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Old 22.09.2015, 21:02
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Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

I have searched the forum but I can't seem to find the answer to this. I'm hoping the collective wisdom on here may be able to help.

I have a friend who is separated from her husband and trying to rent an apartment in Switzerland. She is currently living over the border in France.
She has been told by a rental agent that under Swiss law her estranged husband also has to sign the lease and she will not be able to get a lease on her own. She has sufficient means to support herself without any help from him, has her own bank accounts and enough money to pay six months rent upfront. Why would she have to have a joint lease with her ex? What if he refuses to sign a lease with her?

Is this really a Swiss law or something specific to this rental agent? If so could somebody point me in the right direction to find it?

I have suggested the tenants association as a good place for her to find out specific info on this.

Thanks a lot for any pointers you can give me.
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Old 22.09.2015, 21:14
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

Canīt think of a reason. I am married, hubby still is in another country so I signed the lease myself, no issues.

Try Asloca or Mieterverband for a legal reason why this isnīt necessary?
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Old 22.09.2015, 21:16
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

Yes it is a law which the agent or landlord may use, to increase the financial security. If the husband stops paying, then they can chase the wife.

This stupid law brings further problems: when my separated wife broke into my apartment TWICE, the police in Bern refused to help me as she was named on my rental contract.

Now your friend knows about this pitfall, she can always lie and say she is single. How will the landlord or agent find out?
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Old 22.09.2015, 21:19
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

Learned something new, thanks.

But it is a stupid rule!!!
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Old 22.09.2015, 21:20
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

The signature of the husband is not needed by law.

Problem: If the husband permanently moves to her place, it will become the family residence which has some special protection by the law. https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...dex.html#a266m

For ex: only both partners together can cancel the contract; a cancellation by the landlord must be sent to both partners separately.

It may help if she state that she will live at the place alone w/o husband and that she has no intention that it becomes the family home.

The estranged husband will have zero intention to sign the lease. It could only mean trouble for him. Like when his then ex-wife suddenly thinks that she has no longer any interest in paying the rent. He would be fully liable for any outstanding rent.
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Old 22.09.2015, 21:22
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

Suggest that she doesn't mention that she is married to landlords. If she says she is single I don't think they'd question it or ask for proof.
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Old 22.09.2015, 21:25
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

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Yes it is a law which the agent or landlord may use, to increase the financial security. If the husband stops paying, then they can chase the wife.
It isn't. Voluntarily signing a lease along with your partner does have the consequence that you are jointly liable for the rent, but there is no law stipulating that both married partners have to sign a lease for it to be valid.


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She has been told by a rental agent that under Swiss law her estranged husband also has to sign the lease and she will not be able to get a lease on her own. She has sufficient means to support herself without any help from him, has her own bank accounts and enough money to pay six months rent upfront.
It's nonsense. If the couple (not the landlord!) choose to rent the flat as a marital flat ("eheliche Wohnung"), they can decide to both sign it.
If only one party signs the lease, only that party is liable for the rent. If both sign, both are jointly liable (meaning, if one doesn't pay their share, the other still has to make sure the whole rent is paid).

If the family flat ("Familienwohnung", not the same as "eheliche Wohnung") is residence to both partners, the landlord has to send a notice to both parties to legally end a lease.

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Now your friend knows about this pitfall, she can always lie and say she is single. How will the landlord or agent find out?
Even if the landlord finds out, tenant's civil status is none of his business. But you have to stick to the legal consequences of what you say: If you say you're single, you are liable for the entire rent if no one else signs the lease.
If you say you're married and you and your partner sign, you are both jointly liable. If you say you're married and only one partner signs, only that partner is liable.

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We were renting 2 apartments next to each other. After the first burglary I tried very hard to get my wife's name taken off my rental contract, and the large company landlord refused to do it, stating it is the law that if you are married then both names must be on both the contracts. I moved out as soon as possible!
"Where exactly does it say that, Sir?"

Last edited by glowjupiter; 22.09.2015 at 21:50.
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Old 22.09.2015, 21:33
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

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Yes it is a law which the agent or landlord may use, to increase the financial security. If the husband stops paying, then they can chase the wife.

This stupid law brings further problems: when my separated wife broke into my apartment TWICE, the police in Bern refused to help me as she was named on my rental contract.
We were renting 2 apartments next to each other. After the first burglary I tried very hard to get my wife's name taken off my rental contract, and the large company landlord refused to do it, stating it is the law that if you are married then both names must be on both the contracts. I moved out as soon as possible!

Maybe this arrangement is only applicable in certain cantons?
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Old 22.09.2015, 21:45
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

They just did not want to take a name off, why reduce their security ?

Some Swiss pretend funny laws exist when the don't !
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Old 22.09.2015, 21:58
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

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If you say you're married and you and your partner sign, you are both jointly liable..
No need to be married. If two or more parties co-sign a rental contract they are each fully liable for any outstanding rent. Landlord can pick anyone, most likely the one with the best chance to get the money from.

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"Where exactly does it say that, Sir?"
Exactly the question which the rental agent should be asked.
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Old 22.09.2015, 22:38
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

I am fairly sure I am not my household's lease. at the time, It had to do with not wanting the landlord to have access to my personal financial information I think...the lease is in my husband's name, although my employer did provide a reference...so a bit strange to 'require' it unless your landlord actually doesn't want to rent to a single woman...and is really looking for the second person for financial security...
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Old 22.09.2015, 23:53
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

OK, my error, so maybe 20 years ago the agent lied to me, and there is no proper "Law".

However, as we all know, any landlord can decide (for example), that only one eyed foreign Catholics need apply, and the rest of us cannot do a damn thing about it. If the Marti property company demands two signatures, it has to be two signatures, or no apartment.

The OP's friend should just insist she is single, with enough money for a big deposit, although only up to 3 months rental can be demanded.
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Old 23.09.2015, 00:01
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

OP states her friend is living in France, but not if she has employment in Switzerland or a residence permit in her own right. If I were a landlord I would want to know these items of info......
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Old 23.09.2015, 10:23
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Re: Soon to be ex husband has to sign rental contract?

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I have searched the forum but I can't seem to find the answer to this. I'm hoping the collective wisdom on here may be able to help.

I have a friend who is separated from her husband and trying to rent an apartment in Switzerland. She is currently living over the border in France.
She has been told by a rental agent that under Swiss law her estranged husband also has to sign the lease and she will not be able to get a lease on her own. She has sufficient means to support herself without any help from him, has her own bank accounts and enough money to pay six months rent upfront. Why would she have to have a joint lease with her ex? What if he refuses to sign a lease with her?

Is this really a Swiss law or something specific to this rental agent? If so could somebody point me in the right direction to find it?

I have suggested the tenants association as a good place for her to find out specific info on this.

Thanks a lot for any pointers you can give me.
Just tell the the husband refuses to sign as they will soon be divorced. If they don't want to give her the contract, then find a new place.
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