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Old 07.08.2008, 14:41
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Zurich's accommodation hell

I want to share with you the development of our recent flat search.

The story:

There is a shared flat in Oerlikon, contract ending September 30th and two of the three guys leaving at the end of July. The remaining guy advertised the place on the web, asking for someone else who would move in from August, share the last two months with him, and then take over the flat fom October 1st. This person had a non-written agreement with the landlord, saying that he would find the new tenants.

Now, me and my friend moved in last Monday.
The landlord suddenly changes mind and sends the contract to another person (swiss), who signed it already and will take the flat from October 1st. Damn.

There are no papers signed by us. The only thing we have is a letter that the current tenant sent to the landlord, asking for the cancellation of his contract and, at the same time, for the following of the agreement they had reached by phone, which included us taking over the place. The landlord replied to that letter with a templated response, not explicitly mentioning us, only acknowledging the fact that the previous contract was being terminated.

All the landlord is offering us are its apologies and a flat in Opfikon .

I am angry and disappointed: at the landlord which did a awful job, at the present tenant, who made no written agreement, and at us, who also did not ask for some written confirmation.
What makes me even more upset is the fact that we gave up another flat that we had found (after an exhausting search at that time) in a very good location, only a bit more expensive.

The current tenant is offering the help of a friend of his, who is finishing up his degree in law, however, I fear that our chances of keeping the place are very low.

Can they really do this? Does anyone have some hints on what we could do to stay in the flat and don't end up in God-forsaken Opfikon with all our heavy furniture? Any hint would be appreciated.
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