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Old 21.11.2020, 01:06
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Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

My partner recently registered and moved in with me. My rental contract before stated that the number of persons living in the flat was one. Utilities are included. She said that for two people in a flat, the contract would need to be amended because the cost of utilities would be Fr.100 more. I thought that was fairly reasonable, but in the new contract she gave me, cost of services (including utilities) has stayed the same while the net rent (I'm assuming this is the base rent) has increased by 100. Now it's making me wonder if she has the right to increase it at all just because my partner is now living with me?
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Old 21.11.2020, 08:10
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

Something similar happened to me when I moved to CH to live with my girlfriend. Our landlord increased the rent by 60chf per month to cover utilities costs. At the time it did sound a bit strange to me, as we paid our own electricity and had a plastic key for the communal washing machine. It seems to be relatively common here for landlords to do this, my opinion is that it is a nice way to earn a little bit extra money for them each month, I'm not sure really that your costing the landlord 100chf per month by moving in. We moved out not long after so I couldn't say if this is legal, to me it sounds like it commonly happens, could be worth checking with the Mieterverband?
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Old 21.11.2020, 08:13
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

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My partner recently registered and moved in with me. My rental contract before stated that the number of persons living in the flat was one. Utilities are included. She said that for two people in a flat, the contract would need to be amended because the cost of utilities would be Fr.100 more. I thought that was fairly reasonable, but in the new contract she gave me, cost of services (including utilities) has stayed the same while the net rent (I'm assuming this is the base rent) has increased by 100. Now it's making me wonder if she has the right to increase it at all just because my partner is now living with me?
Check with the Mietverband.
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Old 21.11.2020, 12:56
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

The reason they increased the rent instead of utility costs is that at the end of the year, they refund you any overpayment on utility costs...
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Old 21.11.2020, 13:15
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

No way of knowing if the landlord made a mistake, misunderstood the rules, or is trying it on, all are equally likely I would think.

Best to assume good intentions at the start - just go back to the landlord and point out their mistake, ask for a new bill with the extra 100 CHF in the utility costs fee not the rent.

As spinal said, utility charge is more of a downpayment on fees to come rather than a fee itself, so if it isn't a problem for you there's no great loss in paying it.
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Old 21.11.2020, 19:49
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

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As spinal said, utility charge is more of a downpayment on fees to come rather than a fee itself, so if it isn't a problem for you there's no great loss in paying it.
Is this common? I don't see it anywhere in my contract, only in the company brochure for all their properties that I have to pay the excess if they deem my heating costs "extreme".

In any case, I may ask them about a new bill as suggested.
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Old 21.11.2020, 20:09
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

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My partner recently registered and moved in with me. My rental contract before stated that the number of persons living in the flat was one. Utilities are included. She said that for two people in a flat, the contract would need to be amended because the cost of utilities would be Fr.100 more. I thought that was fairly reasonable, but in the new contract she gave me, cost of services (including utilities) has stayed the same while the net rent (I'm assuming this is the base rent) has increased by 100. Now it's making me wonder if she has the right to increase it at all just because my partner is now living with me?
I don't know why two people groaned at you.
In fact this is a mistake and I would not be surprised on purpose! Still, treat it as a mistake for a start.

There is no way one can increase rent at the moment. So this is a nice trick. The "Nebenkosten" can be increased because in fact two people use more of anything than one. And - as someone else mentioned - the part you're not using will be repaid each year. Which is in fact why most landlords do not bother about it as they can charge the extra then, each year.
Tell the landlord they made a mistake and to correct it. Do not sign this.
As I said, start with calling it a mistake and let them "keep their face". If they insist, insist as well.

If you accept this, should your partner move out again, the rent is fix, they won't drop it and won't have to!!
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Old 21.11.2020, 20:35
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

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Is this common? I don't see it anywhere in my contract, only in the company brochure for all their properties that I have to pay the excess if they deem my heating costs "extreme".

In any case, I may ask them about a new bill as suggested.
Yes, a landlord has 5 years to charge you for extra heating costs.
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Old 21.11.2020, 22:16
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

actually yes they have a right to increase. It happened to me as well 8 years ago when i got married and wife moved in. Of course i complained, however the letter was referring to some Swiss law article exhibit a.2.3 bla bla bla....
In my case it was smt like less than 200 chf difference, because they make a new contract and you loose your previous decreases due to "negative zins" on rent.
I had to accept it after a little discussion then some 6 months later, we moved out...
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Old 22.11.2020, 10:40
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

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I don't know why two people groaned at you.
In fact this is a mistake and I would not be surprised on purpose! Still, treat it as a mistake for a start.

There is no way one can increase rent at the moment. So this is a nice trick. The "Nebenkosten" can be increased because in fact two people use more of anything than one. And - as someone else mentioned - the part you're not using will be repaid each year. Which is in fact why most landlords do not bother about it as they can charge the extra then, each year.
Tell the landlord they made a mistake and to correct it. Do not sign this.
As I said, start with calling it a mistake and let them "keep their face". If they insist, insist as well.

If you accept this, should your partner move out again, the rent is fix, they won't drop it and won't have to!!
Thanks, this is helpful information and clears up some things I've been confused about.
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Old 22.11.2020, 11:25
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

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actually yes they have a right to increase. It happened to me as well 8 years ago when i got married and wife moved in. Of course i complained, however the letter was referring to some Swiss law article exhibit a.2.3 bla bla bla....
In my case it was smt like less than 200 chf difference, because they make a new contract and you loose your previous decreases due to "negative zins" on rent.
I had to accept it after a little discussion then some 6 months later, we moved out...
Could you be a bit more specific than bla bla bla?

OP - this page from the Mietverband may be helpful, basically the landlord can't tell you who lives with you:

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

And this thread discusses some other points, particularly that you don't need to change the contract and there is no need for your partner to be on it. I believe changing the amount of the nebenkosten would not be a full change of the contract, since Swiss contract law is based on any impact being interpreted as the minimum reasonable, i.e. only to that single amount.

https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-...t-company.html

It does seem you need to tell the landlord, for registration purposes.
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Old 22.11.2020, 12:26
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

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OP - this page from the Mietverband may be helpful, basically the landlord can't tell you who lives with you:

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

And this thread discusses some other points, particularly that you don't need to change the contract and there is no need for your partner to be on it. I believe changing the amount of the nebenkosten would not be a full change of the contract, since Swiss contract law is based on any impact being interpreted as the minimum reasonable, i.e. only to that single amount.

https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-...t-company.html

It does seem you need to tell the landlord, for registration purposes.
Thanks for the links. I do remember seeing that previous thread, which is what made me question why the increase was to the net rent and not the nebenkosten. And indeed I've informed my landlord that my partner is registered at my address but he is not on the rental contract since we don't particularly want that anyway so that works out.
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Old 22.11.2020, 15:39
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

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Thanks for the links. I do remember seeing that previous thread, which is what made me question why the increase was to the net rent and not the nebenkosten. And indeed I've informed my landlord that my partner is registered at my address but he is not on the rental contract since we don't particularly want that anyway so that works out.
Often landlords insist both persons are on the contract, so that they have another person to go after for non-payment and/or damages. If your landlord isn't insisting on this, consider yourself lucky.

When I moved in with Mr Wishes ages ago, there was no change to base rent or nebenkosten. I had to sign the lease, but they didn't change the terms. The landlord warned us that the nebenkosten would go up when things settle at the end of the year, because proportionally we use more of the common items/areas as two people than as one.

It certainly wasn't anywhere near 100 a month though, so I agree that contacting MV would be wise.
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Old 22.11.2020, 19:51
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

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When I moved in with Mr Wishes ages ago, there was no change to base rent or nebenkosten. I had to sign the lease, but they didn't change the terms. The landlord warned us that the nebenkosten would go up when things settle at the end of the year, because proportionally we use more of the common items/areas as two people than as one.

It certainly wasn't anywhere near 100 a month though, so I agree that contacting MV would be wise.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I think I may look into contacting MV too.
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Old 22.11.2020, 20:51
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

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Utilities are included.
This.

Tom
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Old 22.11.2020, 23:17
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

Unusual for there to be number of people listed on the contract BUT if flat rate nebenkosten and rent are based upon the number of people then it makes sense. There would be increased water etc for a second person and potentially increased wear and tear. You'd have thought that perhaps both the rent and nebenkosten would go up.

Whether it makes 100CHF per month sense I don't know. Probably just trying it on.
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Old 23.11.2020, 17:00
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Re: Landlord increased rent for partner moving in?

My contract also said 1 person but when my partner moved in, it simply changed to 2 people but the monthly rent and NB remained the same. Every year all residents receive an invoice of adjusted warm water/heating bill which is calculated on living area m2 and number of people living in the unit. I just checked and when I used to live alone, it was around CHF25-35, and after my partner moved in it increased to CHF85-95 for the whole year. But this makes sense, extra person showering/taking baths, more washing etc.
I deal directly with (a wonderful if I may add ) landlord and there is no agency in between.
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