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Old 11.08.2019, 02:40
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What to do about laundry machine

Hello, I found a great apartment to rend and I really like it, when I went to see it the owner told me that he wants to sell the washing machine that is hooked up in the kitchen and an armoir with two mirrors to the person who wants to rent it for 350 francs. I have no problem with this as the apartment is so cheap and with the machine it's a lot less than my current apartment.
My question is after the end of the contract what does this mean for the machine and the armoir? do I get my money back from the owner? do I sell them to the next tennant? do I take them with me? it's good to note that I'm moving out of Switzerland as the contract is over so I wouldn't need them and I can't take them with me.
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Old 11.08.2019, 05:13
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

Welcome, and I commend you for thinking this through before you buy and sign.

It is against the law for an owner to make the awarding of the contract subject to the tenant agreeing to purchase furniture, etc. which is inside the flat. At least, this is the case in canton Zurich, but you'd have to check what rules apply in canton Vaud. You can do this at www.asloca.ch (the tenants' rights organisation).

I recommend that you make sure you know whether you're dealing with the owner, or with the tenant before you. The reason I say this, is that some tenants try to sell their possessions to the next tenant, so save themselves the time, trouble and money of disposing of them. The owner, however (at least in Canton Zürich) is not allowed to do this, and you can just say "no, thanks" to the previous tenant.

If you buy the machine and the cupboard, then they will belong to you just the same as any other furniture you bring into the apartment, such as your bed. When you move out, you will be responsible for moving all those things out of the apartment to leave it empty, clean and undamaged. Neither the owner nor the former tenant will give you your money back.

If you are lucky, the tenant who follows you may want to buy them from you... but, depending on when you give notice and how you leave, it might be that you never even meet the new tenant. This will happen if your contract is either of fixed duration or if you give regular notice within the terms of your contract (i.e. do not leave "early") and the landlord doesn't choose to hold a flat-showing for new tenants while you are still in the flat.

You could also try to sell them yourself before you leave, to anyone else, for example on www.tutti.ch or www.anibis.ch, or to give them away on either of those sites or on www.fleedoo.ch. In fact, if you go onto those sites now, you can get an idea of the value of the items and whether the price of Fr. 350 is reasonable.
  • If you don't buy this cupboard, it is very likely that it will be easy to get another one elsewhere, such as in a second-hand shop or on one of the above sites.
  • If you don't buy this washing-machine, where will you do your laundry? Often there is a shared, installed laundry for the whole building, downstairs. Is there one in this building? Even when there is, some people prefer to have their own machine, because of the convenience. If there are no laundry facilities, then what will it cost you, in terms of time, effort and money, to wash everything by hand or to carry your laundry to a laundromat or laundry service? Set that off against the convenience of washing at home.

If you do decide to buy those items, and if it is the owner selling them, then take special care with the documentation when you do the handover, i.e. when you get your keys. Then, your landlord and you should walk around the flat inspecting it, and writing down any defects. Make sure you write down: "washing machine and installation done by previous tenant or by landlord - not the responsibility of YOUR NAME". As far as the cupboard goes, pull it away from the wall and onto a different section of the floor, to be sure that it is not concealing damage. Whatever you find, write it down on that inspection form, too, for example: "several large scratches in the wooden floor beneath the large cupboard immediately to the right of the living-room door - not the responsibility of YOUR NAME".

Lastly, if you leave and have not properly disposed of those two items (by selling them or taking them to the rubbish disposal centre or having them collected by a service who will do so for you), then the landlord is likely to charge you the amount that it costs him to get rid of them. This amount will then be deducted from your rental deposit.
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Old 11.08.2019, 05:37
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

Thank you so much, this is really informative.
I don't know for sure if it's the owner or not, I just assumed that because he said that the term of rental is until March 30th only, and he said that he told the rental agency to give the apartment to the first person who accepts buying the armoir and the machine.
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Old 11.08.2019, 06:10
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

The owner owns the building.
The rental agency is appointed to work on behalf of the owner, to look after the owner's insterest and do all the adminitration, and make sure the building is cared for.

The owner (at least in Canton Zurich) is not allowed to rent on the basis of having connected the sale of furniture to the rental contract.

The tenant has no authority to tell the rental agency to whom they shall rent.
The rental agency does not have to listen to what the tenant tells them to do.

I recommend that you find out the name of the rental agency (it is often displayed on a notice in the entrance of the building) and write to them directly (with copies of all your documents attached), and possibly go to their office, to say that you are interested in renting that apartment and would like to apply.

Make sure you know exactly which apartment it is; after all, they deal with hundreds! The description will be
  • the address of the building,
  • the floor above ground level, plus
  • the door.
For example: third floor, second flat to the right of the stairwell, currently let to NAME. Sometimes there is a flat number on the door or on the letterbox.

If you are in an area in which accommodation is in short supply, don't delay.
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Old 11.08.2019, 07:25
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

It isn't legal in Vaud either. However it is a cheap price to secure the appartment in a tight market.

Some people are so desperate however they gladly pay.
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Old 11.08.2019, 07:45
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

Whether or not the price really does secure the apartment depends, however, on the agent/owner, not on the tenant.

Also, the price is not just the purchase price now, but also the cost of getting rid of the things later, if one cannot sell them.

The sum of those two prices may well be worth it.

I think MAD wants to understand what it would mean, so as to go in with eyes wide open.
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Old 11.08.2019, 10:29
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

If you take the machine over from the previous tenant you risk having to restore piping and/or electricity when you're leaving if nobody is taking over this from you, be sure to exclude such by contract. If you take over from the owner it is your machine but his piping.
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Old 12.08.2019, 08:35
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

Thanks guys, I'm going to the agency in an hour and will update this post when I'm back.
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Old 13.08.2019, 11:53
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

I forgot to update this sorry,

I went to the agency, they told me that he's a tenant and they looked very confused when I said they he told me he'll not rent the apartment without buying the stuff, then I explained and they apologized and told me that I absolutely don't have to buy anything from him. I filled the application and I'm waiting to hear back.
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Old 13.08.2019, 12:06
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

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If you take the machine over from the previous tenant you risk having to restore piping and/or electricity when you're leaving if nobody is taking over this from you, be sure to exclude such by contract. If you take over from the owner it is your machine but his piping.
And how exactly do you propose to enforce this ? The previous tenant may have even left canton/ country by the time it comes to enforcing such an un enforcable contract.

Who decides when and where the removal of pipes takes place, what happens if you have to replace a pipe/conection, who pays, who is responsible.

The idea sounds nice but in reality it would never fly, a total wasps’ nest of litigation awaits !
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Old 13.08.2019, 12:20
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

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And how exactly do you propose to enforce this ? The previous tenant may have even left canton/ country by the time it comes to enforcing such an un enforcable contract.
Who cares where the previous tenant went? After take-over he is no longer an involved party anyway.

As for the rest, such modifications are mentioned in a proper take-over contract as having been taken over and depending on the landlord or the upcoming new tenant not wishing to take-over restoring these can be enforced. If not mentioned in the contract they are to be considered as accepted by the landlord (since you rent from the landlord as is, unless specified otherwise) and have to be seen as part of the house and of no concern to the new tenant.
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Old 13.08.2019, 12:20
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

I took Edwin to mean, with "exclude such by contract", that the new tenant should specify this on the "Mängelliste" (list of defects) with the owner. And not that the new tenant should try to make a contract about the piping with the departing tenant.

I've seen this arrangement with the owner work with regard to a dishwasher. Tenant bought it, and got permission from the landlord to install it. The landlord set, as a condition, that the tenant use the plumber the landlord knew and trusted. Everything worked fine. Years later, the tenant moved out.

In that case, the tenant decided to leave the dishwasher installed, and the landlord - not the new tenant - agreed to take it over, and thereby and piping and electrics (and the dishwasher itself) became the property of the landlord. On the advice of the Mieterverband (tenants' association), the outgoing tenant made a formal contract with the landlord/owner, to exclude any liability on the part of the outgoing tenant for potential costs arising from the landlord's taking ownership of the dishwasher, piping and electrics.

EDIT: I was replying to Today Only, but EdwinNL was fasternme.
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Old 13.08.2019, 12:24
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Re: What to do about laundry machine

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I took Edwin to mean, with "exclude such by contract", that the new tenant should specify this on the "Mängelliste" (list of defects) with the owner. And not that the new tenant should try to make a contract about the piping with the departing tenant.

I've seen this arrangement with the owner work with regard to a dishwasher. Tenant bought it, and got permission from the landlord to install it. The landlord set, as a condition, that the tenant use the plumber the landlord knew and trusted. Everything worked fine. Years later, the tenant moved out.

In that case, the tenant decided to leave the dishwasher installed, and the landlord - not the new tenant - agreed to take it over, and thereby and piping and electrics (and the dishwasher itself) became the property of the landlord. On the advice of the Mieterverband (tenants' association), the outgoing tenant made a formal contract with the landlord/owner, to exclude any liability on the part of the outgoing tenant for potential costs arising from the landlord's taking ownership of the dishwasher, piping and electrics.

EDIT: I was replying to Today Only, but EdwinNL was fasternme.
Different things are possible.

In our previous apartment we signed for taking over a bunch of extra wall sockets, and yes they were installed by a professional certified electrician, but it was also mentioned that we were responsible for them, and that we had to remove them or have them taken-over when leaving. A small private landlord would likely be happy with them and would not care and just accept them as being his, a big firm is more interested in maintaining 100 equal apartments with equal installations to cut the costs instead of having exceptions everywhere, so they just want you to remove it.
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