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Old 14.12.2015, 10:09
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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So post an ad on wgzimmer.ch and hope you find a replacement tenant soon!
@Londontozurich: I advise you to post on other sites additionally to wgzimmer, since wgzimmer is primarily for students and most can't afford a room for 1650.-

Btw, you mention you pay more than 60% of the entire rent. Do you actually have more space than your flat mate? Otherwise you could say she's ripping you off excessively and the contract is invalid.

Glowjupiter did mention it's possible that the main tenant charges a bit more because she is liable for the damage you may cause, but considering you also had to give one/two months deposit, that doens't really make sense. Sounds more like she's trying to get as much as she can from you?
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Old 14.12.2015, 11:16
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

Hi,
The OP is the stereotype of the bad/ignorant person being in a victim position regarding renting/subletting/sharing a flat.

As usual, the other one seems to abuse that situation and claims some things based on a situation of power despite the actual Swiss Laws.

Other responses were made before, but I only had a quick look, no time to be considerate.

A few elements:

1) This seems to be officially a "sub-let" contract where the main tenant has the main contract toward owner and made a sublet with the additional tenant (the op).

2) Swiss Laws are saying caution/deposit can be up to 3 months. Nothing here beside some lack of experience and communication from both sides. OP: move on about that, nothing illegal here.

3) Did you give the deposit to that person directly? if so it's illegal it must have been made on a blocked account. If that happened in GV or VD (I know it does not), it's even illegal and the person receiving the money can be prosecuted. Check for Zurich's laws.

4) Is the main owner aware of the sublet? If not, contact him/her, the main contract between them (owner/main contract) can be void.

5) If the sublet's rent is above 20% of the main lease, it's illegal (excessive) and the contract can be void.

https://translate.google.com/transla...php&edit-text=

6) The law: refer to "Code des Obligations" from article 253 and especially near art 266g .
Source:
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...009/index.html

Or in french + google translate it:
https://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifi...009/index.html


Anyway, most likely, the OP has paid the deposit in cash, and in order to do anything else, it will probably involve legal actions and we all know that's costly and not doable (due to lack of commitment, time, efforts,will, knowledge, etc...).

It's much easier to not get screwed in the first place rather than trying to recover afterwards.

And yes there are associations to help with that, I find much easier to deal with the issues myself, but maybe it will help the OP.


My own conclusion based on the very little I know:
Find replacement tenant asap, get your deposit back and move on.
Or
Be ready to "fight" but I don't think you have the backbone for it. Maybe association can help a little.
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  #23  
Old 14.12.2015, 11:33
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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Hi,
The OP is the stereotype of the bad/ignorant person being in a victim position regarding renting/subletting/sharing a flat.

As usual, the other one seems to abuse that situation and claims some things based on a situation of power despite the actual Swiss Laws.

Other responses were made before, but I only had a quick look, no time to be considerate.

A few elements:

1) This seems to be officially a "sub-let" contract where the main tenant has the main contract toward owner and made a sublet with the additional tenant (the op).

2) Swiss Laws are saying caution/deposit can be up to 3 months. Nothing here beside some lack of experience and communication from both sides. OP: move on about that, nothing illegal here.

3) Did you give the deposit to that person directly? if so it's illegal it must have been made on a blocked account. If that happened in GV or VD (I know it does not), it's even illegal and the person receiving the money can be prosecuted. Check for Zurich's laws.

4) Is the main owner aware of the sublet? If not, contact him/her, the main contract between them (owner/main contract) can be void.

5) If the sublet's rent is above 20% of the main lease, it's illegal (excessive) and the contract can be void.

https://translate.google.com/transla...php&edit-text=

6) The law: refer to "Code des Obligations" from article 253 and especially near art 266g .
Source:
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...009/index.html

Or in french + google translate it:
https://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifi...009/index.html


Anyway, most likely, the OP has paid the deposit in cash, and in order to do anything else, it will probably involve legal actions and we all know that's costly and not doable (due to lack of commitment, time, efforts,will, knowledge, etc...).

It's much easier to not get screwed in the first place rather than trying to recover afterwards.

And yes there are associations to help with that, I find much easier to deal with the issues myself, but maybe it will help the OP.


My own conclusion based on the very little I know:
Find replacement tenant asap, get your deposit back and move on.
Or
Be ready to "fight" but I don't think you have the backbone for it. Maybe association can help a little.




Thank you for some very considered points you make there.
Your point (5) despite the "sublet contract" used this technically wouldn't be subject to the 20% limit you mention because she shares with me.


Your point (4) I don't think anybody encouraged me to do this but being up against a wall I did contact the owner mainly due to concerns about my safety and the safekeeping of my belongings in the flat. It's not a pleasant scene to be 1 foreign girl against a screaming man (the bf) + the girl in question.


Your point (3) Thankfully (?) yes, she has not put my deposit in a blocked account and asked me for more last night and I have ignored the request. So looks like she's definitely on the wrong side of the law here. I made a bank transfer so have records to prove it.


Lastly, of course I am ready to fight. It's a matter of principles. The only reason I am not willing to find her a replacement is that I am not going to be the person to screw someone over by landing them in this lying, greedy scumbag's apartment.


You're right in saying it would've been easier for me to not be a victim in the first place but I agreed on things told to me verbally in English which were later changed on the contract in German. I was in London at the time with no backup. In hindsight should've told her to piss off when the contract didn't make sense to me but it clearly says 2 months notice so I was comfortable.


You are wrong in saying I don't have the backbone for it. I joined the MV last night and have asked them for advice. I've written to the Embassy asking for help if the shouting continues. Have also contacted the landlord. I will unleash a battalion of legal force on the woman if I am not allowed to leave when my notice ends. So please don't patronise me by making comments like that. I know you largely meant well but that's just insulting. You don't know me.
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Old 14.12.2015, 11:34
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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Glowjupiter did mention it's possible that the main tenant charges a bit more because she is liable for the damage you may cause, but considering you also had to give one/two months deposit, that doens't really make sense. Sounds more like she's trying to get as much as she can from you?
It has nothing to do with screwing over.
You can absolutely demand a deposit from a subtenant and ask for 10-20% extra in (fair ratio between e.g. room size as described above) rent along with it.

Example:

You're renting a flat from your landlord for CHF 3000 a month which, for sake of this calculation, has 2 rooms of equal size.

Your landlord can charge you CHF 9000 in deposit and CHF 3000 in rent per month.


Now, you rent out one of your two rooms to a subtenant. You have 3 options:

A: You can charge this subtenant CHF 1500 in rent, no matter if the room is furnished or unfurnished.
B: But you can also charge him CHF 1650 in rent if the subleased room is unfurnished.
C: You can also charge him CHF 1800 in rent if the subleased room is furnished.

On top of the rent (A, B or C) you can ask the subtenant for a deposit of 3 times his rent.


Deposit (which should have been paid into a blocked account as described here) exists to cover the subtenant's damages incurred at the end of a lease, whereas
the rent increases of 10-20% cover the fact that you're liable for damages your subtenant could cause, no matter if he causes them or not.

Liability and damages are two different things.


Further info (German)

Last edited by glowjupiter; 14.12.2015 at 12:05.
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Old 14.12.2015, 12:09
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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Thank you for some very considered points you make there.
BLABLA...
Good!
So you have the right motivation toward your situation. Once again, shame that you have not display the same energy prior to let yourself screw in the first place (and enpower that person in the process).

Then next steps suggestion:

1) Make a list of every thing legally wrong in the contract. For example, the deposit, etc... Remember to read the "Code des Obligations"

2) Make a list of what you are trying to achieve and what you're accept to lose. For example it's likely that you can kiss your deposit bye-bye (if you are not careful or if you make mistakes).

3) Try to reach an agreement. I think it's fair for the other person to accept letting you go

4) Don't confuse your wish vs the legal requirements. Who cares you don't want to "let someone" have that bad tenancy agreement? If the only legal way out of your tenancy agreement earlier is to get a new name, get that name.
PS: they don't have to move in, they have to be interested and financially capable. The choice remains to the owner and maybe for "subtenancy" to the main tenant?
But maybe the contract can be void different ways.

5) Use that agency Mieterband as guidance, but don't rely on them. Meaning find the flaws, and get them to communicate officially for added "weight" and some kind of mediation, but don't let them handle everything.

6) As for threat or fear or something, be proactive. Take inventory of your belonging, any threats made, etc... Stand up in front of your alleged bullies and use the authorities if things are going badly.
Oh and don't drink milk or anything left opened in property

But above all, don't make any mistakes. For example don't slap them, don't steal or damage anything, don't threaten, etc...

Your aim is to correct your crappy actions which lead you to be a victim, not to become a bully or nasty person yourself.

Good luck.
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Old 14.12.2015, 12:14
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

@coresbou, thanks again my friend!! Really appreciate the effort you & others have put in to helping me!

Don't feel all alone here!
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Old 14.12.2015, 16:55
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

WG life sucks sometimes a lot of people ends up getting screwed one way or another. But you're a sublet so you can do whatever you want, the worse that can happen is that she gives you notice and she has to find someone new, you can play at the same level if not even make her life a living hell.
The boyfriend always around is probably not very nice but does it really make a difference? You could bring friends over too, or maybe some shady individuals on purpose.
The rotten fruit, trash it! But fruit flies are not filthy at all and they do not cause rotting themselves, they just thrive on it. Young swiss germans are sometimes dirty in the kitchen that's something to get used to i guess, but swiping the surface with some cleaning alcohol doesn't take more than a few seconds.
The wi-fi thing is really shitty, it's sad that in 2015 you still have to ask specifically.
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Old 14.12.2015, 18:02
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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You are wrong in saying I don't have the backbone for it. You don't know me.
Sorry but your thread title "before I run back to London" was a giveaway.

Its good that you can fight on principle, may be just bad choice of words in title originally.
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Old 14.12.2015, 22:20
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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Sorry but your thread title "before I run back to London" was a giveaway.

Its good that you can fight on principle, may be just bad choice of words in title originally.
Yeah, you're right - however, when you've been screamed at by someone who has deliberately lied to you and there's no easy way out (expensive, long drawn legal way sure. but no easy way). When you desperately need to be with your family but can't because this shit needs to be sorted. Those are the sort of words that come to you. Despite your normal personality I guess.
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Old 15.12.2015, 07:40
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Re: Getting out of fixed-term sublease early

I am not sure where, in all this, that the flatmate has actually lied to you...you have a sublet contract (in writing ?) - and there are quite a few facts to check, but it may be that it's all 100% legitimate.

Was the room furnished or unfurnished ?
Do you have a written lease agreement ?
Does the boyfriend officially live somewhere else ?
Is the landlord aware of the sublet ?
What is the actual total rent for the apartment (including the "Nebenkosten", which could be higher than you think as it includes the heating costs).

The simplest way to get out of this is to find a new person to take over the lease.

As for 'subsidising' her lifestyle, it's quite simple, you are sharing a flat, one that is quite likely too expensive for her to have alone, that is why she chose to offer it as a sublet...

This should not be degenerating to a screaming match - that is abuse, probably from both sides. You cannot just break your agreement, and she cannot make your life so difficult that you can't cope, but there has to be some compromise when flatsharing....and you are the 'sublet' which means she is ultimately responsible for the lease...

This is the 'worst' time of year to be looking for a new tenant...

And as for going away...why not ? If you need to be back home with your family, take a holiday... I guess you thought you could wiggle out of the rent, walk away, and not have to pay rent whilst you are away ?
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  #31  
Old 15.12.2015, 07:58
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Re: Getting out of fixed-term sublease early

You have joined the Mieterverband, (MV) but have you had an interview and received any advice yet? The MV is usually staffed by young lawyers, and as the rental law is very wide, you might find a way of invalidating the contract.

Considering the money was not paid into a blocked bank account, would anyone here on EF advise on starting a legal recovery process for the deposit money paid to the woman?

Starting a Betreibung is fairly easy, and might push her into agreeing to you leaving, with all your money back: maybe ask the MV lawyer what he thinks about this idea? Basically she has stolen the money from you; if the deposit was handled legally, the deposit money would be in a blocked bank account in your name!

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Old 15.12.2015, 12:07
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Re: Getting out of fixed-term sublease early

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I am not sure where, in all this, that the flatmate has actually lied to you...you have a sublet contract (in writing ?) - and there are quite a few facts to check, but it may be that it's all 100% legitimate.

Was the room furnished or unfurnished ?
Do you have a written lease agreement ?
Does the boyfriend officially live somewhere else ?
Is the landlord aware of the sublet ?
What is the actual total rent for the apartment (including the "Nebenkosten", which could be higher than you think as it includes the heating costs).

The simplest way to get out of this is to find a new person to take over the lease.

As for 'subsidising' her lifestyle, it's quite simple, you are sharing a flat, one that is quite likely too expensive for her to have alone, that is why she chose to offer it as a sublet...

This should not be degenerating to a screaming match - that is abuse, probably from both sides. You cannot just break your agreement, and she cannot make your life so difficult that you can't cope, but there has to be some compromise when flatsharing....and you are the 'sublet' which means she is ultimately responsible for the lease...

This is the 'worst' time of year to be looking for a new tenant...

And as for going away...why not ? If you need to be back home with your family, take a holiday... I guess you thought you could wiggle out of the rent, walk away, and not have to pay rent whilst you are away ?



No. Actually. You're positively wrong on all accounts. And again, quite insulting.
I'm not trying to wiggle out of anything. I'm fully honoring my notice period which I understood to be (& is written) as 2 months. Now anywhere else in the world it would mean 2 months notice & you're free to go. None of this moronic find someone else malarkey. I know because I rent my place out and have previously rented. I've always given and received full deposits back. No disputes in my life because curiosity I've had the good luck of dealing with honorable people. Not people who say you're sharing with them and after you've signed the contract a permanent fixture of a boyfriend emerges, turns out a lot of furniture was the last flatmate's so is gone, absence of Wi Fi wasn't mentioned (who the hell would rent a place without Internet???). So. Read my post carefully. A lot of lies.

I'm not doing a runner. Are you for real? Become a criminal because of a low life greedy scum? Think not!

I think the painless (& ultimately one I'd loathe most) way is to find someone else. I think that has been the general agreement.
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Old 15.12.2015, 12:16
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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Thank you Swisspea for such a detailed and helpful response. For some reason I can't yet thank people for their replies. Yes, I think she gets it and is looking for someone herself as well instead of sitting back and relying on me to pretty much subsidise her living in that apartment.


You are right in saying it might work for other people. It would have for me as well if I knew what I was getting into. The 1 year minimum was never mentioned nor agreed to. I was lied to on several other critical points as well so it doesn't feel like an informed choice was made. e.g. I would never in my right mind agree to a minimum tenure with no break clause. Perhaps in a property all to myself, maybe, but in a flatshare there are so many unknown human variables that it's stupid to suggest or do that.


On a wider Switzerland question - why are we all not doing anything about these "hidden costs" everybody seems to have resigned to?
Just pay the rent for 1 year & give notice, then you don't have to find a replacement tenant. It could not be easier, however you want to wriggle out of what you agreed so you need to find a replacement.
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Old 15.12.2015, 12:45
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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What everyone seems to be missing is that I NEVER AGREED TO A FIXED TERM LEASE. I had a verbal agreement that mentioned no fixed term and suddenly a little clause crept in the contract saying minimum one year. In GERMAN. I don't speak German. At no point was it ever conveyed or written or indeed agreed to in English.

So. No. Your advice doesn't quite hold. Why the hell would I pay one year's rent to a lying bitch?
Because you signed a contract.

So yes, you agreed to it, not speaking German is no excuse.

Tom
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Old 15.12.2015, 13:10
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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Because you signed a contract.

So yes, you agreed to it, not speaking German is no excuse.

Tom
And tbh, even 5 minutes with Google translate should have highlighted the fixed term. I'm about to sign a contract to fulfil a legal requirement, that has a min 5 year term. I don't have a lot of choice as it's the only way I can at this point meet that legal requirement, but in no way does it mean I'm simply going to sign it without knowing as much as possible about what I'm getting myself into. Isn't that normal?

Don't quote me, but I have it in my head that whilst you can't stop paying rent while in dispute with a landlord, I believe you can pay it into some form of blocked account until the dispute is resolved? Can anyone enlighten me? If so, that might (or might not) persuade her to negotiate with you. Obviously, then prob not a good idea to call her a lying bitch to her face if you want to get out of the situation as unscathed as possible. Play the long game, but remember you're negotiating from a position of weakness since you signed the contract. Also you are in no way obliged to keep living there; just to keep paying the rent to the end of the minimum term. But also remember that poor as this choice may ultimately have turned out to be, at the time you decided that it was the better choice than the alternatives.
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Old 15.12.2015, 13:17
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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What everyone seems to be missing is that I NEVER AGREED TO A FIXED TERM LEASE. I had a verbal agreement that mentioned no fixed term and suddenly a little clause crept in the contract saying minimum one year. In GERMAN. I don't speak German. At no point was it ever conveyed or written or indeed agreed to in English.

So. No. Your advice doesn't quite hold.
Groan about it all you like, but the onus is on you as the renter to make sure you understand what you're signing up to. English isn't an official Swiss language so nothing has to be written in that language for your benefit unless you specifically ask for it to be done. You have signed so you've agreed a minimum rental period whether you like it or not. Also a minimum rental period of some kind is the norm here. When we rented our house the minimum was one year too. And thank your lucky stars that you can give 2 months' notice. For us it was 6!

You have two choices - find another tenant to take over the lease or pay the outstanding months' rent. Unless the Mieterverband come up with some get out clause you can use, those are the choices you're stuck with.
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Old 15.12.2015, 13:20
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Re: Getting out of fixed-term sublease early

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Was the room furnished or unfurnished ?
Do you have a written lease agreement ?
Does the boyfriend officially live somewhere else ?
Is the landlord aware of the sublet ?
What is the actual total rent for the apartment (including the "Nebenkosten", which could be higher than you think as it includes the heating costs).
Londontozurich,

you have been given useful advice in this thread.
My advice for you (aside from what I posted above) is: Contracts don't have to be in writing to be valid. For matter of being able to prove that you have a contract, and its contents, it is always preferable to have a written contract.

You never know, the advice given on this thread might possibly be the key to getting you out of the lease without too much trouble.
If you want more detailed info pertaining to your specific situation, it is necessary for you to give the information swisspea asked for above. I quoted the questions for you.

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

On another note, I ask you to tone it down with the aggression towards other members. That and name-calling (members and non-members) is not on here.
Members' giving you advice which you might not like does not give you the right to act like this. Simply saying "I disagree" should suffice.
If I see you continuing in this vein rather than contributing in an acceptable way, this thread will be closed.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 15.12.2015 at 13:58.
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Old 15.12.2015, 13:32
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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What everyone seems to be missing is that I NEVER AGREED TO A FIXED TERM LEASE. I had a verbal agreement that mentioned no fixed term and suddenly a little clause crept in the contract saying minimum one year. In GERMAN. I don't speak German. At no point was it ever conveyed or written or indeed agreed to in English.

So. No. Your advice doesn't quite hold.
The more you write the more stupid you look. If this goes to court best you don't say anything.....
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Old 15.12.2015, 13:58
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Re: Flatshare Agreement: Last resort before I run back to London. HELP!

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What everyone seems to be missing is that I NEVER AGREED TO A FIXED TERM LEASE. I had a verbal agreement that mentioned no fixed term and suddenly a little clause crept in the contract saying minimum one year. In GERMAN. I don't speak German. At no point was it ever conveyed or written or indeed agreed to in English.

So. No. Your advice doesn't quite hold.
Stop focusing on that, and start to focus on getting out of there like discussed.
This is not about right and wrong, but you need to create your strategy, your objective, and go for it. Right now you are making mistakes, which you can not afford in your position. Getting out of the contract and getting deposit back should be your main aim.

Now, as a motivator, let's write everything not important but where you are actually wrong:

-I NEVER AGREED TO A FIXED TERM LEASE. Plainly wrong you did sign a contract with specific terms. You don't speak german? why did you sign then?

-Without Internet: you should have communicated that as requirement. Learn and move on, it was your lack of communication which created you harm*.
*oh and it's rather common to have old properties without internet or with crappy connections.

-Boyfriend: It's again something which can happen if when the flatmate are not respectful.

-Rent amount: you accepted x amount, you pay more than her, you screwed yourself...Again that was your action here.

-Deposit in cash and not in secure, blocked account: you ignored the rules and let yourself screwed

-Rotten fruits: hygiene is not something easily written down in contracts. She has different standards, it's again a situation where you either have to accept it, discuss it and reach agreement or move on.

-Verbally agreeing on 1 month deposit: the law say one can ask up to 3 months.
Your verbal agreement has no legal value

-Sometimes people are just dicks, you found a matching pair, congratulations.

It can go on and on.

Summary:
You have found a flatshare with little knowledge of the laws. You signed a specific agreement. Obviously there are many things which did not "click" with your flatmate, a few of them which are just nasty and some illegal. But also a few other things are normal, yet you refuse to accept them. You already started to accept moving on elsewhere, which seems the best thing to do in your situation.
Keep going, make sure to keep your focus on what is important now.

Nothing else to add, don't debate here the right/wrong of each of your actions because you are going to lose legitimate support from people here who knows the law much better than you do and who can help you move on without too much loss.

Keep the rest for your friends around a cup of tea.
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Old 15.12.2015, 14:28
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Re: Getting out of fixed-term sublease early

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Absence of Wi Fi wasn't mentioned (who the hell would rent a place without Internet???)
Was the presence mentioned?
Why do you not hook-up a WiFi router your sefl if you need on?
Or is there no internet at all?
Then whats keeping you from signing-up with a provider of your choice?
(Apart from that you wnat leave the place)

PS: In Switzerland electricity is nearly never included in rent.

PPS: Please answer the question asked. They a very important as they determine how your legal situation is in this case.
Be aware, the Swiss Code of Obligations lays out many mandatory rules which can not be overriden by a contract.
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