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Old 13.10.2020, 20:40
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Contesting a rent increase of 14% in Zürich

Hey!

We would like to hear experiences of people that has contested their initial rent upon starting a rental agreement.

We just arrived to Zürich —at the end of June— and we also just moved to a new apartment —at the beginning of October. We are really new to the business of renting an apartment around here so we almost just signed all the papers they send to us with the rental agreement without looking too much, not to mention that we don't speak German yet, so we have to manually translate them.

Anyhow, we figure out now —reading the documentation carefully, AKA the initial rent form—that the previous tenant of our apartment was paying an almost 14% less than we are paying now. We've contacted the Mieterverband and I had an appointment with them and they encourage us greatly to contest the rent before the arbitration authority —and before the end of the month— since it seems that there is no reason for such a rent increase. There have been no improvements in the apartment and just the regular refurbishing (sanding the parquet and painting the walls) or they told us that.

Our question is mainly aimed to know the opinion around here about the topic of contesting the initial rent and if it's something you should always do if the rent increase is more than 10%. We also want to know experiences about that and if anyone faced any consequences afterwards from their landlord for contesting the rent.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 13.10.2020, 20:42
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Re: Contesting a rent increase of 14% in Zürich

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Hey!

We would like to hear experiences of people that has contested their initial rent upon starting a rental agreement.

We just arrived to Zürich —at the end of June— and we also just moved to a new apartment —at the beginning of October. We are really new to the business of renting an apartment around here so we almost just signed all the papers they send to us with the rental agreement without looking too much, not to mention that we don't speak German yet, so we have to manually translate them.

Anyhow, we figure out now —reading the documentation carefully, AKA the initial rent form—that the previous tenant of our apartment was paying an almost 14% less than we are paying now. We've contacted the Mieterverband and I had an appointment with them and they encourage us greatly to contest the rent before the arbitration authority —and before the end of the month— since it seems that there is no reason for such a rent increase. There have been no improvements in the apartment and just the regular refurbishing (sanding the parquet and painting the walls) or they told us that.

Our question is mainly aimed to know the opinion around here about the topic of contesting the initial rent and if it's something you should always do if the rent increase is more than 10%. We also want to know experiences about that and if anyone faced any consequences afterwards from their landlord for contesting the rent.

Thanks in advance!
When was the previous rental contract? My rent did not rise in 13 years even through other people renting new apartments were paying twice as much.

Was any renovation done?
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Old 13.10.2020, 21:01
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Re: Contesting a rent increase of 14% in Zürich

I only have experience with contesting a rent increase during my rental period (value adding renovations, partly successful), not with contesting the initial rent. Owner was represented by a big real estate agency, no repercussions felt. I have moved twice since, and I am sure my new landlords never inquired for references.

From how I read the text on the MV website, you can contest if initial rent is more than 10% above previous without renovations (your case) AND the initial rent is "missbraeuchlich". This would then require an understanding where your rent is vs other comparable rents. This is just my take on this.

https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...smietzins.html

Wann kann der Anfangsmietzins angefochten werden?

Wenn der Mieter wegen Wohnungsknappheit oder persönlicher Notlage zum Abschluss des Mietvertrags gezwungen war oder,

wenn der Mietzins gegenüber dem Vormieter um mehr als 10% erhöht worden ist, ohne dass der Vermieter die Wohnung saniert hat und

wenn zudem der Mietzins missbräuchlich ist. Missbräuchlich ist ein Mietzins, wenn der Vermieter mit der Wohnung eine zu hohe Rendite erzielt oder wenn die Wohnung teurer ist, als andere Wohnungen in vergleichbarem Zustand im Quartier (Orts- und Quartierüblichkeit). Scheuen Sie sich nicht, Ihre Nachbarn im Quartier zu fragen, wie viele diese für ihre Wohnung bezahlen.
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Old 13.10.2020, 21:01
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Re: Contesting a rent increase of 14% in Zürich

Just contest it and find out... nothing to lose.

Most likely they will drop the rent back to where it was.

They always try to pull a fast one with foreigners as they don’t know the rules.
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Old 13.10.2020, 21:22
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Re: Contesting a rent increase of 14% in Zürich

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When was the previous rental contract? My rent did not rise in 13 years even through other people renting new apartments were paying twice as much.

Was any renovation done?
Not renovations, but the usual refurbishing. Paint and sanding the floor. The previous rent was set on July 2017.
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Old 13.10.2020, 21:24
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Re: Contesting a rent increase of 14% in Zürich

By the way, does anyone know if the rent increase is calculated from the net rent (Nettomietzins) or from the total?
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Old 13.10.2020, 21:26
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Re: Contesting a rent increase of 14% in Zürich

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By the way, does anyone know if the rent increase is calculated from the net rent (Nettomietzins) or from the total?
Net
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Old 13.10.2020, 21:54
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Re: Contesting a rent increase of 14% in Zürich

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By the way, does anyone know if the rent increase is calculated from the net rent (Nettomietzins) or from the total?
Net rent, heating + hot water could double if people use more heat & hot water.
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Old 14.10.2020, 08:41
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Re: Contesting a rent increase of 14% in Zürich

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When was the previous rental contract? My rent did not rise in 13 years even through other people renting new apartments were paying twice as much.

Was any renovation done?
here too.

I’ve been in the present appartment for almost 20 years , and apart from some renovations done about 15 years back , the rent has been entirely flat . Only the NK have varied .

I’m sure people moving into the next door apartment today will be paying more than I am, and more than the previous tenant too .
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Old 14.10.2020, 08:59
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Re: Contesting a rent increase of 14% in Zürich

Really a lot of experiences.

My flat went down. It is minergie, now the area is much better than 2018 (2 and half years) because they extended tram 2 outside of Zurich (i am still inside Zurich stadt but now with good connections to Schlieren and so on) and with migrolino next to me (had coop, migros and denner).

The boden (floor) was renewed when i entered (a 2011 minergie flat renewed in 2018 :d).

I was surprised to see new contract. Less 10 chf (2200 to 2190). Since all neubau are above 2500 (crazy for me that arrived in 2011 where 1800 was really high).
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Old 14.10.2020, 09:04
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Re: Contesting a rent increase of 14% in Zürich

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Really a lot of experiences.

My flat went down. It is minergie, now the area is much better than 2018 (2 and half years) because they extended tram 2 outside of Zurich (i am still inside Zurich stadt but now with good connections to Schlieren and so on) and with migrolino next to me (had coop, migros and denner).

The boden (floor) was renewed when i entered (a 2011 minergie flat renewed in 2018 :d).

I was surprised to see new contract. Less 10 chf (2200 to 2190). Since all neubau are above 2500 (crazy for me that arrived in 2011 where 1800 was really high).
It sounds to me that the base rent is unchanged but that the NK are down due to the minergie stuff
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