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Old 22.10.2016, 09:00
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Urgent rental question/advice

Good morning everyone,

I saw an ad on homegate the other day that seemed too good to be true (description & photos were way too good for the price).

This was placed by a private party rather than an agency.

I contacted the owner to arrange a viewing and after an e-mail exchange with some references and a personal statement provided on my part I also spoke on the phone to the owner and we arranged a viewing yesterday.

Flat was not the flat in the pictures and quite different to the description but was still a decent flat (more in-line with the money being asked for it) and just renovated (kitchen/bathroom/flooring/etc.) with a little bit of work left to be completed. Some other people were viewing the flat and I was told by the owner's representative that a decision would be made the day after and that I could sleep on it and they would call me to ask if I was interested after all.

Despite the warning bells (misleading photos,misleading description, no agency) the actual flat is great for me at the price so I e-mailed the owner this morning to ask for a couple of clarifications and pending those to express my interest in renting the property.

The owner replied within 5 minutes with the answers to my questions and to say that he and his representative discussed the candidates and they had a very fine feeling about me so I was sent an updated contract to sign and send back by e-mail along with a copy of my passport.

The contract is unsigned by the landlord. However there is no deposit involved as we've agreed on swisscaution (and it is also mentioned on the contract).

It feels as if something's not right but since there is no deposit involved, I can't see any problems with sending the signed contract back. On the worst case I might just not be the person selected for the flat (since the contract is unsigned by the landlord). The only thing I'm a bit worried about is the remaining work to be done. However this is minimal and the rest of the flat has been renovated completely so it seems unlikely to be an issue.

Does any of this smell fishy to anyone here? Any advice? I can share the contract (personal data greyed out) with anyone who wants to check it but it seems pretty standard to me.

Thanks,
Alex
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Old 22.10.2016, 09:23
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

How do they want paying?
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Old 22.10.2016, 09:36
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

Hmmm.. I see no mention of that in the agreement as far as I can tell...

What should I be weary of?
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Old 22.10.2016, 09:59
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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Hmmm.. I see no mention of that in the agreement as far as I can tell...

What should I be weary of?
Western Union, but the fact that they are happy to use Swiss Caution for the deposit makes it sound legit. But certainly odd
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Old 22.10.2016, 10:03
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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Western Union, but the fact that they are happy to use Swiss Caution for the deposit makes it sound legit. But certainly odd
to be honest , even when I spoke to the guy on the phone it all sounded very odd...but maybe he's just a weird character...doesnt neccesarily mean it's a con.

Anything else i should take note of?
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Old 22.10.2016, 10:48
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

If I were suspicious of the owner/ tenant, it might be worth checking several items such as:
1) Is the lease on a standard HEV (Hauseigentümersverband) lease form or other standard form?
2) Is this a sublet (Untermiete or Nachmiete) or is it a new lease?
- If it is a sublet, you are dealing with a (supposed) tenant and not the owner.
3) What is the IP address of the landlord you've been communicating with? Is it in Switzerland?
- Do a google search to learn how to determine this.
4) Is the landlord using an email address from a Swiss internet supplier, e.g., Cablecom, Swisscom, etc., or is it from a general provider such as gmail, yahoo, etc.?
- Be more cautious with general provider email addresses.
5) Does the owner/ tenant have a fixed line telephone in addition to a mobile number?
6) Check for the owner's/ tenant's name in the telephone directory (local.ch) or google it on the internet.
- Being listed in local.ch is positive but many people in CH have unlisted fixed line numbers.
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Old 22.10.2016, 11:04
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

You are intent on doing business with someone who thinks so little of you that he has already tried to deceive you twice..... the apartment is not ready and the advertisement was wrong. Do you seriously expect he is going to be a nice guy when he's got you on the hook???
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Old 22.10.2016, 12:05
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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Does any of this smell fishy to anyone here? Any advice? I can share the contract (personal data greyed out) with anyone who wants to check it but it seems pretty standard to me.

Thanks,
Alex
They may have no right to rent out the apartment at all, and you might find yourself turfed out unexpectedly. It is not the apartment in the photos - that is a big red flag. It is also not ready and under construction - the work may never be done.

It's nice to rent an apartment in Zurich as well without having to show a debt register certificate, right? I thought usually they want a copy of your residency permit and debt register certificate.... but passport and nothing else (well, maybe just a copy of your passport and some cash up front for "rent").
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Old 22.10.2016, 12:18
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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I thought usually they want a copy of your residency permit and debt register certificate....
I've never needed those to rent.

Tom
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Old 22.10.2016, 12:33
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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It is not the apartment in the photos - that is enough to know it is a scam.
Not really. I've rented an apartment which was not the one depicted in photos. The owner had two apartments in the same building - same size and similar floor plans, but different flooring, trim and kitchens - advertised one of them (the plainer one) and then when that one was taken he left the first ad in place and just showed people the second, and nicer, flat upstairs.

The OP didn't say how similar this apartment was to the one in the photos, or if a decent explanation was offered without prompting. I do agree that a totally unrelated set of photos should be a red flag.
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Old 22.10.2016, 12:35
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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They may have no right to rent out the apartment at all, and you might find yourself turfed out unexpectedly. It is not the apartment in the photos - that is a big red flag. It is also not ready and under construction - the work may never be done.

It's nice to rent an apartment in Zurich as well without having to show a debt register certificate, right? I thought usually they want a copy of your residency permit and debt register certificate.... but passport and nothing else (well, maybe just a copy of your passport and some cash up front for "rent").
Just arrived here so no debt register....I have already provided a residency permit copy...


First rent is due when I get the keys (I was planning however to do it by bank transfer rather than in hand)

How can I verify if they are the legal owner of the aprtment with right to rent?
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Old 22.10.2016, 12:37
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice



1) You have already made MANY mistakes including sending personal and important data (the personal statement) to someone who did not need to know.

I said it many times on this forum, the "tenant" have NO RIGHTS to ask these documents, he's merely building a list of potential tenants to free himself from the obligation of finding a replacement for the tenancy agreement.

You also sent copy of your passport???




2) 5 minutes for any landlord to make a decision? That's ain't Switzerland.
If it does not take days, it's most likely untrue. Of course, there would be exception, my personal opinion based on too many experiences in Switzerland is that 99% of the case that's not true.


3) Have you ever heard of identity scams and the likes?
Do you realize that someone now can easily pass as you and has access to a lot of important data?
For example, they are now able to obtain a SIM card and activate it under your name, in Switzerland.

I hope you have:
-Lot of free time
-A very good insurance protection and read very carefully its T&Cs.
-A lot of luck

4) Please send the contract, it will be a great evidence that this is genuine, for at least 100 years (until someone invent Photoshop and Microsoft Word).


My gut feeling is someone who's asking so much about you so easily and not taking care of your personal data privacy means a lot of troubles in any further interations. That is of course based if that person had/has genuine and honest intentions regarding the tenancy agreement. Which I doubt.


Anyway the pictures were not corresponding, I'd say move on (unfortunately for you, you already gave a lot of private data...).


PS: If you want to be Inspector Columbo, check the agency number in the building entrance and ask them about everything, go to their agency, and apply with them formally.
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Old 22.10.2016, 12:38
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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How can I verify if they are the legal owner of the aprtment with right to rent?
Probably the property has multiple flats and most likely managed by an agency. Contact them, preferably by going there.
And obtain information.
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Old 22.10.2016, 12:49
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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1) You have already made MANY mistakes including sending personal and important data (the personal statement) to someone who did not need to know.

I said it many times on this forum, the "tenant" have NO RIGHTS to ask these documents, he's merely building a list of potential tenants to free himself from the obligation of finding a replacement for the tenancy agreement.

You also sent copy of your passport???


2) 5 minutes for any landlord to make a decision? That's ain't Switzerland.
If it does not take days, it's most likely untrue. Of course, there would be exception, my personal opinion based on too many experiences in Switzerland is that 99% of the case that's not true.


3) Have you ever heard of identity scams and the likes?
Do you realize that someone now can easily pass as you and has access to a lot of important data?
For example, they are now able to obtain a SIM card and activate it under your name, in Switzerland.

I hope you have:
-Lot of free time
-A very good insurance protection and read very carefully its T&Cs.
-A lot of luck

4) Please send the contract, it will be a great evidence that this is genuine, for at least 100 years (until someone invent Photoshop and Microsoft Word).


My gut feeling is someone who's asking so much about you so easily and not taking care of your personal data privacy means a lot of troubles in any further interations. That is of course based if that person had/has genuine and honest intentions regarding the tenancy agreement. Which I doubt.


Anyway the pictures were not corresponding, I'd say move on (unfortunately for you, you already gave a lot of private data...).


PS: If you want to be Inspector Columbo, check the agency number in the building entrance and ask them about everything, go to their agency, and apply with them formally.

I haven't sent my passport yet...Or signed anything. Personal statement was run of the mill stuff (clean family man professional etc.)

I will PM you the contract if you don't mind giving me your opinion
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Old 22.10.2016, 13:00
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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Probably the property has multiple flats and most likely managed by an agency. Contact them, preferably by going there.
And obtain information.
Any way I can find the agency managing the property online without having to go back there?
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Old 22.10.2016, 13:04
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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Any way I can find the agency managing the property online without having to go back there?
Everything is possible.
For example looking for old adverts in the same address.

It's saturday though... Most agencies are closed.

You could also get a phone number of a neighbour (yellow pages or whatever), ask them kindly that you visited the neighbour flat and you lost the agency name and the tenant is away on weekend and not replying...

There are ways.
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Old 22.10.2016, 13:09
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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I haven't sent my passport yet...Or signed anything. Personal statement was run of the mill stuff (clean family man professional etc.)

I will PM you the contract if you don't mind giving me your opinion
Then don't send. If you feel like pursuing this way and try to see, just stale them.
Contact saying your scanner is broken you'll get it sorted on monday.

That's even if they are waiting for an answer today, if not, just say nothing until at least monday.

And make your checks. Agency, neighboors, etc...

For example don;'t hesitate to knock a neighboor's door saying that you might be their future neighboor and wanted to present yourself and check how is it to leave there... Then you can obtain more info like if there's an agency, how long the neighboors where there... Assuming they are not part of the alleged scam

Anyway, good luck im off.
I would just be careful in your case, that;s all. Maybe it's all legitimate.
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Old 22.10.2016, 14:38
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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Then don't send. If you feel like pursuing this way and try to see, just stale them.
Contact saying your scanner is broken you'll get it sorted on monday.

That's even if they are waiting for an answer today, if not, just say nothing until at least monday.

And make your checks. Agency, neighboors, etc...

For example don;'t hesitate to knock a neighboor's door saying that you might be their future neighboor and wanted to present yourself and check how is it to leave there... Then you can obtain more info like if there's an agency, how long the neighboors where there... Assuming they are not part of the alleged scam

Anyway, good luck im off.
I would just be careful in your case, that;s all. Maybe it's all legitimate.

I've found an agency that was renting out a flat in the same building so I'm planning to go there on monday. Just hoping I don't lose the flat if it's legit :/
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Old 22.10.2016, 14:48
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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I've found an agency that was renting out a flat in the same building so I'm planning to go there on monday. Just hoping I don't lose the flat if it's legit :/
Why would you? the agency are the one making the decision (unless its a private owned flat).

At least you will know if they are the one in charge of the flat, or if something is suspicious.

For example if it;s a sub-lease, you'll need to make sure it has all been made legally and that the agency/owner are aware.

Cheers,
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Old 22.10.2016, 14:50
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Re: Urgent rental question/advice

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How can I verify if they are the legal owner of the aprtment with right to rent?
Ask at the Notariat responsible for that area, who's the legal owner of the building/apartment. They should have at very least the name and address on the book. Then you can ask them whether the rent arrangement is legit.
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