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Old 02.12.2020, 01:32
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Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

Hello Everyone,


I had a guest who originally rented my apartment on Airbnb in Basel. I rent a 2 bedroom flat and I sublet the second room to help cover the rent. The Airbnb guest stayed with me for 1 week and then said that they were getting a work contract and asked if they could sublet the apartment until December 31st. I agreed and both me and the tenant signed a legal contract. The tenant then paid me a portion of the rent and said he would get the remaining amount to me later. In the contract he agreed to give at least 15 days notice. About 2 weeks went by until he had fled the apartment without paying the remainder of the rent for the month and leaving the apartment in a general state of disarray. He still owes me 475 CHF and refuses to honor the contract he signed. I lost a significant amount of income since I blocked out the dates he was planning to stay as well. I have his personal information from Airbnb, I have his home address in Poland, as well as a copy of the signed rental contract we both signed. He is currently living in Poland but mentioned previously that he plans to come back to Bern for work. Is there anyway I can report this debt so that he cannot get his work permit or rent another apartment here? He is a total scumbag.
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Old 02.12.2020, 02:10
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/...airbnb-website
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Old 02.12.2020, 03:02
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland


Thanks but this was not an Airbnb booking. I made a contract to sublet the room to him not on Airbnb but just between the two of us. I imagine if he is living in Poland, it would be hard for me to get my money back if he's not in Switzerland, but I just want to make sure that if he ever tries to come back to Switzerland, he will not have the opportunity to swindle anyone else here.
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Old 02.12.2020, 03:56
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

I doubt you can do much about it, spending more money on trying to file a Betreibung with doubtful effect in the future is not worth it. I think with non-resident foreigners it's better to keep using the airbnb platform even if it costs more.
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Old 02.12.2020, 10:11
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

Yes I realized that Airbnb would have been a better choice but since he had a work permit here and signed the contract, I thought I would have some recourse. Are you saying that if an EU citizen renting in Switzerland gives a landlord the runoff, they have no recourse? I find that a bit hard to believe. Why would anyone rent to foreigners here then if there is no consequence to breaking the lease and they are still free to come back whenever they want?
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Old 02.12.2020, 10:16
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

For 475.00 Chuffs, if it was me, I would go to the pub and forget about it.
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Old 02.12.2020, 10:20
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

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Hello Everyone,


I had a guest who originally rented my apartment on Airbnb in Basel. I rent a 2 bedroom flat and I sublet the second room to help cover the rent. The Airbnb guest stayed with me for 1 week and then said that they were getting a work contract and asked if they could sublet the apartment until December 31st. I agreed and both me and the tenant signed a legal contract. The tenant then paid me a portion of the rent and said he would get the remaining amount to me later. In the contract he agreed to give at least 15 days notice. About 2 weeks went by until he had fled the apartment without paying the remainder of the rent for the month and leaving the apartment in a general state of disarray. He still owes me 475 CHF and refuses to honor the contract he signed. I lost a significant amount of income since I blocked out the dates he was planning to stay as well. I have his personal information from Airbnb, I have his home address in Poland, as well as a copy of the signed rental contract we both signed. He is currently living in Poland but mentioned previously that he plans to come back to Bern for work. Is there anyway I can report this debt so that he cannot get his work permit or rent another apartment here? He is a total scumbag.
Thats what happens when you break your agreement with AirBnB. Tough luck, pay the commission next time.
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Old 02.12.2020, 10:21
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

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For 475.00 Chuffs, if it was me, I would go to the pub and forget about it.
It's possibly more. The 475 CHF owed plus the income the OP could have received from AirBnB bookings to the end of the year.
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Old 02.12.2020, 10:27
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

At least start a Betreibung so that the person will face some administrative issues whenever returning to Switzerland.
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Old 02.12.2020, 10:27
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

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Hello Everyone,


I had a guest who originally rented my apartment on Airbnb in Basel. I rent a 2 bedroom flat and I sublet the second room to help cover the rent. The Airbnb guest stayed with me for 1 week and then said that they were getting a work contract and asked if they could sublet the apartment until December 31st. I agreed and both me and the tenant signed a legal contract. The tenant then paid me a portion of the rent and said he would get the remaining amount to me later. In the contract he agreed to give at least 15 days notice. About 2 weeks went by until he had fled the apartment without paying the remainder of the rent for the month and leaving the apartment in a general state of disarray. He still owes me 475 CHF and refuses to honor the contract he signed. I lost a significant amount of income since I blocked out the dates he was planning to stay as well. I have his personal information from Airbnb, I have his home address in Poland, as well as a copy of the signed rental contract we both signed. He is currently living in Poland but mentioned previously that he plans to come back to Bern for work. Is there anyway I can report this debt so that he cannot get his work permit or rent another apartment here? He is a total scumbag.
Sorry this happened, but my advice would be to always take payment in advance and make no deals with people you don't know or trust. When it comes to money, most people by default can't be trusted.
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Old 02.12.2020, 10:30
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

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At least start a Betreibung so that the person will face some administrative issues whenever returning to Switzerland.
Only if living in CH
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Old 02.12.2020, 10:49
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

You get a judgement here, and then take it to a court in Poland. If they agree, then you can use Polish debt collection.

But not worth it for the debt you've got. Lesson learned, move on. Next time perhaps use SwissCaution or similar.
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Old 02.12.2020, 11:25
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

Are you allowed by your landlord to sublet on Airbnb? Are you making profit? You sure did by renting direct Vs AirBnB - guess that profit is there to cover when things go bad.

If you were subletting illegally (i.e. not authorized by your landlord) then be careful where you take this as your problems may become bigger.

Chalk it up to learning and move on - life is too shot.
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Old 02.12.2020, 11:46
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

One last resort would be to contact him via registered letter saying you plan to open a case with the debt collection register, which means that if he ever plans to rent in Switzerland again he's stuck because there's a file on him. However, suggest to him that if he settles for CHF N before the end of the year then you will drop the case. Up to you to decide what it's worth based on the likelihood of him returning etc and it'll cost you < 10 francs for the letter + postage so perhaps worth a try?
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Old 02.12.2020, 11:46
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

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Are you allowed by your landlord to sublet on Airbnb? Are you making profit? You sure did by renting direct Vs AirBnB - guess that profit is there to cover when things go bad.

If you were subletting illegally (i.e. not authorized by your landlord) then be careful where you take this as your problems may become bigger.

Chalk it up to learning and move on - life is too shot.

First of all, I am allowed to rent or sublet this apartment to whoever I want. The landlord knows I use Airbnb and doesn't care. Second, I do not make any profit from renting the apartment on Airbnb. It only helps me as a student to cover roughly half the rent because it is extremely difficult to find a longterm tenant. Your comment is unhelpful. I did not break any rules with Airbnb by renting to this person off the app. Believe it or not, people actually look for longterm housing and make living arrangements that are not possible using Airbnb, and have done so before Airbnb was a thing.
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Old 02.12.2020, 11:49
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

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One last resort would be to contact him via registered letter saying you plan to open a case with the debt collection register, which means that if he ever plans to rent in Switzerland again he's stuck because there's a file on him. However, suggest to him that if he settles for CHF N before the end of the year then you will drop the case. Up to you to decide what it's worth based on the likelihood of him returning etc and it'll cost you < 10 francs for the letter + postage so perhaps worth a try?

Yes this is what I am trying to figure out how to file a debt collection request here in Switzerland. I realize that without him being here, I can't do anything. I have accepted that I will probably not get my money back any time soon, if at all, but I just want to make it difficult for him to get his work permit or rent another apartment here in case he decides to come back to Switzerland. Is this possible?
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Old 02.12.2020, 12:00
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

Add a sentence to that registered letter stating that you will also advise the Polish Authorities and credit agencies. I don't know if this is even possible, but he probably doesn't either.
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Old 02.12.2020, 12:52
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

Just wanted to give a quick update. I called the debt enforcement agency here in Basel and they said that without an address here in Switzerland, they can't really do much. But they did tell me I could still possibly file a civil complaint with him. Anyway, I will try to do that this afternoon, and in the meantime, I was able to find a debt collection company in Poland that is willing to try to help me to collect from him in his home country since I have his home address, phone number and signed contract.
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Old 02.12.2020, 12:52
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

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First of all, I am allowed to rent or sublet this apartment to whoever I want. The landlord knows I use Airbnb and doesn't care. Second, I do not make any profit from renting the apartment on Airbnb. It only helps me as a student to cover roughly half the rent because it is extremely difficult to find a longterm tenant. Your comment is unhelpful. I did not break any rules with Airbnb by renting to this person off the app. Believe it or not, people actually look for longterm housing and make living arrangements that are not possible using Airbnb, and have done so before Airbnb was a thing.
If the name and signature of the guy that left are not on the rental contract with the landlord, there's not much to do.

You might start a betriebung with the contract between you and him. What happens later is uncertain. There's the possibility that the guy contests the debt collection and then you need to demonstrate the validity of the contract. At this point the landlord will just say "I know nothing, did not sign anything".

@EFers, what could happen in this scenario? From my risk-averse perspective looks like opening a can of worms.

Last edited by Axa; 02.12.2020 at 13:07.
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Old 02.12.2020, 13:07
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Re: Advice on tenant who did not pay rent and fled to Poland

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If the name and signature of the guy that left are not on the rental contract with the landlord, there's not much to do.

You might start a betriebung with the contract between you and him. What happens later is uncertain. There's the possibility that the guy contests the debt collection and then you need to demonstrate the validity of the contract. At this point the landlord will just say "I know nothing, did not sign anything".

@EFers, what could happen in this scenario?

I suppose he could contest the contract but I also have the original copy which I sent to him over email which he also sent back to me so there is a clear paper trail and record of him receiving and signing the contract. Anyway what everyone has said here is right. The landlord will have nothing to do with it but it will be a legal dispute between me and the tenant. I don't expect to get my money back but I am not ready to let this go and I am willing to pay some money to make his life difficult. I do not want him to come back to Switzerland and get another opportunity to scam someone else.
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