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Old 30.05.2015, 00:49
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Subletting as a subletter with a prick

Dear Forum Members,
I am in a rather difficult situation and being not very aware of the strict conditions and laws, I am turning to your wise words and suggestions. I am living in a apartment which is being rented from a housing agency by another person. Let's call him Jason. I am subletting a room in this apartment from Jason. I have to be away for a certain length of time and I want to sublet my room. Now, Jason tells me that I cannot sublet this room because he doesn't know if he would get along with the next tenant.

I understand his concern about letting a new person in, but I think it is unreasonable to assume that an agreeable person cannot be found. It is even more surprising to expect me to pay the rent for the time I will not be living here, just because he cannot agree to live with someone else.

Being the kind of person who trusted people to do the good thing, I never informed myself of the exact rights I was entitled to, and how I should proceed. Of course, I would be subletting my own room, with my belongings, and therefore I would take extreme care to make sure a right person would be living here in my absence. But the audacity with which Jason is telling me that I should be willing to pay the rent for the sake of his mental peace has completely befuddled me. I then decided to just end this contract for good, even if I have to pay the rent for the notice period. But now he's even refusing to sign this letter.

Do you have some suggestion for me? Do you think I should just go ahead and choose a person to sublet my room in my absence without consulting him? Or should I end the contract and be done with this person who anyone would avoid dealing with? I was only putting up with him with the expectation that he's a friend.

Not being aware of the laws and my rights, I don't know what's the right thing to do. Please help me.
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Old 30.05.2015, 02:44
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

You have a legal obligation to Jason, and he to you.
You and he SHOULD HAVE put your agreement in writing, before you moved in. And Jason, by law, is not allowed to sublet to anyone unless he has first obtained the permission of his own landlord, and supplied the landlord with all your details and the terms of his sub-let agreement with you. But that's not your problem now.

If you and Jason did put something in writing, then I suggest you read that contract to see what the conditions are about subletting and about giving notice.

However, since you say you do not know what your legal position is, I presume you did not, in fact, do the proper thing.

Just like Jason should have gotten permission from his landlord to let you sublet from him, so you cannot sublet unless you get Jason's permission.

Besides, subletting can, by law and according to court judgments already made, be prohibited if it is clear that the tenant wanting to sublet (you, in this case) does not have any real intention to return. You think Jason is “unreasonable”, you find his attitude “surprising”, that he has “audacity” and that his reasoning “befuddles” you, and you write that you were “only putting up with him”. In short, you neither like nor trust Jason. I think that makes it pretty clear that you do not want to live with him. There is therefore no point in subletting, since you cannot be said to have a serious intention of returning.

Since you write all this about Jason, and since in your thread title, you use a derogatory term to describe him, yes, I think you should give notice immediately, and take all your things out of his flat, clean it, and never go back. I feel strongly that any other option is only going to bring trouble and more trouble. Learn from the lesson and never, ever stay somewhere again without getting all the Terms and Agreements in writing, beforehand.

Even if you do not have a written contract, you are bound by law to give the proper notice period and to pay Jason until it is expired, and you must leave the room you sublet from him, and any areas you used (for example if you had a shelf in the fridge, or a section of the bathroom cupboard) spotlessly clean.

The thing you will need to know is the length of the proper notice period. It is whatever you and Jason first agreed, whether or not you put it in writing.

If you and he did not ever specify a notice period, then see the points here:
http://www.beobachter.ch/wohnen/miet...-dach/#c371760
If you don’t speak German, you could try google translate.

Your notice MUST be in writing. You say: “But now he's even refusing to sign this letter.” If, by that, you mean your written notice, and that he won’t give you a signed acknowledgement, then I suggest you send the same letter to him by post (not email, but snail-mail, in an envelope, handed in at the post office) and as “registered mail” (= Eingeschrieben). This costs the postage plus a fee of Fr. 6 or Fr. 8 (I’m not sure). THIS is what counts, in Switzerland, as properly having given notice.
Then, immediately move nearly everything of yours out of the flat, except what you still need for those last weeks. And make sure you leave everything thoroughly clean.

And try not to fight with Jason in the meantime. The world is a remarkably small place, and Switzerland even more so, and if you and he both continue to live here, or even if you and he move in the same professional fields internationally, sooner or later, in some sub-culture or other, you are likely to meet Jason again.
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Old 30.05.2015, 07:24
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

Do you have a written rental agreement? If yes, then it should contain the answers to your questions. If no, then it is Jason who should be concerned, not you.

Last edited by Jern; 30.05.2015 at 07:37.
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Old 30.05.2015, 08:51
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

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Your notice MUST be in writing. You say: “But now he's even refusing to sign this letter.” If, by that, you mean your written notice, and that he won’t give you a signed acknowledgement, then I suggest you send the same letter to him by post (not email, but snail-mail, in an envelope, handed in at the post office) and as “registered mail” (= Eingeschrieben). This costs the postage plus a fee of Fr. 6 or Fr. 8 (I’m not sure). THIS is what counts, in Switzerland, as properly having given notice.
Then, immediately move nearly everything of yours out of the flat, except what you still need for those last weeks. And make sure you leave everything thoroughly clean.
Thank you very much for such a detailed answer.

Yes, I know that he has notified the landlord about me renting this room. Also, I know the notice period is 3 months and I have to pay rent for this time if I do not find a substitute. At this point, I am willing to do this, rather than put up with what's going on. I'm looking for other places to move to. I have also sent a letter by registered post.

Now what happens if I find prospective substitute tenants and inform him of them? Can I put up a vacancy notice online? I'm more interested in the legal aspects of it- what are my rights, what I can do, and what I cannot. What he can do and what he can't.

Your understanding is also correct. Right now, I do not trust the person. It was not like this before, however. Being a foreigner, it is not possible for me to be aware of all swiss laws and the fine-print. I've rather trusted friends to be nice and people being co-operative with each other in general. It has worked most of the time. It did not work this time. As you said, this is a lesson learnt, but I've to sort this thing first.

Thanks again.
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Old 30.05.2015, 08:56
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

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Do you have a written rental agreement? If yes, then it should contain the answers to your questions. If no, then it is Jason who should be concerned, not you.
Right now it is me who's concerned. I have to find another place to move into, while also planning my travel and accomodation at the place I'll be traveling to. I think I should have a legal address in Switzerland for the duration I'll be away. I did not expect this situation, and now that it is here, I have to deal with it as well as I can.
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Old 30.05.2015, 11:59
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

Do you have a written rental agreement?
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Old 30.05.2015, 12:03
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

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Do you have a written rental agreement?
Yes, I have.
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Old 30.05.2015, 14:31
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

Cut your losses. End it with Jason

Last edited by daboyblunder; 30.05.2015 at 14:43.
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Old 30.05.2015, 14:53
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

The first questions are:

1) What permit do you have?
2) How long will you be away for?
3) Are you being sent abroad by your Swiss employer?
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Old 31.05.2015, 02:50
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

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The first questions are:

1) What permit do you have?
2) How long will you be away for?
3) Are you being sent abroad by your Swiss employer?
1) B permit
2) 3-4 months
3) No
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Old 31.05.2015, 03:23
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

Can you leave for more than 3 months without endangering your B permit?
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Old 31.05.2015, 09:17
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

Yes, a B permit has a max of 6 months out of the country before it becomes invalid which is why I asked - an L permit limit is 3 months.

If he will not agree to a sublet, why should he not expect you to pay rent even if you're not there? It's your space and has your things in it.

The best thing to do is give formal notice of termination of your contract with him by registered post. By sending it registered post you have proof that he received the letter and he can't argue that he didn't know anything about it. If you're prepared to pay the rent, then that's what I'd do as there really isn't any point in wasting your time trying to find a substitute tenant for him. Let him to the work on that. As doropfiz says, move your stuff out into storage if necessary, if your termination date is going to occur while you're away. Use www.wgzimmer.ch to find another place - and don't forget to put your post on hold while you're away! You'll need to notify Swiss Post of your change of address anyway, but make sure you're not likely to miss receiving any important post. You'll also need to inform the canton migration office, deregister from your old commune/gemeinde and reregister at the new one, but if you're very close to your travel date you may need to do that after your return.
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Old 31.05.2015, 09:50
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

You can also call the 'Mieterverband' for more Info
https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/mietrecht-beratung.html
but the posted informations are quite good.

Another possibility would be, to ask Jason, to assist you by checking out a possible intermediary subletter. Otherways you have to send the notice of termination today, as it valid by the end of the month and it takes three month to come into force, if you have no other agreement.
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Old 31.05.2015, 10:14
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

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You can also call the 'Mieterverband' for more Info
https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/mietrecht-beratung.html
but the posted informations are quite good.

Another possibility would be, to ask Jason, to assist you by checking out a possible intermediary subletter. Otherways you have to send the notice of termination today, as it valid by the end of the month and it takes three month to come into force, if you have no other agreement.
No, the letter has to be received by the end of the month, not posted by the end of the month. If it's not already been done then by the end of June for the notification letter to be received is the date. Then it's 3 months after that so end of September to move out by.
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Old 31.05.2015, 10:21
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

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No, the letter has to be received by the end of the month, not posted by the end of the month.
Thank you!
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Old 31.05.2015, 12:30
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

Do met the deadline, you can also hand in the termination letter in person. But better have a witness or get a counter signed copy from Jason. Or do it good ol' USA style - You have been served. All you need is an interdependent thirt party who can act as a witness in case Jason denies he has received the termination.

Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 31.05.2015 at 12:43.
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Old 31.05.2015, 12:42
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

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Do you have a written rental agreement? If yes, then it should contain the answers to your questions. If no, then it is Jason who should be concerned, not you.
Wirtten or not does not matter. Rental contracts have no mendatory form. And if anything is unlear or has not been mentioned, then the law (Swiss Code of Obligations) stipulates the default terms and condition.

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If you and Jason did put something in writing, then I suggest you read that contract to see what the conditions are about subletting and about giving notice.
.
Law trumps over contract in regard of subletting. Only if it is more favourable for the tenant it would be ok.

Swiss Code of Obligations. Art. 262
Quote:
K. Sub-letting

1 A tenant may sub-let all or part of the property with the landlord's consent.

2 The landlord may refuse his consent only if:
a. the tenant refuses to inform him of the terms of the sub-lease;
b. the terms and conditions of the sub-lease are unfair in comparison with those of the principal lease;
c. the sub-letting gives rise to major disadvantages for the landlord.

3 The tenant is liable to the landlord for ensuring that the sub-tenant uses the property only in the manner permitted to the tenant himself. To this end the landlord may issue reminders directly to the sub-tenant.
Landlord == Jason. Not actual Landlord.

As we speak about a co-shared apartement 2 c. becomes rather tricky.
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Old 31.05.2015, 14:03
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

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As we speak about a co-shared apartement 2 c. becomes rather tricky.
Indeed. I'm not a lawyer, but lack of trust in a replacement tenant seems reason enough to not accept a given replacement - unless OP managed to present multiple candidates (my guess: three or more).

OP, your contract may mention certain cancel dates (e.g. March 31, June 30, Sept 30), thereby limit when you can cancel. In this example, including 3 months notice, the next date for the contract to end would be September 30.

Just for completeness sake, as it seems to not apply here:
A furnished apartment comes with a two-week notice period. I think this applies to partially-furnished, too.
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Old 31.05.2015, 14:09
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

Thank you all for such helpful replies.I already sent the notice of termination. It has been signed.

To me this became more important than money, hence the decision. Honestly, what's the guarantee that this kind of person will not send me a letter to leave the apartment while I'm away? AFAIK, if you give a 3-month notice, the contractor can terminate the tenant's contract, right?

Now this means I will have to find another place to live, move my things there and find a substitute (helps save money). If I can't find a substitute, I simply move out.

My questions are: do I need a Swiss address while I'm away? In the case that I don't find a place to move to, I will have to find a place to store my things. But I will not have an accommodation or a contract.

Another question: What can I do legally from now on? Can I take pictures of the apartment and post them online advertising vacancy, or not? Can I find a substitute and hand over my contract to him/her, or can Jason give me more trouble by saying that he doesn't like any of the substitutes I present? In the latter case, I'll just save myself from the extra work and not look for substitutes.

Thanks.
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Old 31.05.2015, 14:40
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Re: Subletting as a subletter with a prick

Both parties sound like pricks tbh
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