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Old 04.03.2015, 11:51
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Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

Hello,

After quite a struggle to find an apartment in Lausanne, I was finally offered one. I think it is a good apartment: not new but not old, clean, large enough (3pieces, 70m2), 3mins to metro, 10mins to my work, 10mins to center, 5mins to Migros & Aldi & Coop, etc. The rent is fair IMO given its location, at 1560 CHF/mo (inc. fee). So I signed the lease today. However I noticed that the previous tenant rented from 2013 to 2015 for 400 CHF less a month (i.e. 1160 CHF/mo). They explained that the steep increase is because they repainted the walls and replaced the refrigerator. My colleague told me that the increase was too much and I should complain with some office (I forgot the name) to possibly reduce my rent. He did exactly the same thing last year, but his rent is much higher than mine (1920). He also told me that if the previous rent was that low, probably there were some problems with the apartment/building?

Is my colleague correct? Is there any rule in Switzerland about rent increase? Should I try complaining about it? I checked the apartment thoroughly when I visited it and didn't find anything wrong. The only "issue" is that it's across a street from a cemetery, which in my country of origin will be a big no-no but here, in Switzerland with its high living quality, I guess it's not a problem.

It took me so much effort to find this apartment and I'm new to Switzerland, so I don't want to do anything unwise.

Thanks!
  #2  
Old 04.03.2015, 12:54
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

1) Join Asloca
2) Contestion is posible but there are certain conditions to be met and time limts to be observed.

Art. 270 Swiss Code of Obligations
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Old 04.03.2015, 13:11
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

SO you signed accepting the price and all was good? I do not see what the previous rental amount has to do with anything.... .

Markets change and so do prices. I'd praise myself lucky with an apartment at that price in the center..... .


I honestly see absolutely no grounds for you to stand on to complain about the rent price or whatever you think to gain from it.
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Old 04.03.2015, 13:18
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

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It took me so much effort to find this apartment .....
So you spent a long time, and now you have found something you like, which has a new fridge and has been repainted. The rent must be correct for the market, as you agreed to it, if there was anything cheaper you would not have taken this one would you?

Now you listen to a friend who earlier made the wrong decision....

Rents have increased dramatically over the past few years in Lausanne, overflowing due to the problems in Geneva.

So pay up and be happy, & don't make trouble with your landlord!
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Old 04.03.2015, 13:26
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

You sign the line, you accept the rent as offered, in full knowledge that the previous tenant paid 500 less. That's what the signature means.

Next step, confirm the cancellation policy, you may be able to walk away from the contract without replacing a tenant on September 1st, though that is only as I've come to understand it in the gleefully obtuse Germanic region of CH, .., circumstances always vary.

But, even for breaking contract on Sept 1, you need to supply 3 months notice. And just in case poor landlord doesn't pick up his mail until the 3rd of the month, you may as well give notice 4 months in advance.

Use the time to find another apartment to your preference. good luck
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Old 04.03.2015, 13:39
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

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And just in case poor landlord doesn't pick up his mail until the 3rd of the month, you may as well give notice 4 months in advance.
Clarification:

If he needs his lease to end at a certain point (e.g. Sept. 30) and his notice period is three months, he needs to have given notice by Jun 30 the latest. The landlord picking up his mail on July 3 is not OP's problem if OP provides against it by making sure the notice arrives at the landlord's address by registered mail eight days before Jun 30th. If landlord receives a registered letter and doesn't pick it up from the post office within the 7 day period allotted by the post office, the notice will be considered delivered on the seventh day.
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Old 04.03.2015, 13:41
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

Here the link (in German): https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...smietzins.html

Indeed contact the renters association as you need to complain within 30 days.

You might have a good case. Increases of more than 10% are only allowed if the apartment has been renovated. I wouldn't call painting and a new fridge renovation. This is just regular maintenance and doesn't increase the value of the apartment.
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Old 04.03.2015, 15:15
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

This is a difficult one. On the one hand is the Law, on the other the reality.

As you are fully aware, its very very difficult to find a good appartment in Lausanne. So, you may be able to get the price reduced a bit- but then it is not unknown for agencies to find any possible excuse to get rid of you at the earliest legal opportunity. It is perhaps akin to daylight robbery- but the reality on the ground. When is your lease up for re-newal? Is there any chance you might want to stay beyond that, if the appartment is just perfect for you? You need to balance the two.

Do you have any idea how long the previous tenants were there? For instance, my parents paid 500CHF to rent their little house in the mountains. It was quite a lot 30 years ago- but by the time they left- the price was still the same! The rent then jumped up to 890 for the next tenants- again with a lick of paint, a new kitchen cupboard and electric heater for the bathroom. It's up for rent again, it will be interesting to find for how much this time. Part of the reason my parents' rent was never increased, is that dad maintained and looked after the house very well, and never made a fuss or any requests.

As said before, I would never wish to be a tenant in CH without being a member of Asloca. Much much better to ask for help and advice if already a member (they actually get a bit fed up with those who join only when in an emergency and ask them to drop everything to rally to their cause- which I can understand- the system needs regular funds to help with cases). Nothing wrong with asking them for advice on this, of course.

Last edited by Odile; 04.03.2015 at 17:13.
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Old 04.03.2015, 15:59
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

I think the walls should have been painted anyways, if they hadn't been painted in eight years or so (I believe there is a law requiring that, or at least I think there is here in Zurich). And if that was the case, you as the new tenant should not be expected to pay for it.

It sounds to me like your landlord was just looking for an excuse to increase the rent, but I think they do have the right to do so in this case.
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Old 04.03.2015, 16:54
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

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I think the walls should have been painted anyways, if they hadn't been painted in eight years or so (I believe there is a law requiring that, or at least I think there is here in Zurich). And if that was the case, you as the new tenant should not be expected to pay for it.

It sounds to me like your landlord was just looking for an excuse to increase the rent, but I think they do have the right to do so in this case.

Which law is that then ? There is NO obligation to paint any walls in any flat at any time !
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Old 04.03.2015, 18:38
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

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There is, if the walls were last painted more than 10 years ago and they are excessively worn.

https://www.ktipp.ch/artikel/d/mietr...neu-streichen/

This is not a law as far as i see, there is no obligation.

The tennant can request and the landlord can comply or not
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Old 04.03.2015, 20:49
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

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This is not a law as far as i see, there is no obligation.

The tennant can request and the landlord can comply or not
And if the walls are past their life expectancy a tenant will not be expected to pay for any damage to the paint..
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Old 05.03.2015, 00:05
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

The previous tenant rented from July 1, 2013 until last month. So just over 1.5 years and the rent is increased by 440 CHF = 44%. I asked the agency again about the increase, telling them that the repainting and new fridge shouldn't cost that much. They answered that besides the renovation, the rent was increased to adapt to the usual rent in the neighborhood (French: adaptation aux loyers usuels du quartier). I don't know the statistics of rent in this neighborhood, so I can't comment on that.

Anyways, as Odile mentioned and I myself experienced during the last few months, the housing situation in Lausanne is difficult. I hesitate to complain because I fear that if I complain, the landlord will find every reason to kick me out soon.

I will join Asloca just in case I need their help in the future. Thanks!

Quote:
This is a difficult one. On the one hand is the Law, on the other the reality.

As you are fully aware, its very very difficult to find a good appartment in Lausanne. So, you may be able to get the price reduced a bit- but then it is not unknown for agencies to find any possible excuse to get rid of you at the earliest legal opportunity. It is perhaps akin to daylight robbery- but the reality on the ground. When is your lease up for re-newal? Is there any chance you might want to stay beyond that, if the appartment is just perfect for you? You need to balance the two.

Do you have any idea how long the previous tenants were there? For instance, my parents paid 500CHF to rent their little house in the mountains. It was quite a lot 30 years ago- but by the time they left- the price was still the same! The rent then jumped up to 890 for the next tenants- again with a lick of paint, a new kitchen cupboard and electric heater for the bathroom. It's up for rent again, it will be interesting to find for how much this time. Part of the reason my parents' rent was never increased, is that dad maintained and looked after the house very well, and never made a fuss or any requests.

As said before, I would never wish to be a tenant in CH without being a member of Asloca. Much much better to ask for help and advice if already a member (they actually get a bit fed up with those who join only when in an emergency and ask them to drop everything to rally to their cause- which I can understand- the system needs regular funds to help with cases). Nothing wrong with asking them for advice on this, of course.
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Old 28.03.2015, 19:02
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

Asloca association will help you with this.
one of my friend had the same issue in Neuchâtel, the building owner forced an increase of 20% to all building appartments, he was the only renter to contest with Asloca support and could avoid the increase:

http://www.asloca.ch/

I think the fee is 40CHF per year to join Asloca.
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Old 28.03.2015, 20:13
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

CHF 1560.00 a month, for 70m2 in a central location sounds cheap to me. Perhaps the previous tenant just got lucky and now the agency is pricing it right?
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Old 01.04.2015, 21:30
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

Does the Swiss housing policy have and law on defining the rent for a property?
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Old 01.04.2015, 21:31
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Re: Should I complain/be concerned about my rent?

Does the Swiss policy have any law in defining the rent of the property?
 




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