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Old 25.10.2020, 14:57
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Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

Hello There!

This is my first post in this Forum and I specifically signed up for this. I hope this does not violate the posting rules, I just felt the need to let you know.

In the past I rented an apartment from Vivo35 AG in Winterthur. They may have a cool concept, but they have at least two serious flaws. And it seems like they seem to be targeting people who need an apartment fast, largely from abroad... So the issues are the following:

  • They will ask you to submit a rent deposit to their private account. This is explicitly forbidden by law (OR Art. 257e). This puts YOUR money at risk, because the can now freely handle it. And if they go broke whith whatever business they are doing, your money is gone.

    When you ask them about it, they will explain: "We treat the deposit seperate from our other accounting. But we offer our Customers to open u a rental deposit account and we will transfer the deposit to it." So: First they try to get your money, and if caught, you can do all the paperwork for opening of the proper and legal rental deposit account yourself.

  • They have a key-badge system in place for the apartment doors, which allows them general access to ALL apartments. Altough there is not an explicit law against this, there have been rulings that forbid this practice (based on OR Art. 257h).

    Worst of all, they even just blatantly use it! While viewing and apartement which was advertised for rent, we just spontanously popped into another appartement, where all sorts of private things of the tenant where standing around. There was no possibility that he or she could have known that people come to view his appartment (which was not even posted up for renting...).

    And of course, anyone with the key (the 2 owners, the cleaning lady, and maybe more) can potentially mug your stuff. And neither you or them can then proof or disproof who it could have been.

    When confronted with the fact that this is illegal, they aggressively answered with the usual "We are still the owners of this house, it is our right!".

So, if you wanna rent an apartment there (after all, they are located pretty well), just be aware of these circumstances. I highly recommend not to, they are also way too expensive.
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Old 25.10.2020, 16:27
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

So you basically joined to name and shame? It can be dangerous to post things like this.
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Old 25.10.2020, 16:39
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

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So you basically joined to name and shame? It can be dangerous to post things like this.

Totally aware. But people need to speak out about these clearly illegal practices. Also, I got written proof for what I claim. And a law-insurrance. So I'm prepared if they wanna sue.
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Old 25.10.2020, 16:46
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

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  • They will ask you to submit a rent deposit to their private account. This is explicitly forbidden by law (OR Art. 257e).
That is not true, the above in itself is not a violation of the law. First, I changed the above link to the official government site. I do not like unofficial versions from private sources. Second, here the unofficial English version of Art. 257e Code of Obligations
Quote:
II. Security furnished by the tenant

1 Where the tenant of residential or commercial premises furnishes security in the form of cash or negotiable securities, the landlord must deposit it in a bank savings or deposit account in the tenant’s name.

2 In residential leases, the landlord is not entitled to ask for more than three months’ rent by way of security.

3 The bank may release such security only with the consent of both parties or in compliance with a final payment order or final decision of the court. On expiry of one year following the end of the lease, the tenant or lessee may request that the security be returned to him by the bank if no claim has been brought against him by the landlord or lessor.
All what the law mandates that the landlord must put the money in an bank account in the tenant's name. Must. W/o being asked. Nevertheless the deposit can be paid directly to the landlord.

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When you ask them about it, they will explain: "We treat the deposit seperate from our other accounting. But we offer our Customers to open u a rental deposit account and we will transfer the deposit to it." So: First they try to get your money, and if caught, you can do all the paperwork for opening of the proper and legal rental deposit account yourself.
That part is not o.k. As said, landlord must put the money in an bank account running on the tenant's name.

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And of course, anyone with the key (the 2 owners, the cleaning lady, and maybe more) can potentially mug your stuff. And neither you or them can then proof or disproof who it could have been.
It is your room. Which means you can setup cameras and record everything when no guest are around. Speak, when you are alone at home or when no one should be at home. If you see people on the recording during your absent time use Art. 186 Criminal Code to the fullest extend https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a186
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Old 25.10.2020, 23:56
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

I wondered about "the cleaning lady". Is this a serviced apartment? If yes, then I'd think it would be usual (just like in a hotel) that the cleaning staff would attend to the room while the tenant (or guest) was out.
Edit: I checked. https://www.vivo35.ch/index.php/apartments/ shows a serviced apartment with a cleaning service. Although that costs an extra fee, I think.
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Old 26.10.2020, 00:59
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

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So you basically joined to name and shame? It can be dangerous to post things like this.
sorry if im naive here but why is it a problem? hes offering perspective and his own opinion on a business operation, like a review sort of. it'd be a shame if the general public would be scared to do that.

otoh i guess the law is always changing therefore the continuum, lets call it, that is the relationship between business and citizens is always shifting, and typically always in the direction favouring business, so it wouldnt surprise me to find out that people CAN and Do get into trouble writing 'reviews'. is this true?

but if there's something to shame, name away i would hope.
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Old 26.10.2020, 09:20
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

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sorry if im naive here but why is it a problem? hes offering perspective and his own opinion on a business operation, like a review sort of. it'd be a shame if the general public would be scared to do that.

otoh i guess the law is always changing therefore the continuum, lets call it, that is the relationship between business and citizens is always shifting, and typically always in the direction favouring business, so it wouldnt surprise me to find out that people CAN and Do get into trouble writing 'reviews'. is this true?

but if there's something to shame, name away i would hope.
It's one thing to post your experience on a forum where you are an active member, and another thing to join specifically to post a complaint when existing members have no way of knowing the background or likely truthfulness of the post.

It's like all these nonsense things on Facebook that annoying friends share when they have no idea how true it may be - at least to me, it completely spoils the community aspect of building trust and a network which should be a slightly safer space than a generic Google search.
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Old 26.10.2020, 10:25
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

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I wondered about "the cleaning lady". Is this a serviced apartment? If yes, then I'd think it would be usual (just like in a hotel) that the cleaning staff would attend to the room while the tenant (or guest) was out.
Edit: I checked. https://www.vivo35.ch/index.php/apartments/ shows a serviced apartment with a cleaning service. Although that costs an extra fee, I think.

Yes, the cleaning service is extra. But even if you don't order it, she (or the whole cleaning staff) still has access to your room.
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Old 26.10.2020, 10:31
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

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It's one thing to post your experience on a forum where you are an active member, and another thing to join specifically to post a complaint when existing members have no way of knowing the background or likely truthfulness of the post.

It's like all these nonsense things on Facebook that annoying friends share when they have no idea how true it may be - at least to me, it completely spoils the community aspect of building trust and a network which should be a slightly safer space than a generic Google search.

You may your oppinion, that's ok. If it violates forum rules and my post gets deleted, I can live with that, too.


But I find your comparison not applicable.


I joined here to help people understand, that landlords keeping your deposit on private accounts and having all-time access to your apartment is ILLEGAL. And if something is written in such detail in the swiss law, there must have been countless abuses.


My experience with this company just happened to be my "enlightement", so to speak.



I hear from my foreign friends that they don't know about this when renting a flat in Switzerland. So landlords, like the ones I mentioned, count on the not-knowing and always have cheap or aggresive excuses when asked about it. This is unfair and there is nothing untrustworthy or wrong to point these practices out, to protect others!
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Old 26.10.2020, 11:46
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

My apartment block has a key badge system. Only the Hausabwart has a key that gives him access to all the apartments. However, when the door is opened, it is recorded (somewhere) which key was used (on the occasions we have forgotten our key and he let us in we had to sign to say we approved it). So if anything was ever to go missing, we could check if he’s been in.
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Old 26.10.2020, 12:19
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

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You may your oppinion, that's ok. If it violates forum rules and my post gets deleted, I can live with that, too.
I dpn't think anyone was suggesting that, just that by naming the company in this way you're possiblye laying yourself open to legal action for defamation/libel/whatever. I've no idea whether that's the case or not, but I'm fairly sure that's why someone earlier suggested that the post was perhaps not a good idea.

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I joined here to help people understand, that landlords keeping your deposit on private accounts and having all-time access to your apartment is ILLEGAL.
No, if that were your intention you wouldn't have needed to name them; you clearly joined to badmouth a company with whom you have some dispute or grudge.

And it would seem that there's some questions about whether you're 100% correct in what you wrote, so perhaps you're not the best person to be quoting chapter and verse about Swiss rental laws...
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Old 26.10.2020, 12:49
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

Regarding the deposit, when a tenant wants to move in quickly, it's usual to pay the deposit to the landlord, but he has an obligation to open an account as soon as possible. To do this both landlord and tenant have to sign the account form.


As for electronic keys, there is always a record of who entered and when. Further, it is possible the landlord had the owners permission to show the flat. It is written in our contract that in the last month of renting we can show the flat but at a time and with notice that is acceptable to the tenant.


It's not much different to when you sell a property and give the real estate agent the key to show the property.
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Old 26.10.2020, 12:58
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

Here's my little story. We rented an apartment in Interlaken, went through the online booking without booking any extras. I read all the terms and conditions and the confirmation was like "click here to confirm you've read and agree to the terms and conditions and pay your booking of xxxCHF" Once that was done * received a confirmation e-mail where the price charged was xxx+yyy. They'd added in extra service charges during the credit card charging process. Their terms and conditions clearly state these services are included in the rate. I complained and their response was take it or leave it. Also shortly before I arrived there was unapproved activity on my credit card where they'd taken 500CHF in security deposit (not in the t&c's).

When we arrived we were asked to sign a new set of t&cs, actually two, where one was slightly different to the other but looked the same and both different and more detrimental to the t&c's on the website. This was "247 Concierge".


They seem to just think they can make things up as they go along and this is something I've noticed elsewhere in Switzerland, including my former employer - even when something is explicitly written those agreements seem to mean nothing and it's a verbal explanation which they want to take precedence. I've never seen this elsewhere.
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Old 26.10.2020, 13:24
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

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No, if that were your intention you wouldn't have needed to name them; you clearly joined to badmouth a company with whom you have some dispute or grudge.

And it would seem that there's some questions about whether you're 100% correct in what you wrote, so perhaps you're not the best person to be quoting chapter and verse about Swiss rental laws...

I accept every criticism of my initial post, it's understandable. Also, I'm glad about the corrections of others, which obviously know the subject better than me. I would have liked to correct my initial post (eg. update links to the official admin.ch-site), but somehow I can't edit my posts? Don't know if that is intended.

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Regarding the deposit, when a tenant wants to move in quickly, it's usual to pay the deposit to the landlord, but he has an obligation to open an account as soon as possible. To do this both landlord and tenant have to sign the account form.

Usually, the Landlord can open such an account in the tenants name. Then the tenant transfers the money, and both parties receive a notification that the amount has been depositet. So the tenant doesn't need to give a signature to open up the deposit account.



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As for electronic keys, there is always a record of who entered and when. Further, it is possible the landlord had the owners permission to show the flat. It is written in our contract that in the last month of renting we can show the flat but at a time and with notice that is acceptable to the tenant.

Yes, but as an IT Guys, when the landlord has the key AND the access to the server & logs, I get really sceptical. All-time access to a tenants flat is illegal. But yes, in case the need to show it to potential new tenants, that's ok of course and covered by law.


I recognize that it may help to post my E-Mail Traffic regarding the Deposit Stuff. Sorry, it is in German, please use Google Translate or something...

Quote:
Guten Morgen LANDLORD

Ich habe die Mietkaution auf Ihr Privatkonto überwiesen.

Darf ich davon ausgehen, dass Sie so schnell wie möglich ein Mietkautionskonto eröffnen und die Kaution darauf überweisen?

Freundliche Grüsse
ME

Quote:
Guten Tag ME,

Die Mietkaution grenzen wir buchhalterisch ab. Der Mieter hat aber auch die Option, dass er/sie ein Mietkautionskonto eröffnen oder eine Kautionsversicherung abschliessen kann. Es steht Ihnen frei, ein solches zu eröffnen. Wir würden dann die bereits überwiesen Kaution auf dieses Konto überweisen.

Ich hoffe ich konnte Ihnen mit diesen Angaben dienen und wünsche ein schönes Wochenende.

Freundliche Grüsse
LANDLORD
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Old 26.10.2020, 13:31
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

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They seem to just think they can make things up as they go along and this is something I've noticed elsewhere in Switzerland, including my former employer - even when something is explicitly written those agreements seem to mean nothing and it's a verbal explanation which they want to take precedence. I've never seen this elsewhere.

THANK you for this post!

(Altough you're not speaking about the company I mentioned.) This sums it up exactly.
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Old 26.10.2020, 13:53
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

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My apartment block has a key badge system. Only the Hausabwart has a key that gives him access to all the apartments. However, when the door is opened, it is recorded (somewhere) which key was used (on the occasions we have forgotten our key and he let us in we had to sign to say we approved it). So if anything was ever to go missing, we could check if he’s been in.
Fancy! (They can also check how often you leave/enter your own apartment then, LOL).

Our landlord has keys to all the flats and we know it. She sometimes asks whether she can let a craftsman in during our absence (when it's about heating in general for example or when they installed fibre-optic network in all flats) and she knows she never can with me (I'm the my home is my castle type) so instead I will adapt my schedule.
She always asks/informs. As I'm an alert person, living by myself I'm 99.9999999.....% sure she never entered without my knowledge.
In spite of being a private person, it doesn't bother me her having a key and actually I'm positive that all my landlords actually had one.
After all, they still own the flat and we all know situations like dead/injured tenants in flat, rental nomads - long gone without notice etc. etc.

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Here's my little story. We rented an apartment in Interlaken, went through the online booking without booking any extras. I read all the terms and conditions and the confirmation was like "click here to confirm you've read and agree to the terms and conditions and pay your booking of xxxCHF" Once that was done * received a confirmation e-mail where the price charged was xxx+yyy. They'd added in extra service charges during the credit card charging process. Their terms and conditions clearly state these services are included in the rate. I complained and their response was take it or leave it. Also shortly before I arrived there was unapproved activity on my credit card where they'd taken 500CHF in security deposit (not in the t&c's).

When we arrived we were asked to sign a new set of t&cs, actually two, where one was slightly different to the other but looked the same and both different and more detrimental to the t&c's on the website. This was "247 Concierge".


They seem to just think they can make things up as they go along and this is something I've noticed elsewhere in Switzerland, including my former employer - even when something is explicitly written those agreements seem to mean nothing and it's a verbal explanation which they want to take precedence. I've never seen this elsewhere.
Who is they? Vivo35 AG Apartments?
If not you just blamed them unjustly - which indeed can be considered defamation, a legal term.
The post of the OP seemed okay to me on the other hand. He mentioned things he considers to be flaws in the Vivo35AG handling. Who ever reads it can agree and refrain from doing business with them. Or not agree.
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Old 26.10.2020, 14:13
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Re: Warning about Vivo35 AG Apartements in Winterthur

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I would have liked to correct my initial post (eg. update links to the official admin.ch-site), but somehow I can't edit my posts? Don't know if that is intended.
No, you don't have the rights to do so. Mods can do it for you, though, including changing the title, as long as it doesn't drastically change the meaning. Feel free to drop me a PM or 'Report' the post, with any desired corrections.
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