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Old 24.10.2016, 19:34
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Limited Apartment Contract Termination

Hello everyone,

I have the following situation that I hope you would be able to help me out with:
I am currently living in an apartment with a limited rental contract that ends in March 2017 as the building will be renovated, and since i have a baby I can't really wait till the last moment to find another one,
I found an apartment which I'm supposed to occupy mid November 2016, so at that point the current contract would have 4 and a half months left on it,
I talked to the current landlord and they said to send them a letter stating the leave date and requesting that they advertise asking for a new tenant on my expense (around 6 CHF a day which is fine), but what if they didn't find a replacement?

What are my options here?
find a replacement? (but who would take an unfurnished apartment for less than 5 months?)
Do I have to pay double rents for 5 months? (which I basically can't afford)

Any help or advice is highly appreciated

Thank you,
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Old 24.10.2016, 19:36
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

What you said.
Or sublet on your own risk.

Sorry.
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Old 24.10.2016, 19:59
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

Furnish the old apartment and let it out on a short-term basis, is what I'd do.
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Old 24.10.2016, 20:18
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

Thanks for your replies, it looks frustrating,

Furnishing the old apartment for 4 months seems riskier, as I might end up with more furniture, having spent more money and no one taking the apartment,

Someone told me that I can leave the apartment two months before the contract expires without having to pay for those 2 months, can anyone verify if this is true or not?
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Old 24.10.2016, 20:23
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

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Someone told me that I can leave the apartment two months before the contract expires without having to pay for those 2 months, can anyone verify if this is true or not?
I can verify. It is most likely false. No such clause exists in the Swiss Code of Obligations and if your contract has also no such clause there is no early exit.
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Old 24.10.2016, 20:23
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

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What are my options here?
find a replacement? (but who would take an unfurnished apartment for less than 5 months?)
Do I have to pay double rents for 5 months? (which I basically can't afford)

Any help or advice is highly appreciated

Thank you,
Exactly that. Either they or you find a replacement tenant or you have to pay the outstanding months' rent. This is standard practice here which is why people try and avoid getting into this situation in the first place. You'll find exactly the same terms in your new rental contract so take note and don't agree to a new place so early next time. Or, if you do, make sure you can afford 2 rents for a few months just in case.
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Old 24.10.2016, 21:49
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

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Someone told me that I can leave the apartment two months before the contract expires without having to pay for those 2 months, can anyone verify if this is true or not?
Why would that be possible? Of course it's not true.

If you can't find another tenant, you'll have to pay double for whatever time remains on the lease.
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Old 24.10.2016, 23:19
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

Sublet on airbnb and earn a double of your rent from it. Maybe the landlord will even decide to come forward and agree to cancel your contract early on his own after getting tired of hearing about your airbnb guests.
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Old 25.10.2016, 01:40
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

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Sublet on airbnb and earn a double of your rent from it. Maybe the landlord will even decide to come forward and agree to cancel your contract early on his own after getting tired of hearing about your airbnb guests.
Landlord needs to agree to any form of sublet, so no, the above is not an option
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Old 25.10.2016, 01:48
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

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Landlord needs to agree to any form of sublet, so no, the above is not an option
Yes, but there are only two situations when the landlord legally is allowed to say "no". IMHO it's doable to do airbnb within the rules, although a hassle to notify the landlord about every guest.

The punishment for a failure to obide by the rules, btw, usually is... <drum rolls> ... early contract cancellation. Which is what the OP wants anyway. So, win-win.
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Old 25.10.2016, 08:22
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

Iirc it's illegal to charge more than you rent the place for anyway. Certainly double the rent would leave the OP open to having to pay their landlord at least a portion of the extra money they earned.

Here are the rules:

"Art. 262
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."

"Art. 291
1 The lessee may sub-let all or part of the leased object with the lessor’s consent.
2 The lessor may refuse his consent to the sub-letting of premises which form part of a leased property only if:
a. the lessee 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 usufructuary lease;
c. the sub-letting gives rise to major disadvantages for the lessor.
3 The lessee is liable to the lessor for ensuring that the sub-tenant or sub-lessee uses the object only in the manner permitted to the lessee himself. To this end the lessor may issue reminders directly to the subtenant or sub-lessee."

https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...010000/220.pdf

And a couple of threads on subletting too:

subletting an apartment near Basel

Subletting via airbnb - legal issues?
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Old 25.10.2016, 09:06
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

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What are my options here?
find a replacement? (but who would take an unfurnished apartment for less than 5 months?)
Someone who is desperate.....


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Do I have to pay double rents for 5 months? (which I basically can't afford)
If you cannot afford two rents how did you get approved for the new apartment which is available mid November?

Just look on the bright side. You probably do not have an end cleaning or handover inspection to worry about on your current flat. What kind of deposit is required if you sublet? This I would ask the landlord about.

I understand that you might be worried about finding a new place but your reason for moving is one that might win you some sympathy when you fill out a rental application. Personally I would try and wait and move in early 2017.
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Old 25.10.2016, 09:38
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

Unforunately I suspect the OP has already signed the contract if they're due to move in in November. So would be penalised for breaking that contract too.
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Old 25.10.2016, 11:20
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

Thanks for all your replies,
To be honest I can't pass on the other apartment, (4 large rooms less than 1400 a month for family in a very good area and I think it's a miracle that I got accepted),
Subletting seems to be the most viable option even with all the associated risk,

PS: my current apartment is 2 large rooms in Thalwil for 1400, if anybody knows someone that might be interested please let me know.
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Old 25.10.2016, 12:02
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

Post it on the Marktplatz of ETH/UZH:

http://www.marktplatz.uzh.ch/wohnungen/

I am very optimistic that you will find a taker.
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Old 25.10.2016, 12:17
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

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Yes, but there are only two situations when the landlord legally is allowed to say "no". IMHO it's doable to do airbnb within the rules, although a hassle to notify the landlord about every guest.

The punishment for a failure to obide by the rules, btw, usually is... <drum rolls> ... early contract cancellation. Which is what the OP wants anyway. So, win-win.
Certainly not at twice the rent. That is illegal.

And sure they may cancel the contract if OP does the above anyway. With notice. Meaning OP still has to pay. So no, it's not a win-win.

Again, simple: find a replacement tenant or pay double. It was OP's choice to take an apartment five months before the current lease ends. I can understand how sometimes another deal is too good to pass up and I've been in this situation several times myself too. Finding something better doesn't free you from existing obligations though.
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Old 25.10.2016, 13:20
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

It's allowed to charge more for sublet. I think 10% just for the furnishings alone is certainly tolerated. And then extra for any additional services you provide like internet, billag, cleaning. Especially cleaning, washing the sheets will be a lot of work if your tenants rotate often - guess who's gonna to pay that. Third-party fees (airbnb, maybe tourist tax) naturally can be also passed on.

Quote:
With notice. Meaning OP still has to pay
And continue subletting until end of notice! Ok, maybe at a reduced rate after a slap on the wrist if he wants to remain strictly within the rules.
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Old 25.10.2016, 13:28
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

If I were you, I would leave some furniture in there and advertise to sublet it for at least 3 of those months.

Tell (don't ask) the LL you might be having a friend stay which will help you pay for the rent rather than paying for two apartments at once, which you can ill afford to do. I take it you do not have the cost of a professional clean at the end of the tenancy as they are renovating? I would double check this with the LL. Then removing the last of your furniture in March shouldn't cost you too much and at least you're not completely out of pocket for the duration of the double renting period.

To be honest, I think some LLs are ***** expecting you to find a suitable place with a baby in mind at a set time is really tricky. You would think they would let you go a little early considering they are the ones forcing you out by a set date.

Get some Mieterverband advice too as there could be a leniency rule that might help you here.
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Old 25.10.2016, 14:33
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

We have an Ikea bed you can have for free. We are in Bülach. Its good enough and has a matress as well if you need one!
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Old 25.10.2016, 23:31
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Re: Limited Apartment Contract Termination

Thank you all, it was very helpful,

I will go with subletting the apartment option as it's more realistic and some people could be in need for a short or temporary residence so this could serve them well,
I will post the ad in the proper section, but if anybody knows someone who is in need please don't hesitate to contact me,

Thanks and Best Regards ,
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