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Old 23.04.2017, 22:05
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Heinous wording in lease application...

Hi, I wonder if you can help me? I have just found a nice apartment and, after reviewing the contract, it is clear the terms are far too restrictive:

- the minimum let is 16 months, from 1 June 2017 - 30 September 2018
- there are two days only in the year when notice can be given to terminate the contract, from 30 September 2018 onwards. These are 31 March and 30 September.
- six months are actually required to terminate the contract on 30 September 2018 so that notice must be served on 31 March 2018 in accordance with the contract.
- it is possible for me to terminate the contract early if I find another tenant and pay CHF 300.

I have gone back to the Immobilien and expressed both my disappointment and expectation of a more standard contract: 12 (or 11) days per year for termination and no minimum let.

My query and the "but" is....

The application form, which I signed, included a paragraph to say

"Sollte der Mieteresent nachdem die X-Name Immobilien AG den Mietvertrag beriets versandt hat (nach Rüchsprache), seine Anmeldung zurückziehen, verpflichtet er sich, der Verwaltung CHF 300 für die Ausstellung des Mietvertrages und die Umtriebe zu vergüten "

Google Translate, "If, after the X-Name property AG has sent the rental contract, the tenant's item (after receipt of the contract) withdraws his registration, he undertakes to pay the administration CHF 300 for the issue of the lease and the activities"

It seems a bit unfair to enforce this given that the contract is so heinous. No one has pointed out these terms until I asked a friend to review the written contract.

Is it a case of the suck it up/price of an education and never deal with X-Name again? Or do I have any grounds to push back/stand my grounds?

Any thoughts welcomed.

CW
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Old 23.04.2017, 22:07
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

Sounds a bit scammy to me, making a lot of 300s out of these contracts.

Also unprofessional as it deviates a lot from a standard contract. Also makes it worthy to report this to an authority but not expecting much to come out of this.
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Old 23.04.2017, 22:20
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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Hi, I wonder if you can help me?
Edit/photoshop whatever bullshit they sent you and send it back to them as an offer. Contract is a matter of negotiation, you don't like what they offer - you're free to offer them some other terms, which they of course are also free to refuse. If your offer is consistent with what was on the application form (e.g. same rent), their refusal to sign it would shift the blame for failure to negotiate a contract on them.

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The application form, which I signed, included a paragraph to say

"Sollte der Mieteresent nachdem die X-Name Immobilien AG den Mietvertrag beriets versandt hat (nach Rüchsprache), seine Anmeldung zurückziehen, verpflichtet er sich, der Verwaltung CHF 300 für die Ausstellung des Mietvertrages und die Umtriebe zu vergüten "
Such a clause (flat rate fine) on application forms has been found void by at least one high cantonal court: http://www.mietrecht.ch/documents/Do...mp_1_97_23.pdf. I'd point them to that verdict and tell them to go **** off take their chances in a court if they insist. Note, however, actual costs backed up by actual bills that they suffered due to your fault might still be chargeable to you, contract or not.

Last edited by ivank; 23.04.2017 at 22:30.
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Old 23.04.2017, 22:22
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

Such "heinous" conditions are the norm in rental contracts here. 16 months is a bit long, but when we rented the initial lease was for a year and yes only the two termination dates of 31st March and 30th September. Many cantons have these "official" moving dates, the third one being 30th June, but each contract is different in which ones they use.

If you can find another tenant to take over the lease then yes you can leave early, but still have to give those 6 months notice.

And yes, rental agencies will charge you for the cost of drawing up the contract if you don't decide to sign. Take note, this often applies to other things like quotations for work/repairs which you don't take up.

If you don't like it then pay the 300 and walk away. But make sure you understand any contract before you sign it. And remember you're not in your home country - you're in Switzerland. The rules for everything are different here so learn and understand them.
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Old 23.04.2017, 22:28
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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Such "heinous" conditions are the norm in rental contracts here.
Not in Zürich, most of the contracts I've had and seen so far had the legal minimum of 3 months notice with cancellation possible at the end of *any* month (except usually December), which is better the default legal provision of 2-3 dates/year

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If you can find another tenant to take over the lease then yes you can leave early, but still have to give those 6 months notice.
He would have to agree to the same hidious conditions!
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Old 23.04.2017, 22:35
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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If you can find another tenant to take over the lease then yes you can leave early, but still have to give those 6 months notice.
There is no notice period if you find a replacement which takes over your contract as is.
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Old 23.04.2017, 22:37
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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Not in Zürich, most of the contracts I've had and seen so far had the legal minimum of 3 months notice with cancellation possible at the end of *any* month (except usually December), which is better the default legal provision of 2-3 dates/year


He would have to agree to the same hidious conditions!
Which doesn't have to be a problem. We rented for 12 years under a 6 month notice contract. Only moved out because the owner wanted to sell the property, we couldn't afford to buy it so he gave us the 6 months' notice. Good job too. Not sure we'd have managed to find a place and move 10 tonnes plus of stuff in 3!
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Old 23.04.2017, 22:38
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

At the end of the day- if you don't like the contract- walk away.
They obviously want long-term tenants- and as owners, it is their prerogative.


But 'heinous' is not really the appropriate term here.
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Old 23.04.2017, 22:41
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

2 yearly "end contract dates" are the classic Swiss style of moving. 1st April and 1st October are THE moving dates in Switzerland.

The 16-month minimum rent probably comes from a 12-month minimum rent (probably to avoid short-term renters) with the next possible ending date after the 12-months being the 1st October 2018.

All in all, certainly a bit strict, but nothing that feels like a scam..
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Old 23.04.2017, 22:49
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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We rented for 12 years under a 6 month notice contract. Only moved out because the owner wanted to sell the property, we couldn't afford to buy it so he gave us the 6 months' notice.
The owner can sell the property any time with the tenants, and the new owner has a right to kick you out on a shorter notice than in your contract on the occasion of the sale, AFAIK at 3 months notice at the next standard local cancellation date.
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Old 23.04.2017, 23:19
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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The owner can sell the property any time with the tenants, and the new owner has a right to kick you out on a shorter notice than in your contract on the occasion of the sale, AFAIK at 3 months notice at the next standard local cancellation date.
Only if the new owner uses the apartment for him self or close family. Art. 261 OR
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a261
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Old 23.04.2017, 23:25
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

you can just amend the contract terms and send back the signed amended version.
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Old 24.04.2017, 07:33
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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you can just amend the contract terms and send back the signed amended version.
Of course the OP will likely lose the apartment if they do as suggested as those terms won't be acceptable to the agency/landlord. They'll look at "12 (or 11) days per year for termination and no minimum let" and say forget it. This isn't the way it's done here and I suspect there are plenty of other people who will take the contract as is. They'll just move on to the next acceptable applicant.
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Old 24.04.2017, 08:07
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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Hi, I wonder if you can help me? I have just found a nice apartment and, after reviewing the contract, it is clear the terms are far too restrictive
Where's the 'heinous' wording?

Tom
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Old 24.04.2017, 08:11
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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Hi, I wonder if you can help me? I have just found a nice apartment and, after reviewing the contract, it is clear the terms are far too restrictive:

- the minimum let is 16 months, from 1 June 2017 - 30 September 2018
- there are two days only in the year when notice can be given to terminate the contract, from 30 September 2018 onwards. These are 31 March and 30 September.
- six months are actually required to terminate the contract on 30 September 2018 so that notice must be served on 31 March 2018 in accordance with the contract.
- it is possible for me to terminate the contract early if I find another tenant and pay CHF 300.

I have gone back to the Immobilien and expressed both my disappointment and expectation of a more standard contract: 12 (or 11) days per year for termination and no minimum let.

My query and the "but" is....

The application form, which I signed, included a paragraph to say

"Sollte der Mieteresent nachdem die X-Name Immobilien AG den Mietvertrag beriets versandt hat (nach Rüchsprache), seine Anmeldung zurückziehen, verpflichtet er sich, der Verwaltung CHF 300 für die Ausstellung des Mietvertrages und die Umtriebe zu vergüten "

Google Translate, "If, after the X-Name property AG has sent the rental contract, the tenant's item (after receipt of the contract) withdraws his registration, he undertakes to pay the administration CHF 300 for the issue of the lease and the activities"

It seems a bit unfair to enforce this given that the contract is so heinous. No one has pointed out these terms until I asked a friend to review the written contract.

Is it a case of the suck it up/price of an education and never deal with X-Name again? Or do I have any grounds to push back/stand my grounds?

Any thoughts welcomed.

CW
2 termination days a year in Zurich is pretty standard, some people have 3.
The Swiss are not into short lets, they want tenants yo stay for 10 years which is normal, I rented my flat for over 15 years.
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Old 24.04.2017, 08:52
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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Where's the 'heinous' wording?

Tom


Hi Tom, the wording of the lease application is where my concern lies. Being charged 300 CHF for the opportunity to review a contract seems outrageous and iniquitous to me. However, as I have acknowledged, I signed the lease application so I only have myself to blame! :-(


I am not worried about the terms of the contract as these are simply not acceptable to me and, if the Immobilien cannot/will not change them, then I continue my apartment search.


Kind regards
Rachel
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Old 24.04.2017, 09:08
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

If you are a member of the Mieterverband it is maybe worth asking them to peruse the contract. I get their magazine - there are often cases of landlords who put terms on contracts which are not legal or not enforceable.

Sadly, Zurich accommodation is very much a "sellers" market and often prospective tenants are faced with caving in or having no place to live in the face of unfavourable contract terms.

While it is probably perfectly legal, not being able to see the contract terms before applying is a bit bad. But again, they get away with it.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 24.04.2017, 09:14
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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Hi Tom, the wording of the lease application is where my concern lies. Being charged 300 CHF for the opportunity to review a contract seems outrageous and iniquitous to me. However, as I have acknowledged, I signed the lease application so I only have myself to blame! :-(


I am not worried about the terms of the contract as these are simply not acceptable to me and, if the Immobilien cannot/will not change them, then I continue my apartment search.


Kind regards
Rachel


The lease application DOES NOT have a fee. This is the application where they decide if you are acceptable as a tenant or not. After they have a made a decision, BEFORE the lease is prepared, you are informed that you are the successful applicant. This is how it should work. If you tell them not to prepare the lease, which is your right, there is no cost to you.


It is AFTER the lease application is prepared that you have the chf 300 charge if you back out, according to the paragraph on the application.


Just to give you some perspective from the owner/property management side, there are some tenants who never sign the lease and do not send it back, nor do they communicate with the landlord/owner.


Many applications have a fee of chf 50 for backing out after the lease is prepared and really just barely covers admin fees and time.


What is wrong the lease conditions other than the first opportunity before you can give notice and the notice periods per year?
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Old 24.04.2017, 09:23
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

As others have said, the minimum duration and number of cancellation dates per year are (toward the strict end of) normal here. It's a very tight housing market, something like 0.8% vacancy rate at any given time, so assuming the price isn't way out of line for that area there will pretty much always be someone in line behind you to take it if you don't. Not much negotiating room, is what I'm saying. (OTOH this market works in your favor when it's time to move out, you can usually easily find a replacement tenant who won't mind being stuck with those terms, in part because he knows he could easily find a replacement tenant if needed and so on.)

The 300chf for backing out once you've verbally agreed to take it and a contract has been drawn up is also at the high end of normal (common practice is 50-200) but the clause itself is a commonly seen one. Even though, yes, legally invalid according to the Mieterverband (Swiss tenants' association).

The other 300chf fee, for canceling early with a replacement tenant, is also not legally binding according to the same folks. Once you find a replacement tenant who is acceptable, can afford to and is willing to take over your apartment under the current terms, you're off the hook completely. There should be no extra fees at all at that point, let alone 300chf. (In practice they recommend that you present 2-3 such candidates in case the first one turns out not to measure up for some reason.)


In short if you still want the place I'd say go for it, sign their contract as-is and contest the replacement tenant fee later if/when it becomes an issue. In the meantime consider joining the Mieterverband, they provide legal help to members as well.

But if you'd rather not, then you can still back out and you have grounds to contest any cancellation fee they try to charge you. Not because the terms of the particular contract turned out to be unreasonable (which by and large they're not, for this market) but simply because the fee itself is not legally justified.
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Old 24.04.2017, 09:25
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Re: Heinous wording in lease application...

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I am not worried about the terms of the contract as these are simply not acceptable to me and, if the Immobilien cannot/will not change them, then I continue my apartment search.
It's going to be a long search.

Tom
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