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Old 15.03.2021, 09:57
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Landlord eager to renovate

I've been renting an apartment for about 6 years. I try to keep it clean and use the appliances carefully, so so far all was OK.
Recently the landlord contacted me saying there is an OPTION to renovate and repaint things in the apt. Since he said it was an option, I politely declined since I am very busy at work, have no other place to stay during the renovation, and generally don't want any interference in my life right now. But then the guy started insisting. Now he completely changed his tune and claims that renovation MUST be done.
Also, like many landlords, this person is extremely nosy about my income and personal situation, almost to the point where becomes rude. That's why I am suspecting his intention is to hike my rent (or to get me out of the apt and let it to someone else for a higher rent)
I've heard that Swiss laws are rather protective of home renters. Can I just plainly refuse his renovation? Can he use my refusal as an excuse for not extending my rental contract when the time comes to extend? Can he deliberately raise my rent?
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Old 15.03.2021, 10:05
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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Can he use my refusal as an excuse for not extending my rental contract when the time comes to extend?
He doesn't need an excuse for not extending your rental contract.

Tom
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Old 15.03.2021, 10:17
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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He doesn't need an excuse for not extending your rental contract.

Tom
But he needs to have a valid reason for not extending when I want to extend?
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Old 15.03.2021, 10:21
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

Certainly after renovation your rent will be higher...
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Old 15.03.2021, 10:23
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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But he needs to have a valid reason for not extending when I want to extend?
No, why would he?

Tom
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Old 15.03.2021, 10:25
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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I've been renting an apartment for about 6 years. I try to keep it clean and use the appliances carefully, so so far all was OK.
Recently the landlord contacted me saying there is an OPTION to renovate and repaint things in the apt. Since he said it was an option, I politely declined since I am very busy at work, have no other place to stay during the renovation, and generally don't want any interference in my life right now. But then the guy started insisting. Now he completely changed his tune and claims that renovation MUST be done.
Also, like many landlords, this person is extremely nosy about my income and personal situation, almost to the point where becomes rude. That's why I am suspecting his intention is to hike my rent (or to get me out of the apt and let it to someone else for a higher rent)
I've heard that Swiss laws are rather protective of home renters. Can I just plainly refuse his renovation? Can he use my refusal as an excuse for not extending my rental contract when the time comes to extend? Can he deliberately raise my rent?
He can enforce renovations with the proper notice and then can create a justification for raising the rent, it happens a lot in Switzerland and it is the right of a landlord to be able to do that to their own property.

If you flat-out refuse to allow renovations then I guess he would have a reasonable justification for ending your rental contract. Maybe the better option instead would be to discuss the effects of them happening and ask about any potential rent increases to negotiate the best outcome for you.

If in doubt, get advice from the Mietverband. https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/mietrecht-beratung.html
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Old 15.03.2021, 10:42
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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But he needs to have a valid reason for not extending when I want to extend?
No, as Tom implies, a renter has no "right" to extend beyond what is written in the rental agreement. With proper contractual notice given they can kick you out at any stage without giving any reason whatsoever.
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Old 15.03.2021, 11:33
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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No, as Tom implies, a renter has no "right" to extend beyond what is written in the rental agreement. With proper contractual notice given they can kick you out at any stage without giving any reason whatsoever.

Did you mean, landlord has no obligation? He definitely has a "right".
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Old 15.03.2021, 11:34
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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He can enforce renovations with the proper notice and then can create a justification for raising the rent, it happens a lot in Switzerland and it is the right of a landlord to be able to do that to their own property.

If you flat-out refuse to allow renovations then I guess he would have a reasonable justification for ending your rental contract. Maybe the better option instead would be to discuss the effects of them happening and ask about any potential rent increases to negotiate the best outcome for you.

If in doubt, get advice from the Mietverband. https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/mietrecht-beratung.html

Thanks! First and the only useful reply so far.
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Old 15.03.2021, 11:36
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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Thanks! First and the only useful reply so far.

Really?
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Old 15.03.2021, 11:40
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

If the renovations intend to go on while you're living there the landlord should compensate you for the disruption. There will likely be a rent increase disproportionate to the costs of renovation. Logistically it might only make sense if the landlord evicts you.
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Old 15.03.2021, 11:41
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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Really?

What is your problem exactly?
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Old 15.03.2021, 11:47
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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If the renovations intend to go on while you're living there the landlord should compensate you for the disruption. There will likely be a rent increase disproportionate to the costs of renovation. Logistically it might only make sense if the landlord evicts you.

Thanks, can you please explain the last sentence? It will logistically make sense for who? Did you mean it makes more sense for me to look for a new rent since after the renovation it will be just the same thing at a higher price?
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Old 15.03.2021, 11:49
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

The rent doesn't always go up after renovation. Sometimes landlords want to invest for tax reasons and "Werterhaltung" (value retention) of the object.

I had a call from my landlord, saying I've been here long and she thinks she could give me a treat and replace the carpet in the bedroom with parquet.
YES PLEASE - I hate carpet and it was only in that room.

I was lucky, that firm worked really superb. Although the first guy brought in heavy duty (loud!!) machinery to get the floor ready, they both left everything absolutely spotless and - apart from the noise - were hardly noticeable although I was home during them working.

My neighbour was offered to have the flat painted as he lives in it since day 1 but he declined as he didn't want the hassle that comes with it.
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Old 15.03.2021, 11:55
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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No, as Tom implies, a renter has no "right" to extend beyond what is written in the rental agreement. With proper contractual notice given they can kick you out at any stage without giving any reason whatsoever.

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Did you mean, landlord has no obligation? He definitely has a "right".
I'm not sure which part of it you're struggling to understand. You, as a renter, have no rights to continue to live in your current home except as defined by the contract. Sometimes that may be open-ended, with no specified end point, but most likely you'll find that even then there's an automatic annual renewal that can be cancelled by either party with the correct notice period, and which would require no reason to be given.

I wanted to be very sure of the law on this, as I bought my current property with three of the apartments occupied on long-term rentals so it was vital that we could cancel those (two of them, at least) in order to renovate and start using them as holiday rentals instead,
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Old 15.03.2021, 11:58
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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Did you mean, landlord has no obligation? He definitely has a "right".
He said "renter", not "landlord".

Tom
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Old 15.03.2021, 12:05
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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I'm not sure which part of it you're struggling to understand. You, as a renter, have no rights to continue to live in your current home except as defined by the contract. Sometimes that may be open-ended, with no specified end point, but most likely you'll find that even then there's an automatic annual renewal that can be cancelled by either party with the correct notice period, and which would require no reason to be given.

I wanted to be very sure of the law on this, as I bought my current property with three of the apartments occupied on long-term rentals so it was vital that we could cancel those (two of them, at least) in order to renovate and start using them as holiday rentals instead,
Sorry, it seems I misread. As Tom pointed out, I landlord "landlord" instead of "renter"
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Old 15.03.2021, 12:07
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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The rent doesn't always go up after renovation. Sometimes landlords want to invest for tax reasons and "Werterhaltung" (value retention) of the object.

I had a call from my landlord, saying I've been here long and she thinks she could give me a treat and replace the carpet in the bedroom with parquet.
YES PLEASE - I hate carpet and it was only in that room.

I was lucky, that firm worked really superb. Although the first guy brought in heavy duty (loud!!) machinery to get the floor ready, they both left everything absolutely spotless and - apart from the noise - were hardly noticeable although I was home during them working.

My neighbour was offered to have the flat painted as he lives in it since day 1 but he declined as he didn't want the hassle that comes with it.

Thanks, Curly! In the beginning it looked exactly like you described - he tried to present it as "bonus". Only after I declined he started pushing.
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Old 15.03.2021, 13:08
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

The Swiss don't like the concept of the free market when it comes to renting and so one of the few ways for a landlord to increase the rent is to renovate the place and then increase the rent. It's all a bit silly and could be eliminated if rents were allowed to rise/fall with market demand.
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Old 15.03.2021, 13:13
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Re: Landlord eager to renovate

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Thanks, Curly! In the beginning it looked exactly like you described - he tried to present it as "bonus". Only after I declined he started pushing.
Why don't you just ask him for his reasons and whether the rent would go up and if not, can you please have that in writing? Direct, quick, simple and reassuring.
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