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Old 22.05.2018, 14:07
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Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

Hi

I read through a lot of topics here and found a lot of useful information. However, I didn't find one for my specific question.

I will be moving to Zurich in a few months and found a nice apartment to sublease for a duration of 9 months. I know that the usual and maximum amount that can be asked for deposit is 3 months of rent.

However, as it is not a long-term lease, I find it to be too high. Also, insurance companies either don't accept subleases or don't accept contracts of less than a year so I would need to put the money in cash.

From your experience, what is the usual rental deposit in such a situation? I was thinking 1 or 2 months rent. But do I really wanna lose on the apartment for this ?

Thanks for your help
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Old 22.05.2018, 14:16
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

Why do think 3 month deposit is too much? The risk that you totally trash the apartment is the same if you rent for a short period. Maybe one could argue it is even higher.
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Old 22.05.2018, 14:34
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

Possible long topic in short:

Take it, or leave it.
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Old 22.05.2018, 14:48
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

Ok thanks for the replies. I'll take it. Just wanted to make sure if it was the norm
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Old 22.05.2018, 16:32
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

Not necessarily the norm but the landlord is free to require any amount up to three months rent.

Just be sure to pay into an escrow account in your name, should be called Mieterkautionskonto or similar. Don't pay the agent or landlord themselves.
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Old 22.05.2018, 17:23
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

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Not necessarily the norm but the landlord is free to require any amount up to three months rent.

Just be sure to pay into an escrow account in your name, should be called Mieterkautionskonto or similar. Don't pay the agent or landlord themselves.
Yes we are looking into setting up a rental deposit account. I have the paper work from UBS. As I won't be in Switzerland before a few months, do you know if I can send the form to open the account by mail and how long it usually take to set it up ?

Thanks
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Old 22.05.2018, 17:28
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

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As I won't be in Switzerland before a few months, ….
Does this mean you are intending to sign a contract to rent a flat you have not yet seen?

I ask because there are scammers out there who capitalise in exactly this market: foreigners moving to Switzerland. Has someone (perhaps from your new employer in Switzerland) been to have a look, first, just to be sure that it is "for real"?
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Old 22.05.2018, 19:47
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

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Does this mean you are intending to sign a contract to rent a flat you have not yet seen?

I ask because there are scammers out there who capitalise in exactly this market: foreigners moving to Switzerland. Has someone (perhaps from your new employer in Switzerland) been to have a look, first, just to be sure that it is "for real"?
I was afraid of it being a scam too at first but we did a Skype call where the tenant showed me the flat. It looked exactly like the photos. It could have been a flat on the other side of the world so to be safe, I looked the address up on Google street view and the street matches the photos of the balcony.

I also googled him and found his Social Media accounts so that reassured me that he was a real person actually living in Zurich for a years now.

I'll be going to Zurich this week-end to sign everything in person (I haven't paid anything yet).

I'm trying my best to protect myself from scams but it's not easy without looking like a subtenant that may be hard to deal with. When do you think I should pay him the first month rent to be safe? I would prefer to pay it a few days before moving in but I think he will want me to pay at signing ( 4 months before moving) and I understand that.

I was planning on doing a bank transfer right in front of him when we sign the contract. What do you think?
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Old 22.05.2018, 19:59
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

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I was planning on doing a bank transfer right in front of him when we sign the contract. What do you think?
I'm a cash person myself.

Tom
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Old 22.05.2018, 21:21
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

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I'll be going to Zurich this week-end to sign everything in person (I haven't paid anything yet).

I'm trying my best to protect myself from scams but it's not easy without looking like a subtenant that may be hard to deal with. When do you think I should pay him the first month rent to be safe? I would prefer to pay it a few days before moving in but I think he will want me to pay at signing ( 4 months before moving) and I understand that.

I was planning on doing a bank transfer right in front of him when we sign the contract. What do you think?
Insist, in advance, that when you come to Zurich, you will want to meet with the tenant from whom you will be renting.

He must, by law, get written permission from his landlord, to sublet. Ask to see this permission. (You are not strictly entitled to it, since it is between him and his landlord, but it does lend a certain security to see it). You could also, once you have the contract in front of you, say you want to add the clause that says that this agreement is based on the permission given by the landlord.

Do not sign any contract you do not understand.
Do not sign any contract you do not understand.
Do not sign any contract you do not understand.

If you anticipate that the contract will be in a language you do not understand, then take your own translator along. Or, better still, take the contract away with his signature on it, tell him you need to take it to the translator, make sure she explains everything to you, and the return the contract with your signature the next day.

Once you have met the tenant, viewed the flat, read and understood the contract, then go with the tenant (= your new landlord) straight over to a bank, and together (each with your passports) open the blocked Mieterkautionskonto bank account into which your deposit will be paid. Transfer the deposit into this account once it is open.... and nowhere else!

Because I suggest opening this account, in the branch, together, I recommend that you set the viewing appointment early enough to get to the bank during banking hours.

Make the deposit payment, and each subsequent rental payment, electronically, so that you always have a record of where you sent the money and that you did pay.
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Old 22.05.2018, 22:10
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

Thanks so much for your advice!

Indeed, I am planning to meet with the tenant at the apartment to sign the contract. I haven't asked to see the landlord written agreement but I will try to.

He is supposed to send me the contract beforehand so I can review it before coming.

I am going this Saturday: do you know if by chance banks are open? I was planning on signing the form to open the account together and then sending the paperwork by mail to the bank
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Old 22.05.2018, 23:09
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

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Thanks so much for your advice!

Indeed, I am planning to meet with the tenant at the apartment to sign the contract. I haven't asked to see the landlord written agreement but I will try to.

He is supposed to send me the contract beforehand so I can review it before coming.

I am going this Saturday: do you know if by chance banks are open? I was planning on signing the form to open the account together and then sending the paperwork by mail to the bank
I don't know. Most banks don't operate on Saturdays, but if you google you might find something. You could also check the airport bank opening hours (typically longer), and enquire whether those branches also open this kind of account or not.

I doubt very much whether any bank in Switzerland would open a bank account on the basis of an email.

They will need to see you, and see the landlord, and check both of your passports, at the very minimum. Since this is a specific kind of account, especially for the deposit of a tenant, they may ask for further documentation, such as the contract, or details of your work and permit.

If you can, find out the list of document from a bank well before you get there. If you can't, then take the whole file with you, rather than risk being there, at the counter, and not being able to produce one last piece of paper.
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Old 23.05.2018, 00:18
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

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I don't know. Most banks don't operate on Saturdays, but if you google you might find something. You could also check the airport bank opening hours (typically longer), and enquire whether those branches also open this kind of account or not.

I doubt very much whether any bank in Switzerland would open a bank account on the basis of an email.

They will need to see you, and see the landlord, and check both of your passports, at the very minimum. Since this is a specific kind of account, especially for the deposit of a tenant, they may ask for further documentation, such as the contract, or details of your work and permit.

If you can, find out the list of document from a bank well before you get there. If you can't, then take the whole file with you, rather than risk being there, at the counter, and not being able to produce one last piece of paper.
I set up my BCV account on a Saturday, they operate between 9 AM and 1 PM. Not exactly relevant to Zurich, seeing all UBS and ZKB on Google are closed on Saturday. Guess this is a Vaud specific luxury.

Regarding paying for first month's rent, paying 4 months in advance when you sign the contract is a no no. You should refuse to do so and only pay ~a week before you move in. At least that's how it was for me, when I got a lease (not sublease).
You've already signed the contract and made a rental deposit. There's no point in paying extra money, besides the tenant being able to use that money.
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Old 23.05.2018, 18:06
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

You don't need to sign the contract for the Mieterkautionskonto, the important part is that it's in your name.

That said, UBS Polybahn (that's next to Central tram station) is open Saturdays from 07:00-14:00. There probably are more.

Central tram station is east of Zürich Hauptbahnhof (the main train Station), just across the Limmat river. Depending on where you exit the main station it's perhaps 200-500m distance. See this map.
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Old 31.05.2018, 16:47
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

Do you guys know what documents are required to open the rental deposit account? (Lease, copy of ID...) I have to send it by mail and I don't want to forget anything.

Thank you
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Old 31.05.2018, 17:08
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

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Do you guys know what documents are required to open the rental deposit account? (Lease, copy of ID...) I have to send it by mail and I don't want to forget anything.

Thank you
Lease, they usually give you a document specifically for that, saying the rental deposit value, ID, Permit I think.
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Old 01.06.2018, 08:38
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

I'd be interested to know whether anyone's ever managed to open a bank account, of any kind, in Switzerland, by mail, as Gawn is proposing to do.
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Old 01.06.2018, 10:07
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

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I'd be interested to know whether anyone's ever managed to open a bank account, of any kind, in Switzerland, by mail, as Gawn is proposing to do.
Sure, yes. But then I was introduced to the bank by our HR person
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Old 01.06.2018, 11:23
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

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I'd be interested to know whether anyone's ever managed to open a bank account, of any kind, in Switzerland, by mail, as Gawn is proposing to do.
I have opened a rental account without even signing anything, or providing any documents. I have also rented without a deposit.

Tom
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Old 01.06.2018, 11:51
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Re: Rental deposit for sublease (<1 year)

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I have opened a rental account without even signing anything, or providing any documents.
Did you do it by mail, Tom, as Gawn is proposing to do?

I'm fascinated, because I wouldn't have thought that mail would suffice to open an account. Unless one had connections, as you did, Roegner. That makes sense.
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