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Old 27.10.2015, 16:48
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Give up apartment just after signing contract

Hello, I have a question about giving up an apartment after signing it.

Basically, last week I signed a contract for my new apartment in Zurich, received it back signed by the agency and already paid the first rent, but not the deposit. The same day I paid the rent I have heard about an apartment much more interesting and I have very good chance to take it. Since it would bring many advantages with respect to the one I already have signed for, I am considering to give up the latter and taking the new one (of course, I would first wait for the certainty of taking the new one before giving up the "old" one).

Anyway, I am afraid that doing so I would run some financial risk. If I give up the apartment, what do I owe to the angency/landlord? I know that I have to pay a fee to the agency (between 100 and 150 CHF) and of course I don't expect the agency to give me back the rent I already paid. What I am scared of is that since I owe them 4000 CHF for the deposit, would this appear in my Betreibungsauszug? On the contract there is written that if I don't pay the deposit they are allowed to kick me out. And then? What else could they do?

Thanks a lot!

Best
Davide
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Old 27.10.2015, 17:10
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Re: Give up apartment just after signing contract

Can't you find a new tenant for the actual apartment so the landlord and the agency be happy?
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Old 27.10.2015, 17:15
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Re: Give up apartment just after signing contract

It's not so much the deposit, it's the 3 (or more, depending on your contract) month's rent you are liable for. The deposit you'll be getting back anyway.
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Old 27.10.2015, 17:16
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Re: Give up apartment just after signing contract

Simple - you owe them everything it says in the contract - deposit, rent until the next valid notice point, etc.

If you don't pay, yes it will appear on your credit record and they will most likely send debt collectors.

If you don't pay the deposit they may well be able to kick you out without you losing the requirement to pay the rent, i.e. very bad idea, you end up both homeless and broke.
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Old 27.10.2015, 17:24
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Re: Give up apartment just after signing contract

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Hello, I have a question about giving up an apartment after signing it.

Basically, last week I signed a contract for my new apartment in Zurich, received it back signed by the agency and already paid the first rent, but not the deposit. The same day I paid the rent I have heard about an apartment much more interesting and I have very good chance to take it. Since it would bring many advantages with respect to the one I already have signed for, I am considering to give up the latter and taking the new one (of course, I would first wait for the certainty of taking the new one before giving up the "old" one).

Anyway, I am afraid that doing so I would run some financial risk. If I give up the apartment, what do I owe to the angency/landlord? I know that I have to pay a fee to the agency (between 100 and 150 CHF) and of course I don't expect the agency to give me back the rent I already paid. What I am scared of is that since I owe them 4000 CHF for the deposit, would this appear in my Betreibungsauszug? On the contract there is written that if I don't pay the deposit they are allowed to kick me out. And then? What else could they do?

Thanks a lot!

Best
Davide
As you haven't paid the deposit, the landlord is not required to give you access to the apartment. You owe them CHF 4000.- as a deposit though, which they are of course entitled to go to the office des poursuites for. Basis for this entitlement is the rental contract, which, again, you signed.

As you have signed the contract, you are liable for your responsibilities toward the landlord stipulated in your contract and law until the end of your lease. The end of your lease is determined by either the landlord kicking you out (terminating your lease) or your giving notice within the periods stipulated in your contract and in law, or your finding and the landlord accepting a replacement tenant and that tenant's lease period starting and thus ending yours.

Stepping "out" of a rental contract for CHF 100-200 the way you describe is only possible if the contract has been created by the landlord specific to the prospective tenant, but the tenant refuses to sign. Basis for this charge is the fact that landlords trusted that you would enter a legal relationship (lease) with them, which you have refused to do by not signing the contract.
Since you have signed the contract, this option isn't in the picture for you. It went out of the window once you signed the contract.


Next time you are about to sign a contract, make sure you want all benefits and responsibilities it contains. If you are unsure, do not sign. Contracts are a two-way street.
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Old 27.10.2015, 20:07
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Re: Give up apartment just after signing contract

if you dont pay all the deposit/rent and dont have the keys do you really have a complete contract?

Maybe the OP can be truthful and just ask about canceling
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Old 27.10.2015, 20:16
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Re: Give up apartment just after signing contract

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if you dont pay all the deposit/rent and dont have the keys do you really have a complete contract?
Of course. It's signed after all. Not fulfilling contractual obligations doesn't invalidate a contract. For a contract to be null and void or contestable, certain circumstances have to be given at the time of conclusion (here: signing) of said contract.
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Old 27.10.2015, 20:25
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Re: Give up apartment just after signing contract

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Of course. It's signed after all. Not fulfilling contractual obligations doesn't invalidate a contract. For a contract to be null and void or contestable, certain circumstances have to be given at the time of conclusion (here: signing) of said contract.
Even if they didn't uphold by paying and never had the keys? Would be a grey area I would think.
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Old 27.10.2015, 20:30
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Even if they didn't uphold by paying and never had the keys? Would be a grey area I would think.
Um, no.

If you don't pay the deposit, you don't get the keys. You can't expect a landlord to grant someone access to their property without having security in case of damage by the tenant.

I haven't come across a single contract yet in which it wasn't stipulated that the payment of a deposit was a condition of handover of keys. See also in the last paragraph of this MV document and this Blick article: "If the deposit isn't paid on time, the landlord can refuse handover of keys."

If the tenant doesn't receive keys after payment of the deposit, he can go to court to get them, but the contract is still very much valid.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 28.10.2015 at 01:06.
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Old 27.10.2015, 20:33
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Re: Give up apartment just after signing contract

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Um, no.

If you don't pay the deposit, you don't get the keys. You can't expect a landlord to grant someone access to their property without having security in case of damage by the tenant.

I haven't come across a single contract yet in which it wasn't stipulated that the payment of a deposit was a condition of handover of keys.

If the tenant doesn't receive keys after payment of the deposit, he can go to court to get them, but the contract is still very much valid.
I've always done payment at the time of contract and keys, it's very different here though in that regard.

I know someone who signed a contract but never got the keys and they said "you can't have it now" and thought that was it. So I don't know if the renter can terminate themselves if the owner can before payment/keys.

I have not had luck in the reputable owner dept myself though renting lately
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