway; see my post below.
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Old 17.03.2014, 03:25
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

If you're truly ready to "cut your losses", then I would suggest the following:
1. Give your 30 or 60 day notice to your landlord with clear explanation of situation. See if they're willing to be sympathetic but appear professional and be prepared to walk away
2. Put in writing a letter (via email for documentation) to your roommate that you've given notice, clear reasons why (i.e., due to your lack of payment of $X over the last Y months, I have been forced to terminate my portion of this lease, commencing on Z date)
3. (optional) Notify your roommate that you will be seeking legal action, and s/he should consider this letter as formal notification of notice. This is optional because you should decide if you really want to go through the hassle
4. Take this as a lesson learned that you need to have a formal contract between you and future roommates.

Good luck!
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  #25  
Old 17.03.2014, 06:15
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

If both names are on the rental contract, you cannot unilaterally resign. Both of you have to resign together, in writing. A single tenant's resignation is invalid.

This is why your problem really has to be solved the way I posted yesterday, by getting the landlord to give notice to both of you. The alternative is to take your housemate to court but since there is no written agreement this might prove difficult.
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  #26  
Old 17.03.2014, 09:18
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

MathNut's advice is very sound.

Some other options are:

- terminate the lease and move out
- find a new girlfriend
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  #27  
Old 17.03.2014, 10:27
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

I think first I would give a written notice to your flatmate listing her liabilities, dates, details and amounts, and attempt to get her to sign an agreement that she is liable.

As others have said, the only way to separate yourself legally from the liability of paying the whole rent, is to terminate the agreement and then sign up individually.

With hindsight, what you should have done is set her up as a sublet/tenant responsible to you, and you for the whole lease to the landlord.

Otherwise, as said, it is a high level of trust issue between two people.

How are you going with your assertiveness skills?
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  #28  
Old 17.03.2014, 10:41
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

You made a verbal agreement about the rent - this will stand up in Switzerland and no court will believe you did not make this agreement (even if the other person was your partner for some time).

Issue a Betreibung against the other person for the missing funds.

And get some proper advice from www.mieterverband.ch - they will have seen this before and will have good advice based on that.
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  #29  
Old 17.03.2014, 11:21
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

  • Go back to the rental agency.
  • Tell them you lost a key and you need the locks replaced.
  • This will cost you about 600chf or so.... but can all be claimed back on insurance.
  • Ensure you are the only person who gets the keys.
  • .... Give her her bloody key when she pays you.
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  #30  
Old 17.03.2014, 12:07
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

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The alternative is to take your housemate to court but since there is no written agreement this might prove difficult.
According to the Swiss code of obligations (OR)...

Art 148 "Unless the legal relationship between the joint and several debtors indicates otherwise, each of them assumes an equal share of the payment made to the creditor. A joint and several debtor who pays more than his fair share has recourse against the others for the excess".

Art 531 "Unless otherwise agreed, contributions must be equal and of the nature and size required to achieve the partnership's purpose". (You entered a simple partnership with your flatmate by co-signing the lease)

Issue her a Betreibung and take her to the Justice of the Peace.

Last edited by evaluna; 17.03.2014 at 12:11. Reason: spelled out OR
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  #31  
Old 17.03.2014, 12:21
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

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According to the Swiss code of obligations (OR)...

Art 148 "Unless the legal relationship between the joint and several debtors indicates otherwise, each of them assumes an equal share of the payment made to the creditor. A joint and several debtor who pays more than his fair share has recourse against the others for the excess".

Art 531 "Unless otherwise agreed, contributions must be equal and of the nature and size required to achieve the partnership's purpose". (You entered a simple partnership with your flatmate by co-signing the lease)

Issue her a Betreibung and take her to the Justice of the Peace.
Good info... I also found it very unlikely that there would be no contingency for the OP's situation under law.

Go on OP, Betreibung her to show her that you mean business!
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  #32  
Old 17.03.2014, 12:24
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

Funny, but don't try this.

She's on the lease so you can't deny her access. Even if she weren't, it's an unwise move unless you have gone through the eviction process.


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  • Go back to the rental agency.
  • Tell them you lost a key and you need the locks replaced.
  • This will cost you about 600chf or so.... but can all be claimed back on insurance.
  • Ensure you are the only person who gets the keys.
  • .... Give her her bloody key when she pays you.
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  #33  
Old 17.03.2014, 12:35
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

Just on the subject of verbal contracts, although they are not uncommon in Switzerland and can "stand up" in court, when I was discussing them with a lawyer we recently engaged, she kind of winced and said there's a lot of risk involved compared to a written contract.

In court, they mainly fall over either because they can't be proved or there was no witness (of which they recommend you have at least one).

Predictably they become a "he said, she said" stalemate.

Her advice was to tread carefully and don't rely on a verbal contract.
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  #34  
Old 17.03.2014, 12:42
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

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Just on the subject of verbal contracts, although they are not uncommon in Switzerland and can "stand up" in court, when I was discussing them with a lawyer we recently engaged, she kind of winced and said there's a lot of risk involved compared to a written contract.

In court, they mainly fall over either because they can't be proved or there was no witness (of which they recommend you have at least one).

Predictably they become a "he said, she said" stalemate.

Her advice was to tread carefully and don't rely on a verbal contract.
  1. Both their names are on the lease, not just the OP's, so she reasonably has an obligation to pay half of the rent.
  2. All the money has come out from the OP's account each month, which should be easily provable using his bank statements.
  3. To combat his accusations of non-payment, she would have to prove she had in fact paid him half... which should also be easy to see by her monthly account movements.

Seems pretty clear cut, I would say, and I don't imagine she would last long in court.
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Old 17.03.2014, 12:44
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

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  1. Both their names are on the lease, not just the OP's, so she reasonably has an obligation to pay half of the rent.
  2. All the money has come out from the OP's account each month, which should be easily provable using his bank statements.
  3. She would have to prove she had paid him half... which should also be easy to see by her monthly account movements.

Seems pretty clear cut, I would say.
Yes, I'm sure it's all fabby and straightforward for our OP for which he seems to have a water-tight paper trail , but I was just passing on information that I'd recently heard about verbal contracts in general.
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  #36  
Old 17.03.2014, 12:56
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

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- find a new girlfriend

If this is a relationship that has gone wrong was the OP supporting the flatmate? It's not clear if at the beginning of the lease the op expected the flatmate to pay at all.

I think we have only been told half the story here.
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Old 17.03.2014, 12:57
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

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  • Go back to the rental agency.
  • Tell them you lost a key and you need the locks replaced.
  • This will cost you about 600chf or so.... but can all be claimed back on insurance.
  • Ensure you are the only person who gets the keys.
  • .... Give her her bloody key when she pays you.
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Funny, but don't try this..
i-b-deb is right. Don't try this. I wasn't being serious.....
..... you should just shit in her bed instead.
Nobody wants to live with someone who does that

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Just on the subject of verbal contracts, although they are not uncommon in Switzerland and can "stand up" in court, when I was discussing them with a lawyer we recently engaged, she kind of winced and said there's a lot of risk involved compared to a written contract.

In court, they mainly fall over either because they can't be proved or there was no witness (of which they recommend you have at least one).

Predictably they become a "he said, she said" stalemate.

Her advice was to tread carefully and don't rely on a verbal contract.
I second that verbal contracts don't mean a lot.... but sadly, with most 'flat share' arrangements they are built on trust.
People get screwed over all the time, but you live and learn.

I'm assuming the OP didn't really know his flatmate, but thought she was a 'nice chick'... what could go wrong?


My honest advice is as follows:
  • Go back to the Landlord and explain the situation.
  • Unfortunately, you will have to carry on paying rent until this is over - deal with it.
  • Find out how you can end the contract. The LL will not want the other person there if you want to leave, so it's likely they will help you.
  • Sit down with the flatmate and ask why they didn't pay.
  • Any indications of excuses, ask them to show you their banking history.
  • ...they won't.
  • Threaten her to have her listed with the mieterverband so her record will follow her unless she pays.
  • Take whatever you can get 0 - whatever chf, and cut your losses.
  • Chalk this up as a learning experience and move on.
Whenever I have flatshared, I ensure I do know who I'm living with. Even then, the rules are clear from the start:
- Prepare a theoretical budget (food, rent, expenses, etc.)
- Disclose each others debts and financial commitments.
- Prove to each other than you can in fact cover the rent.
- Fixed costs (rent etc.) all are auto debited into a separate account.
- Variable costs - well, it's up to you (take turns, split all, create a kitty tin)
- Discuss the contract terms, who will sign etc.
- Furniture, etc. who has what.
- Above all, talk, plan, resolve issues ASAP


OP,
I'm very sorry for the situation you are in, but you are going to have to kill this switch ASAP. End the relationship. Mitigate your losses where possible. Report your flatmate if no action is taken (nobody wants to live with someone like that).

She is not your friend, so don't treat her like one.
Don't yell, or badmouth her in any way until the situation is resolved.

When it is resolved, say whatever you want or tell her how you feel then.... but for now, look out for yourself.
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  #38  
Old 17.03.2014, 13:26
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

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If this is a relationship that has gone wrong was the OP supporting the flatmate? It's not clear if at the beginning of the lease the op expected the flatmate to pay at all.

I think we have only been told half the story here.
Or just a very naive OP

However, once bitten, twice shy
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Old 17.03.2014, 13:50
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

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  1. Both their names are on the lease, not just the OP's, so she reasonably has an obligation to pay half of the rent.
  2. All the money has come out from the OP's account each month, which should be easily provable using his bank statements.
  3. To combat his accusations of non-payment, she would have to prove she had in fact paid him half... which should also be easy to see by her monthly account movements.

Seems pretty clear cut, I would say, and I don't imagine she would last long in court.
Both names on the lease doesn't mean much on it's own really does it? My wife's name is on the lease but was never intended to be a paying party.

I just mean it probably depends a lot on the relationship - if any if it were to come to court and be a he said she said argument.

Does the other person work, has an income, can pay but won't, is there a relationship there, or was there one..

Too many unknowns .
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Old 17.03.2014, 13:58
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Re: Housemate not paying her share of the rent

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Both names on the lease doesn't mean much on it's own really does it? My wife's name is on the lease but was never intended to be a paying party.

I just mean it probably depends a lot on the relationship - if any if it were to come to court and be a he said she said argument.

Does the other person work, has an income, can pay but won't, is there a relationship there, or was there one..

Too many unknowns .
You and your wife are not the same as a guy and a girl that (to our knowledge based on what is written) are not in any kind of legally binding relationship, and exist only as housemates.

Neither are courts mindless automatons, they take reasonable factors into consideration.

If the situation was that both should be paying rent as part of a joint tenancy agreement, and one was not paying and this can be proved, it is very likely that any case against them would succeed. This isn't the Wild West, and you can't just do what you want, decide one day not to pay people money you owe, and then not expect get any comeback if someone decided to take action.

I would say that is the OP got a lawyer and took this to court, along with all the required evidence, then there is a very high chance they would win. I can't see anything unreasonable about it.

However, that is of course presuming there are no "other" party to the story that the OP isn't sharing...
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