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Old 07.05.2008, 16:56
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problems moving out of rented house

Our rental agreement comes to an end in Oct 08 (middle of month). We asked to extend but were told by agent we could not as owner was coming back in October. So we looked and have found another house (have keys already) and have given notice (2 months needed) and mentioned in termination letter that we are able to find other tenants therefore releasing us ASAP from contract. We live in a resort that has summer lets for the season. We have received another letter from agent saying that the owners are now returning on 1st July. Therefore we are unable to offer the house to anyone else to release us from the contract.

Also the inventory for the house which we finally received 4 months late was dated 6 years ago. Due to most of the furniture being broken or damaged in some way we refused to sign it and it eventually ended up with us having to get a solicitor involved. The agent refused to do another up to date inventory so the agent agreed with the solicitor that there was no valid inventory for the property. Anyway in the letter I received from agent, it states that the owner requires "un etat de lieux" to be carried out on our departure date. Am a bit concerned now that I will be spending the next decade of my life explaining to a court that I did not break this or lose that. Any comments anyone.
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Old 07.05.2008, 17:00
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Re: problems moving out of rented house

If there is no valid inventory then what is enforceable ? Be reasonable, sort it out before you move out, but admit and confirm nothing.

dave


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Our rental agreement comes to an end in Oct 08 (middle of month). We asked to extend but were told by agent we could not as owner was coming back in October. So we looked and have found another house (have keys already) and have given notice (2 months needed) and mentioned in termination letter that we are able to find other tenants therefore releasing us ASAP from contract. We live in a resort that has summer lets for the season. We have received another letter from agent saying that the owners are now returning on 1st July. Therefore we are unable to offer the house to anyone else to release us from the contract.

Also the inventory for the house which we finally received 4 months late was dated 6 years ago. Due to most of the furniture being broken or damaged in some way we refused to sign it and it eventually ended up with us having to get a solicitor involved. The agent refused to do another up to date inventory so the agent agreed with the solicitor that there was no valid inventory for the property. Anyway in the letter I received from agent, it states that the owner requires "un etat de lieux" to be carried out on our departure date. Am a bit concerned now that I will be spending the next decade of my life explaining to a court that I did not break this or lose that. Any comments anyone.
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Old 07.05.2008, 17:06
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Re: problems moving out of rented house

I agree with you but we have not damaged anything in the time we have been here and as there is no inventory to check against, why is there going to be a check done when we leave "by professionals of there choice".
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Old 07.05.2008, 17:09
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Re: problems moving out of rented house

If they are moving back early that is there problem. You found them a suitable tenant, so that should release you from responsibility.
I think you should hook up with the renter's association. The CHF50 to join will be well worth it.

Asloca: www.asloca.ch (has the info.)
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Old 07.05.2008, 17:13
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Re: problems moving out of rented house

There is a court decision in the Canton of Aargau that, in the absence of an "etat des lieux" agreed upon by both parties when the lease started, the onus is on the landlord to prove that any damage that exists has been caused by you. Fairly difficult I would have thought.

This being said, it is difficult as an individual (and a foreigner at that) to deal with landlords and agents. My advice (if you haven't done it already), sign up immediately with your local branch of the Association des Locataires (ASLOCA) and get someone from the Association to come along and assist you when you give the place back. These people know what they are doing and know what tricks landlords use. We have used them in the past and they have always been worth their weight in gold. Normally costs about 150 Fr a time.

http://www.asloca.ch/

Good luck!!
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Old 07.05.2008, 17:19
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Re: problems moving out of rented house

Thank you for all your very prompt responses. I will speak to the tenants association tomorrow.
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Old 08.05.2008, 16:37
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Re: problems moving out of rented house

Anybody care to explain what "etat des lieux" is? Automatic translation only says "state house", and a web search found all kinds of pop culture references.
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Old 08.05.2008, 16:43
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Re: problems moving out of rented house

Has to do with the condition of the appartment when you leave or move to an appartment (list of defects in English). Search for "Mängelliste" or "etat de lieu" and you'll find more information.
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Old 08.05.2008, 20:11
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Re: problems moving out of rented house

Generally the "Etat des Lieux" is a walkthrough of the house/apartment noting all defects that are present on a pre-printed form.

It is particularly important to make sure that when you move in you do this really thoroughly as you may be held liable for any damages discovered when you move out (and go through the same procedure) that weren't listed on the form when you moved in.

Also be aware that when you are held liable, wear and tear and the age of whatever it is also has to be taken into account. For example, a small mark on a carpet would not mean having to replace the whole carpet, but you would be charged for a percentage taking into account the expected life of the carpet (for which there is also an official list).

Once again, if you are not used to this procedure, it would really make sense to have someone from the ASLOCA come and help you. They generally charge about 150Fr, but they can save you much more than that in the end.
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Old 09.05.2008, 11:33
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Re: problems moving out of rented house

Have now spoken with lawyer and tenants assoc. Good news re the inventory....as long as the house is left in a clean state there is (we are told) no come back from the agent. As mentioned above, its the agent/landlord's problem for not doing an inventory when moving in and not doing one when requested by our lawyer last year.

Re the finding new tenant to take over the lease. Point of information for everyone. We have been told that in Swiss Law new tenants have to be introduced and in agreement with original terms of contract BEFORE notice. Giving notice ends your right to pass on to new tenant. Our lawyer thankfully wrote in a 2 month notice period so we are only liable until end of June.

The tenants assoc. rep was brilliant and very helpful so if anyone has any problems with a rented property then DO contact them.

Jools
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