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Old 05.08.2010, 10:40
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are 4 months rental deposit legal?

I read in some threads that the maximum deposit regulated by law is 3 months in Switzerland (older posts in 2006-2007). The company we're due to rent from asks for 4 months in the contract. Is this legal?
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Old 05.08.2010, 10:44
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

I am not sure if it is legal but it certainly is unusual...
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Old 05.08.2010, 10:47
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

No - the maximum they can ask for is 3 months (rent plus "nebenkosten").

But you would also pay the rent upfront so in total you'd be paying 4 months rent before you get to move in.

A reputable renting agency would know this so unless there is some misunderstanding I would steer clear of renting with someone that doesn't get the basics right, be it deliberately or accidentally.
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Old 05.08.2010, 10:53
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

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No - the maximum they can ask for is 3 months (rent plus "nebenkosten").

But you would also pay the rent upfront so in total you'd be paying 4 months rent before you get to move in.

A reputable renting agency would know this so unless there is some misunderstanding I would steer clear of renting with someone that doesn't get the basic right, be it deliberately or accidentally.
I smell trouble.

The rent is not paid up front and not before you move in. The first month's rent is due by the start of the contract date and it is paid to the owner/agency who appears on the lease. Usually you receive a pay in slip with the details, and it is best to set up a standing order so the rent is paid monthly and ON TIME!

The maximum rent deposit is 3 months and it is to be paid into a rental surety account, not to the owner. You can also inquire if the owner will accept one of the deposit insurance plans, such as Swisscaution.
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Old 05.08.2010, 10:55
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

In the case that you cannot afford it check out Swisscaution. They will pay it for you for a yearly fee (my case 150) The fee you loose but it was easier for us as we could not afford 3 months rent up front.
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Old 05.08.2010, 11:06
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

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I smell trouble.

The rent is not paid up front and not before you move in. The first month's rent is due by the start of the contract date and it is paid to the owner/agency who appears on the lease. Usually you receive a pay in slip with the details, and it is best to set up a standing order so the rent is paid monthly and ON TIME!

The maximum rent deposit is 3 months and it is to be paid into a rental surety account, not to the owner. You can also inquire if the owner will accept one of the deposit insurance plans, such as Swisscaution.
I paid a months rent in advance, and I just checked with two Swiss colleagues who confirmed they did too... because apparently it's normal. Don't you look like a bit of a plonker for groaning him now...
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Old 05.08.2010, 11:07
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

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The rent is not paid up front and not before you move in. The first month's rent is due by the start of the contract date and it is paid to the owner/agency who appears on the lease. .
Sorry to be a nitpicker but that means you have to pay the rent upfront?

If the contract starts on the first of the month, you will get access to the premises on that day (sometimes a few days earlier if they're nice) and the rent is also due then. Considering it takes a few days to clear you will be paying the first month rent at least 5 days prior to contract start. Deposit is also due with start of the contract, unless you have agreed paying in installments.

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The maximum rent deposit is 3 months and it is to be paid into a rental surety account, not to the owner.
Usually, the deposit is paid to the agency or the owner who will then transfer it to the rental surety accountof their choice. You must make sure that you get the confirmation of this transfer from the account holding bank. Worth a mention that any interest on the deposit is yours, though that will be hardly anything these days.

EDIT: what was the reason for the groan?

Last edited by Dani_SF; 05.08.2010 at 11:09. Reason: groan? moi???
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Old 05.08.2010, 11:14
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

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I paid a months rent in advance, and I just checked with two Swiss colleagues who confirmed they did too... because apparently it's normal. Don't you look like a bit of a plonker for groaning him now...
The rent is not due until the contract starts. The rental deposit secures the apartment in advance. Often contracts are signed well in advance of the start date of the lease. The owner does not have the right to the money in advance.
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Old 05.08.2010, 11:18
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

There could be misunderstanding between you and the agency. Most likely, as a couple of others have mentioned, the 4 months include three months deposit and one month (first month) rent.
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Old 05.08.2010, 11:24
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

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Sorry to be a nitpicker but that means you have to pay the rent upfront?

If the contract starts on the first of the month, you will get access to the premises on that day (sometimes a few days earlier if they're nice) and the rent is also due then. Considering it takes a few days to clear you will be paying the first month rent at least 5 days prior to contract start. Deposit is also due with start of the contract, unless you have agreed paying in installments.



Usually, the deposit is paid to the agency or the owner who will then transfer it to the rental surety accountof their choice. You must make sure that you get the confirmation of this transfer from the account holding bank. Worth a mention that any interest on the deposit is yours, though that will be hardly anything these days.

EDIT: what was the reason for the groan?
I groaned because giving out information that is misleading is confusing.
The rent must be in the owner's account by the start of the contract. It is not due before. If you use a pay in slip, it takes a few days to reach the owner's account. If you pay by bank transfer, it takes less time. Of course, if you get the keys a few days early, it is a nice gesture to pay the rent by that date. For the sure the deposit has to be paid.

The tenant can choose where the deposit is held. With the method you have mentioned above, large rental agencies have holding accounts and can transfer deposits. However, this is NOT the case with private owners and do not pay the rental deposit directly into an owner's account. Take the time to set up a rental surety account. If Swisscaution is used, then it is not necessary to set up an account at all as the deposit is guaranteed.
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Old 05.08.2010, 11:25
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

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The rent is not due until the contract starts. The rental deposit secures the apartment in advance. Often contracts are signed well in advance of the start date of the lease. The owner does not have the right to the money in advance.
I just checked with two more guys and they said the same... and come to think of it, I paid 3 months deposit and one month in advance, and my rental company is awesome.

Love the tit for tat groaning, always a sign of class.
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Old 05.08.2010, 11:26
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

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I read in some threads that the maximum deposit regulated by law is 3 months in Switzerland (older posts in 2006-2007). The company we're due to rent from asks for 4 months in the contract. Is this legal?
Are you sure it wasnt 3 months deposit + first month's rent?

4 months is really high, probably the highest I've heard. And its not legal, least I am aware of. Best to clarify with them. You can always suggest the option of using SwissCaution. Do a search on EF and there are a couple of threads surrounding that topic.

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The rent is not due until the contract starts. The rental deposit secures the apartment in advance. Often contracts are signed well in advance of the start date of the lease. The owner does not have the right to the money in advance.
Err actually Mrs D, I paid my rent plus deposit about a week before I was due to move into my old apartment.
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Old 05.08.2010, 11:27
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

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The tenant can choose where the deposit is held.
wrong, only the agency/owner can choose where the deposit is held, but the account must be in the tenant's name.
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Old 05.08.2010, 11:40
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

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wrong, only the agency/owner can choose where the deposit is held, but the account must be in the tenant's name.
Legally the tenant has the right to decide, but in practice this is how it works, the landlord usually chooses. It is not worth kicking up a fuss over where the deposit is held, just as long as it is in a rental surety account.

The law covering the deposit is here:
http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/220/a257e.html

Commentary from the HEV is here.
http://www.hev-schweiz.ch/home/polit...kel/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=2152&cHash=3fe4625044

The landlord can decide, but it doesn't mean the tenant cannot request an alternate bank. Most tenants just don't want to rock the boat and go along with the landlord's choice of bank.
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Old 05.08.2010, 12:16
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

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Err actually Mrs D, I paid my rent plus deposit about a week before I was due to move into my old apartment.
A week is not what I would consider in advance, as I posted, it takes days if you use a pay in slip, faster by bank transfer. If there is a weekend in there, or if the contract start date is a weekend, these are not working days in the banking world.

When everything is done in a very tight timeframe, just days before the start of the rental contract, it seems like the tenant is paying everything all at once. Most people feel very broke when they move into their new flat. This is particularly the case if you have just moved locally and you have not seen your deposit back on your old flat but had to come up with a new deposit.
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Old 05.08.2010, 14:16
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

yes indeed, misunderstanding. 3 months caution + 1 month rent as we move in straight away. Thanks for all the feedback!
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Old 19.08.2010, 12:13
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Re: are 4 months rental deposit legal?

If is quite expensive flat ...I olny got 1 month...but can vary
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Old 16.05.2011, 00:42
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4 months deposit for a flat, is that legal?!?

I have found an apartment I'd like to rent, and in the contract they ask me for the rental of the first month, plus the equivalent to 4 months rent. I don't want to pay that amount of money.

Any advice about how to proceed?, should I try to negotiate the terms of the contract with them, or should I look for another apartment?
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Old 16.05.2011, 00:49
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Re: 4 months deposit for a flat, is that legal?!?

Sure it's legal.

Sure you can try to negotiate.

Good luck on that approach. There are dozens of people in line behind you, trying to find somewhere to live in Zürich. I think I know what your prospective landlord will say.

There are alternatives to stumping up the cash for a deposit. None are cheaper than just paying up, though, and remember, the funds are invested on your behalf.
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Old 16.05.2011, 00:51
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Re: 4 months deposit for a flat, is that legal?!?

The deposit itself can't be more than 3 months but there are other, legal variations (e.g. the apartment building is owned by a co-operative and you've got to buy a share - for several thousand francs - to be eligible to rent one of the apartments.)

Since you said "the equivalent of" 4 months' rent, I'm assuming it's something like this. Might all be perfectly legal, might not be. Can't say without more details.

In any case, if it's in Zurich you're probably wasting your time arguing... if you balk at the terms, they've no incentive to negotiate with you, they'll just pick another applicant. . Very much a seller's (or landlord's) market.
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