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Old 27.09.2016, 20:20
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Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

I did a super stupid mistake and now I am thinking of how to get out of it.


In December 2015, friend's friend had sublet her flat to me in Zurich area. We did a one page sublet contract, it was within the information of landlord. She kept her address in the flat during this time and on the paper it looked like we were flat- mates. Both kreisburo and landlord thought so.


In May 2016, she decided to move her address as well and I took over the contract from her. Landlord did the background check and approved me as the new tenant. As I was already in the flat, there was no official hand over ( no cleaning, damage check..etc) Landlord sent some contracts in German, I signed all without reading carefully.


Last week when I was chatting with my neighbor, I learnt that each flat has 4 keys. I phoned to the previous tenant to ask about the 4th key and she said "it is not her problem". She told that she passed me all 4 keys - but it is not true.


Is there anything I can do?
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Old 27.09.2016, 20:30
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

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I did a super stupid mistake and now I am thinking of how to get out of it.


In December 2015, friend's friend had sublet her flat to me in Zurich area. We did a one page sublet contract, it was within the information of landlord. She kept her address in the flat during this time and on the paper it looked like we were flat- mates. Both kreisburo and landlord thought so.


In May 2016, she decided to move her address as well and I took over the contract from her. Landlord did the background check and approved me as the new tenant. As I was already in the flat, there was no official hand over ( no cleaning, damage check..etc) Landlord sent some contracts in German, I signed all without reading carefully.

Last week when I was chatting with my neighbor, I learnt that each flat has 4 keys. I phoned to the previous tenant to ask about the 4th key and she said "it is not her problem". She told that she passed me all 4 keys - but it is not true.


Is there anything I can do?
Your move-in protocol should state how many keys you received. You are responsible to take good care of your keys and to hand every single key back to your landlord when you move out.

If you cannot do so, you might have to pay for a replacement of the locks/keys.

If you don't have a move-in protocol and the landlord can prove that the person you sublet from had more keys than you have at present, I would assume that you will also have to pay for a replacement of the keys/locks when you move out.

If you have liability insurance, I recommend informing them immediately - if you don't do so, this issue might not be covered when you move out.

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It's just that the landlord had warned me on the handover day that all the locks need to be changed if a key is lost.
I'm not surprised, since as a landlord I'd request you return all keys which were given to you at handover as well as all keys you had produced/cut/copied during your lease with me. Landlords very often keep lists of the (numbered) keys they hand out to tenants.

If you replace your lock with a different one, the landlord can and will probably request that you put the old one back in when you leave.
Reason: At the end of a lease, you have to return your flat in the exact state it was in when your lease started (minus normal wear and tear).
charge for lost keys
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Old 27.09.2016, 20:33
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

Just get a key copied .. 20chf .. Yes some shops may say 'oh you need a certificate of ownership' but plenty will just do it.

Edit : Your bigger issue will be anything else that's not how it was when your friend moved in, that will all now be your responsibility.
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Old 27.09.2016, 20:44
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

Is there a way that I can also punish the previous tenant ? What if I tell to landlord / kreisburo that we were not flat mates and she tricked me?
Can I go police?


The issue is not just a few hundred franc for the key but her attitude is just annoying.
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Old 27.09.2016, 20:50
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

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Is there a way that I can also punish the previous tenant ? What if I tell to landlord / kreisburo that we were not flat mates and she tricked me?
Can I go police?


The issue is not just a few hundred franc for the key but her attitude is just annoying.
You just might risk being kicked out of the flat, as you knowingly took part in the deception.
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Old 27.09.2016, 20:55
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

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Is there a way that I can also punish the previous tenant ? What if I tell to landlord / kreisburo that we were not flat mates and she tricked me?
Can I go police?


The issue is not just a few hundred franc for the key but her attitude is just annoying.
While you rented from her, what the landlord will probably have cared about is his rent coming in, which it presumably did.
But this is assuming that everything going on in your lease was legal - your knowing that something is fishy about your lease and not telling won't put you in a good light.

Coming 9 months later and all of a sudden complaining that you're telling because "she's annoying" won't be helpful.

When taking over a flat it is your responsibility to make sure right away that everything is in order and to complain immediately if that is not the case. You should have asked then how many keys she originally had received from the landlord and if she had given all of them to you. And you should have asked for proof.
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Old 27.09.2016, 21:05
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

Thanks a lot for answers. Seems like there nothing can be done against her.


Our sublet contract was legal in my knowledge. She moved away with her boyfriend to another kanton and wanted to keep her address to be able to come back in case their relationship don't work out. Also she was applying for C permit and kept the address same.


All made sense to me when she explained. And the flat was in a good location, I was so happy to move in, that I haven t pay attention to details.


Thanks for help.
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Old 27.09.2016, 21:06
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

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Is there a way that I can also punish the previous tenant ?
How much of your story you can back with facts, receipts, witnesses, etc? If none, then there's also nothing you can do about her. Take it as a life lesson about people's honesty.
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Old 27.09.2016, 21:09
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

Nothing. I checked all our emails and contracts - there is no notes on keys.
I had signed the inventory list from the landlord that states I received 4 keys. It was a long list and didnt read each one by one.
But in the sublet contract, there was no inventory list.


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How much of your story you can prove? If none, then there's also nothing you can do about her.
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Old 27.09.2016, 21:10
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

@la-la-land
At least you have the courage to admit, right away, that it is your mistake. Well done for that. If a locksmith will cut the extra key for you, fine.

However, have you thought about what it means that someone else has a key to your appartment? Might you consider changing the locks? If you have a locksmith the whole thing at your expense, this can be very costly. Sometimes, if the keys have been lost, the liability insurance will cover these costs. If the flat is in a large building, the caretaker may have a few spare locks which he rotates when people move, and if he does, that might be a much cheaper option.
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Old 27.09.2016, 21:16
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

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Nothing. I checked all our emails and contracts - there is no notes on keys.
I had signed the inventory list from the landlord that states I received 3 keys.
But in the sublet contract, there no inventory list.
If the landlord's list claims you received three keys, I don't understand why you started a thread about a fourth key?
After all, the landlord will obviously know better than your neighbors how many keys he handed out to his tenant.

Personally, I'd think it best to contact the landlord and ask how many keys he handed his tenant, and if the number matches the inventory list you signed.
Do not lie about anything!
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Old 27.09.2016, 21:19
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However, have you thought about what it means that someone else has a key to your appartment? .


I also bought her furnitures ( it was on ok deal actually) and there is nothing at home worth the steal.
But I am writing this story in the EF and in case anything happens to me when I am sleeping at night, she is the criminal!

Sorry, it was a typo that has been corrected. the list says 4 keys


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iml

If the landlord's list claims you received three keys, I don't understand why you started a thread about a fourth key?
After all, the landlord will obviously know better than your neighbors how many keys he handed out to his tenant.

Personally, I'd think it best to contact the landlord and ask how many keys he handed his tenant, and if the number matches the inventory list you signed.
Do not lie about anything!

Last edited by 3Wishes; 27.09.2016 at 21:59. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 27.09.2016, 21:22
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

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Sorry, it was a typo that has been corrected. the list says 4 keys
OK - in that case don't pay attention to my last post.
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Old 27.09.2016, 21:33
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

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she is the criminal!
You need serious evidence tI make a claim like that. As you have none, then unfortunately there's not much you can do about it. The costs for the lost key you can get from your liability insurance minus deductible, so it won't be such an expensive lesson after all.

I'd advise to just contact your landlord and insurance to change the locks and move on!
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Old 29.09.2016, 20:01
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

Hi,
One more question on this topic;


Is it true that acc.to Swiss sublet article 262. tenant and subtenant should make a protocal that shows the inventory of the flat? (e.g 4 keys)


If there is no such agreement in place whose fault is that?


Can i go to court claiming that the previous tenant hide the 4th key from me?
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Old 29.09.2016, 20:04
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

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Just get a key copied .. 20chf .. Yes some shops may say 'oh you need a certificate of ownership' but plenty will just do it.
If they can. Some cannot be coppied except by special shops, and they will not do it without the owners permission (i.e. numbered KABA keys).

Tom
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Old 29.09.2016, 20:08
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

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Hi,
One more question on this topic;


Is it true that acc.to Swiss sublet article 262. tenant and subtenant should make a protocal that shows the inventory of the flat? (e.g 4 keys)
See for yourself what article 262 of the CO says, here.

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Hi,
If there is no such agreement in place whose fault is that?
Just as much as she could have mentioned such an agreement, you could have done so or asked the landlord for help/advice.

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Can i go to court claiming
As to what you can do in court, you should ask Asloca/Mieterverband for information pertaining to your specific situation, rather than the EF.

HTH
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Old 29.09.2016, 20:10
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

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Can i go to court claiming that the previous tenant hide the 4th key from me?
You'll carry the burden of proof then. If you cannot prove anything you'll probably lose and will pay for both yours and the other party's court costs.
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Old 29.09.2016, 21:34
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Re: Previous tenant didn t pass all keys

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Can i go to court claiming that the previous tenant hide the 4th key from me?
The thing about going to court is that you will not be in control of the situation and if it comes out that you helped someone apply for a permit under false pretences, the key may very well be the least of your problems.
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