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Old 13.11.2008, 16:11
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Landlord problems - what are my rights?

I have lived in Zug for over a year now and my landladies are 2 sisters, one of which lives above me. I have decided to move to Zurich and I have had a hard time finding a place there. I finally found an apartment which I liked but it was available immediately. I signed the lease for my Zurich apartment on October 28 and emailed my landladies on October 29 that I will be moving out. They requested I meet with them and give them a written notice. We met on October 30 and I gave them a written notice, saying this notice is effective per Oct 30 and I will be moving on or about November 15. They told me that I need to suggest to them someone to take over my lease and the more candidates - the better. They also said that they prefer a non-smoker, one person - 2 persons maximum, no kids. Mind you - the apartment is 3.5 rooms...

I moved out on November 6 and I immediately posted an add on homegate.ch. Since then I found this English guy who wants to move in and submitted his application on November 10. He is looking to move in immediately so I suggested November 15. He would be living by himself, is a non-smoker and makes about 1.5 of my income. The landladies said that they need to interview him but they are only available on Saturday, November 15 and he is flying in just for the interview. In the meantime they have asked me permission to show the apartment to their friends to which I have consented.

Now, this is where it gets interesting: they sent me a registered letter and per email saying that:

"Da Sie die vertraglich vereinbarten Kündigungsfristen bzw.- termine nicht eingehalten haben, machen wir Sie darauf aufmerksam, dass die vorzeitige Kündigung frühestens per 30. November 2008 gültig ist. Wenn Sie per diesem Datum keinen Ersatzmieter gefunden haben, sind Sie weiterhin an den Mietvertrag gebunden, d.h. bis 31. März 2009.

Weiter muss uns als Vermieter genügend Zeit eingeräumt werden, um das Ersatzangebot zu prüfen. Bei Wohnräumen beträgt die angemessene Dauer 14-30 Tage."

Can they only accept my notice of termination per November 30? Do they need 14 to 30 days to review a candidate to replace me? Am I really bound to the lease till 31 March? I must have some rights as a tenant...I hope.

Also, I have hired someone to clean my apartment and they want to do an "Abgabe" with the landladies. But they refuse to set up an apoitment for that saying that it has to happen at the time the new tenant moves in. Is this true? I can't keep holding the cleaning company from submitting the apartment and getting paid.

How should I approach this? Does anyone have any advice for me? Should I be looking for a lawyer?

Thank you for your help!
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Old 13.11.2008, 16:15
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Re: Landlord problems - what are my rights?

I am not an expert, but your contract should clearly state when the notice periods are and how much notice you have to give.

Have you checked it?
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Old 13.11.2008, 16:35
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Re: Landlord problems - what are my rights?

Your rights and obligations are specified in the contract.

Are you a member of the tenant's organisation in Zug? http://www.mieterverband.ch/zg_top.0.html they have a summary document in English.

Join and make an appointment with them for a consult.

Bear in mind, your rights will be assessed against the rights of the landlady(ies) and whether both parties have behaved reasonably and under their obligations under the contract.

Reasonable notice for an appointment here is a few days as people even socially plan most things in advance. (My German gf has already asked me what I'm doing on 2 dates in December so she can make "plans").

So time to get advice on your rights and obligations as you are party to a contract, and whether the behaviour of your landladies is regarded as reasonable.

Congrats on finding a place you like in ZH. Oh and by the way, remember that you only need to find one "appropriate" person under the law to be relieved of your obligation. Of course they don't have to accept him but this doesn't affect your meeting the "release conditions" under the contract/law.

Therefore make sure you send a letter back registered that you have complied with the normal conditions for an early cancellation and expect not to be liable after November 30th as you can supply a suitable tenant from November 15th. (If they don't like him...tough ...their choice not your obligation). Homegate has advice on this issue in english.

Good luck moving!

Last edited by magyir; 13.11.2008 at 16:40. Reason: spelling
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