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Old 15.06.2015, 16:45
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Got a 'yes' for a place we don't want while waiting for reply for a friend's place

Ok, I have a situation that is a bit specific, although some other members might have experienced the same. Forgive me if it's not new to you. It's all new to me and I'd appreciate your advice!

I'm new in Lausanne, hubby and I been here for about 2 months now and looking for a place to live. I lost count of how many places I visited and applied for...

And all of a sudden the following happened: we have a friend who is now leaving her apartment and it's perfect for us, close to work etc. She is happy to help us and gave noticed to her regie, and submitted our dossier with her resignation letter, recommending us as a replacement for her (she's breaking the lease before the end of the contract). They were OK, but kinda plain, saying that they usually take 2 weeks to give us an update, ie, they may decide they need more dossiers, or perhaps the owner will want to do some renovation to increase the rent etc.

We are of course very hopeful, as this is one of our best bets, but very anxious as well, as we don't know how likely it is that we will get the place. In our minds it'd be just a matter of transferring her lease to our name, but looks like nothing is black and white in Suisse, so anything could happen...

Now, the tricky bit is: in the meantime, while we've been waiting for a reply from this place above, which we REALLY want to live in, we were given a yes from another flat we applied for, in Morges. We really didn't love this second place, and I think we would want to leave it after a while anyway, but we feel we should not reject it without any guarantee of the other application. At least it's a roof over our heads, instead of expensive temporary accommodation! So we gave a verbal yes to the regie, but have not signed yet the lease. We are trying to postpone this signature for as long as we can, and see if our beloved friends apartment is offered to us.

I'd be really frustrated if we sign a lease we do not want, and a few days later our dream home is offered. So we feel really under pressure to make a decision or a bet, and every single day counts!

What is your advice??

How likely do you think it is for her lease to be transferred to us? Our documents are all good - salary covers the rent well, no debts, permis B... The only thing is we are new in Suisse, so they cannot check our previous rent. But I can't see why they would prefer to advertise it when we have everything they require.

How long can we keep the contract for the second place in our hands, without signing it?

Should we sign the lease for this 'unpreferred' apartment anyways, and in case our friend's place is positive to us within a few days, we sign that one too, and then we can just find a new tenant for the one we do not want?

I would think there is no shortage of people fighting for a place in Lausanne, but not sure about Morges. Would that be too risky? We certainly don't wanna pay 2 rents at the same time!

I appreciate your advice! Sorry about the length...

Last edited by 3Wishes; 15.06.2015 at 18:19. Reason: removed PS - advertise when eligible ;)
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Old 15.06.2015, 16:58
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Re: Got a 'yes' for a place we don't want while waiting for reply for a friend's plac

A case of one bird in the hand is better than ...

Is it possible for you to call the regie for the apartment in Lausanne and see whether your application was successful?

If they can't tell you, then perhaps you better (a) start loving the place in Morges, as you know that you are getting that apartment; or failing that, (b) get ready for more apartment-searching.

Whatever decision you make, good luck!
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Old 15.06.2015, 17:33
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Re: Got a 'yes' for a place we don't want while waiting for reply for a friend's plac

Thanks Clumsy Maman, yes we did call the regie in Lausanne, but they said they're still dealing with my friend's resignation docs first, and haven't yet touched our documents. It's all very recent so don't want to be pushy with them.
In any case, I think I would go for option a) start loving the place Morges, but would still want to sign the lease in Lausanne if we are offered it.
My real concern is having to deal with 2 contracts at the same time, and having to getting rid of the place in Morges afterwards. Not sure if there are penalty fees, if we have to wait a certain number of months before we can terminate the lease (and find a replacement), or if it's simple and straightforward. Hopefully the market in Morges is competitive like Lausanne?
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Old 15.06.2015, 17:35
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Re: Got a 'yes' for a place we don't want while waiting for reply for a friend's plac

Don't sign something expecting you'll back out of it. You won't be able to and you'll end up paying the rent for the minimum term.

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How long can we keep the contract for the second place in our hands, without signing it?
The regie will probably tell you, usually you have the same or next day to reply. You can try to stall but they'll drop you pretty quickly and may charge you a fee for drafting a contract, plus you probably won't receive another offer from them for quite a while.

Once you've signed, you've signed and that's it. No going back. If you don't like it, don't sign.

Been in a similar situation being offered a place that was a bad deal while waiting for a better place that we thought we had a good chance to. Had to say no to the offer on the same day. Waited another month for the regie to give an answer the the good place - didn't came our way. Took us another month to find another place which we took.

That's why apartment hunting in Lausanne sucks so much.
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Old 15.06.2015, 18:00
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Re: Got a 'yes' for a place we don't want while waiting for reply for a friend's plac

It's obvious you don't like the place in Morges, but do understand for yourself and your OH, why you don't like it. Noise, unfriendly neighbourhood, commuting time to get to work, price, space? Some of those can be real deal breakers, so I can understand your inability to like the place.

But now you know that there is a possibility to get an apartment outside of Lausanne - keep looking around the city, rather than in!

Bonne chance.
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Old 15.06.2015, 18:34
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Re: Got a 'yes' for a place we don't want while waiting for reply for a friend's plac

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Don't sign something expecting you'll back out of it. You won't be able to and you'll end up paying the rent for the minimum term.

The regie will probably tell you, usually you have the same or next day to reply. You can try to stall but they'll drop you pretty quickly and may charge you a fee for drafting a contract, plus you probably won't receive another offer from them for quite a while.

Once you've signed, you've signed and that's it. No going back. If you don't like it, don't sign.

Been in a similar situation being offered a place that was a bad deal while waiting for a better place that we thought we had a good chance to. Had to say no to the offer on the same day. Waited another month for the regie to give an answer the the good place - didn't came our way. Took us another month to find another place which we took.

That's why apartment hunting in Lausanne sucks so much.
Yes Dandi, it really sucks! It's a horrible first experience in a new country. Feels like we are just trying to survive.
We verbally said yes, right after they offered, so they said they would prepare the contract send it by post. I haven't really seen it yet, it might be on the mailbox tomorrow. So I could pretend that I didn't receive it, maybe? Or just say I'm out of town and that I will sign next week?
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Old 15.06.2015, 18:56
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Re: Got a 'yes' for a place we don't want while waiting for reply for a friend's plac

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Yes Dandi, it really sucks! It's a horrible first experience in a new country. Feels like we are just trying to survive.
We verbally said yes, right after they offered, so they said they would prepare the contract send it by post. I haven't really seen it yet, it might be on the mailbox tomorrow. So I could pretend that I didn't receive it, maybe? Or just say I'm out of town and that I will sign next week?
Well, yes, you can try a number of things - it's up to you. The regie may be more or less willing to put up with delaying tactics. Mind you, this is something they also see a lot. That's why there is sometimes this "drafted contract" fee.

From a technical perspective there may be the option of sub-leasing an unwanted tenancy - but you'll have a lot of hassle and potential expenses, see this thread for more discussions Urgent Cancelling rental lease after signature?
Some of this also depends on the terms of the contract you are being offered. Best thing is to avoid trouble in the first place...
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Old 17.06.2015, 14:37
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Re: Got a 'yes' for a place we don't want while waiting for reply for a friend's plac

Yes, still in the dilemma, trying to be patient... I guess worst case is to have to find a new tenant or sublet if we end up with 2 contracts at once.
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