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Old 11.09.2015, 08:26
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Rental deposit refund

My daughter rented a furnished room for 6 months. Although she handed it back in 100% condition (it was signed off as such) she is still waiting for the deposit to be refunded, 3 months later. I saw in an old thread from 2010 that they may keep the deposit for 12 months! Is that still the case? I find that staggering!
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Old 11.09.2015, 08:34
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Re: Rental deposit refund

Many landlords will release the deposit immediately. Others wait for a year, as up until then there are not always any definite bills for heating and maintenance costs.

After 12 months the landlords cannot legally keep the deposit any longer, and the bank will release the deposit without any argument.
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Old 11.09.2015, 08:42
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Re: Rental deposit refund

The money is in a special rental deposit account running in your daughter's name? It is, right?
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Old 11.09.2015, 20:31
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Re: Rental deposit refund

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The money is in a special rental deposit account running in your daughter's name? It is, right?
It doesn't matter even if it is, the landlord is a co-owner and needs to sign to release.
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Old 11.09.2015, 20:48
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Re: Rental deposit refund

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My daughter rented a furnished room for 6 months. Although she handed it back in 100% condition (it was signed off as such) she is still waiting for the deposit to be refunded, 3 months later. I saw in an old thread from 2010 that they may keep the deposit for 12 months! Is that still the case? I find that staggering!

To be clear you said she rented a Room, not an apartment / flat - in that case I am also surprised that the refund could take a year. However what were the terms in her agreement for the Refund?
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Old 12.09.2015, 19:58
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Re: Rental deposit refund

Sorry about the delay. It was a rented room in a huge building consisting of furnished rooms with communal bathrooms, kitchens & laundries, like a dorm. And the deposit wasn't in a bank account in her name. The contract didn't stipulate when the deposit would be paid. But we now finally received the dep back. Thanks for the advice
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Old 13.09.2015, 02:07
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Re: Rental deposit refund

We're having the same problem. A large rental agent in Lausanne signed off on our apartment and we signed a couple of quotes agreeing to a few hundred dollars worth of fixes (eg. replacing a cracked plastic fitting in the bathroom), it's been three months and they're still holding our entire deposit and the two weeks rent we're owed as they moved new tenants in before the end of the month. All up it's about 8'500 chf.

But because the agents hasn't had the final works done (and therefore paid the final bills) we're unable to get our money back. 8'500 chf is a lot of money to be holding back for about 300 chf worth of work!

And you're saying they can hold it for twelve months?!

Is there any sort of legal recourse we can take?

Last edited by nic80; 13.09.2015 at 02:10. Reason: removed name of rental agent, not sure if it's allowed in the rules
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Old 13.09.2015, 07:41
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Re: Rental deposit refund

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We're having the same problem. A large rental agent in Lausanne signed off on our apartment and we signed a couple of quotes agreeing to a few hundred dollars worth of fixes (eg. replacing a cracked plastic fitting in the bathroom), it's been three months and they're still holding our entire deposit and the two weeks rent we're owed as they moved new tenants in before the end of the month. All up it's about 8'500 chf.

But because the agents hasn't had the final works done (and therefore paid the final bills) we're unable to get our money back. 8'500 chf is a lot of money to be holding back for about 300 chf worth of work!

And you're saying they can hold it for twelve months?!

Is there any sort of legal recourse we can take?
If I understood correctly when we moved out, it's not only to cover for the repair, but also to ensure that any costs incurred but not already paid for will be paid when the bill comes. Typically that would be everything that fall within "nebenkosten" (not sure how they call them in French): heating, general maintenance, and so forth...

We moved in Sept. 2014, we got our deposit back about 6 months later, once the bills from suppliers to the building for 2014 had come and we had paid our share. We knew in advance it would be like this (the management company was very helpful in explaining everything), but I could see that someone who doesn't know might get nerveous, especially since you have to pay a new deposit for your new rental in the meantime. It's a lot of money!
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Old 13.09.2015, 10:57
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Re: Rental deposit refund

If you don't want this to happen again, you can pay something like 170-200chf per year and use https://www.swisscaution.ch/en

Then you don't need to have any money frozen over any period of time. Honestly, if I can spare the cash then I wouldn't pay for something like that but if your overall cash is not that much and the deposit makes you feel uneasy, then go for it.
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Old 13.09.2015, 12:06
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Re: Rental deposit refund

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And you're saying they can hold it for twelve months?!

Is there any sort of legal recourse we can take?
Twelve month is the time limit defined in the law.
Swiss Code of Obligations Art. 257e.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...dex.html#a257e


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It doesn't matter even if it is, the landlord is a co-owner and needs to sign to release.
From cancellation date until twelve month later the landlord or landlady must approve the payout. (Importantly, also tenant must approve to pay out) After twelve month the landlord or landlady must object to the payout, if the bank receives no object the full amount is paid out. With a court order payout is possible anytime. See the law:

Swiss Code of Obligations Art. 257e.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...dex.html#a257e


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So And the deposit wasn't in a bank account in her name. The contract didn't stipulate when the deposit would be paid. But we now finally received the dep back. Thanks for the advice
Good to here that you received the deposit. The contract normally never stipulates a time frame as the law defines it. Also the money must be paid in a special deposit account running on the tenants name. See the law:

Swiss Code of Obligations Art. 257e.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...dex.html#a257e

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However what were the terms in her agreement for the Refund?
Most likely the ones defined by the law. There is no need to mention it in the contract.
Swiss Code of Obligations Art. 257e.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...dex.html#a257e


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If you don't want this to happen again, you can pay something like 170-200chf per year and use https://www.swisscaution.ch/en

Then you don't need to have any money frozen over any period of time. Honestly, if I can spare the cash then I wouldn't pay for something like that but if your overall cash is not that much and the deposit makes you feel uneasy, then go for it.
Ever read the Gerneral Terms and Conditions of Swisscaution?
static.swisscaution.ch/docs/cga/bh/current/CGA_PDF_BH_EN.pdf
See in particular Art. 5 and Art. 6
Quote:
Art. 5 Payment of the surety to the Landlord
1. Pursuant to Article 257e paragraph 3 of the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO), SC undertakes to pay the Landlord the amount due by the Tenant, within the limits of the sum guaranteed by the Certificate and subject to Article 1 paragraph 2 above, when any one of the following conditions is
satisfied:
a. upon presentation of the original Certificate, indicating the date of expiry of the tenancy, dated and signed by the Tenant and the Landlord (joint signature);
b. upon presentation and surrender of the original notice to pay sent to the Tenant at the request of the Landlord (supporting documents included), provided that it is enforceable and no appeals, even partial, have been lodged, or it is accompanied by a final and enforceable judgment that dismisses the original appeal;
c. upon presentation and submission of the original copy of a final and enforceable judgment imposing a fine on the Tenant in respect of a claim relating to the tenancy agreement.

2. When the parties have agreed a place of jurisdiction in Switzerland, in particular at the place where the property is situated, and/or elected domicile in Switzerland for the performance of the agreed services and/or receipt of any notifications, the Landlord must act in the courts or bring proceedings in Switzerland at the agreed place of jurisdiction and will not be able to rely on the provisions of Article 495 of the Swiss Code of Obligations to seek immediate payment of the surety by SC.

Art. 6 Right of redress / subrogation
1. If SC pays a sum to the Landlord in accordance with the rental guarantee, SC is immediately and fully subrogated to the rights of the Landlord and is entitled, by means of a payment notice, to seek reimbursement of any sums it has paid to the Landlord under the agreement, together with administrative costs of CHF 100.-. The attention of the Tenant is drawn to the fact that any payment made subsequent to the notice of payment shall be addressed to SC alone. If the Landlord has commenced legal proceedings against him in this matter, he must inform SC in writing prior to any settlement.

2. The Tenant expressly declares that he agrees to party substitution, namely that of the Landlord by SC, for the purpose of all court proceedings and compulsory enforcement already pending at the time of subrogation of the rights and that he undertakes to reimburse SC all the sums that SC has paid in connection with the rental guarantee plus costs
For rental periods longer than 2 years a small credit for CHF 10000 by Migros Bank is cheaper than Swisscaution!
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