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Old 11.02.2009, 17:30
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Apartment offer price suddenly changes

Hi everyone, I was recently offered an apartment near Römerhof tram stop, 3.5 rooms, 81m2, that was listed on my application and in homegate for CHF 2113. I accepted the offer over the phone, then an hour or so later the management company called me back and said that they'd spoken to the owner and he was planning on painting, cleaning, and sanding the floors before I moved in, and that due to that, he'd be raising the rental price to CHF 2390.

Does this seem abnormal to you, i.e., the sudden change in rental price once someone verbally accepts an offer? I haven't signed anything yet as I have not received the paperwork, but I was wondering if this was standard practice. I assume it's legal for them to do that since I haven't signed anything, unless something in my application was binding. If anyone knows about the legal implications of this, please let me know.

I'm annoyed, but I'm probably taking the apartment anyway since there'll be someone else lined up to do so even if I don't (I've lived here a year and am familiar with the craziness that is Zurich rental property).

Thanks for any advice or insight anyone has. I really enjoy this forum and find it valuable and the folks friendly.

- Jessica

Last edited by jmignone; 11.02.2009 at 17:44.
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Old 11.02.2009, 19:52
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Re: Apartment offer price suddenly changes

I guess you could try asking the landlord not to paint or do the floors...
and ask them to keep the rent cheaper ?

I'm guessing that the only time the landlord can get to see the place is when it's empty, and in my experience they are often amazed at how much damage 'normal wear and tear' can mean...
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Old 11.02.2009, 20:12
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Re: Apartment offer price suddenly changes

Yeah, I did ask the management company to ask the owner that for me. They said they'd get back to me, but I did make clear that if the owner said no I'd still take it at the new price. *sigh* Hopefully I haven't pi**ed anyone off by having the audacity to ask for the place not to be cleaned up so I could get the lower price.
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Old 11.02.2009, 20:24
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Re: Apartment offer price suddenly changes

Hi,

We had a similar experience. See our previous post here .

The final explanation that was given to us was that the agency simply advertised the wrong price - a 'clerical error'. I still think they advertised lower and then once got all of the interest upped the price. They told us we could have the apartment if we payed the higher price, otherwise they would give it to one of the other 6 applicants.

Very dodgy!

Good luck,

Kadie
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Old 11.02.2009, 20:39
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Re: Apartment offer price suddenly changes

At least it's a good neighborhood - you've got three trams stopping at Römerhof. And the center/lake is within walking distance and you have excellent running paths in the woods up near Dolder. Also, your apartment's bigger than mine (which, as you may have guessed, is also near Römerhof), but cheaper.

Another thing to consider is that rent doesn't usually go up that much over time, so in a couple of months you'll have forgotten this whole thing and be happy just living in this splendid part of town.
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Old 12.02.2009, 10:30
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Re: Apartment offer price suddenly changes

Ha ha, thanks Boy Wonder. Too true. I'm very excited about the apartment despite the issue... oh and btw, for an update, the management company called the owner for me and he agreed to CHF 2250 without painting, sanding, etc., and CHF 2390 with it. So it turns it that yeah, he just wanted more money because he wouldn't go back down to the original listed price. But I'm pretty shocked that he agreed to "negotiate" at all instead of telling me to go to hell.

Good times in Zurich!
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Old 12.02.2009, 11:41
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Re: Apartment offer price suddenly changes

We're experiencing this too... the advertised rent shot up CHF 100 suddenly from one day (the day we applied) to the next.

The reason the agents gave when I asked was "because it's normal to put the rent up at a change of tenants", and wouldn't back down.
This is even despite an existing 'officially' notified rent raise to the current tenant, that will take effect at the same time as we want to move in (due to interest rates, inflation, blah blah blah).

I sought advice from the Mieterverband about it to see if this was even allowed and if there was anything we could do about it (especially as we are in a 'Nachmieter' situation - i.e. the current tenant wants to move out of contractual moving dates, or without the contractual notice period). The Mieterverband said the only real option is to try to negotiate with the landlord or agent, but of course this runs the risk of losing the apartment to someone else who is willing to pay the higher price without question.

As for the 'Nachmieter' situation, the current tenant has their situation taken care of and is released from their contract, as they have fulfilled their obligation to find someone willing to take over their contract under the same conditions (assuming they are deemed 'suitable').
But
the landlord/agent is then under no obligation to actually give the same conditions to the new tenant and can basically do what they like and still demand a higher rent. It is up to the new potential tenant, whether they accept the higher price, or walk away (if negotiation is not an option or unsuccessful).

how annoying.. grrrrr!

Last edited by jot; 12.02.2009 at 12:06. Reason: grammar
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Old 12.02.2009, 12:00
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Re: Apartment offer price suddenly changes

Ah, good to know the legal stuff behind this sort of thing. I guess I got lucky with the negotiations, as it were, since the owner did relent a little bit (took 140 off his original bumped up price). Of course, he also wanted 277 more per month than his application price so it sounds like he was a lot greedier than typical owners, and he's still getting 137 more than what he originally asked for. *sigh*
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Old 12.02.2009, 13:53
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Re: Apartment offer price suddenly changes

On the plus side, it's less pressure to live in an apartment that hasn't just been freshly decorated, where every tiny little scratch is your fault. We moved into a lovely, freshly-refurbished appt last year, with small children, and have already resigned ourselves to coughing up to have the entire place painted and resanded when we eventually move out...

kodokan
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