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Old 04.06.2014, 12:34
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Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?


Hi,

My boyfriend and I have been searching for a flat in Zurich for thepast 3 weeks. We were offered an apartment we love yesterday and we want tomove in.

We have an issue though...We were not so sure we would find the perfectplace, so last Friday we both signed a lease agreement for another apartment(limited to one year) but have not paid the caution yet.

My boyfriend called the rental agency yesterday to find out if therewas a way to “cancel” this contract given that the start date is July 1stand they have plenty of other candidates.

The rental agency was very strict and told him that we must pay thecaution (2 months) and find a nachmieter...but we could also do this after 1stJuly (when we “move in”). This means we would end up paying double rent for atleast one month...not to mention our caution would be locked for some timeuntil they return it to us....

Does any of you know if we have any right to cancel a contract within,say, the first 5 days after signature? What about paying a fine to the rentalagency?

I’m really upset because although I understand the legal value of acontract, I also feel that the agency is behaving really nasty. Does anyoneknow what the options in this situation are? Maybe there is a document written inGerman with all the rules?

Does the contract have validity before the start of the period in July1st???

Any advice is very appreciated!
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Old 04.06.2014, 12:41
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

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I’m really upset because although I understand the legal value of acontract, I also feel that the agency is behaving really nasty.
Why the agency is behaving nasty? You wasted their time, signed a contract with them and now you don't want it - "just because"

Imagine if every other tenant would do that?

The validity of the contact started the same second you put your signature down. That's why you need to be careful what you sign. We had a case like that here, although that was about a car
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Old 04.06.2014, 12:45
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

You can search on this Forum, and the answer is always the same: once you sign a contract it is legal and binding. The only way out of the mess is to ask the agency very nicely to advertise the apartment again, and you will pay for the costs, but do it nicely as they really don't have to do this.

Lesson learnt the hard way, but there are other pitfalls ahead. Please buy this book and read it thoroughly, buy the latest version,
http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_...%20switzerland
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Old 04.06.2014, 12:48
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

Agencies wait for situations like these, it's how they supplement their income
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Old 04.06.2014, 12:52
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

Quick question: What if we sublet the apartment? Are we allowed to do that freely or do we need the agency approval?
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Old 04.06.2014, 13:02
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

The contract is fully valid.
The onus to find a replacement tenant is up to you.
The fine for not finding one is paying the rent until you found one.
Sublet: You have to inform landlord. They can only object for a few good reasons.
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Old 04.06.2014, 13:07
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

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Quick question: What if we sublet the apartment? Are we allowed to do that freely or do we need the agency approval?
Check the contract, but I think in general you can as long as you don't charge more than you are paying and that the person moving in would normally pass all the checks that they would normally do for the apartment. You must inform the landlords/agency (at least on my contract).
But check
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Old 04.06.2014, 13:08
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

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Quick question: What if we sublet the apartment? Are we allowed to do that freely or do we need the agency approval?
Not a good idea, as you will still be responsible for the rental and for the condition of the apartment. Your sub-tenants will know this and might cheat you, or disappear leaving you a dirty damaged apartment.

You need to find someone to take over the apartment and sign a contract with the agency. This might not be too hard, as finding a good apartment which is vacant is difficult.
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Old 04.06.2014, 13:12
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

The agency is not behaving nasty in any way. You signed a contract. Just changing your mind doesn't free you of your obligations.

So you need to pay unless you find a replacement tenant or someone who wants so sublet. There's no other way out.

It's Zurich, can't be too hard to find another tenant for the apartment, unless maybe it costs half a fortune. Advertise it on homegate.ch at your own cost or have the agency post it again, also at your cost.
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Old 04.06.2014, 13:13
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

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Check the contract, but I think in general you can as long as you don't charge more than you are paying and that the person moving in would normally pass all the checks that they would normally do for the apartment. You must inform the landlords/agency (at least on my contract).
But check
The contract can not forbid it. It is the law.
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Old 04.06.2014, 13:16
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

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The contract can not forbid it. It is the law.
I figured that but didn't want to say it because I'm at work (horror) and can't easily check. Thanks for confirming though.
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Old 04.06.2014, 13:41
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

The OP said there are many candidates so how hard would it be for the agency to pick the next one on the list?
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Old 04.06.2014, 14:02
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

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The OP said there are many candidates so how hard would it be for the agency to pick the next one on the list?
It's not hard at all but than the agency would loose few thousand CHF in fees from our OP here, why would they do that?
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Old 04.06.2014, 14:03
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

I'm sure that someone here has posted that the agency are only allowed to charge you their losses (you'd have to search the forum to find it - I can't at the moment).

If they have a list of other interested parties (and there's somebody suitable, who's still interested) then I'd have thought those losses would be minimal.

If they don't, then those losses boil down to the lost rent until the end of your contracted notice period, or until you or they find a new lessee (or, more accurately, until they start paying). There's nothing that will encourage the agent to expedite finding someone for you - they're getting paid whatever happens. If they re-advertise, then they may well put the start date when your lease finishes - it saves them the hassle of rushing. It'll also be your responsibility to provide access to the apartment for viewers (either by being there or leaving a kew with someone appropriate (probably the hauswart)).

I'd agree with the above - while you could sublet the flat during your notice period, you would be liable for any missed rent or damage. It would be better for you to find somebody to take over the lease.
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Old 04.06.2014, 14:11
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

No easy way out. have you already paid the mietkaution?

But, read your contract. Chances are it only becomes valid after you pay the mietkaution.

If so, then one way is to inform the rental agency that you do want the flat, but that your conditions have changed and you are no longer able to pay the mietkaution, and you wont be for some time. They'll cancel your contract.

Its sneaky, naughty, and probably on the wrong side of the strictest interpretation of the law, but it might work. I got out of a TV/Internet/Phone contract this way.

Full disclosure - this will only happen if it is easier for them to just relist and get a new tenant (and ask you to pay the costs of that), rather than going through the courts. dont rule that out though. Its your choice.
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Old 04.06.2014, 15:12
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

I would absolutely not complete the contract by paying the deposit.

Normally these contracts are not complete until both the forms are signed and the deposit is paid. You need to tell them, in writing, immediately that your situation has changed and you wish to,cancel the contract, effective immediately, and for them to advise in writing of any procedure necessary to conclude the contract.

Then it is up to them to give you instructions (in writing).... If you require in writing then they know they will have to follow the rules.

As said, quite likely they have several other people interested, but if they capture your deposit, they can sit on your money and make you do all the work.

You cannot find a nachmieter for them as the rental contract has not started and you do not have keys to show them around!

I had an agent call me 5 weeks after they had shown us the apartment, to offer it. By then we had found something else a signed a contract! The agent was all annoyed we me like "why did you tell us you wanted the apartment if you did not want it...." Blah blah... I pointed out that it took 5 weeks! For them to make their offer! It made realise that they are so used to being in a vendor's market they kind of forget that renters do sometimes have a choice!
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Old 04.06.2014, 20:16
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

Thank you for all the answers.

We just received the contract signed by the agency (the annoying thing is that they only signed the contract after we told them we didn't want the flat!!!). Anyways...is there any document where it explains the contract is not valid until the caution is paid?

We have not paid the caution yet, but my boyfriend read the full contract and all documents and nothing says the contract is only valid after the caution is paid.

On a different note, the flat is super cheap (1350 francs!), super well located (a quiet street in Kreis 4), newly done kitchen and bathroom and perfect for one person who wants a 1 year lease....so they really can find someone in one day if they want to. It's just that they are not interested...

We were happy with this flat, but now that we were offered another appartment in kreis 2, unbesfriet, which also happens to be larger and have a lake view, this apartment in kreis 4 is not ideal.

Anyways, we'll see what to do. Worst case escenario is to pay for July in both places while we find the nachmieter.

Thanks!
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Old 04.06.2014, 21:13
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

Erst mit Ihrer Unterschrift ist der Mietvertrag gültig
Wenn Sie den Vertrag unterschrieben haben, ist er rechtsgültig. Überlegen Sie es sich jetzt anders und möchten die Wohnung doch nicht, müssen Sie mit allen anfallenden rechtlichen Konsequenzen rechnen.

Nehmen Sie sich Zeit, bevor Sie einen Mietvertrag – oder sonst einen Vertrag – unterschreiben und entscheiden Sie nicht vorschnell. Denn einmal unterschrieben, übernehmen Sie alle Rechte und Pflichten eines Mieters.

Wollen Sie trotzdem die neue Wohnung kündigen, müssen Sie bis zum ersten möglichen Kündigungstermin warten. Während dieser Zeit zahlen Sie Miete. Auch die vereinbarte Mietkaution müssen Sie stellen. Nur wenn Sie einen solventen Ersatzmieter für die Wohnung finden, sind Sie früher von Ihren Verpflichtungen befreit.


http://www.immoscout24.ch/IS24Web/Co...id=2698&lng=en

I'm not going to translate every word, but here's the gist of it: the contract is valid/in effect as of the time you sign it. And not just after you paid the deposit. If you change your mind, there are respective consequences. Specifically, you have to stick to the regular notice periods. During this time, you are obliged to pay both rent and the deposit. You are only relieved from your contractual obligations once you find an alternative tenant.


Very clear rules.


You'll find a new tenant for a 1300/month apartment in Kreis 4 within a week, though. It's YOUR obligation to find one.
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Old 04.06.2014, 21:19
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

Volver, did YOU sign the contract or not. The above link says the contract is only valid and binding after you sign it.
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Old 04.06.2014, 21:28
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Re: Urgent – Cancelling rental lease after signature?

I would immediately start a new career as a relocation specialist, since you were able to find TWO nice and inexpensive apartments in Zurich. The money you will make will more than offset the losses from giving up the apartment. Heck you can probably offer the apartment and have the the new tenant cover those costs as well.

Dan
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