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Old 27.03.2008, 22:02
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Apartment Deposit - pay former tenants and "take" it over?

Hopefully someone will be able to help...

We're applying for an apartment at the moment and have been asked by the current tenants if it would be ok for them to transfer their deposit to us, when we take on the apartment, and then for us to give them the cash.

This may sound like a silly question but as newbies to Switzerland we have no idea if this is normal or not!

Is this a standard process and will the apartment still go through the usual landlord's checks before we sign the lease?

We just don't want to be in a situation where we've handed over several thousand francs and are charged for damage that was there when we arrived.

Any advice welcome...
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Old 27.03.2008, 22:08
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Re: Advice needed with deposit transfer

I personally would not .... Anyway , I don't think you could do it since the deposit is usually kept in an interest bearing account in the tenants name .
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Old 27.03.2008, 22:11
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Re: Advice needed with deposit transfer

That is NOT standard procedure.

If there is any damage to the flat, you will end up paying.
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Old 27.03.2008, 22:44
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Re: Advice needed with deposit transfer

You should NOT go ahead on the suggested basis and I would think very carefully abour even persuing the deal further. Not a good start.
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Old 27.03.2008, 22:44
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Re: Advice needed with deposit transfer

Sounds fishy...

I wouldn't do it. It's not up to the tenants to organise or transfer deposit.

The owner/ landlord will ask you directly and the deposit will be put in your name.


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Hopefully someone will be able to help...

We're applying for an apartment at the moment and have been asked by the current tenants if it would be ok for them to transfer their deposit to us, when we take on the apartment, and then for us to give them the cash.

This may sound like a silly question but as newbies to Switzerland we have no idea if this is normal or not!

Is this a standard process and will the apartment still go through the usual landlord's checks before we sign the lease?

We just don't want to be in a situation where we've handed over several thousand francs and are charged for damage that was there when we arrived.

Any advice welcome...
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Old 27.03.2008, 22:46
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Re: Advice needed with deposit transfer

Why would they want to transfer the deposit to you anyway? Surely, they want their money back from the landlord... or won't they get it back for some reason?

Hands off!
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Old 28.03.2008, 11:29
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Re: Advice needed with deposit transfer

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We're applying for an apartment at the moment and have been asked by the current tenants if it would be ok for them to transfer their deposit to us, when we take on the apartment, and then for us to give them the cash.
NO NO NO NO NO - Don't do it!

They end up with your cash, you end up with their problems.

You pay your deposit to the landlord or into the special closed bank account. To no-one else!
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Old 28.03.2008, 11:37
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Re: Advice needed with deposit transfer

another NO. There is a proper process in place - I would not do this ever. Ever.

I think you're getting the drift
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Old 28.03.2008, 11:41
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Re: Apartment Deposit - pay former tenants and "take" it over?

I hereby add my NO NO NO!!! to the chorus.

You will find out (when you leave the flat) their reason for wanting to do this (i.e. waiting 6 months to hopefully get 50% of your money back).
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Old 28.03.2008, 11:43
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Re: Apartment Deposit - pay former tenants and "take" it over?

...unless you are taking over the appartment from them ('Untermieter') and have a contract with them rather than the landlord.

I've done this but only with someone I knew and trusted. The only reason why they may want this set-up is if they're not telling the landlord you two will be moving in. It may be in your interest in terms of getting the place but as others have mentioned it's not ideal and could leave you holding the baby.

Landlords are generally easy about others taking over once the old tenants have found replacements and they'd probably be happier knowing your name was on the deposit account.

Also, paying huge amounts of cash as deposit is sadly still the norm but you can use the insurance policy offered by some associations where you pay around CHF 200 pa instead of locking in your cash. Search similar threads for links (sorry, can't remember them now).
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Old 28.03.2008, 11:43
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Re: Apartment Deposit - pay former tenants and "take" it over?

actually I believe that they cannot transfer the deposit to you as it must be released by the landlord - and I am sure the landlord and holding bank are not interested to transfer the deposited amount to an account in your name.

So potentially, you pay them the deposit and they get to keep whatever comes back from their deposit too.

House address does not feature 419 does it?
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Old 28.03.2008, 14:13
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Re: Apartment Deposit - pay former tenants and "take" it over?

I took over an apartment 6 years ago - basically no choice as there was bugger all available. I got turned down for the other 10. I di NOT take over any kind of deposit though. But I still got shafted.

If you do take over, make sure a FULL inspection is done of the apartment and any damage - however small - is noted down - otherwise YOU will have to fork out for it. In my case there was damage behind huge wardrobes that I inherited as part of "the deal".

Good Luck!
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Old 28.03.2008, 18:59
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Re: Apartment Deposit - pay former tenants and "take" it over?

Thanks for all the advice you guys!

We're definitely going to say no to the deposit transfer, not sure whether to proceed with application or not. We're running short of options and it was a nice apartment! If we do proceed we will make sure it is all done by the book and via the landlord / agency.

Lob - nope, it did not have 419 in the address...
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Old 28.03.2008, 19:17
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Re: Apartment Deposit - pay former tenants and "take" it over?

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Thanks for all the advice you guys!

We're definitely going to say no to the deposit transfer, not sure whether to proceed with application or not. We're running short of options and it was a nice apartment! If we do proceed we will make sure it is all done by the book and via the landlord / agency.

Lob - nope, it did not have 419 in the address...
You should still apply. The choice of new tennants is made by the agency and not the existing tennants. It just sounds as if the existing one's are pulling a fast one. Submit your appication, hope for the best and let that be the end of it.
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