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Old 15.03.2017, 11:33
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Raising Rent from long term Locataires

Hello,
We are looking for advice on how to legally raise the rent from our long term locataires in Geneva.
We are currently doing some small renovations that includes
- painting the kitchen (I understand this has to be done every 10 years, so its due)
- Sound proofing / Insulating walls and floors to the adjacent house (this was the locataire's request as they usually complain about thin wall and hearing the neighbours)
-Changing/Updating all of the windows and doors to modern / dbl glazed ones.

Once all of this is done, how do we go on about updating their rent? They currently pay about 500 under the market price around that area.
Do we need a new contract? Do we need to let them know that the rent will go up once renovations are done? Can they refuse to agree with he raise?

thanks for all the info shared here in this forum, it is certainly helping us a a lot.
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Old 15.03.2017, 11:44
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

I think you should join Pic-Vert.
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Old 15.03.2017, 11:45
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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Hello,
We are looking for advice on how to legally raise the rent from our long term locataires in Geneva.
We are currently doing some small renovations that includes
- painting the kitchen (I understand this has to be done every 10 years, so its due)
- Sound proofing / Insulating walls and floors to the adjacent house (this was the locataire's request as they usually complain about thin wall and hearing the neighbours)
-Changing/Updating all of the windows and doors to modern / dbl glazed ones.

Once all of this is done, how do we go on about updating their rent? They currently pay about 500 under the market price around that area.
Do we need a new contract? Do we need to let them know that the rent will go up once renovations are done? Can they refuse to agree with he raise?

thanks for all the info shared here in this forum, it is certainly helping us a a lot.
Your contract will show how the rent can be raised, unfortunately due to interest rate cuts, the rent might fall if recalculated from the date the lease was signed.

500 under does not sound very much TBH. Oh the joys of being a Landlord in CH, my rent increased about 5% after about 7 years & then stayed the same for the next 10 in ZH. I could have asked for a reduction due to interest rate fall.
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Old 15.03.2017, 12:00
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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Hello,
We are looking for advice on how to legally raise the rent from our long term locataires in Geneva.
We are currently doing some small renovations that includes
- painting the kitchen (I understand this has to be done every 10 years, so its due)
- Sound proofing / Insulating walls and floors to the adjacent house (this was the locataire's request as they usually complain about thin wall and hearing the neighbours)
-Changing/Updating all of the windows and doors to modern / dbl glazed ones.

Once all of this is done, how do we go on about updating their rent? They currently pay about 500 under the market price around that area.
Do we need a new contract? Do we need to let them know that the rent will go up once renovations are done? Can they refuse to agree with he raise?

thanks for all the info shared here in this forum, it is certainly helping us a a lot.
My understanding is that you're allowed to raise the rent by a percentage based on of whatever you've spend on 'reasonable' renovations; so installing an ostentatious marbled bathroom and then wanting to raise the rent to cover your expenditure isn't acceptable, charging for replacing out-of-date fixtures and fittings with similar and re-tiling is.

Seriously though, take Neddy's advice and join the owners association, they're the experts.
I think you've already been given links to this and similar addresses before in your other threads.
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Old 15.03.2017, 12:16
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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Once all of this is done, how do we go on about updating their rent?
Send them a notice on the official cantonal form, which should explain them what rights they have on the back. You need to somehow justify the raise on it too.

You can only raise the rent per the next contractual cancellation date, and you must notify them early enough (more than 10 days) in advance of cancellation notice period so that they'll have a choice to cancel. Use registered post to have a proof that you notified them in the right time, or your raise could be declared legally void and you'll have to try again later.

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They currently pay about 500 under the market price around that area.
Using market rents for an argument is very difficult, at least where I am in ZH. If tenants raise a dispute about the rent, the burden of proof is on you and courts demand unreasonably high rigor: 5 contracts of flats in similar location, of similar size, construction period, renovation condition.

Easier to justify would be a relative increase based on investment costs of your renovation, like increase yearly rent by 4-5% of total investment, or by 1/N where N is life expectancy of corresponding parts.

Or you could also just try your luck with kicking out the tenants before the renovation on the argument that planned renovations are so extensive that the flat must be vacant, and then find a new guy at market rates. They can dispute this cancellation though

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Do we need a new contract?
No, just the cantonal form. It will work as an amendement of the contract.

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Can they refuse to agree with he raise?
Yes.
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Old 15.03.2017, 12:25
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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Hello,
We are looking for advice on how to legally raise the rent from our long term locataires in Geneva.
We are currently doing some small renovations that includes
- painting the kitchen (I understand this has to be done every 10 years, so its due)
- Sound proofing / Insulating walls and floors to the adjacent house (this was the locataire's request as they usually complain about thin wall and hearing the neighbours)
-Changing/Updating all of the windows and doors to modern / dbl glazed ones.

Once all of this is done, how do we go on about updating their rent? They currently pay about 500 under the market price around that area.
Do we need a new contract? Do we need to let them know that the rent will go up once renovations are done? Can they refuse to agree with he raise?

thanks for all the info shared here in this forum, it is certainly helping us a a lot.
rent it at a high price to an ignorant foreigner who will leave after a year or two and repeat increasing the price each time.
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Old 15.03.2017, 12:31
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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I think you should join Pic-Vert.
thanks I will check it up.
Would you recommend them instead of something like CGI http://cgionline.ch/FR/index.html
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Old 15.03.2017, 12:47
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

Yes because it is local. They know the market here & are specialists in local laws, etc.
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Old 15.03.2017, 13:37
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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thanks I will check it up.
Would you recommend them instead of something like CGI http://cgionline.ch/FR/index.html
I would suggest you join the CGI (like the www.cvi.ch in Vaud). Before you do anything.

You can then ask their jurists questions and get specific answers for your situation including the steps you need to take (if you can) to increase the rent. They will review your lease contract as well as the expenses that can be used in the calculations. Don't play around with this. Make sure it is done correctly the first time or you will spend your time with lawyers and the lease contract court. And you will probably lose (and maybe even have a reduction in the rent for your troubles).
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Old 15.03.2017, 13:55
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

Easiest thing would be to wait until current tenant moves out, do all your renovations only then, and rerent at market.

Tenant has no right to demand that you renovate or repaint, he can only demand that you fix what gets broken.
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Old 15.03.2017, 14:06
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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Easiest thing would be to wait until current tenant moves out, do all your renovations only then, and rerent at market.

Tenant has no right to demand that you renovate or repaint, he can only demand that you fix what gets broken.
Which dream world are you living in?

The next tenant has the right to find out the previous rent. If it is increased without "justification", the new tenant has the right to get the rent reduced to the previous rent by complaining to the renter's court. This happens ALL the time.
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Old 15.03.2017, 14:10
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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Which dream world are you living in?

The next tenant has the right to find out the previous rent. If it is increased without "justification", the new tenant has the right to get the rent reduced to the previous rent by complaining to the renter's court. This happens ALL the time.
You're the one in the dream world. Renovation is sufficient ground to increase the rent. Unless previous and next tenant would be friends or something, there's little chance for the new tenant to compare and control how extensive the renovations really were and whether they justify the hike. You can just write "extensive renovations" on the form without going into details. If the rent is at market level, little chance anything will happen.

And you can usually always increase by 10% between tenants without even flipping a finger, if you can find someone at that rent. 10% is at the threshold where they can start to complain.
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Old 15.03.2017, 14:28
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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Easiest thing would be to wait until current tenant moves out, do all your renovations only then, and rerent at market.

Tenant has no right to demand that you renovate or repaint, he can only demand that you fix what gets broken.
they have been there for over 25 years.
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Old 15.03.2017, 14:32
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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they have been there for over 25 years.
Jeez. Just don't do anything and cross your fingers that they stay another 25 years!
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Old 15.03.2017, 14:44
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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they have been there for over 25 years.
If nothing's still broken, but just old, they still can't demand that you renovate. Suggest to them that they should look for a different apartment if they want something newer, and that renovations will happen after they move out.

Noise apparently wasn't a problem for them for 25 years, so it's not something that needs to be fixed.

Even if you renovate and get them to agree to pay market rent, they can still go behind your back later, dispute it and pay you less in the end. New rental is safer.
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Old 15.03.2017, 14:45
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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Hello,
We are looking for advice on how to legally raise the rent from our long term locataires in Geneva.
We are currently doing some small renovations that includes
- painting the kitchen (I understand this has to be done every 10 years, so its due)
- Sound proofing / Insulating walls and floors to the adjacent house (this was the locataire's request as they usually complain about thin wall and hearing the neighbours)
-Changing/Updating all of the windows and doors to modern / dbl glazed ones.

Once all of this is done, how do we go on about updating their rent? They currently pay about 500 under the market price around that area.
Do we need a new contract? Do we need to let them know that the rent will go up once renovations are done? Can they refuse to agree with he raise?

thanks for all the info shared here in this forum, it is certainly helping us a a lot.
Our rent basically hasn't changed since 2000 when we moved in and we've had new windows, doors and they overhauled the exterior of the building.

They've also replaced the bathroom and kitchen, although it was like-for-like, so no big renovations, just upgraded on wear and tear from the original fixtures and fittings.

The only "major" changes in rent came when tenants on other floors moved out and new ones moved in but even then the difference for them was only to bring it up to almost the same as the other similar apartments in the area.
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Old 15.03.2017, 14:50
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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Our rent basically hasn't changed since 2000 when we moved in and we've had new windows, doors and they overhauled the exterior of the building.
If your landlord did nothing, you would have a right to a much lower rent due to massive change in reference rate in the mean rime. So probably potential raise for those renovations is offset by your legal right to a lower rent due to reference rate change in your case
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Old 15.03.2017, 14:53
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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If your landlord did nothing, you would have a right to a much lower rent due to change in reference rate. So probably potential raise for those renovations is offset by your legal right to a lower rent due to reference rate change.
I know but our rent is rock bottom anyway so we are keeping schtumm...
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Old 18.03.2017, 17:57
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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Jeez. Just don't do anything and cross your fingers that they stay another 25 years!
haha thanks, but if you have ever had to deal with their demands, you would perhaps have another opinion. They demand luxury without paying for it, and spend their time telling me what to do. I was to buy them a stove for 5000chf, because the wife wanted it (I offered them one for 1400 to update their old one, they refused it). They demanded me to keep the empty side of the house without tenants so they can continue their life without noise, they demanded I add insulation to the walls and floors (which I did at a cost of 4000chf) and when I asked if they were happy, they said it's has helped a lot but its not 100% and they will still be able to hear noise so they are irritated, A thank you would of have sufficed. It's absolutely impossible to do anything right by them, and on top of that I pay their water fees, I pay their yearly ramonage bills, my grandma paid most of their mazout bills (until I adjusted it 5 years ago), they pay between 500 - 1000chf under market value (their rent has increased twice in 30 years), their view is to DIE for and anyone would be more then happy to have that apartment for that price.

I am myself a renter in the UK and have been for the past 17 years, I am a tenant, I don't have any intention in taking advantage, I just need to make this right, as as I speak now, I am paying a price for them to live them.

I would be more then happy to have them stay for another 25 years, but they have to take the costs that belong to them, and stop taking advantage of the situation and telling me off for trying to do right by them. No one pays for me to live in the UK, I pay my own way.
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Old 18.03.2017, 18:04
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Re: Raising Rent from long term Locataires

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Easiest thing would be to wait until current tenant moves out, do all your renovations only then, and rerent at market.

Tenant has no right to demand that you renovate or repaint, he can only demand that you fix what gets broken.
Gosh, if you only knew what they demand! I went to replace their stove as the old one was due a replacement, I found one at 1400chf, they refused it and demanded one for 5000chf, because that is what the wife wanted to cook with to impress her friends.

They also asked me not to do renovations in my grandmas side of the house (after she died) as it would bother them to have neighbours, and they asked me to keep it empty so they could live without any noise. I insulated as much as I could for them, as they went straight to my workers to ask them for it, and I agreed to make them happy and hopefully not hear about noise complaints in the future, and instead of a thank you, they said its not 100% sound proof.

Now, I myself have been renting for 17 years in the UK and have NEVER EVER lived in a sound proof apartment. Let alone demanded my landlord to not fill the next door apartments so I can live in peace.
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