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Old 05.03.2020, 22:42
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Living rent free

Hi,

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my situation.

Im currently living in the canton of VD. I am living free of charge with a sweet Swiss lady and her son ( she is the owner of the house). In exchange of housing, I clean, cook, paint, landscape, build, etc. This is our mutual agreement.

I have offered to pay rent because I also have a part-time job but she prefers for me to save my money so I can pay for my studies and other expenses.

I am truly grateful for her!

I recently applied for my permit B and was denied for various reasons and if I want to appeal I must send a copy of my rent agreement. However I have no rent agreement because I live for free.

My "landlord" had initially written a letter to the " commune de la population" stating that I live in her home free of charge. But this letter didn't seem to hold value.

She is a very busy person so I wish to find out as much information on my own and present her with options for my situation.

My questions are, what are the options and/or steps for us to create a contract under these circumstances? And can we legally have an official contract saying that I pay nothing for rent without her having trouble with the authorities?

Thanks for your help
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  #2  
Old 05.03.2020, 22:55
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Re: Living rent free

Sign a subcontracting agreement with her and get her to pay you the money back for the work that you do.
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Old 05.03.2020, 22:59
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Re: Living rent free

Also the housing can be seen as payment for what you do making it an employer/employee relationship, be sure to not screw up on that one eventually.
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Old 06.03.2020, 06:09
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Re: Living rent free

There is a form which is the equivalent of a rental contract that the home owner signs that says if you are family, friend, partner etc that covers your situation.

You'll have to go to your commune to get a copy.
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Old 06.03.2020, 07:13
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Re: Living rent free

The Swiss social security requires contributions from people who are living for free. They do this by assigning a standard value to accommodation, breakfast, lunch and supper.

This is set out in Point 12 of the broschure called,
in French: "Cotisations salariales à l’AVS", https://www.ahv-iv.ch/p/2.01.f
in German: "Lohnbeiträge an die AHV, die IV und die EO", https://www.ahv-iv.ch/p/2.01.d.

Edit: Wow, it's even available in English: https://www.ahv-iv.ch/p/2.01.e
Salary contributions to Old-Age and Survivors’ Insurance (OASI), Disability Insurance (DI) and Income
Position as of 1st January 2020.
Please bear in mind that the English versions of anything official in Switzerland are just a courtesy, and not legally binding.

Therefore, I'd say that if you get your contributions in order, properly paid up, (and it's worth asking if you're allowed to pay them retrospectively), then you might have a basis to prove how you can afford to live here. But as others have said, you'll need something in writing from your landlady, and a minimal contract would be the right thing.
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Old 06.03.2020, 07:17
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Re: Living rent free

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Hi,

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my situation.

Im currently living in the canton of VD. I am living free of charge with a sweet Swiss lady and her son ( she is the owner of the house). In exchange of housing, I clean, cook, paint, landscape, build, etc. This is our mutual agreement.

I have offered to pay rent because I also have a part-time job but she prefers for me to save my money so I can pay for my studies and other expenses.

I am truly grateful for her!

I recently applied for my permit B and was denied for various reasons and if I want to appeal I must send a copy of my rent agreement. However I have no rent agreement because I live for free.

My "landlord" had initially written a letter to the " commune de la population" stating that I live in her home free of charge. But this letter didn't seem to hold value.

She is a very busy person so I wish to find out as much information on my own and present her with options for my situation.

My questions are, what are the options and/or steps for us to create a contract under these circumstances? And can we legally have an official contract saying that I pay nothing for rent without her having trouble with the authorities?

Thanks for your help
Sadly to say say you are caught up in this shit Swiss beaurocracy. Good luck!
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Old 06.03.2020, 09:30
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Re: Living rent free

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Sign a subcontracting agreement with her and get her to pay you the money back for the work that you do.
The she would have to declare it and pay tax on it.
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Old 06.03.2020, 09:42
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Re: Living rent free

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The she would have to declare it and pay tax on it.
True , but she could also deduct expenses for maintenance and so it might be almost tax neutral for her if she does it right .

Last edited by amogles; 06.03.2020 at 09:57.
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Old 06.03.2020, 09:59
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Re: Living rent free

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The she would have to declare it and pay tax on it.
Only if the rent was actually paid, if he fails to pay the rent then no tax is due.
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Old 06.03.2020, 10:19
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Re: Living rent free

It's a very interesting question. The way I see it, the problem for the authorities is what happens if the relationship breaks down with this woman, or if something happens to her that prevents you from remaining there.

You would need housing, and money to live on. Who pays your Health/accident insurance at the moment?
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Old 06.03.2020, 17:28
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Re: Living rent free

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It's a very interesting question. The way I see it, the problem for the authorities is what happens if the relationship breaks down with this woman, or if something happens to her that prevents you from remaining there.
I guess that if there is a legally binding contract in place, you have the same protection against eviction as when you are paying rent. In other words, she would have to serve him notice, and he can stay there until the end of the notice period.

And even if there isn't a contract, you could probably argue there is an implied contract, with the same effect.
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Old 06.03.2020, 17:45
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Re: Living rent free

I took Odile to be meaning with regard to the permit. As in even if all the paperwork were all completed, with rental agreement and social security contributions, etc. the immigration authorities might not be satisfied that this sufficed.

After all, their task is to ensure that they let in (= give permits to) only those immigrants who look very unlikely to ever need to end up eligible for social security benefits.

OP, perhaps you might be able to apply for a permit to do this on a limited duration basis only, as in, a permit for just 3 or 6 months, after which you would leave Switzerland again.
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Old 06.03.2020, 18:23
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Re: Living rent free

Indeed- looking at the situation from the authorities' pov. If for any reason/s the arrangement breaks down- then who will be responsible for housing and social benefits.

What happens to AVS pension payments currently, and health/accident insurance?

We are looking at this kind of arrangement for the future- plenty of space here to provide a couple with independent accomodation with minimal amount of work (a couple of partitions and a shower installed in one of the WCs) - in exchange for help with gardening, diy, garden, shopping, cleaning and perhaps even cooking. The concept is interesting- but we would want everything to be above board- and to be able to break the contract if things didn't turn out.
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Old 06.03.2020, 19:30
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Re: Living rent free

How old are you btw? Because if below 30, if you are EU, or up to 25 if non EU- you could possibly benefit from the status of Au Pair.
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Old 06.03.2020, 20:38
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Re: Living rent free

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We are looking at this kind of arrangement for the future- plenty of space here to provide a couple with independent accomodation .... in exchange for help with gardening, diy, garden, shopping, cleaning and perhaps even cooking. The concept is interesting- but we would want everything to be above board- and to be able to break the contract if things didn't turn out.
Odile, have you had a look at workaway?
https://www.workaway.info/

Anyone else here have any experience with it?
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Old 06.03.2020, 21:16
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Re: Living rent free

Very interesting- at this stage more for us to go, than to host.

For the future, we are not there yet I hate the idea of going into a care home- and hate the idea of mono-agegroup living. Our house would be perfect to not just share with 1 person living in, but a couple with children and possibly animals, with a big vegetable garden, some chickens and possibly a few lambs. So long-term But a different story to the OP- so let's stick to it.
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Old 06.03.2020, 21:27
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Re: Living rent free

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I have offered to pay rent because I also have a part-time job but she prefers for me to save my money so I can pay for my studies and other expenses.
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You would need housing, and money to live on. Who pays your Health/accident insurance at the moment?
At a guess I’d say that would be part of the others expenses he has and pays for out of his income from his part time job.
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Old 06.03.2020, 21:32
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Re: Living rent free

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Indeed- looking at the situation from the authorities' pov. If for any reason/s the arrangement breaks down- then who will be responsible for housing and social benefits.

What happens to AVS pension payments currently, and health/accident insurance?

We are looking at this kind of arrangement for the future- plenty of space here to provide a couple with independent accomodation with minimal amount of work (a couple of partitions and a shower installed in one of the WCs) - in exchange for help with gardening, diy, garden, shopping, cleaning and perhaps even cooking. The concept is interesting- but we would want everything to be above board- and to be able to break the contract if things didn't turn out.
I think the authorities will want a letter in which you guarantee that you take on responsibilty for financially supporting or providing for your guest.

I guess that means that if you change your mind, you are still on the line for providing for them.

This means you need to cover all non-avoidable costs. This could include basic health insurance if the person isn't otherwise covered.

I would thus recommend against offering such an assurance, unless you know the person well and know you won't fall out with them, and that they won't abuse the situation.
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Old 07.03.2020, 10:10
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Re: Living rent free

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At a guess I’d say that would be part of the others expenses he has and pays for out of his income from his part time job.
Yes, we can guess all sorts- such a shame when someone comes here to ask for advice giving only vere limited info- and then disappears. Unless s/he comes back, it is all conjecture.

Personally, I love the concept of sharing and exchanging in a manner that benefits everyone- but can see that the autorities would not be happy to see such an arrangement as valid to granting a B permit.

Last edited by Odile; 07.03.2020 at 11:43.
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Old 07.03.2020, 16:26
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Re: Living rent free

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Sadly to say say you are caught up in this shit Swiss beaurocracy. Good luck!

I made myself a big hole that I must escape from
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