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Old 02.04.2021, 10:44
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Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

I am a new landlord and I rented out my basement apartment in Jan 2021.

Terms of the agreement (as part of Rental Agreement) were that the tenant will submit Swisscaution at the time of move. Due to holiday period, I granted him 15 days grace period. Till now he has not submitted SwissCaution and nor paid the 3 month deposit.

For the rent: he had paid the rent for 3 months (Jan-March) altogether. Now in April, he has not paid the rent yet which was due on last day of the previous month.

I would like to ask what options do I have, if I decide to go ahead with legal route?

I have a written rental agreement and have issued him the receipt acknowledgment for rent paid.

I have not issued any invoice as he is supposed to pay the rent in the bank account mentioned in the contract. Should I issue an invoice (red slip)? If so, anyone know how I can do that?

Thanks a lot
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Old 02.04.2021, 10:59
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

Talk to a lawyer. You need to be careful as tenants are protected. There are steps you can take but you need to follow the rules.

But as a first step you might want to talk to the tenant and tell him what you would like him to do. Spell it out, how much and by when. And start documenting everything. Date, time, action. You need to come our looking like the good guy, not the as* landlord.
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Old 02.04.2021, 11:04
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

Thanks. I have spoken to the tenant, sat him down for a coffee. Mentioned all the concessions I have made. Also I have a lot of correspondence in text messages. Would that be considered as ‘documented’?
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Old 02.04.2021, 11:06
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

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Thanks. I have spoken to the tenant, sat him down for a coffee. Mentioned all the concessions I have made. Also I have a lot of correspondence in text messages. Would that be considered as ‘documented’?
Text message is not 'documented' registered post is.
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Old 02.04.2021, 11:07
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

Send him a letter by registered post advising politely that according to your records he has apparently over looked both payments and should now make these without further delay...
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Old 02.04.2021, 11:13
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

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I am a new landlord and I rented out my basement apartment in Jan 2021.

Terms of the agreement (as part of Rental Agreement) were that the tenant will submit Swisscaution at the time of move. Due to holiday period, I granted him 15 days grace period. Till now he has not submitted SwissCaution and nor paid the 3 month deposit.

For the rent: he had paid the rent for 3 months (Jan-March) altogether. Now in April, he has not paid the rent yet which was due on last day of the previous month.

I would like to ask what options do I have, if I decide to go ahead with legal route?

I have a written rental agreement and have issued him the receipt acknowledgment for rent paid.

I have not issued any invoice as he is supposed to pay the rent in the bank account mentioned in the contract. Should I issue an invoice (red slip)? If so, anyone know how I can do that?

Thanks a lot
Sounds a bit messy.
It is either Swisscaution or deposit. Not both.
The tenant paid 3 months rent - I would think that was the deposit. Why did you confirm it to him as rent paid? In Switzerland the habit is to pay monthly.
On the other hand you need to open a special deposit-account. No intelligent tenant will pay deposit directly into the landlord's account.

So the next step is to open such a deposit account and send him the slip for the deposit.
If the tenant stopped paying rent, yes you have to send him a bill. Each month if necessary.

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Thanks. I have spoken to the tenant, sat him down for a coffee. Mentioned all the concessions I have made. Also I have a lot of correspondence in text messages. Would that be considered as ‘documented’?
And here you left out the interesting bit: What did the tenant say at this meeting?
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Old 02.04.2021, 11:24
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Send him a letter by registered post advising politely that according to your records he has apparently over looked both payments and should now make these without further delay...
I think this is immediate action I will take now, to ensure documentation in a registered form.

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Sounds a bit messy.
It is either Swisscaution or deposit. Not both.
The tenant paid 3 months rent - I would think that was the deposit. Why did you confirm it to him as rent paid? In Switzerland the habit is to pay monthly.
On the other hand you need to open a special deposit-account. No intelligent tenant will pay deposit directly into the landlord's account.
Some more info:

For the Deposit: Tenant mentioned if I will accept Swiss Caution which I agreed to, provided it is ready at the day of move (01 Jan). That didnt happen and due to holiday period, I gave him a concession to submit Swiss Caution by 15 Jan. When nothing happened till 28 Feb, I asked him to instead pay the deposit, and I would open the deposit account. He continues to insist Swiss Caution is coming and he has registered. In between 15 Jan - 28 Feb, there have been various text message exhanges, a letter I sent to his address and coffee conversation.

For the Rent: He paid 3 months as rent in advance for which I issued him an acknowledgment reciept.

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So the next step is to open such a deposit account and send him the slip for the deposit.
If the tenant stopped paying rent, yes you have to send him a bill. Each month if necessary.
Any information how I can issue deposit slips? Thanks

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And here you left out the interesting bit: What did the tenant say at this meeting?
During the coffee chat, which was cordial, as any reasonable conversation would be, he mentioned reasons why Swiss Caution hasnt arrived and he promised to follow-up asap.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 04.04.2021 at 11:58. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 02.04.2021, 11:48
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

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.....

Any information how I can issue deposit slips? Thanks


During the coffee chat, which was cordial, as any reasonable conversation would be, he mentioned reasons why Swiss Caution hasnt arrived and he promised to follow-up asap.
As I wrote: You need to open a deposit account, the bank will provide the slips (I think they will even send contract and payslips directly to tenant iIrc).

I have absolutely no experiance with Swisscaution but reading their website, I see no reason why they should cause problems unless your tenant does not fulfil the following points:


What are the eligibility requirements for a SwissCaution rental guarantee?
  • having a good credit rating
  • being at least 18 years of age
  • your accommodation must be in Switzerland
  • for foreigners, be in possession of a “B,” “B refugee”, “C,” or “F” residence permit.
  • A residential lease with a minimum duration of three months.
Did you get a "Betreibungsauszug" (record of debt collection) from the tenant before you rented to him??
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Old 02.04.2021, 11:55
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

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As I wrote: You need to open a deposit account, the bank will provide the slips (I think they will even send contract and payslips directly to tenant iIrc).
I havent opened the deposit account considering SwissCaution option. Would go down this route now, I think.

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Did you get a "Betreibungsauszug" (record of debt collection) from the tenant before you rented to him??
Yes, his record showed he was clear, expect one open payment towards an insurance company.

Thanks for your inputs.
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Old 02.04.2021, 12:01
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

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I havent opened the deposit account considering SwissCaution option. Would go down this route now, I think.



Yes, his record showed he was clear, expect one open payment towards an insurance company.

Thanks for your inputs.
Swisscaution is an insurance too. They are likely to know about that.

Yes I'd go the deposit route. "Was mer hät, das hät mer" (once you got it, you got it)
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Old 02.04.2021, 12:51
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

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It is either Swisscaution or deposit. Not both.
He knows. He meant that neither had been done not that both should be done.
Quote:
No intelligent tenant will pay deposit directly into the landlord's account.
Yet when they ask on EF if it is OK they're told yes it is.


I would send a registered letter with a paying-in slip or at least a reminder of the account details for the month of April, including a time limit for payment. You could also include a slip for the deposit. Possibly he's been rejected for the Swisskaution and simply doesn't have the money.

In the absence of the deposit you might want to consider making regular apartment inspections.
I'm not sure what the rules are if someone stops paying rent. I would suppose you can give regular notice to vacate but if he doesn't move out you might then need to get a court order? Legally it could be seen that the contract hasn't been completed as he hasn't paid the deposit but he's already living there. Start the process of eviction as soon as he doesn't pay the April rent.

The lesson is don't do anybody any favours when it comes to renting out a property.
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Old 02.04.2021, 13:05
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

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. .... No intelligent tenant will pay deposit directly into the landlord's account...... ?
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.....Yet when they ask on EF if it is OK they're told yes it is.......
Not by intelligent EF-ers.
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Old 02.04.2021, 13:32
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

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I would send a registered letter with a paying-in slip or at least a reminder of the account details for the month of April, including a time limit for payment. You could also include a slip for the deposit. Possibly he's been rejected for the Swisskaution and simply doesn't have the money.
Yes, I will take this route now.

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Legally it could be seen that the contract hasn't been completed as he hasn't paid the deposit but he's already living there. Start the process of eviction as soon as he doesn't pay the April rent.
Could this really be the case that the agreement becomes void?
Even if both party agreed to the terms and one party failed to abide by the terms? Thats the legal bit I am also not sure of and hence looking to get some advice on the legality.

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The lesson is don't do anybody any favours when it comes to renting out a property.
Lesson learnt hard way.

Thanks for your inputs.
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Old 02.04.2021, 14:17
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

I would suggest never to accept Swisscaution. Tenants can pony up the deposit and those unable to do so should raise a red flag.
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Old 02.04.2021, 14:31
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

I think your nearest HEV might be a help.Or even Ktipp.
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Old 02.04.2021, 14:43
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

What did his previous landlord say about him?

Sounds like what is in Germany called a "Mietnomade", or "rental nomad".

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mietnomade

They often try to find inexperienced landlords to prey on....
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Old 02.04.2021, 15:31
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

Hm, it' definitely a weird situation - someone offers to pay rent in the advance but not deposit?
It definitely smells like that was the only money they had.

In Germany many landlords won't even hear about paying rent in advance, even for a year, because they insist on deposit AND regular, secure, monthly payments. Logic being 'yes, you might be able to pay for a year, but what after that?'

This is from tenant perspective on highly competitive flat market (Berlin) where one of proposed idea how to win a landlord was to offer payment in advance, but actual advice is never to offer that because you might look sketchy even if you are not.

Sorry to hear you have a problematic tenant.

I think there's also some Verein for landlords where you can be a member and get advice?
That or lawyer up.
I wouldn't wait too much.

Also, proof of payed deposit comes before you give keys or at the same time
Maybe there's a possibility of paying in three parts, but that also has a deadline.

Or from my perspective - I get contract, they get deposit, I get keys during the handover. With private landlord for temp accommodation everything happened at the same time, with agency for long term flat it was - after we got approved, we get to sign the contract, and then date of handover was agreed, and we had to pay deposit on the given special bank account before we came there (bank payslip was proof enough), and on handover they gave us keys.

I would expect that this swisscaution works in the same manner, they know that landlords want security. So it makes no sense to force landlord to wait, since that means not getting the flat in competitive market. So I'd expect they at least offer some guarantee before actual rental contract is made.

For your own peace of mind, check how exactly swisscaution works and don't rely on information coming from unreliable tenant.

And about the tenant, react fast. You gave more than enough leeway. Also, you don't have to worry about 'not looking like a nice landlord', they aren't nice tenants. Be polite, formal and firm. It's your property and your money. Tenant has rights for decent living conditions and cooperation but doesn't have right to cheat you.

People who are in money trouble but want to make it right are honest and open and work their asses off to pay their debts, and are not being avoidant and sketchy.
You cannot cooperate with someone who is avoiding you.

Good luck!
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Old 02.04.2021, 17:03
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

You are in this mess because you acted like a total amateur and continue acting like one ("sat down for coffee", etc). The golden rule is no keys handover without deposit and rent paid upfront

You need to start eviction process asap - it can take several months, that's why deposit is customarily 3 months to cover the risk here. If tenant is insolvent or just doesn't feel like paying, it can take a loooong time before you see any of that rent

First step of the process is to send a written reminder for your tenant to pay up and with an explicit threat that or else you will cancel the contract. You have to give at least 30 days time to pay (Art. 257d OR). Send by registered mail. No fireside chitchats or sms this time, those aren't going to cut it for the legal system. If tenant is married, you also need to send a separate letter to the spouse no matter if she's on the contract or not. There might be additional rules to the eviction process in your canton, research yourself on your own risk or ask a lawyer/HEV.

Last edited by spark; 02.04.2021 at 17:14.
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Old 02.04.2021, 22:32
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

i think he wanted swiss caution because he didn't have the money, and now he got refused and has no money, so he's making excuses. The exit strategy might become an expensive lesson learned but if he doesn't at least pay the regular rent you are losing money regardless and it's not going to get better.
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Old 02.04.2021, 23:06
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Re: Issues with Tenant (Deposit & Rent Not Paid)

Thanks all for your inputs.
So I had a chat with him today. He has asked for one more week to sort out everything. He mentioned SwissCaution had sent a form for my signature (which I never received) and he will ask again on Tuesday.

I do not believe most things he is saying. I will post updates next week.
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