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Old 01.09.2020, 11:17
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Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

So two months ago I decided to move out and get a bigger place. I can only move out two times per year, and the dates were problematic, so I set about finding a nachmieter.

I call my landlord, and we have a discussion about what I should put in the advert. I advertise it at 1000chf as this is what I pay now. He makes absolutely no comment on the cost and suggests using homegate. He sends me an advert for a very similar apartment two floors above mine, as a template for my advert.

So I create the homegate ad, spend many hours organising, tidying, preparing and cleaning. I even spend a few hundred extra on homegate and tutti as I want out ASAP.

Within a week I have 5 people who have viewed the apartment and loved it. They immediately send in their application.

He selects a tenant and all goes well. He tells me I should prepare to be out by the last week of September.

After making all the preparation for this, I now hear from the new tenant that my landlord won't send over the contract yet. But he is asking her to pay the deposit now. Of course, she says no. But he won't budge. He makes excuses that the contract is worth nothing anyway until the deposit is paid. Or that the person he employs to prepare the contract is on holiday...

The lady seems to think my landlord will raise the price on the contract after the deposit is paid. I suggested that she asks for him to send an email stating the price of the apartment as this should be binding in some way, and she says she did last week, and he has not responded.

I spoke to him at length yesterday about this, so he's obviously playing some sort of game. I feel this deal is about to fall through and I'm going to be left paying two rents.

Is it ever usual to pay the deposit without seeing a contract?
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Old 01.09.2020, 11:23
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

the contract stipulates the deposit. Until that's signed, this person should not transfer any funds.

as sad as it seems, she should walk away. Or contact the local renters association.
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Old 01.09.2020, 11:29
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

Definitely no deposit payment before a signed contract. In fact there is no basis for a deposit without the contract.

It will not fall back on you. You brought 5 potential "Nachmieter", you only need to bring one. Whether or not the landlord then gives the flat to one of them or not is not your problem. (He is not obliged to accept a certain person but he's obliged to get offers).

Keep out of anything to do with after you left. You were told it is okay to be out by end of September. Case closed - for you.
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Old 01.09.2020, 11:46
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

What curley said. The landlord needs to understand that you have no obligation from end of Sept onwards, and he needs to sort out his mess since you've provided an adequate number of reasonable candidates and he went as far as selecting one.
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Old 01.09.2020, 11:53
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

Well maybe my wording wasnt perfect in my original post.

What he said to me about moving out before the end of the month is the following:

"We have found a potential new tenant for your apartment. For organizational reasons, she would like to move in two or three days earlier. Is it possible for you to have the handover carried out in the week of September 21?"

With this I said yes, and asked my new landlord that I can move in a week or so earlier.
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Old 01.09.2020, 11:54
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

Whatever happens, join Mietverband now, it is cheap and means, as an existing member, they will be there to help if anything goes wrong, now or later. Go and see them and be prepared just in case.
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Old 01.09.2020, 11:58
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

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Well maybe my wording wasnt perfect in my original post.

What he said to me about moving out before the end of the month is the following:

"We have found a potential new tenant for your apartment. For organizational reasons, she would like to move in two or three days earlier. Is it possible for you to have the handover carried out in the week of September 21?"

With this I said yes, and asked my new landlord that I can move in a week or so earlier.
All perfect. You got more proof than necessary. Happy moving.
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Old 01.09.2020, 12:36
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

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It will not fall back on you. You brought 5 potential "Nachmieter", you only need to bring one.
Potential Nachmieter is only half the story. The Nachmieter must also the sign the contract when offered. But on the other hand the contract must be exactly as it was.

The landlord is free to forgo a potential Nachmieter and chose someone else or increase the rent. But luckily that is the landlords problem.

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After making all the preparation for this, I now hear from the new tenant that my landlord won't send over the contract yet. But he is asking her to pay the deposit now. Of course, she says no. But he won't budge. He makes excuses that the contract is worth nothing anyway until the deposit is paid.
A house rental contract is not bound to any form it can be verbal (Safe some special cantonal rules like in Vaud). They applied as a replacement tenant and seemingly were accepted. The terms and conditions of the contract are known. It is exactly as yours. Please give them a copy of yours so they can cross check once they actually get there own version.

The obligation to pay a deposit comes from the rental contract. No contract, no obligations. The landlords view that the contract is worth nothing is wrong. On the other hand if a deposit is paid there is a contract.

On one side paying the deposit now buts the replacement tenants in a somewhat favorable position. This would be a verbal contract as a replacement tenants with the same conditions as exactly you have/had. Changing some clauses afterwards is no longer possible (Did I mention that you should give them a copy of your contract ?).

On the other hand it is a stupid, non-professional move and shows that the landlord has no real knowledge and might be a real PITA in the future.

With that said, make sure that all is super clean at handover all a minor blemishes fixed, holes filled, faucets descaled, and broken things replaced.
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Old 01.09.2020, 13:05
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

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Potential Nachmieter is only half the story. The Nachmieter must also the sign the contract when offered. But on the other hand the contract must be exactly as it was. .......
The Nachmieter is not offered the contract in this case (in spite of asking for it repeatedly). They are only offered to pay deposit so far.
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Old 01.09.2020, 14:20
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

Ok so I think we may have sorted this mess out. It seems that he wanted to lower the nebenkosten by 70 and raise the apartment cost by 20 or something like that.

Every year I get money back from him because my Nebenkosten is too high. almost 1000chf. So yes there are some changes, but the total rental cost per month is actually lower. I can imagine it's inconvenient for him to pay out so much each year.

Of course the new tenant is now a bit suspicious, and rightly so, but I think this may be salvageable.
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Old 01.09.2020, 14:23
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

Follow-up question: how common is it to hire a cleaning company for handover, and how do they base their costs? Based on the m2 of the apartment?

I was planning to get a company in, but now I find out the new place I'm moving into isn't doing that. I keep it quite clean anyway. I'm wondering if I can sort this all out myself.
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Old 01.09.2020, 15:25
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

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I'm wondering if I can sort this all out myself.
You can if you know what to do. You have to clean the place like the Queen comes to visit and your landlord is Mr. Monk with the support of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (They will bring microscopes, black lights, and those little dentist mirrors). It must be literally be to eat from the floor or the toilet bowl. Literally.

It is doable, but be prepared to fail. Have a battle plan and get yourself informed:

Your really have to clean every little tiny detail and nook imaginable (and all those you do not even think about). Y
Final cleaning: self or cleaning agency?
planning to do the moving cleaning myself
Final Cleaning rules and standards...pls READ

Btw. even if you get a cleaning company you should anyway start now with oven cleaning, descaling things, and asses potential minor damages which you can easily fix but have to source the materials.



A cleaning company (mostly charges by the m^2 and rooms). Get a quote and specially look that they offer a handover guarantee.
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Old 01.09.2020, 16:22
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

With a landlord like that i would definitely get a cleaning company. But also be prepared to not sign the handover document if you do not agree with it.

Better to walk away and let them prove what you did. Be in good faith of course and ensure all mnor repairs are done etc. Your insurance will help you sort it out.

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Old 02.09.2020, 15:09
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

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Ok so I think we may have sorted this mess out. It seems that he wanted to lower the nebenkosten by 70 and raise the apartment cost by 20 or something like that.

Every year I get money back from him because my Nebenkosten is too high. almost 1000chf. So yes there are some changes, but the total rental cost per month is actually lower. I can imagine it's inconvenient for him to pay out so much each year.

Of course the new tenant is now a bit suspicious, and rightly so, but I think this may be salvageable.
What a scammer!

You need to report your landlord immediately!!!
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Old 02.09.2020, 15:42
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

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What a scammer!

You need to report your landlord immediately!!!
In what way? For sure it wasn't exactly by the book, it should have been made clear that he wanted to change this before I advertised. But in the end it comes with 50 chf cheaper cost per month.

It has been frustrating and confusing but I think I'm all sorted at this point.
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Old 02.09.2020, 15:46
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

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I was planning to get a company in, but now I find out the new place I'm moving into isn't doing that. I keep it quite clean anyway. I'm wondering if I can sort this all out myself.
As you already know that your new place isn’t being professionally cleaned, and you’re not experienced in the Swiss rental market, I strongly suggest that you bring a couple of people who understand this with for the handover of your new place, and take photos as proof. Few people can clean to the standards required by the landlords here, and if you miss an issue before you sign-off, you’ll be responsible for it when you leave.

A friend of mine rented an apartment that had been cleaned by the previous tenants, and between four of us, we had a 2 page list of what needed to be fixed (oven & fridge not thoroughly cleaned, filters not cleaned, marks on paintwork, dents in the walls from door handles, scratches on the floor etc). She agreed (in writing, & noted on the handover sheet) that some could be left until she would leave the apartment, but sure enough, at her outgoing handover, the landlord tried to claim that she was responsible for these. Fortunately, she had the proof from her incoming handover.

Also, the landlord will be very friendly with you for the incoming handover, to get you relaxed, and you’ll be excited at moving in, so you won’t notice a lot of the small details. They’re the opposite for the outgoing handover, when they’ll try to catch you for the smallest detail. PLEASE don’t get caught out!
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Old 02.09.2020, 15:54
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

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In what way? For sure it wasn't exactly by the book, it should have been made clear that he wanted to change this before I advertised. But in the end it comes with 50 chf cheaper cost per month.
No, it is CHF 20 more per month !!

You have to look at the overall picture and how much you pay in a full year after NK have been actually billed.

Nebenkosten (NK) are normally charged "akonto", which is a pre-payement towards the final auxiliary bill. If too much NK were paid in a year it must be reimbursed. Otherwise you get billed for the extra.

How much NK you pay per month is cost and rent neutral as only the final bill really matters. If you pay too much you will get it back and some point. Rent on the other hand cannot and will not be reimbursed. You pay what you pay. It is gone.
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Old 03.09.2020, 13:36
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

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In what way?
Exactly. Hence the hyperbole, see your subject. Perhaps be a little less quick with your judgement next time around.
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No, it is CHF 20 more per month !!
True, but the question is why. Given how this thread evolved, my bet would be that the 20.- is the balance of inflation, lower reference interest rate, and other relevant factors. Lawful legal housekeeping if you will.
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Old 03.09.2020, 13:55
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

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Exactly. Hence the hyperbole, see your subject. Perhaps be a little less quick with your judgement next time around.

True, but the question is why. Given how this thread evolved, my bet would be that the 20.- is the balance of inflation, lower reference interest rate, and other relevant factors. Lawful legal housekeeping if you will.
If I had weeks to wait for him to make this covert move then I would not have made the post. Of course in the fullness of time everything becomes clear. But the reality is I have to book a cleaning company and can't just ring them on a monday and expect them to be available on a wednesday. Advice was needed asap and I included everything I knew at the time.
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Old 03.09.2020, 13:58
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Re: Landlord trying to scam the nachmieter I found

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Exactly. Hence the hyperbole, see your subject. Perhaps be a little less quick with your judgement next time around.

True, but the question is why. Given how this thread evolved, my bet would be that the 20.- is the balance of inflation, lower reference interest rate, and other relevant factors. Lawful legal housekeeping if you will.
I signed the contract during the period that the reference rate was 1.75%. Now it's 1.25%, so it could be that a small reduction was due. Anyway, it's irrelevant now.
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