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Old 24.09.2020, 11:01
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need help to understand Untermietvertragen

Hello everyone,

I received a sublet contract (Untermietvertrag) but didn't sign it yet because there is something weird about it. I would like to seek for some opinions from forum veterans and EF members. The contracts can be found at https://send.tresorit.com/a#O0JNFa-oNcOmiZdf8kxwoQ (sorry I don't know how to attach photos). The following is the information

- I and the main tenant agreed that I would rent the whole apartment (bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchen) for CHF 1200 a month. We also agreed that the main tenant might pop in the living room perhaps once in a week (he would stay at his partner's place the rest of the week).

- Today, I received two Untermietvertrag(en?) from the main tenant. The main tenant wrote that "One is only for the room (specification of the cooperative), the other one is for the whole apartment to rent (for you)". The one for the whole apartment costs 1200 CHF as we agreed. The other is for Teile der Wohnung, nämlich: Zimmer: 1 / Schlafzimmer + bathroom + kitchen and costs 500 CHF.

- I asked the main tenant why there is the 500-CHF contract. He responded that "This is only for office because they want also see what the room costs are. Sorry for the confusion, normally I can rent one room and not the whole flat because I also live in (sometimes, but rarely). But now, it's ok if you rent the apartment for the total amount of CHF 1200. But the office wants to have a contract also for the room only."

- After me getting confused at him, he sent me a Teile der Wohnung, nämlich: Zimmer: 1 / Schlafzimmer contract and wrote that "I sent you another one without any amount on it. You may sign this one if you want to, and I will write the amount of CHF 1200 later." [Machen wir es doch so, unterzeichne bitte diesen Vertrag, damit ich es so an die Genossenschaft weiterleiten kann]


The new contract can be found at https://send.tresorit.com/a#sc4p4ajyiOllfo533vOzOg and looks fine to me now. I would appreciate all advices to see if the new one is okay



Thank you very much

Last edited by danilins; 24.09.2020 at 11:17.
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Old 24.09.2020, 11:33
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

That would be like signing a blank check.
What stops you from filling in the amount?

Why does he reserve the right to "pop" in once a week?
You rent & pay for the entire appartement.
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Old 24.09.2020, 11:37
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

Hello Sigh,


Thank you for your answer :-) I don't plan to leave it blank -- I will write 1200 when (if) I decide to sign the new contract. I was actually okay with the main tenant popping up some time (he said he would come to collect mails and maybe check a little bit).
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Old 24.09.2020, 11:56
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

Are his visiting days set or can he show up whenever he wants?

I am confused now, too is there now 1 contract with 1200 or still 2?
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Old 24.09.2020, 12:24
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

It sounds rather like he's trying to pull a fast one with tax authorities, and/or residency requirements, by claiming that he's still living there and only receiving 500 a month in rent for the one bedroom.

I'd be careful that I understood all the possible consequences before agreeing to this.
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Old 24.09.2020, 13:06
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

First an update: I spoke to a student housing office that provide advices, and they said it seemed like the main tenant is trying to do Yin-Yang contract — so the 500 chf gets copied and sent to the housing agency/landlord, while the 1200 chf is “between us” contract. The student office advised me that if I decide to sign the contract, do it right — only sign the new one and write the 1200 chf by myself (don’t let him do it “later”).

Hallo Sigh and Ace1. Thank you for your answers! The visit date wasn’t set . Now, there is only one contract.

Thank you for the inputs. Now I think I won’t take this contract given how things weren’t straightforward from the beginning.

Last edited by danilins; 24.09.2020 at 13:39.
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Old 24.09.2020, 13:43
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

Q: This is a flat with just 1 bedroom and 1 living room (plus kitchen etc. which might not count as rooms).

First, the contract1p1 where "Die ganze Wohnung" and "Teile der Wohnung" is checked does not make sense. It is either or.

In 2.2 should be the original landlords/rental agencies name

Small detail: Instead of underlining the applicable parts they should strike through the non applicable part.

If you rent "Die ganze Wohnung" (The whole apartment) you have the sole and exclusive usage right to use the whole apartment, this includes the right to request anyone to get out the apartment and show them the door at any time (Hausrecht. If he leases the whole apartment they can not reserve a right to hang around once a week as he wishes.

Kündigunsfrist (notice period) can not be "auf Absprache". It might be interpreted as 3 month cancellation period and as actual moving dates the local ones only (as set as default by the law). If you rent the whole flat it must be at least 3 months by law. If you rent furnished room only it can be shorter.
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Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 24.09.2020 at 15:25.
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Old 24.09.2020, 15:07
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

Thank you everyone, also aSwissInTheUS, for the input :-)


One last question - do I have to do anything further than writing him that I will not sign this contract? In particular, the "Antrag Untermiete" signed by both of us was sent to the housing agency earlier. Shall I inform the housing agency (directly/via him/directly + cc him) that the sublet is not happening anymore?
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Old 24.09.2020, 15:23
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

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One last question - do I have to do anything further than writing him that I will not sign this contract? In particular, the "Antrag Untermiete" signed by both of us was sent to the housing agency earlier. Shall I inform the housing agency (directly/via him/directly + cc him) that the sublet is not happening anymore?
You agreed on a written contract. Neither is bound to the contact as long as it is not signed. Art. 16 Code of obligations

The housing agency is his problem not yours.

Just to add: in 2.2 should be the original landlords/rental agencies name
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Old 24.09.2020, 15:34
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

Its all very weird. The sublet is allowed only under specific conditions - why is he subletting?

When you go register to the authorities, they will ask "What happened to Mr Tenant?" and if he has not advised of change of adress, they will contact him.

Personally I would not at all be happy with someone popping in when they want - you are renting YOUR home.

Has he given you a copy of the original contract? This is a requirement of the sublet contract - also to check he is not making profit. Only allowed to add a little bit for furniture rental etc but not make profit.

He will need to show you the approval of the agency - they need to be informed and approve sublet (this is a simple process IF the sublet follows the requirement).

Do not sign anything with money blank (this for any life situation).

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Old 24.09.2020, 15:51
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

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Has he given you a copy of the original contract? This is a requirement of the sublet contract -
Not according to the law and from the parts which have been uploaded (there might be additional pages we do see where it states so, but for all we know there is no such obligation)

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also to check he is not making profit. Only allowed to add a little bit for furniture rental etc but not make profit.
This is not true. By law the landlord might refuse to a sublet if the rent charged is to high, but the law does not say that a sublettor cannot make a profit.
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Old 24.09.2020, 21:31
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

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Not according to the law and from the parts which have been uploaded (there might be additional pages we do see where it states so, but for all we know there is no such obligation)


This is not true. By law the landlord might refuse to a sublet if the rent charged is to high, but the law does not say that a sublettor cannot make a profit.
1) according to the standard sublet contract of the Mieterverband the subletter should be given a copy of the main contract as it contains all clauses etc.
2) You are right, I worded it incorrectly. Not a legal requirement but a requirement that if not met can allow for the agency to not accept.
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Old 24.09.2020, 21:38
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

Thanks kri and aSwissInUs for your inputs. May I ask further - would it be generally acceptable for a potential subtenant to ask to see a main tenant’s contract then?
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Old 25.09.2020, 03:36
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

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[Machen wir es doch so, unterzeichne bitte diesen Vertrag, damit ich es so an die Genossenschaft weiterleiten kann]
A "Genossenschaft" is a not-for-profit corporation, in all likelihood they're the owner. Mr Tenant needs their Ok to sublet to you, hence the contract for a single room so nobody has reason to ask questions when they see you come and go. The "not-for-profit" generally results in unusually low rent, a strong incentive for Mr Tenant to keep the contract running as backup.

As for his reasons, Mr Tenant may want to keep a cheap backup apartment in case things go sour with his OH, or if he's a foreigner his residence permit may prohibit him from officially moving to OH's (registering at that address), or he may try to make a few bucks by subletting to you for more than allowed as by law the subletting rent can't be more than 10% above the main rent (this seems unlikely though, he could probably ask for significantly more than 1200 for a 2-room apartment in 8004 Zürich).

Anyway, it looks to me like Mr Tenant informed the housing agency that he has a room/apartment to let, which informed you. That would explain why they can't be of more help, they're merely the messenger.

Now, it looks like the Genossenschaft (the owner) is prohibiting the subletting of the entire apartment, hence the "official" single-room contract Mr Tenant intends to send them. What would happen if they realised that you're subrenting the entire apartment is anybody's guess, but it seems unlikely to be good for you if you decide to take the shady deal - they usually have a long waiting list and you're not on it.

The contract without notice period and cancel dates offered to you is a direct path to lots of problems, especially if he were to demand the apartment back, simply because it leaves everything open. By mandatory law the minimum notice period is 3 months. Also by law, which can be overridden by the contract, you have two end dates, March 31 and September 30. 11 end dates, every month's end except December, isn't all that uncommon and what I'd want if I were you, and (subject to your situation) as long a minimum duration as I can get, one year or more is common, the more the better.

As for seeing the rental contract - of course. For all you know it could end March next year, or mention a different Mr Tenant, or whatever (use your imagination).
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Old 25.09.2020, 06:39
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Re: need help to understand Untermietvertragen

Thank you very much Urs Max. I said a firm no to him now, so probably this is a final update-and now I understand why when he sent the "Antrag Untermiete" form to the housing agency/landlord, he wrote as if I was joining to live with him [Da ich nicht alleine in der Wohnung leben möchte, war ich wiederum auf der Suche nach einer neuen Untermieterin].
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