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Old 29.01.2019, 22:49
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Re: Inform landlord that we are looking for Nachmieter

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If they won't let go of that condition, get it in writing and tell them that you cancel, do give them a date and that you will be of the hook and they can find a new one on their own.
I still have to find someone to sign a contract with them, the only difference being that they do not continue my contract but get a brand new one from start.

If I find no one, I am still expected to pay until my contract end in Sep.
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  #22  
Old 29.01.2019, 23:44
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Re: Inform landlord that we are looking for Nachmieter

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Basically it says something like: The new tenants will get a new lease, including the minimum rental period, as you received when you moved in, and do not have to move out at the end of your contract period. They do not use the word Nachmieter, but neuen Mieter instead.
Now check with the Mieterverband if they just shot themselve in the foot and relieved you from finding a Nachmieter as this no longer the same contract with the very same condition as a new contract means with your landlord means a new minimal rental duration.

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If I find no one, I am still expected to pay until my contract end in Sep.
That is what they say but maybe not what the Mieterverband, the law, and the rental court will say.
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Old 30.01.2019, 01:12
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Re: Inform landlord that we are looking for Nachmieter

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Thanks for all the replies. I do not mean to argue or question your experience, I just want to get the best understanding of it.
This is regulated by Code of Obligations §264, early return of the rented goods without notice period. Your rental contract doesn't provide for an ending without notice period therefor it doesn't end without notice period. That's why the new renter will enter into the existing contract in your stead. Non-cancellation is the reason why you're liable to pay rent beyond your announced move out date until the earliest contractual cancel date if you fail to provide an acceptable new renter.
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Assuming, a new tenant takes over my contract. This means I am free of liability and I am no longer associated with this apartment. If the agency wants to kick out the new tenant, this is not something that I can legally be associated with. Is my understanding correct?
Correct. What happens afterwards is none of your concern at all.

Just for completeness' sake: You're liable for any damage you caused and for the difference between charges [Nebenkosten] paid for by the contractual monthly payments and actual costs (you're owed the balance if you overpaid). This is often dealt with considerable time after moving out.

If you provide at least one acceptable follow-on renter (allow for a reasonable timeframe for the agency to check them, 2-3 weeks is the maximum for professionals like an agency) you're freed from your obligations beyond the date the other is willing to enter into the contract(*). However, apparently the owner/agency can insist on the change to happen at a month's end so perhaps do that right away. Especially in your case as the agency is clearly dishonest and playing dirty.

See this case mentioned by the renter's association. Also mind the wording, "Mitteilung" is an ordinary note, nothing about cancellation. Also see the page by the Mietgericht Zürich and their template letter linked to on the right, there's no mention whatsoever about cancelling. Quite the contrary, the letter (implicitly) tells you what to do: Inform them about your intent (e.g. using this template), followed by providing follow-on renter(s) and their documents.

(*)The clock doesn't start ticking until the agency has all the documents so you may want to enquire what's common nowadays if they don't provide you their application forms, and make sure you get all of that. And you want to make copies of the applicants' docs (you need permission from the new renter) so you can prove you did what's necessary in case the agency keeps playing dirty. You also want to be able to contact the applicants in case the agency claims they backed out later on because that, if true, would mean there was no new renter therefor you're not free.

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The risk, as I see it is that no one takes over the contract if they see it is until September, so I have to pay few months double rent.
Excellent thinking. This is why you don't cancel the contract.

The agency are playing dirty so you definitely want to be documented exceptionally well (even if they shot themselves in the foot, see aSITUS above), including sending your note and the applications by registered mail only. Inform the agency about your intent and request application forms. That gives you the best of both worlds, if you can't find a follow-on renter the contract automatically ends by the next ordinary cancel date.

Do note that you're also free if the agency wants to increase the rent and the new renter refuses to accept that.

Last edited by Urs Max; 30.01.2019 at 01:29.
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Old 30.01.2019, 12:16
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Re: Inform landlord that we are looking for Nachmieter

Thanks for the detailed response. It is much helpful!
I just want to make sure one thing.


I have two dates in the year when I can move out the normal way - end of March and end of September with a 4 month cancellation notice.
If I start looking for new tenants now, without cancelling the contract (presuming they still send me the forms) but find no one before the date I move out to the new place, I still have to keep paying. That is clear.
But, if I prolong the search, still without cancelling, and go over those 4 months, I cannot move out in September, because I have not sent them a cancellation letter, nor have I found anyone. Is my understanding correct?


If yes, then to me it makes more sense to cancel the contract now, get the forms, look for someone (hope I find new tenants) and even if I don't, I am certain that end of September my liability definitely ends (because of the cancellation). This is considering the agency confirmed in writing (email) that the new tenant will get new contract and will not have to move out in September.
The risk as I see it is not so much about not finding anyone to take over due to the fixed cancellation date, but not finding anyone to sign because the agency might decide to increase the cost in the new tenant/s new contract. Because if I find Nachmieter to take over my existing contract, the parameters stay exactly the same and the agency cannot increase the rental cost. But if I cancel and they offer new contract to the new tenant with increased rental cost, even if the new tenant refuses the contract and I keep paying until September the current amount, after September nothing stops the agency to increase the rent (even if they have to justify it with some renovations, etc).
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Old 30.01.2019, 12:34
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Re: Inform landlord that we are looking for Nachmieter

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But if I cancel and they offer new contract to the new tenant with increased rental cost, even if the new tenant refuses the contract and I keep paying until September the current amount, after September nothing stops the agency to increase the rent (even if they have to justify it with some renovations, etc).
They might increase and your replacement might deny. But in this case there is no doubt that we have a different contract with different clauses than yours. In this case it is the agencies problem and you are relived from any rent and auxiliary charges when you hand back the apartment.

It is the agencies own job to find a replacement if they change the clauses of the contract. You only have to find a replacement when the clauses of the new contract are the same as yours! Question remains, if the reset initial cancellation period counts as a changed clause. If yes, you are already relieved from finding a replacement.

It is all in Art. 264 of the Code of Obligations https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a264
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1 Where the tenant or lessee returns the object without observing the notice period or the deadline for termination, he is released from his obligations towards the landlord or lessor only if he proposes a new tenant or lessee who is acceptable to the landlord or lessor, solvent and willing to take on the lease or rental agreement under the same terms and conditions.

2 Otherwise, the tenant or lessee must continue to pay the rent until such time as the lease ends or may be terminated under the contract or by law.

3 Against the rent owing to him, the landlord or lessor must permit account to be taken of:
a. any expenses he has saved, and
b. any earnings which he has obtained, or intentionally failed to obtain, from putting the object to some other use.
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  #26  
Old 30.01.2019, 19:03
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Re: Inform landlord that we are looking for Nachmieter

I asked and received email confirmation from the Verwaltung that the contract parameters for the new tenants will be the same as ours. They specified rent will not be increased.
I suppose, we are on the safe side now. I will send them a cancellation form and wait for the application forms.
Thanks everyone for the detailed responses and clarifications. You have been very helpful.
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Old 30.01.2019, 19:10
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Re: Inform landlord that we are looking for Nachmieter

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I asked and received email confirmation from the Verwaltung that the contract parameters for the new tenants will be the same as ours. They specified rent will not be increased.
So, no new initial one year cancellation period for the replacement? Or does it still exists.
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Old 30.01.2019, 20:49
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Re: Inform landlord that we are looking for Nachmieter

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But, if I prolong the search, still without cancelling, and go over those 4 months, I cannot move out in September, because I have not sent them a cancellation letter, nor have I found anyone. Is my understanding correct?
Nope. Your note about moving out also acts as cancel notice that ends the contract at the earliest contractual end date if you don't find a new renter.



If the communication with the agency where she says you have to give notice instead happened in written form,you already have confirmation of them receiving your note. Otherwise, or if you want to make extra sure, you send them an ordinary letter informing about the fact by registered mail.
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  #29  
Old 31.01.2019, 09:41
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Re: Inform landlord that we are looking for Nachmieter

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So, no new initial one year cancellation period for the replacement? Or does it still exists.

It is still there, basically a brand new contract with the same conditions.
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Old 31.01.2019, 09:45
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Re: Inform landlord that we are looking for Nachmieter

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If the communication with the agency where she says you have to give notice instead happened in written form,you already have confirmation of them receiving your note. Otherwise, or if you want to make extra sure, you send them an ordinary letter informing about the fact by registered mail.

I still plan to send them a letter informing we want to move and terminate the existing contract. Considering the email discussion I had with them, I find no reason to be concerned at this stage. They have already confirmed new tenants will have to sign a new contract with the exact same conditions as mine (rent, notice period, etc.)
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