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Old 06.03.2009, 14:23
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Paying rent before you get the keys??

I'd appreciate your opinion on a small problem I face... I recently moved apartments and the letting agent set the 'états des lieux' or meeting for the handover of keys for Monday Jan 5th - this was their decision due to the fact they only gave me the OK for the flat on Dec 23rd and the holidays meant they preferred to meet on the 5th. I stress, I didn't influence this date choice.

When it came to paying the rent, I worked out the monthly rent minus 4 days to cover Jan 1st to 4th. They wrote to me, saying this was not acceptable and I had to pay for the whole of January. After much discussion, they now say that if they had known about my intention to refuse to pay the rent for Jan 1-4 they would have agreed to meet earlier.

It's worth remembering that Jan 1 and 2 were official holidays here in Vaud and the letting agent was closed. Jan 3 and 4 were the weekend when again the letting agent is closed.

I am still refusing to pay rent for Jan 1-4 and have now been threatened with eviction. We are arguing about CHF260. I have been advised by a work colleague to contact the local tenants association to see what they have to say, but I have yet to find someone who thinks the letting agents are acting in a just manner.

Should I pay for something I did not receive?
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Old 06.03.2009, 14:34
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Re: Paying rent before you get the keys??

What does the rental contract say, and that is probably your
answer?
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Old 06.03.2009, 14:34
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Re: Paying rent before you get the keys??

When is the starting date on the contract? What did you sign?

Welcome to Switzerland..

I understand your frustration but do you really want to get evicted for CHF260 and then have difficulties finding a place to live. Although it may seam unfare, this is a minor incident in life and my advice would be to pay it and move on.
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Old 06.03.2009, 14:36
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Re: Paying rent before you get the keys??

Naturally, I think we would all agree that you shouldn't need to pay for something you didn't get. On the other hand, the law doesn't really care about what people think...

Generally properties are not handed over on holidays, saturdays or sundays.

(See this link in German unfortunately) http://www.mieterverband.ch/fragen/f...?id=248&shbe=1

So by analogy one might say that although you weren't able to get the keys, the apartment was still your responsibility. Of course, it also works the other way round, i.e. if your tenancy finishes on a saturday, theoretically you wouldn't have to give it back until Monday. You can even stretch this a bit if Friday is a holiday and your tenancy finished on the Friday. So you see, it can work both ways.

This being said, it is not a very nice attitude on the part of the landlord. I would definitely call the ASLOCA and see what they tell you, assuming you are a member that is (definitely worthwhile).
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Old 06.03.2009, 14:43
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Re: Paying rent before you get the keys??

Yeah, not a very pleasant surprise!
I would agree with the other advice that you pay up and forget about it - in the long run, it is a small matter, though it leaves a bad taste, I agree.

I had the other-way experience, where my landlord said, we could have the keys on Dec 23rd, so that we could shift in over the holidays, but pay rent only from Jan 1st (we still had to pay the electricity for the whole time, which was more than fair).

All the best with finding a comfortable solution!
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Old 06.03.2009, 14:59
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Re: Paying rent before you get the keys??

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I'd appreciate your opinion on a small problem I face... I recently moved apartments and the letting agent set the 'états des lieux' or meeting for the handover of keys for Monday Jan 5th - this was their decision due to the fact they only gave me the OK for the flat on Dec 23rd and the holidays meant they preferred to meet on the 5th. I stress, I didn't influence this date choice.

When it came to paying the rent, I worked out the monthly rent minus 4 days to cover Jan 1st to 4th. They wrote to me, saying this was not acceptable and I had to pay for the whole of January. After much discussion, they now say that if they had known about my intention to refuse to pay the rent for Jan 1-4 they would have agreed to meet earlier.

It's worth remembering that Jan 1 and 2 were official holidays here in Vaud and the letting agent was closed. Jan 3 and 4 were the weekend when again the letting agent is closed.

I am still refusing to pay rent for Jan 1-4 and have now been threatened with eviction. We are arguing about CHF260. I have been advised by a work colleague to contact the local tenants association to see what they have to say, but I have yet to find someone who thinks the letting agents are acting in a just manner.

Should I pay for something I did not receive?

Yes, unfortunately you will have to pay up, by law, as i already stated in another thread here, handovers of flats are not done nor allowed by law on New Years Eve and New Year ( as well as on August 1st), add to that that in Switzerland jan 1st AND 2nd are public holidays and this year you had the luck of the calendar against you with jan 4th and 5th being a weekend and thus the agency was shut.

In Switzerland you pay your rent in advance for the full month.

Lesson learnt in a case like this, try to get the keys and everything at latest by December 28th/29th ..........
if you want to avoid eviction and further troubles, I adivse you to pay up the 260 francs and try to get the keys BEFORE a public holiday the next time
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Old 06.03.2009, 22:21
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Re: Paying rent before you get the keys??

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Yes, unfortunately you will have to pay up, by law, as i already stated in another thread here, handovers of flats are not done nor allowed by law on New Years Eve and New Year ( as well as on August 1st), add to that that in Switzerland jan 1st AND 2nd are public holidays and this year you had the luck of the calendar against you with jan 4th and 5th being a weekend and thus the agency was shut.

In Switzerland you pay your rent in advance for the full month.

Lesson learnt in a case like this, try to get the keys and everything at latest by December 28th/29th ..........
if you want to avoid eviction and further troubles, I adivse you to pay up the 260 francs and try to get the keys BEFORE a public holiday the next time
I always pay my rent in the month usually towards the end of the month. I successful argued with the landlord that there was no payment date in the contract. I normally get paid around the 25th and the rent gets normally paid a few days later.
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Old 06.03.2009, 23:19
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Re: Paying rent before you get the keys??

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I'd appreciate your opinion on a small problem I face... I recently moved apartments and the letting agent set the 'états des lieux' or meeting for the handover of keys for Monday Jan 5th - this was their decision due to the fact they only gave me the OK for the flat on Dec 23rd and the holidays meant they preferred to meet on the 5th. I stress, I didn't influence this date choice.

When it came to paying the rent, I worked out the monthly rent minus 4 days to cover Jan 1st to 4th. They wrote to me, saying this was not acceptable and I had to pay for the whole of January. After much discussion, they now say that if they had known about my intention to refuse to pay the rent for Jan 1-4 they would have agreed to meet earlier.

It's worth remembering that Jan 1 and 2 were official holidays here in Vaud and the letting agent was closed. Jan 3 and 4 were the weekend when again the letting agent is closed.

I am still refusing to pay rent for Jan 1-4 and have now been threatened with eviction. We are arguing about CHF260. I have been advised by a work colleague to contact the local tenants association to see what they have to say, but I have yet to find someone who thinks the letting agents are acting in a just manner.

Should I pay for something I did not receive?
Unfortunately I don't think this is a battle you are going to win. There seems to be two dates rental contracts can begin, 1st of the month, or 15th of the month, when the rent is pro-rated. (50%). Anything outside of those dates is practically unheard of.

Considering things come to a grinding halt here between Christmas and New Years complicates matters. If the apartment was vacant when you saw it, you could have asked for the handover before the 1st, perhaps on the 31st of December, a weekday. If it was not vacant, that might have been more difficult. In Kanton Aargau, in your situation the current tenants would have had until the next working day after the 1st of January to give the keys back, and that would have been the 5th!

My advice is to pay the 260 chf and as painful as this will be write the landlord a note apologizing for the misunderstanding. It will go a long way to try and put your relationship right which I suggest you do as there will come a day when you might want these people on your side.

You can do battle if you like but I suspect you won't win. Even if you do, the relationship with the landlord will be tense and you will probably be looking for a new flat. Some battles are not worth it.
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Old 06.03.2009, 23:27
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Re: Paying rent before you get the keys??

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Old 06.03.2009, 23:34
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Re: Paying rent before you get the keys??

Wow. What you describe is the same circumstances we ran into last May. We weren't allowed to move in until May 5, though our contract began May 1. They actually had an appointment for the guys moving out on May 5 (and there was a holiday involved too), so they wouldn't let us move until then.

Although extremely annoying (we had already made plans for a rental van to move furniture), we opted not to make a fuss about it, because we wanted to remain on the landlord's good side.

If there was a weekday-non-swiss-holiday between the 1st and the 4th, then you have every reason IMO to fight it. But you might want to ask yourself whether the ~CHF260 is not worth all the bureaucracy (this is switzerland) and stress.
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Old 06.03.2009, 23:44
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Re: Paying rent before you get the keys??

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Wow. What you describe is the same circumstances we ran into last May. We weren't allowed to move in until May 5, though our contract began May 1. They actually had an appointment for the guys moving out on May 5 (and there was a holiday involved too), so they wouldn't let us move until then.

Although extremely annoying (we had already made plans for a rental van to move furniture), we opted not to make a fuss about it, because we wanted to remain on the landlord's good side.
A very wise move.

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If there was a weekday-non-swiss-holiday between the 1st and the 4th, then you have every reason IMO to fight it. But you might want to ask yourself whether the ~CHF260 is not worth all the bureaucracy (this is switzerland) and stress.
Bureaucracy, stress and tense relationship with the landlord. Not a pleasant picture at all.
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