Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Housing in general  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 16.09.2016, 07:59
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Geneva
Posts: 7
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Bonvie has no particular reputation at present
Sublet Contract - urgent

Good day everyone. I have found a sublet in Geneva. The tenant is asking one year's rent in advance. In view of the amount involved I am concerned about the contract being legally correct and as per the usual practices; my french is poor, so I need some expert advise, but without paying a fortune. Any ideas would be highly appreciated.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Bonvie for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 16.09.2016, 08:02
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 7,204
Groaned at 244 Times in 182 Posts
Thanked 15,290 Times in 5,317 Posts
k_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

My only advise is not to do it. One year rent in advance is ridiculous.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank k_and_e for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 16.09.2016, 08:06
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 5,365
Groaned at 45 Times in 35 Posts
Thanked 7,203 Times in 3,020 Posts
doropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

I agree, don't do it.
Has anyone heard of such a practice in Switzerland? It's totally new to me.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 16.09.2016, 08:14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 30
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 18 Times in 11 Posts
vonni has no particular reputation at present
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

As far as I know from the Mieterverband, the tenant is only allowed to take 3 months in advance from you. So if I were you I wouldn't do it.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank vonni for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 16.09.2016, 08:14
MathNut's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kt. Glarus
Posts: 4,417
Groaned at 35 Times in 33 Posts
Thanked 10,750 Times in 3,226 Posts
MathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

Quote:
View Post
Good day everyone. I have found a sublet in Geneva. The tenant is asking one year's rent in advance. In view of the amount involved I am concerned about the contract being legally correct and as per the usual practices; my french is poor, so I need some expert advise, but without paying a fortune. Any ideas would be highly appreciated.
Since you say your French is poor - are you sure he said one year, rather than one month?
And is this the deposit (i.e. you will still be expected to pay rent every month) or does he simply want all the rent for the first year in one lump sum (and then you wouldn't pay anything more for the rest of the year)?

One year is unusual, unreasonable, and if it is the rental deposit in fact illegal. Landlords (and in this context the person you sublet from is your landlord) cannot demand more than three months' rent as a deposit.

If it's just a lump sum for the first year's rent, to me that says that he is afraid you won't like the apartment and won't be willing to stay for a year, and so he feels it important to get his money from you up front. Since he knows the place better than you do (including possible details like leaky pipes, inadequate heating, or crazy neighbors) I would take this as a huge red flag and keep looking for somewhere else.
__________________
Need help? Contact a mod.

Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank MathNut for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 16.09.2016, 08:23
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Geneva
Posts: 7
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Bonvie has no particular reputation at present
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

thanks everybody for the swift replies !
The tennant is going abroad for a year and for his peace of mind wants the rent to be paid in advance (so the amount is for rent, not for guarantee). I have negotiated a better monthly rate tan usual to give him this advance, and the money will be paid directly to the regie. So what I have to make sure is that I have the correct paperwork in place ! ...and that's where I am completely lost..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 16.09.2016, 08:28
MathNut's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kt. Glarus
Posts: 4,417
Groaned at 35 Times in 33 Posts
Thanked 10,750 Times in 3,226 Posts
MathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

Best place to check it would be the tenants' association, Asloca. (You'll see lots of references on here to Mieterverband - that's the same organization, but in German.)

You'll probably have to take out membership first which is a couple of hundred francs - still way cheaper than retaining a lawyer.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank MathNut for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 16.09.2016, 08:31
Sbrinz's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Murten - Morat
Posts: 12,057
Groaned at 563 Times in 354 Posts
Thanked 11,548 Times in 5,941 Posts
Sbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

In large cities there will be an office for housing, where people can get free advice, find the one in Geneva. Don't sign anything until someone has read through the paperwork. I agree with Mathnuts idea, join the ASLOCA!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 16.09.2016, 08:44
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Geneva
Posts: 7
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Bonvie has no particular reputation at present
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

Guys thanks again. I visited their website, everything is in French... Do you think if I call them i will be able to find an english-speaking person to assist me ?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 16.09.2016, 08:47
Sbrinz's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Murten - Morat
Posts: 12,057
Groaned at 563 Times in 354 Posts
Thanked 11,548 Times in 5,941 Posts
Sbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

Yes. All the counsellors are young lawyers, and would have learned English at school for many years, enough to understand you if you speak slowly and use simple words.

When are you going to learn French?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Sbrinz for this useful post:
This user groans at Sbrinz for this post:
  #11  
Old 16.09.2016, 08:58
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Geneva
Posts: 7
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Bonvie has no particular reputation at present
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

Thank you Sbrinz . I am currently taking lessons, that is when I have available time from work !

I will try the ASLOCA , but if I need a one to one service, is there any intermediate situation between this bureau and a lawyer who asked me for 300 chf per hour ?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Bonvie for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 16.09.2016, 09:44
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: here
Posts: 3,522
Groaned at 49 Times in 40 Posts
Thanked 3,545 Times in 1,803 Posts
glowjupiter has a reputation beyond reputeglowjupiter has a reputation beyond reputeglowjupiter has a reputation beyond reputeglowjupiter has a reputation beyond reputeglowjupiter has a reputation beyond reputeglowjupiter has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

Quote:
View Post
Good day everyone. I have found a sublet in Geneva. The tenant is asking one year's rent in advance. In view of the amount involved I am concerned about the contract being legally correct and as per the usual practices; my french is poor, so I need some expert advise, but without paying a fortune. Any ideas would be highly appreciated.
I would not do it personally, but I understand the housing situation in Geneva to be horrific. So - I would somewhat understand a prospective tenant offering to pay several months at once as an incentive for the landlord to give them a flat, but not the other way around. IMO he is not entitled to more than he provides, and what guarantee do you have that you won't have to chase him down for repairs etc. (as he is your landlord in the eyes of the law, and not his landlord)? In a rental contract in CH, you have the possibility to put the rent in a locked account after duly warning the landlord if he doesn't keep the apartment in an intact, useable state. If you have paid the amount in full already, you won't have this leverage.

As far as I'm concerned a landlord is entitled to monthly rent, along with a deposit if he asks for it. The deposit is what can be used to rectify damages, not the monthly rent. If he wants to use the monthly rent as a security, that's not its purpose. The rent is what he gets to provide you with a usable place to live.


What he could do is put a minimum rental duration in the contract, e.g. say that you have to rent at least for six months. But you would still be able to get out of that contract under certain circumstances.


In short - I wouldn't do it. Contact ASLOCA.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 16.09.2016, 09:55
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: VD
Posts: 305
Groaned at 47 Times in 30 Posts
Thanked 256 Times in 122 Posts
bugger is considered unworthybugger is considered unworthybugger is considered unworthy
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

This story of going abroad for a year sounds very familiar. Most of stories like this are scams. I'm not saying that this one is, but be very very vigilant.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank bugger for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 16.09.2016, 10:08
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Geneva
Posts: 7
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Bonvie has no particular reputation at present
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

Quote:
View Post
This story of going abroad for a year sounds very familiar. Most of stories like this are scams. I'm not saying that this one is, but be very very vigilant.
..indeed it does, thats why i want to be 100% certain i have all the necessary paperwork; they key fact though is that the rent is paid to the regie and not the tennant
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 16.09.2016, 10:20
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: here
Posts: 3,522
Groaned at 49 Times in 40 Posts
Thanked 3,545 Times in 1,803 Posts
glowjupiter has a reputation beyond reputeglowjupiter has a reputation beyond reputeglowjupiter has a reputation beyond reputeglowjupiter has a reputation beyond reputeglowjupiter has a reputation beyond reputeglowjupiter has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

Quote:
View Post
..indeed it does, thats why i want to be 100% certain i have all the necessary paperwork; they key fact though is that the rent is paid to the regie and not the tennant
Is the landlord aware of their tenant (your landlord) going abroad, the condition of paying a year's rent up front and have you seen the place you want to rent? If not, inform him of all these points and see what he says - directly to you, not via his tenant.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 16.09.2016 at 10:34.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank glowjupiter for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 16.09.2016, 10:26
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 5,365
Groaned at 45 Times in 35 Posts
Thanked 7,203 Times in 3,020 Posts
doropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

Quote:
View Post
..indeed it does, thats why i want to be 100% certain i have all the necessary paperwork; they key fact though is that the rent is paid to the regie and not the tennant
No, that's not the key fact.
The key fact is that you should not sign any contract, never ever, without understanding exactly what it means. And you are not yet it this position.

The Mieterverband in the German-speaking cantons, and ASLOCA in the French-speaking cantons are non-profit organisations for protecting tenants and making sure they know their rights. This is exactly the place for you to start.

The annual membership of ASLOCA costs only Fr. 70
http://www.asloca.ch/inscription/GENEVE.pdf. Members receive free legal advice about all aspects of renting. It could be that for new members a certain extra charge is made; you should check this when you join.

For a sublet to be legal, YOU must have and understand:
- a proper written contract between you and the landlord, and this should include information about supplementary charges such as heating, electricity, water, internet, etc.
- written permission from your landlord's landlord, for the sublet (not for subletting in general, but specifically with regard to you and your contract with your landlord).

It is not compulsory, but a very good idea, if you can manage to look at the contract between your landlord and his landlord. This will show you whether the rent you will be charged is in the same range as the rent your landlord has to pay. It is illegal for a tenant to sublet in order to make a profit. Your landlord may charge only a little extra, for example to cover the use of his furniture and infrastructure.

If you are to pay the money to the landlord's landlord, then I would get this in writing, too, from that landlord's landlord.

Please, go to ASLOCA. There is probably no better service for this question, since such matters are their very area of expertise.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank doropfiz for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 16.09.2016, 10:31
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 5,365
Groaned at 45 Times in 35 Posts
Thanked 7,203 Times in 3,020 Posts
doropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

Quote:
View Post
Is the landlord aware of their tenant (your landlord) going abroad, the condition of paying a year's rent up front and have you seen the place you want to rent?
Very good point, glowjupiter!

@Bonvie, if you have not yet seen the place, then "No, no, no, don't do it!"
The reason for this is that there are, indeed, scams in which dishonest people make the deal seem so appealing that they lure someone who is not even yet in the country into paying, and then... it turns out that there is no flat at all!

Please, just don't make any compromise that deviates from the law.
Yes, you have to be sure that the landlord's landlord knows what is being suggested by his tenant.

You've now heard lots and lots of warnings. They don't add up to "all sublets are bad", since some can work very well. But you have to have the paperwork, and you have to understand what you are signing.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 16.09.2016, 10:43
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 7,647
Groaned at 253 Times in 216 Posts
Thanked 9,210 Times in 4,837 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

I think there's nothing illegal with demanding prepayment of one year's rent, the law only mentions the deposit (maximum 3 months). But it's definitely highly unusual, OP should be very cautious.

If I were to agree to such an arrangement I would try to use a Sperrkonto (blocked account?) in OP's name, with 1/12 to be released in favor of the landlord each month. Not sure how that would be handled by the bank and it most probably won't be free, but you are talking serious money. If such a service is indeed available I'd make that an unconditional part of the arrangement.

If OP posts details maybe people on here can check.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 16.09.2016, 10:45
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Geneva
Posts: 7
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Bonvie has no particular reputation at present
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

Thank you guys again ! indeed ASLOCA seems the way to start. I have already called them, they only give advise when you go there, so I am going there on Monday.
I have seen the flat, and the tenant has visited our office to discuss the procedure. I have not seen the original contract he has with the owner of the apartment, but i was told they are not oblidged to show this. The rent price is fair for the size/location, i've been looking for months, and in the sublet contract it is shown how much is the rent and the "surcharge" of the tenant. What remains is to link this thing with the regie somehow, as the actual owner is not mentioned anywhere, i was told that the regie is in charge of this things (and the owner's interests) so i understand that if they are ok , there should not be a problem.
Ofcourse any othehr suggestions advise from you is hugely appreciated
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Bonvie for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 16.09.2016, 10:50
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: VD
Posts: 305
Groaned at 47 Times in 30 Posts
Thanked 256 Times in 122 Posts
bugger is considered unworthybugger is considered unworthybugger is considered unworthy
Re: Sublet Contract - urgent

maybe approach the regie directly?
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank bugger for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sublet Contract-Help muggs0 Housing in general 8 05.01.2016 17:25
Urgent apartment contract question Staffan K Housing in general 4 05.07.2010 15:52
sublet contract morningstar Housing in general 1 17.03.2010 20:34


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 13:51.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0