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Old 05.06.2014, 21:54
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Charging of Fees to Rent an Apartment in Geneva

Hi All,

We are moving to Geneva shortly. We have a relocation agent based in Lausanne, and we have a contract with him to pay his fees even though we are the ones to search, find and visit (alone) all apartments in Geneva.

My husband found an acceptable apartment for us in Geneva and the agent who showed him the apartment told him that they normally charge a fee equal to one months rent (this is more than we will pay our relocation agent) for finding the apartment and doing the paperwork. We found the apartment listed on Homegate.

Is this normal practice? In every other country I have lived, all fees related to tenants are paid by the owner.

Thanks!
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Old 05.06.2014, 22:37
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Re: Charging of Fees to Rent an Apartment in Geneva

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Hi All,

We are moving to Geneva shortly. We have a relocation agent based in Lausanne, and we have a contract with him to pay his fees even though we are the ones to search, find and visit (alone) all apartments in Geneva.

My husband found an acceptable apartment for us in Geneva and the agent who showed him the apartment told him that they normally charge a fee equal to one months rent (this is more than we will pay our relocation agent) for finding the apartment and doing the paperwork. We found the apartment listed on Homegate.

Is this normal practice? In every other country I have lived, all fees related to tenants are paid by the owner.

Thanks!
Not something I've come across when renting in Geneva, if you've found the apartment the letting agent doesn't usually expect you to pay extra just for showing you the place and you then accepting it; he's being paid by the letting agency.
What are you paying your relocation agent for if you're doing all the work????
Let him answer this sort of question!

NB: renting in the UK you would certain find yourself pay some fees, as a landlord there I certainly wouldn't expect to pay for your credit and background checks, etc. Although I would pay the agents to write the agreement and organise the signing of same.
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Old 05.06.2014, 22:42
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Re: Charging of Fees to Rent an Apartment in Geneva

Thank you for replying. I would be interested to hear if anyone has come across this practice. This is the first time anyone has mentioned this to us.

Our relocation agent has done much work for us in Lausanne but we had to change belatedly to Geneva search and he didn't tell us that his search / work doesn't cover that area. Certainly though he could do closing docs etc.

And yes - I am a landlord in the UK and pay the agency to find tenants for me so it would be v unusual for the rental agencies to ask potential tenants for 1 month of rent as a fee!
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Old 05.06.2014, 22:49
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Re: Charging of Fees to Rent an Apartment in Geneva

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Thank you for replying. I would be interested to hear if anyone has come across this practice. This is the first time anyone has mentioned this to us.

Our relocation agent has done much work for us in Lausanne but we had to change belatedly to Geneva search and he didn't tell us that his search / work doesn't cover that area. Certainly though he could do closing docs etc.

And yes - I am a landlord in the UK and pay the agency to find tenants for me so it would be v unusual for the rental agencies to ask potential tenants for 1 month of rent as a fee!
I'm also a landlord in the UK, potential tenants in my area (Oxford) pay 150 to the agents to cover their credit checks, etc. Something I only discovered recently as I'd always thought I paid all fees connected with letting my property, I pay nearly 100% of the first months rent in fees to the agent for each new let.
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Old 05.06.2014, 23:24
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Re: Charging of Fees to Rent an Apartment in Geneva

I know of two agencies in the Zurich area that do also. It's not necessarily the norm, but it does happen.
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Old 06.06.2014, 04:52
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Re: Charging of Fees to Rent an Apartment in Geneva

Everywhere in Germany the tenant pays the fees, usually 2 months rent, & can be 3 months! Switzerland is different in many ways!
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You need to be careful. Geneva has a scarcity of rental accommodation, and if you have a signed contract with an agent you will have to pay him, even if you do all the work yourself. Otherwise, you must cancel the contract and then look for a fresh place to live.

The paperwork is negligible for the tenant, the landlord/agency present two copies of the rental contract, the tenant signs both and attaches a copy of his residence permit, and an official extract of the debtor's register (Only the tenant can apply for these). Then the tenant receives his copy of contract, signed by the landlord.
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