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Old 24.01.2019, 10:58
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Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

I did read some other threads here about Nachmieter before posting, I didn't find answers to my specific question though. I hope someone can help.

I am leaving Switzerland in the end of February, but my contract runs until end of March. I have given notice back in November which was aknowledged by the LL (a small agency). I have then contacted them couple of weeks ago explaining that I will move out in the end of February - gave them an option of either a) I find a nachmieter willing to rent the apartment from 1st March, b) They let me go in the end of Feb if they have other plans for the apartment.
The agency advised that they agree to me finding a nachmieter and provided application forms.

Its a nice apartment, I had some viewings this week and some people applying for the apartment. There is one tenant who is particularly interested so I've even sent a follow up email to the landlord recommending them.

Now even though the demand in Zurich exceeds the supply, there is still quite a bit of supply and this potential tenant has another offer.

I am wondering how long is it reasonable to expect the landlord to "decide" on an application(s)? Is there anything that keeps them from sitting on the application for a week or two, so that the applicant accepts another offer in the meantime? Is there anything I can/should do to accelerate the process and/or make sure I'm off the hook for the rent in March? I do want to help out this prospective tenant to get the apartment, and I also want to make sure I'm not paying for the apartment in March.

Thanks for all the tips!!
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Old 24.01.2019, 11:55
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

A few days so they can send the letter to the nachmieter asking him for all papers , the nachmieter could need a few days to gather and send this. After which the firm has up to two weeks to handle these and send out the contract after which the nachmieter needs to sign this and return it. And than you are completely of the hook.

If they take to long, or refuse the nachmieter even tho he is fine you are of the hook also.

If you want to speed things up next time, ask them upfront what they need from a nachmieter so you can ask yourself for this and send a full package to the agency.
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Old 24.01.2019, 12:23
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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A few days so they can send the letter to the nachmieter asking him for all papers , the nachmieter could need a few days to gather and send this. After which the firm has up to two weeks to handle these and send out the contract after which the nachmieter needs to sign this and return it. And than you are completely of the hook.

If they take to long, or refuse the nachmieter even tho he is fine you are of the hook also.

If you want to speed things up next time, ask them upfront what they need from a nachmieter so you can ask yourself for this and send a full package to the agency.
Thanks! I believe the prospective tenant has sent all the possible required documents right away - the application form, permit (same type as me), work contract, passport copy, betreibung, etc... So my guess is that we're hopefully in the "two weeks" stage already. Is the two weeks timeframe set in some sort of document or is it just a common practice/knowledge?
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Old 24.01.2019, 12:34
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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Thanks! I believe the prospective tenant has sent all the possible required documents right away - the application form, permit (same type as me), work contract, passport copy, betreibung, etc... So my guess is that we're hopefully in the "two weeks" stage already. Is the two weeks timeframe set in some sort of document or is it just a common practice/knowledge?
There is no time frame mentioned in the Art. 264 CO. I can't tell though if there is one for the canton of Zurich.
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Old 24.01.2019, 12:49
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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There is no time frame mentioned in the Art. 264 CO. I can't tell though if there is one for the canton of Zurich.
Times are based on court cases about the issue which gives us an idea about what is reasonable.

Businesses may use 10 to 20 days depending on the situation (in general a lot of places name 14 days once the agency/landlord has gotten the papers), private persons may take up to a month if they need such to do all.
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Old 24.01.2019, 13:10
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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Times are based on court cases about the issue which gives us an idea about what is reasonable.

Businesses may use 10 to 20 days depending on the situation (in general a lot of places name 14 days once the agency/landlord has gotten the papers), private persons may take up to a month if they need such to do all.
Correct. A good way around it is for the tenant to gather all documents from the candidates and then send to the landlord/agency by a registered mail, thus having proofs that the complete documentation was sent (and when they were sent). PS: Some candidates might complaint and not willing to do that due to sensitive information so you have to convince them it is in their benefit if they do. (in my case a candidate did not want to give me the documents and sent directly to the agency, without even communicating me that he sent. The result was already expected by me, he hasn't received any feedback from the agency even after one a half months)

If I am not mistaken, I read in a court jurisdiction that a good practice should be to inform the replacement tenant candidate in case of his/her positive acceptance within 5 days, i.e. a business week.
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Old 25.01.2019, 08:18
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

This article looks quite useful.

https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...er-auszug.html
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Old 25.01.2019, 10:23
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

Thanks everyone for the advise. With few more emails the landlord has indicated to the prospective tenant that they have reviewed the documentation and happy with it, so they will be posting the contract papers to them next week. This, togehter with the tenant application form indicating price and start date, seems enough evidence that I have indeed provided a suitable nachmieter.
I will of course wait until its all signed and done, but the outlook seems positive.

Thanks again everyone for your help!
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Old 15.07.2019, 14:27
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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Times are based on court cases about the issue which gives us an idea about what is reasonable.

Businesses may use 10 to 20 days depending on the situation (in general a lot of places name 14 days once the agency/landlord has gotten the papers), private persons may take up to a month if they need such to do all.
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If I am not mistaken, I read in a court jurisdiction that a good practice should be to inform the replacement tenant candidate in case of his/her positive acceptance within 5 days, i.e. a business week.
Following up on this, do you happen to have a link to these court cases or jurisdictions? I would like to forward them to the rental agency so they hurry the **** up.


I am in a similar situation as the OP, but the landlord is even slower.

I have sent my early termination request, along with 1 replacement tenant 28 days ago (20 business days). I have then sent a 2nd replacement tenant 21 days ago (15 business days).
I have regular emails with them, the first tenant is a bit hesitant, the 2nd tenant definitely wants to apartment.

The landlord (agency) has yet to contact any of them. Last Friday, 4 weeks after I submitted my first tenant, 3 weeks after submitting the second tenant, I have sent them the mail requesting the release from the lease (Last sample letter from MV).

Every mail was sent through registered mail, so I have receipts for everything.

What am I supposed to do now? I am worried if the agency delays things even more, both tenants will find a different apartment.
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Old 16.07.2019, 17:03
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

According to the MV, the landlord has 14 to 30 days to reply or give a reaction:
https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...er-auszug.html

IF the landlord rejects a "valid" (able to pay etc.) candidate of yours, you're out of your obligation. A candidate "not worser than you were" has to be considered "valid". Nevertheless, such thing in the worst case has to be fought out in the "Schlichtungsbehörde", it's not so that you're "automatically" out of your obligation.

So I would say you've done it all right for instance and the ball is now in the landlords court, he's obliged to at least reply.
The next step would be to provide yourself an "insurance" by requesting a confirmation from the rejected and "valid" candidate that he was indeed willed to overtake.
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Old 16.07.2019, 17:39
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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According to the MV, the landlord has 14 to 30 days to reply or give a reaction:
https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...er-auszug.html

IF the landlord rejects a "valid" (able to pay etc.) candidate of yours, you're out of your obligation. A candidate "not worser than you were" has to be considered "valid". Nevertheless, such thing in the worst case has to be fought out in the "Schlichtungsbehörde", it's not so that you're "automatically" out of your obligation.

So I would say you've done it all right for instance and the ball is now in the landlords court, he's obliged to at least reply.
The next step would be to provide yourself an "insurance" by requesting a confirmation from the rejected and "valid" candidate that he was indeed willed to overtake.
I have read that on the MV site. The 14 to 30 days part is a bit fuzzy to me, hence why I wanted some more official sources, but what I've read is:
- A private landlord has 30 days
- If it's a commercial property being rented, then the landlord has 30 days
- Otherwise, if it's an agency renting to a private person, it's 14 days, plus you have to allow for the Post to reach them (1 week, I think).

Nevertheless, they haven't yet rejected any candidate, they were just sitting on their asses, waiting for time to go by.

At least I managed to get them to promise me on the phone that they would get back to me by Friday.
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Old 16.07.2019, 18:14
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

I've copied it for you. From the "Mietrecht" book of MV, 600+ pages, the leading bible for CH tenants.
It's around those 10-30 days as said, but frankly there is no "hardcode" defining it, it's just based on recommendations of agencies, professionals etc.. But important, if the landlord misses (the scale of) these deadlines, it is another nail in his coffin allowing you to be released from your obligation.
Still, this has to be fought out definitely in the "Schlichtungsbehörde" (which surely will take the "recommendations" in consideration), if the landlord opposes.

It's an ambivalent thing. Best as in all civil matters is to try to reach a consensual agreement here. And leave out all "treaths" etc. at first, IMO it's useless, and resort on that only in the worst case.


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Old 16.07.2019, 18:14
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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I have read that on the MV site. The 14 to 30 days part is a bit fuzzy to me, hence why I wanted some more official sources, but what I've read is:
- A private landlord has 30 days
- If it's a commercial property being rented, then the landlord has 30 days
- Otherwise, if it's an agency renting to a private person, it's 14 days, plus you have to allow for the Post to reach them (1 week, I think).

Nevertheless, they haven't yet rejected any candidate, they were just sitting on their asses, waiting for time to go by.

At least I managed to get them to promise me on the phone that they would get back to me by Friday.
As for your first question, I this quick have no links to actual court cases (I'm not really familiar with finding those in this country)

However all the sources are agreeing on the terms, and they say this is based on jurisdiction.

If they do not respond in time, just inform them that they have exceeded the terms and that you will handover the apartment at (call your date), if they refuse the handover and you are certain that you can proof that you handled correctly, just hand in the keys at their office or with registered mail, and stop paying rent from that specific date.
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Old 17.07.2019, 10:54
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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If they do not respond in time, just inform them that they have exceeded the terms and that you will handover the apartment at (call your date), if they refuse the handover and you are certain that you can proof that you handled correctly, just hand in the keys at their office or with registered mail, and stop paying rent from that specific date.

That's exactly what I do NOT recommend. Taking deliberate or "threatening" actions from the tenant side only puts him into a defendant position (not paying the rent is one of them), which he then has to defend, what does not improve his situation at all.
For example the handover of the rented object with the keys (=Wohnungsübergabe) is the correct and usual way of handover. There, in mutual consent, will be established if the object is handed over in proper conditions (clean, no missing parts, no damages). If you're not present (or your representant) you give out your possibilities of influence. The landlord could claim its unclean, windows are broken, parts of the kitchen must be exchanced etc. etc.. This only endangers the deposit (Mieterkaution) which can be used to cover such costs on landlord side.

The correct/sensible way in these cases is to gradually increase the pressure on the landlord, so to say to put him into defendant position. Write (registered) him that he has overstepped the generally agreed rules as stated by the MV and other agencies in the field, that you now must rely on a binding confirmation/statement within x days because you're running out of time etc., and that you CONSIDER to drag it further to the "Schlichtungsbehörde" if no agreement is reached.

Should be more effective.
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Old 17.07.2019, 11:26
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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That's exactly what I do NOT recommend. Taking deliberate or "threatening" actions from the tenant side only puts him into a defendant position (not paying the rent is one of them), which he then has to defend, what does not improve his situation at all.
For example the handover of the rented object with the keys (=Wohnungsübergabe) is the correct and usual way of handover. There, in mutual consent, will be established if the object is handed over in proper conditions (clean, no missing parts, no damages). If you're not present (or your representant) you give out your possibilities of influence. The landlord could claim its unclean, windows are broken, parts of the kitchen must be exchanced etc. etc.. This only endangers the deposit (Mieterkaution) which can be used to cover such costs on landlord side.

The correct/sensible way in these cases is to gradually increase the pressure on the landlord, so to say to put him into defendant position. Write (registered) him that he has overstepped the generally agreed rules as stated by the MV and other agencies in the field, that you now must rely on a binding confirmation/statement within x days because you're running out of time etc., and that you CONSIDER to drag it further to the "Schlichtungsbehörde" if no agreement is reached.

Should be more effective.
That's exactly what I do NOT recommend.

So if you want to cancel a contract, and you are in your right to do so and your landlord refuses to accept the keys you just keep on paying the rent while considering to take further action?

Just hand in the key and stop paying rent, just like is stated by the MV and other agencies in the field to do in such situation.

Also there is no acknowledgement of the damage, and one should take pictures of the object before handing in the keys to avoid disabuse, and the landlord can't legally take money out of the deposit without your written consent.
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Old 17.07.2019, 12:25
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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and stop paying rent, just like is stated by the MV and other agencies in the field to do in such situation.

This is really BS. The MV strongly disagrees with "stopping to paying rent" in almost all cases. There are few cases (e.g. "justified" repairs not done by the landlord) where they suggest to put the rent into a "trusted" deposit in spite of paying it directly, but it ends there.

Not paying rents justifies actions of the landlord against the tenant.
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Old 17.07.2019, 12:43
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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This is really BS. The MV strongly disagrees with "stopping to paying rent" in almost all cases. There are few cases (e.g. "justified" repairs not done by the landlord) where they suggest to put the rent into a "trusted" deposit in spite of paying it directly, but it ends there.

Not paying rents justifies actions of the landlord against the tenant.
BS is to keep on paying for an apartment which has been cancelled in a correct way and for which the keys have been returned.

Not even mietverband advises to do such incredible stupid thing.
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Old 17.07.2019, 13:02
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

Have you ever dealt with the mieterverband? I have my doubts.

You're drawing the general picture that it is useful to show a "display of force" and a tenant is in the position to dictate terms. It is unrealistic. Specially in this case, where it is the tenant who wants something, the ausserterminliche kündigung (premature termination), which puts him the tenant in the obligation to provide. The terms are the mietrecht, and it mainly favors the landlord/owner. You really got this wrong. In any case of disagreement in renting matters it will end (in first instance) at the schlichtungbehörde (the mediation authority in these cases), where they try to sort it out. And if you want to take it further to the jurisdical level then good luck to you …

And it's also the general recommendation of the MV to drag it to the schlichtungsbehörde in the worst case, instead of taking foolish, unilateral actions.
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Old 17.07.2019, 13:08
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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Have you ever dealt with the mieterverband? I have my doubts.

You're drawing the general picture that it is useful to show a "display of force" and a tenant is in the position to dictate terms. It is unrealistic. Specially in this case, where it is the tenant who wants something, the ausserterminliche kündigung (premature termination), which puts him the tenant in the obligation to provide. The terms are the mietrecht, and it mainly favors the landlord/owner. You really got this wrong. In any case of disagreement in renting matters it will end (in first instance) at the schlichtungbehörde (the mediation authority in these cases), where they try to sort it out. And if you want to take it further to the jurisdical level then good luck to you ...
Both parties have rights and duties, if the landlord refuses to do his duty's than this allows the renter to exercise certain rights. In this case the landlord makes it impossible to have a nachmieter take over the contract which is no more or less than blocking a legal correct way of getting out of the contract, result of this is that the contract can be cancelled without a nachmieter taking over.

If the landlord wants to go to court to get money to which he is not entitled given that the contract should be considered as dismantled, let him.

Why are so many people so scared of landlords and exercising their rights?
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Old 17.07.2019, 21:00
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Re: Nachmieter - how long can landlord decide?

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...Why are so many people so scared of landlords and exercising their rights?
I could be wrong, but I think people want their deposits back. If you just mail in the keys then perhaps you don't have a say about the handover because you weren't there. The landlord can say you destroyed everything and you don't have much to stand on. Guess it depends which battles you want to pick.
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