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Old 18.12.2016, 21:56
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Canceling a rental contract

Hi all.

We signed a contract for an apartment and we are suppose to move in on the 1st of February. For personal reasons we would like to cancel this contract with the property agent. How do they go about this? What can i expect when i talk to them?
Thank you for any insight o this
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Old 18.12.2016, 22:06
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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How do they go about this?
Read the contract and understand what it says about cancellation. In many contracts you can not cancel during the first 12 months. After that you can only cancel on some specific date given at least 3 month notice period.

If you wish do cancel at any other date you yourself must find a suitable replacement tenant, on your own expenses, willing to take over your contract as is. Suitable means: Gross income of at least 3 times the monthly rent. No over occupation of the apartment.

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What can i expect when i talk to them?
Not much. Maybe a frown. If lucky they let you go as they have their own replacement, but do not count on that.
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Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 18.12.2016 at 22:32.
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Old 18.12.2016, 22:31
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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Suitable means: Gross income of at least 3 times the monthly rent. No over occupation of the apartment.
plus a clean record at the Betreibungsamt
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Old 18.12.2016, 22:50
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

The answer from ASLOCA is no.

Your only solution is to find a replacement tenant.

Peut-on renoncer à un nouveau bail après l’avoir signé ?

NON ! Un contrat de bail est valable dès que le bailleur et le locataire ont apposé leurs signatures si le contrat est passé par écrit. Il ne faut pas confondre avec le délai de réflexion institué pour la vente par acomptes ou le démarchage à domicile. Une fois le bail signé, il est trop tard. Seule solution : présenter à la régie un locataire de remplacement, disposé à reprendre le bail aux mêmes conditions. Pour la procédure à suivre, demandez conseil à l'ASLOCA.
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Old 18.12.2016, 22:55
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

Have you paid the deposit yet?
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Old 19.12.2016, 07:18
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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Have you paid the deposit yet?
We didn't no.. We supposed to pay it on the day we are suppose to move in.
Thank you
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Old 19.12.2016, 07:40
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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We didn't no.. We supposed to pay it on the day we are suppose to move in.
Thank you
And we haven't received the copy signed by the landlord yet ...
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Old 19.12.2016, 10:26
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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And we haven't received the copy signed by the landlord yet ...
Since you haven't yet received the contract nor paid the deposit, you could still talk to your landlord and pay their administrative fee as a compensation. But still you need to talk with them first.
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Old 19.12.2016, 10:31
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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Hi all.

We signed a contract for an apartment and we are suppose to move in on the 1st of February. For personal reasons we would like to cancel this contract with the property agent. How do they go about this? What can i expect when i talk to them?
Thank you for any insight o this
When you applied for the apartment there must be something saying the fees to be paid if after signing the contract you decide to cancel it.
From my experience here in Zürich the values were around CHF150 and CHF250 but check with the agency.


Good luck
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Old 19.12.2016, 10:37
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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Since you haven't yet received the contract nor paid the deposit, you could still talk to your landlord and pay their administrative fee as a compensation. But still you need to talk with them first.
... If the landlord agrees.
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Old 19.12.2016, 10:40
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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When you applied for the apartment there must be something saying the fees to be paid if after signing the contract you decide to cancel it.
From my experience here in Zürich the values were around CHF150 and CHF250 but check with the agency.


Good luck
thanks so much. we have now contacted them and wait for response hopefully will be as easy as that
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Old 19.12.2016, 10:41
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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... If the landlord agrees.
yes, of course, it's totally up to the landloard... In some of the apt application forms I filled this month, it states very clearly if you said yes but didn't take it in the end, you need to pay xxx chf as a compensation for their administrative effort...
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Old 19.12.2016, 10:44
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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When you applied for the apartment there must be something saying the fees to be paid if after signing the contract you decide to cancel it.
From my experience here in Zürich the values were around CHF150 and CHF250 but check with the agency.
What they usually write is that you owe them 150-250 CHF if they sent you the contract but you didn't sign it. Such a clause is not strictly legal and it's also irrelevant here. The OP already signed and sent the contract - this is a binding offer to rent the apartment. It's probably a safe assumption to make that it's already countersigned and you'll get your copy any time now.

Best would be to call the landlord/agency, explain situation and hope they'd let you walk away, likely for an extra fee to compensate for their time and readvertising.

Worse case, find another "reasonable" tenant yourself (criterias were already discussed in this thread) and they'd have to take him instead of you.
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Old 19.12.2016, 13:06
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

I strongly disagree with the previous answers WRT OP's situation. They'e only applicable if a contract has actually been concluded.
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And we haven't received the copy signed by the landlord yet ...
In order to be concluded and effective a rental contract must be signed by both parties. By signing it OP mad a binding offer that can be withdrawn at any time before it's been countersigned. Thus there may not be a contract yet. OP, make sure you can prove you called, both time and date may be important.

Personally I'd physically go to the company and hand them my letter informing them that I cancel my offer effective immediately, making sure it's receipt is confirmed(signed) by a company member including the time that happened.
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Old 19.12.2016, 13:27
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

Well, that's in theory. But in practice, especially since OP didn't send it just yesterday, they'll just tell you it's already signed and you're on the hook. In any case she's at their mercy
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Old 16.03.2017, 19:36
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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What they usually write is that you owe them 150-250 CHF if they sent you the contract but you didn't sign it. Such a clause is not strictly legal and it's also irrelevant here.
So... Just wondering about this because I signaled my intent to sign a contract on the telephone pending my wife's approval and when my wife went to check the place she didn't like it and the estate agent is upset and telling him I need to pay him an admin fee.

I was shocked because I thought I made it clear on the phone that I wanted the apartment BUT my wife needed to see it first.

So, I guess my question is - do I have to pay? Nowhere have I seen on the form or was I told that I would have to pay any fee if I did not take the place, and I understand the guy is upset because I wasted his time but a sale is not a sale unless it is sold right...? And if he sends me a bill can I refuse to pay it?
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Old 16.03.2017, 20:07
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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So... Just wondering about this because I signaled my intent to sign a contract on the telephone pending my wife's approval and when my wife went to check the place she didn't like it and the estate agent is upset and telling him I need to pay him an admin fee.

So, I guess my question is - do I have to pay? Nowhere have I seen on the form or was I told that I would have to pay any fee if I did not take the place, and I understand the guy is upset because I wasted his time but a sale is not a sale unless it is sold right...? And if he sends me a bill can I refuse to pay it?
No there is no obligation for you to pay anything. Not if he intended to send you a contract to sign. If you get a bill return it and cite Swiss code of obligation Art. 16 https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a16
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Old 16.03.2017, 20:09
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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.So, I guess my question is - do I have to pay?
No
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Old 16.03.2017, 20:19
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

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No there is no obligation for you to pay anything. Not if he intended to send you a contract to sign. If you get a bill return it and cite Swiss code of obligation Art. 16 https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a16
Theoretically there could arise an obligation to compensate damages from careless precontractual negotiations - culpa in contrahendo. We discussed such a case on this forum not long ago where a potential buyer was asked to pay for architect's and notary's wasted time after he bailed out of the deal.

But here this is highly unlikely: no significant damages here due to any extraordinary requests, viewings are a normal order of business; he told the agent that wife's consent was needed - so the agent could foresee that the deal could fall through; and agent carries burden of proof is he wants anything from him - but has no proofs in his favor whatsoever, phone recording without consent is illegal. Also, in any case, the actual damages here would need to be compensated, not a random number pulled out of thin air for how much he thinks his time is worth.

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If you get a bill return it
I'd ignore it. You have nothing to gain by returning it. Write an email at the most

Last edited by ivank; 16.03.2017 at 21:59.
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Old 16.03.2017, 20:33
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Re: Canceling a rental contract

Awesome thanks.
If he sends me a bill I will send him a polite e-mail declining to pay and the reasons for it.
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