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Old 21.08.2016, 12:49
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Renting Contract, legal issues?

Hi guys,

I finally got an apartment in Zurich. It was a hard experience, but sometimes also a bit funny I have to see. If you are starting with it, keep calm, It toke us to visit 36 apartments before getting a "yes !!!"

The point is that we have the contract already at home and we have to sign it, but we found some closures that we don't like too much, and we don't know even if they are legal. Most of them are part of an annexed document that is from a association of house holders, so it looks like a standard attachment.

Some of the point we don't like are:

· If a house appliance is broken, we have to pay for it. (We could understand this point if they were all new, but they are not and we have no idea how the previous renters made use of them) And not only appliances but also the sink, the tube, electric plugs...

· If we leave the apartment for more than 3 weeks we have to let them know and to give one of our keys to an available person.


Do you also had this point in your contracts? Looking forward your opinions...

Kind Regards
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Old 21.08.2016, 13:14
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Re: Renting Contract, legal issues?

As newcomers it would be a good idea to join the tenant's association, MieterVerband, in Zurich. About CHF 75,- per year https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv-zh.html

The points you raise are covered by Swiss law. Every item has a life expectancy, and the amount you pay depends on the age (for example the carpet) on the day you damaged it.

There is an insurance to cover your accidental damage. Haushalt Versicherung. It costs about CHF 120 per year.
https://www.mobiliar.ch/versicherungen-und-vorsorge/wohnen-und-eigentum/haushaltversicherung

Leaving the keys in an envelope with someone is optional, but sensible. If there is an emergency and they had to break into your apartment, you might have to pay extra money.
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Old 21.08.2016, 13:32
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Re: Renting Contract, legal issues?

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Hi guys,

I finally got an apartment in Zurich. It was a hard experience, but sometimes also a bit funny I have to see. If you are starting with it, keep calm, It toke us to visit 36 apartments before getting a "yes !!!"

The point is that we have the contract already at home and we have to sign it, but we found some closures that we don't like too much, and we don't know even if they are legal. Most of them are part of an annexed document that is from a association of house holders, so it looks like a standard attachment.

Some of the point we don't like are:

· If a house appliance is broken, we have to pay for it. (We could understand this point if they were all new, but they are not and we have no idea how the previous renters made use of them) And not only appliances but also the sink, the tube, electric plugs...
That is perfectly normal up to a certain amount per repair. See this post for further info dishwasher not working and thermostat broken, from this thread dishwasher not working and thermostat broken. Searching the forum for "Kleinreparatur" brings up further info.

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If we leave the apartment for more than 3 weeks we have to let them know and to give one of our keys to an available person.
That rule is also normal, and you can refuse to do this even after signing a contract that stipulates that you have to hand over the key, see here: changing door lock, from this thread changing door lock
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Old 21.08.2016, 13:32
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Re: Renting Contract, legal issues?

Those are normal conditions. During the handover it's important to document the condition of each sink etc. if there's damage. It's called Mängelprotokoll and taking photos is also recommended.


Such a Mängelprotokoll is signed with two copies and then the handover is completed. Same again when you leave.
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Old 21.08.2016, 16:10
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Re: Renting Contract, legal issues?

Quote:
· If a house appliance is broken, we have to pay for it. (We could understand this point if they were all new, but they are not and we have no idea how the previous renters made use of them) And not only appliances but also the sink, the tube, electric plugs...
That's standard procedure provided its age is taken into account and the contract says "you break" as opposed to "it breaks". Say the oven has 20 years expected life, then it loses 1/20 of its value each year, starting with the purchase date (not when you moved in). So if you break it at age four (e.g. two years after you moved in) you have to pay 80% (=100% less 4*5%) of its purchase price.

As Sbrinz already mentioned, you want to have a Mieterhaftpflicht-Versicherung (probably also a Hausratsversicherung, but that's for your own stuff). If you happen to break something, inform them and they'll handle the thing for you - they'll claw back of course if it was your fault.

If this is according to some form by the Hauseigentümerverband (HEV) it's most probably Ok.
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· If we leave the apartment for more than 3 weeks we have to let them know and to give one of our keys to an available person.
Never heard of this as a contract clause but it makes sense, but the act itself is common practice around here. Not just for emergencies as mentioned above, but you'll also need someone to empty your mailbox (although you can have your mail held back by the post office, just keep in mind that some official stuff gives you less time to react), to feed the cat, water the flowers. AFAIK most everybody gives a key to someone they trust (typically a neighbour) when they're away for more than a week, sometimes less.

Perhaps post a scan or a link to the online version, some things tend to get lost in translation.
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Old 21.08.2016, 16:13
glowjupiter
 
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Re: Renting Contract, legal issues?

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As Sbrinz already mentioned, you want to have a Mieterhaftpflicht-Versicherung (probably also a Hausratsversicherung, but that's for your own stuff). If you happen to break something, inform them and they'll handle the thing for you - they'll claw back of course if it was your fault.
Explanation of the bolded terms (Hausrat is household and Haftpflicht is liability) below, in green:

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Are you the owner of the building or do you rent?

In other cantons than GE, UR, SZ, TI, AI, VS and OW, building owners are required by cantonal law to take out building insurance.
In SZ, UR, AI and OW there is a legal basis for the mandatory building insurance, while in GE, TI and VS there is no such thing (see here and here). Building insurance (which the landlord takes out) normally covers damage caused by fire, water or glass, flood, storms, avalanches etc.
Meaning that only in GE, TI and VS you're not required to take out building insurance as a building owner.

So as your location says Lausanne I'll assume you're based there (VD) and according to your phrasing I'll assume you own the building, in which case you have to pay for building insurance. Here is the vaudoise website which explains all about compulsory insurances in your canton.

Note: Building, household and liability insurance are three completely different things.
Liability: Covers damages caused by you to others' property or person. Not mandatory unless so stipulated and agreed upon in the lease.
Household: Covers damages caused by a tenant to his possessions (including those which he (not the landlord) had built into a flat - and which he possibly has to remove, depending on what the landlord says, when he moves out). Not mandatory unless so stipulated and agreed upon in the lease.
Building: Explained above. Mandatory in most cantons (bases for that requirement can be cantonal or not).



Moldy walls aren't always caused by construction screwups - search the forum for "stained wall" and you'll see what I'm talking about.
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Old 21.08.2016, 23:20
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Re: Renting Contract, legal issues?

Agree with Sbrinz, it would be a good idea to join the tenant's association, MieterVerband, in Zurich, even if you are not a newbie. They are helpful.
https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv-zh.html
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