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Old 08.08.2016, 10:06
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Allowing viewings

Sorry to throw myself onto you all for advice but I couldn't find anything answering my question...

I have an apartment rental until the end of September, a fixed contact, that i already notified the regie I'd be leaving. They've refused me permission to sublet until I come back for the last week of September (to clean, sell my car, etc.) since i gave notice already - so the place will be empty for a bit.

Since I'm not there, I offered to give them a key to conduct viewings, but they refused and said it's illegal (??). Now they're saying I have to find a solution acceptable to them for viewings, or they will claim compensation for any time the apartment stays unlet after i leave.

Are they right? Am I being reasonable in saying I offered them a solution and they refused it, so my responsibilities are cleared? I could offer viewings for that one week I'm back, but otherwise not sure what else I can do.

Cheers!
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Old 08.08.2016, 10:21
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Re: Allowing viewings

You could join ASLOCA and get some professional help and legal advice.
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Old 08.08.2016, 10:34
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Re: Allowing viewings

The regie is not allowed to enter the property in your absence unless it's a life-threatening emergency so they're not lying about it being illegal.
However, I think you should be able to sign a waiver permitting access for the explicit purpose of showing the property to prospective tenants but if they already said no then there's not much more you can try (they may have refused because they don't want to have to send one of their own people each time someone wants to see the place).

Seems like your only solution is to leave the key with someone you know in Geneva and ask them to handle the viewings in your absence.
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Old 08.08.2016, 10:46
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Re: Allowing viewings

the thing is that you have to pay for the full period, so it's not really the regie's problem to find a new tenant, but your problem.

however, you normally would be back to do the cleaning handover anyway, else a big chunk of your deposit will be gone. so should't be an issue to get permission to sub-let.
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Old 08.08.2016, 10:52
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Re: Allowing viewings

He has a fixed rental contract, so no resignation is necessary, and I don't believe he has to help in finding a new tenant. This is why I suggested some cheap legal advice from ASLOCA.
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Old 08.08.2016, 10:54
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Re: Allowing viewings

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the thing is that you have to pay for the full period, so it's not really the regie's problem to find a new tenant, but your problem.
Why would it be his problem to find a new tenant if he has a fixed term contract which he is not renewing and has already informed the agency of ( assuming he gave them the correct amount of notice)?

The problem seems to be access for viewings. We went to several viewings where the property was being shown to us by the agency in the absence of the tenant. I thought it was ok to do that with the current tenant's agreement.

Best thing is to contact ASLOCA and ask them. It seems to me that the agency is being deliberately obstructive here.
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Old 08.08.2016, 10:57
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Re: Allowing viewings

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The regie is not allowed to enter the property in your absence without your consent unless it's a life-threatening emergency so they're not lying .
Added an important part.
It is not illegale to enter your property with your consent. The illegal part is total bullshit and made up by the regie. Ask them to quote the actual law, where it states they are not allowed to enter with your consent. They can not. Do this by registred mail and also say that if they refuse to take and use the key for viewing purposes it is solley there own fault if they do not find a replacement tenant and you will decline any liability and compensation.

https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a186
The actual law from the Swiss Criminal Code Art. 186:
Quote:
Any person who, against the will of the lawful occupants enters a building, an apartment, a self-contained room within a building, an enclosed area, courtyard or garden forming a direct part of a building, or a clearly demarcated workplace or, despite requests from the lawful occupants to leave, remains in such a location, is liable on complaint to a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or to a monetary penalty.
Also refusing the sublet is very doggy. They can only refuse when it does lead to an overoccupancy or other major disadvantages, you did not get prior permission, or overcharge the subtenant. Once again, in the same registred letter, ask them what the actual reason for refusion is, based on OR Art. 262 Abs. 2 Lit c. If they still flattly refuse w/o good cause say that you will claim damages according to Or Art. 264 Abs. 3. Lit. b

Here the Swiss Code of Obligations Art. 262 on subletting:
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a262
Quote:
1 A tenant may sub-let all or part of the property with the landlord's consent.

2 The landlord may refuse his consent only if:

a.the tenant refuses to inform him of the terms of the sub-lease;
b.the terms and conditions of the sub-lease are unfair in comparison with those of the principal lease;
c.the sub-letting gives rise to major disadvantages for the landlord.

3 The tenant is liable to the landlord for ensuring that the sub-tenant uses the property only in the manner permitted to the tenant himself. To this end the landlord may issue reminders directly to the sub-tenant.
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Old 08.08.2016, 12:40
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Re: Allowing viewings

Thanks all and especially aSwissInTheUS for the super-informative response. I did think the regie was trying it on!

I'm only in Geneva for six hours (came for the pre-leave inspection) but I can send a letter in that time, no question... will also see if I can join ASLOCA.

Glad to hear I'm not totally in the wrong here! Really appreciate the responses. Thanks so much.
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Old 08.08.2016, 14:20
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Re: Allowing viewings

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I'm only in Geneva for six hours (came for the pre-leave inspection) but I can send a letter in that time, no question.
How much time do you need to visit the agency, put them under your spell, and tell them to give you all the documents about you and the apartment?

Once there is no paper trail you needn't come back to Geneva, just post the keys back.
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Old 08.08.2016, 14:22
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Re: Allowing viewings

I say it's nonsense also. Of course the regie is not supposed to come when they please just to browse your underwear collection.. But you can give them permission., for sure.

We gave our regie a key straight away, agreed that if she needed to enter for something important then it's fine or if we forgot our key we borrow hers.

In 3 years i think she used her key twice to let in work-men (after calling and pre-arranging) .. and once our keys fell down the lift shaft.. So we used hers until the lift guys got them back.
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Old 08.08.2016, 14:45
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Re: Allowing viewings

You could leave a key with the concierge?
Letting workmen into apartments if the tenants are absent is one of their duties and I'd think this would fall under that category.
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Old 09.08.2016, 08:30
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Re: Allowing viewings

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How much time do you need to visit the agency, put them under your spell, and tell them to give you all the documents about you and the apartment?

Once there is no paper trail you needn't come back to Geneva, just post the keys back.
Ha. I don't hypnotise people so well in French.
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Old 09.08.2016, 08:33
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Re: Allowing viewings

Regie is sticking to her guns, still refusing to name any laws but being patronising along with it:

"Il vous faudra pousser un peu plus loin vos recherches en matière légale, car en effet, un bail à terme fixe ne peut-être sous-louer!"

["You should continue your legal research further, because in effect, a fixed term rental can not be sub-let"]

That's a new one from her.

I think I have a (general) legal hotline through the car insurance so will try that today first; otherwise time to join ALSOCA and let them handle it.

I could leave a key with the concierge but I'm not sure who that is or where they are. I assumed they'd work for the regie anyway, since the regie manages the building.
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Old 09.08.2016, 11:00
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Re: Allowing viewings

I guess they're still clinging to this?

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... Now they're saying I have to find a solution acceptable to them for viewings, or they will claim compensation for any time the apartment stays unlet after i leave...
If you've given them written permission to enter the apartment for the purpose of accompanying viewing, call their bluff. Tell them that since you've given them written permission so as far as you are concerned it's no longer your problem.

If they try to claim compensation they will lose and will be liable for legal costs. (I am not a Geneva based lawyer...)
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Old 09.08.2016, 15:32
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Re: Allowing viewings

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I guess they're still clinging to this?
Yep.

I will see whether I continue the discussion backed by legal advice, or just keep reiterating that I'd made reasonable efforts to allow viewings.

Jokers.
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Old 09.08.2016, 15:37
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Re: Allowing viewings

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Why would it be his problem to find a new tenant if he has a fixed term contract which he is not renewing and has already informed the agency of ( assuming he gave them the correct amount of notice)?

The problem seems to be access for viewings. We went to several viewings where the property was being shown to us by the agency in the absence of the tenant. I thought it was ok to do that with the current tenant's agreement.

Best thing is to contact ASLOCA and ask them. It seems to me that the agency is being deliberately obstructive here.
Apologies, I mis-read. I thought he meant finding a tenant for the period he was still contracted for, not for the period after his contract.

Presumably the fixed term contract actually ends in September and he is not trying to terminate the fixed contract early...
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Old 09.08.2016, 16:57
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Re: Allowing viewings

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Presumably the fixed term contract actually ends in September and he is not trying to terminate the fixed contract early...
Yes, that's correct.
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Old 09.08.2016, 18:31
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Re: Allowing viewings

The problem with just giving permission to access is that this won't be enough because you can't leave the apartment unlocked. So tell them to tell you whom to deposit the keys with (do get a receipt signed). Even if they don't answer the question, once you get a reply to that mail you're fine as you can prove receipt by the regie, or send it with registered mail and you won't need a reply in the first place (I'd do the latter but it's not clear if you're abroad already).

As for sub-letting: That reply is bogus, but with less than two months remaining it's probably not worth pushing.
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Old 09.08.2016, 19:01
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Re: Allowing viewings

Thanks. I don't quite know how to deal with the "no, no, it's illegal" response without someone official saying they're making that up, though.

I'm not in Geneva any more, no. I can send something to my office and then get them to send it on registered though...
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Old 09.08.2016, 19:02
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Re: Allowing viewings

Does your contract say anything about you having to show potential tenants around in the last months of the tenancy?
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