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Old 11.05.2008, 19:35
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Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

Recently our friendly landlord indicated that he wanted to sell the house we have been renting for the past 4 years and has placed the property on the market. He has not given any notice to us so far but his agent is very active in selling the property.

After searching around the market for several weeks, we identified an apartment we want to move into but it will only become available as of Nov 2008 when the current tenant moves out and we can takeover their lease. When I mentioned this to the landlord to ask if we could agree the termination for then, he did not make any agreement but just suggested we talk to his agent, who may be able to help us find a an alternative property to rent. This is not to our liking as we are very happy with the apartment we found.

We need to give a commitment NOW to the tenanats who are vacting the apartment in Nov. Clearly we may have the opportunity to give the landlord 3 months notice if we are still in the property at the end of July, but we are concerned that if he finds a buyer in the meantime, he may give us 3 months notice forcing us to leave his property earlier.

What are our rights in this situation? I have heard that a landlord cannot force a tenant out of the property without good reason (non-payment of rent, etc.) if the tenant cannot find an alternative property.

Perhaps someone can recommend a good property lawyer (in Zurich region) who we could talk to about our rights?
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Old 11.05.2008, 20:04
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

Go to the Mieterverband.ch. You will have to pay a yearly fee of less than 100CHF, to be a member for the year, but that entitles you to free advice. Start there, they will tell you what your rights are. Will cost much less than a lawyer.

I see you are right by Zurich:
http://www.mieterverband.ch/zh_rechtsberatung.0.html
Call then at 044 296 90 25, and bring the yearly fee in cash when you go there.
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Old 11.05.2008, 20:32
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

Hi saw your helpful reply but just went to this site but not in English
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Old 11.05.2008, 20:59
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

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Hi saw your helpful reply but just went to this site but not in English
In that case the best would be to find someone to help you with the German, or call them, find someone who speaks English, and ask your questions or arrange to become a member to be able to get free advice. You probably have to find out what the system is at your local Mieterverband location for getting advice. At the Zurich location you used to have to go and get a number and wait, now I think you can get an appt.

I believe the Mieterverband also does charge a one time fee for advice, but if you have to come back and ask some more questions, paying the yearly fee works out cheaper.
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Old 12.05.2008, 22:12
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

bad luck - when he does attempt to sell it - he has right to terminate the contract without notice period - as well when it's sold - current rental contract is no more valid and you would have to find your new house day one after contract is signed .

You have two choices - look for new place and move out or wait until he finds a buyer - as in the sale contract it's written that "it's not currently rented' - he must make sure it's the case - now whenever you still have your notice period is different thing (may force you out and you may be right but you are out and would have to prove it's not legal what happend - while he is no more owner of the house - and lawyers here are nothing what you would want to deal with

good news is to sale real-estate in CH it takes months so no worries .

choice is yours.
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Old 12.05.2008, 23:11
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

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when he does attempt to sell it - he has right to terminate the contract without notice period
Er, no? The owner can't just get rid of his contract obligations by selling the property.
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Old 13.05.2008, 09:52
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/E...ord-and-Tenant

"If the rented property is sold, the subsequent owners can effect an extraordinary termination of the tenancy under certain conditions"

Art. 253 to Art. 274 g of the Swiss Code of Obligations

Actually - conditions are set by new owners and community - while new owner can 'agree' to let tenant stay few months until he/she could find new place - same time is up to new owner to request new contract - which could be 3x more for rent , 3 x monthly payment into blocked account, insurance on tenant (all possible insurances to secure it's property) and give termination notice this same day .

This is 'advise' given by land registry notariat officer when I bought my house in case there is tenant in house - of course that wasn't the case as contract clearly stated there is no rental of property at time of ownership change.

something more about the issue :
http://www.iue.it/LAW/ResearchTeachi...witzerland.pdf

b) The house is sold. Has the buyer a right to give anticipated notice?

If the landlord sells the house, the tenancy follows the ownership. The new owner and
landlord may, however, give notice according to the requirements provided for by law – in
addition to the contractual termination rights,
50 which will often coincide –, i.e. three
months from a date set by local custom, or, in the absence of custom, at the end of a threemonth
period, if the landlord invokes an urgent need for the use of the house by himself,
his close relatives or in-laws (Article 261(1) SCO). If the new owner gives notice of
termination earlier than provided for by the tenancy agreement, the previous landlord is
liable to the tenant for all damage thereby suffered (Article 261(2) SCO).

c) A bankruptcy procedure is carried out against L at the end of which the

Last edited by hoover; 13.05.2008 at 10:05.
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Old 30.07.2008, 21:30
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

Thanks, Hoover - I appreciate your updated comments, I was a little put off by your previous words.

I have since learned form the Mieterverband.ch (thanks for this, Princess Leia) that you can respond to the "Kungdigung" (notice) by applying to your "Schlichtungsbehoerde" (Conciliation Council) at your local "Bezirksgericht" (District Court). You can get a form to request an extension. The Sclichtstungsbehoerde then sets up a meeting between you and your landlord. Unless the landlord can prove some wrongdoing by the tenant, you basically get your extension.

Just to be sure, I checked this out with a lawyer, as I remembered I took out legal insurance. He confirmed this and will also now represent us at the meeting. I feel more comfortable that we will be allowed to stay the extra 2 months in the property.

Just FYI, Princess Leia, I called the Mieterverband.ch helpline which had a special fee/minute for the phonecall, so it was not a very expensive exercise - no annnual fee required.

I hope this is useful for others. I'll let you know the outcome, thanks again to all for your helpful comments.
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Old 30.07.2008, 23:29
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

Good luck, Smartmart! I'm interested in the outcome of the arbitration.
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Old 31.07.2008, 01:38
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

When we were looking for a house to buy we looked at one that we thought had been sold a year earlier. It turned out that the house had been sold (all the paperwork signed anyway) and the sitting tenant refused to move out. He went to the Schlichtungsbehoerde and got a one year extension. Needless to say the new owner was less than impressed and the seller had to agree to annul the sale. So, mediation is definitely the way to go and, if my information is correct, in cases like this, the tenant enjoys more protection than the seller.
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Old 31.07.2008, 07:13
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

You have three months notice. It is nearly August. I think you'll last up to November.

------------------------

I just noticed you posted in May...
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Old 31.07.2008, 09:03
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

I had a friend go through a harrowing experience recently. Certainly the 90 day notice window is legal and as such all documentation was in order.

However, she was one of two tenants left in the building with one month to go. Suddenly, after living in the building for 5 years the water and lights mysteriously cut off every three days and took at least one full day to be "attended" to. Locks were changed without notice, but keys produced timeously when queries were made and to round it off after said lock change two apartments were broken into (the occupied ones) but nothing taken.

All in all borderline legal and nothing provable in court cos the owners covered their bases well. In such cases the mieterverband is useless and one can easily feel powerless when on the receiving end.
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Old 15.01.2009, 20:30
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

Thanks to everyone for their incredibly valuable posts!

Any update on the outcome, Smartmart? I'm interested as we may face a similar situation soon.

We just moved into our place at the beginning of May 2008. Today, we called our landlord to ask him about a minor repair in the apartment that still needs to be done, and he casually mentioned that he would like to sell the apartment. He wasn't able to give us a timeframe, but he did suggest that we would have right of first refusal. We aren't looking to buy this place right now, but we certainly do not want to have to move again so soon.
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Old 22.07.2013, 10:49
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

Just curious if anyone has had the same experience as us?

We are currently only a couple months into our rental contract that we have until early 2014. Yesterday we received a letter from our landlords to advice us that the property ownership has to be changed. Does this mean they are selling the property? They have said that the Stadt will be in touch regarding the new administration of the property on the 1st August.

Would I be right in saying that no conditions of our contract can be changed until the expiry date? Can they increase our rent? Terminate our contract?

I will keep in mind the tenants association mentioned above, but just curious if anyone has gone through a similar thing?
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Old 06.08.2013, 23:43
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

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Just curious if anyone has had the same experience as us?

We are currently only a couple months into our rental contract that we have until early 2014. Yesterday we received a letter from our landlords to advice us that the property ownership has to be changed. Does this mean they are selling the property? They have said that the Stadt will be in touch regarding the new administration of the property on the 1st August.

Would I be right in saying that no conditions of our contract can be changed until the expiry date? Can they increase our rent? Terminate our contract?

I will keep in mind the tenants association mentioned above, but just curious if anyone has gone through a similar thing?
the new owner has to take over the lease contract and has to respect the existing terms and conditions . you should not be impacted at all.
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Old 07.08.2013, 02:08
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Re: Termination of rental contract when landlord wants to sell

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Just curious if anyone has had the same experience as us?

We are currently only a couple months into our rental contract that we have until early 2014. Yesterday we received a letter from our landlords to advice us that the property ownership has to be changed. Does this mean they are selling the property? They have said that the Stadt will be in touch regarding the new administration of the property on the 1st August.

Would I be right in saying that no conditions of our contract can be changed until the expiry date? Can they increase our rent? Terminate our contract?

I will keep in mind the tenants association mentioned above, but just curious if anyone has gone through a similar thing?
The conditions should remain the same but you will be given new bank details for where to pay the monthly rent. If you have a standing order in place for paying the rent, be sure to cancel it.
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