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Old 09.07.2019, 10:04
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Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

Hi, I am living alone in Lausanne, where I am renting a flat with Domicim since December 1st 2018. I do not speak French (Italian, English, a bit of German). Also, I did not pay a deposit caution, I am instead paying the Swisscaution annual fee.


The time has come for me to leave this hellhole I have read through the forum and found many useful hints (thank you so much guys, you are amazing!) but there is still something that I found unclear, namely regarding the Swisscaution cancellation.


My Domicim contract states that I can leave the flat on the last day of any month, except December 31st, and provided I give 4 months of notice. This means that I am going to send such notice (in French, via registered mail) in the next few days (before July 31st). I know I can leave before that if I find another tenant, but I don't want to bother with that, and I'm not in a hurry anyway.



Back last year, I applied for the Swisscaution rental deposit insurance in November, and if I remember correctly I was only invoiced for 2019 because it was end of the year already. But to cancel the Swisscaution insurance I need the signature of the vultures from Domicim. I am afraid that, even if I leave the flat on November 30th, they will fail to provide a signature before December 31st, and so I will have to pay another year of Swisscaution.


Is there anything I can do to avoid this (likely) scenario? Would it help to register with Asloca? I didn't do it when I moved in because my company provided a relocation agent who checked the contract and took part in the move-in inspection with me, but if I register with Asloca now am I in time to ask them to help me with the move-out inspection?


I also have a Fortuna legal protection insurance with Generali (which I never used). Would it help?


Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 09.07.2019, 11:16
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

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I also have a Fortuna legal protection insurance with Generali (which I never used). Would it help?
without knowing the details of your policy, this sounds like a good place to start.
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Old 09.07.2019, 12:17
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

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Is there anything I can do to avoid this (likely) scenario?
Your insurance policy isn't tied to the rental contract as such. Cancel on time and you should be fine.
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Old 09.07.2019, 12:40
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

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Your insurance policy isn't tied to the rental contract as such. Cancel on time and you should be fine.

Yes, but in order to cancel it I also need the signature from my landlord (Domicim in this case). Because basically they have to certify that I left everything in good shape and that they do not require any witholding from my deposit (which is currently just a "virtual" one, covered by the Swisscaution insurance).


If I understand correctly, it should work like this: I have a form in my possession that I should send to Swisscaution to terminate the insurance. The form needs two signatures: mine, and Domicim's. In theory, I could ask Domicim (e.g. one of their agents) to sign it as soon as the move-out inspection reveals that everything is in order (or, if only some minor damage cost pops out and I don't want to be bothered, there is also a field in the form where you can specify the amount and then I have to reimburse it to Swisscaution directly). However, I am not sure I can force them to comply immediately (ideally I would like them to sign it before I sign the move-out inspection report, and before I hand them over the keys). Especially because the form is in Italian (but it shouldn't be difficult to ask for a French one to Swisscaution, which I will probably do anyway).


TL;DR: I should make sure to know my rights beforehand, and possibly get some French-speaking trusted person from Asloca with me during the move-out inspection, because these people are terrible a**holes.
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Old 09.07.2019, 12:42
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

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these people are terrible a**holes.

These people meaning Domicim.
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Old 09.07.2019, 13:11
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

Ask swisscaution if you can use the paper for the état des lieux, which should state if the flat was returned in acceptable conditions, or how much you would have to pay for extra cleaning and repair, etc. This paper you will have it on the day you hand over the flat.
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Old 09.07.2019, 16:52
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

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Yes, but in order to cancel it I also need the signature from my landlord (Domicim in this case). Because basically they have to certify that I left everything in good shape and that they do not require any witholding from my deposit (which is currently just a "virtual" one, covered by the Swisscaution insurance).
Haha, those bastards. They really say you owe the premium even though no new damage can be caused once you've moved out already. I wonder if that's lawful and enforceable.

Perhaps you can replace the insurance by an ordinary deposit before you give notice? Otherwise you're at the regie's mercy and will need to claim back the premium for 2020 (or even 2021) that hasn't been used up, if any.

Yet another reason to not use them.

Your form is a duplicate, you need the original (and signed) that's in the regie's possession.
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Old 09.07.2019, 17:37
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

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Haha, those bastards. They really say you owe the premium even though no new damage can be caused once you've moved out already. I wonder if that's lawful and enforceable.

Perhaps you can replace the insurance by an ordinary deposit before you give notice? Otherwise you're at the regie's mercy and will need to claim back the premium for 2020 (or even 2021) that hasn't been used up, if any.

Yet another reason to not use them.

Your form is a duplicate, you need the original (and signed) that's in the regie's possession.
Nothing to do with being bastards, it is just how these things are set-up. Without proper papers they don't know if there are any pending issues. OP just needs his papers from the landlord a.s.a.p. and use those to cancel the insurance.
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  #9  
Old 09.07.2019, 17:54
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

If you want to leave without hassle, maybe don't call the company a-holes on a publicly viewable forum. And use your legal insurance & ASLOCA if you think you need to. Better to have more people on your side at the handover. After the handover is done, it's too late.
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Old 11.07.2019, 15:13
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

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They really say you owe the premium even though no new damage can be caused once you've moved out already.

Yes, that's what I thought this is why I want to act now in order to avoid the scenario.


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Perhaps you can replace the insurance by an ordinary deposit before you give notice?


That's actually a great idea! I will contact Domicim immediately saying that I want to open a normal deposit account. They should be happy about it, no? I mean, for them an ordinary account should be better than Swisscaution.


The only thing I wonder is: how will they react if I also tell them that I want to leave the flat in November? Just to be safe I will try to do the deposit and Swisscaution cancellation *before* I give them notice of leaving the flat, but I don't know if there's gonna be enough time.


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Yet another reason to not use them.

You're absolutely right I did not want to use Swisscaution, but unfortunately there were some timing issues, and it seemed that doing the Swisscaution thing was faster than opening a deposit account at UBS. A matter of few days, but those made the difference.


Just for completeness, I checked, and it is not true that I did not pay the premium in 2018, I did but it was a reduced one. Actually it was shameful, it was almost 100% of the normal yearly premium, even if it was just for the month of December! Swisscaution = evil.



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Your form is a duplicate, you need the original (and signed) that's in the regie's possession.

Yeah, could be. Not that it makes any difference without both signatures


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If you want to leave without hassle, maybe don't call the company a-holes on a publicly viewable forum.

Oh, did I mistakenly write a-holes? So sorry, I meant honest gentelemen
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Old 13.07.2019, 19:16
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

An update: I was wrong on 2 points (actually one of them was not my fault but of my "unofficial translator"):


1) it is not the case of course that I can leave the flat at the end of any month except December. I can only leave at one date, that is the end of the rental contract, and provided I give 4 months notice, otherwise it gets automatically renewed. This means that there is only one date per year where I can leave the flat without paying extra fees and looking for a new tenant.


2) This one was my fault: I forgot that, despite having entered the flat on December 1st, Domicim was kind enough to offer me a 16-months rental contract, not a 12-month one as would be usual. This means that my official possible leaving date would be March 31st.


Given that I do not want to wait next year, at this point it looks unavoidable to me that I have to search for a new tenant myself. Implying 200 CHF for "administrative fees", 100 or so CHF for putting ads online etc, but still better than having to pay another year of various insurances and housing fees.





I have two questions:


1) is it even legal to have a contract of more than 12 months duration? I mean, technically speaking there is no possible leaving date for the whole 2019. Is it normal?


2) how does the search for a new tenant work timewise? In my contract it is stated that in this case I have to give notice to Domicim at least before the 15th of the month before the last month of my rental (so, if I want to leave on Nov 30th for example, I have to notify them before Oct 15th). This sounds reasonable to me, but my question is: shall I FIRST find a tenant and THEN send the notice, or can I start searching the tenant AFTER sending the notice? (also given the crazy housing situation in Lausanne)



Do I have obligations in terms of how many candidates I have to present to Domicim?


Thank you all guys, you're a real resource in a harsh environment for expats


P.S.: how can I "thank" people on this forum?
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Old 13.07.2019, 21:40
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

1 - Yes, as long as you and the landlord sign the contract it can be of any duration, and some auto-renew. All the leases in our building have been 2-3 years and at least one guy signed for 5.

2 - The new tenant has to agree to take over your existing contract. Given that you're in Lausanne where housing is tight anyway, odds are you will have plenty of people willing to take over. I don't know the details of how many applications you have to submit to the landlord, etc. so I'll leave that to someone else.

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Old 13.07.2019, 21:43
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

Alright, thanks
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Old 06.11.2019, 22:00
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

As a form of courtesy, I need to correct my hasty judgement about the agency. Granted, Domicim gave me a few headaches when moving in, but the new responsible, Ms Ferr****, is really nice and professional. I have to point out that she doesn't speak English but at least she connected me with an Italian-speaking colleague, and via email the communication is great. No troubles reported so far, with the preliminary inspection and contract resigment all gone smoothly. I withold final judgement for the day of the "etat de lieux"
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Old 06.11.2019, 22:45
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

Just a thought ..

Who trumps who in terms Landlord vs Regie.. ?

I moved out in July, landlord visited and said everything was great..
We were friendly, did BBQs and drinks, got drunk in the garden, done dinner etc.

Regie on the other hand is an ass, still hasn't returned anything, in July she wanted to hold on to 2k in case the drains needed cleaning for example.. She'd get a plumber to check the drains and if they found tissues and lego they'd bill me, else they'd have no charge.. Also wanted to charge me 350chf for a missing instruction manual for the cooker ... which I handed to her..
Nothing has moved since..

Yeah I'm going to asloca next week, our whole experience has been sh1t with this fool from BN.. But just wondering who is actually in charge..?
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Old 08.11.2019, 09:50
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

I guess in any case it's the regie that pulls the threads. The landlord is just paying them to not have to deal with overwhelming bureaucracy, but in so doing the regie is given total freedom in managing the case.


So, yeah, I guess it is always better to have a nice agency rather than a nice landlord (the best world being having a nice landlord without 3rd party agency in between).


Not saying here that Asloca are good, on the contrary, my overall experience so far has been negative, except it seems to get better recently.
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Old 08.11.2019, 10:00
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

If you know the landlord, speak to him directly and get him involved. This will piss him off and he'll speak with the Regie to do the job they are being paid for and sort it out properly
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Old 12.02.2020, 19:51
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

Oh I totally forgot about updating this thread!

TL;DR: The relocation went much more smoothly than I expected, and I got my full deposit back! Thanks Ms. Ferr****! However, Asloca really did not behave well with me and I would advise everybody to NOT TRUST THEM!

The ads I put on various free forums didn't work out, but eventually Domicim had an applicant that they put in touch with me for a visit of the flat, he liked it and they passed the contract to him.

I hired a Lausannoise moving+cleaning company (mainly Kurdish guys) who were really professional and left the flat better than how I found it.

I left the flat end November, and in January I got my full deposit back.

The big disappointment was Asloca!

As you might already know, they are EXTREMELY expat-unfriendly. They do not accept communication via email, only by phone, and they do not speak anything but French. Back in August I had a French-speaking friend of mine come with me to their office for translation. My question was whether they could provide one of their volunteers to come over and assist me in person on the day of the etat-des-lieux (which was the day that I feared the most). This was really the *only* service I could possibly want from Asloca, as for the rest I have a legal protection insurance. They said "usually this service is possible if you request it in advance, but not necessarily an English-speaking person".

So the dreaded day gets fixed, and I immediately ask a colleague to call them (in French) helping me to arrange the thing - even if just with a French-speaking volunteer.

The lady at the phone sounds arrogant and pissed.

"No, it's not possible."

"OK... any other day that would work? Maybe I can ask Domicim to change the date"

"No, we don't have available dates."

"Uhhh... sorry, when is the next available date?"

"We don't have any for the foreseeable future."

WTF... "Excuse me, but when I registered and PAID SIXTY FRANCS you told me you would be able to offer assistance for the etat-des-lieux"

"We can offer you a 1-hour training lesson on how to deal with the etat-des-lieux yourself. At our office. Only on this date-and-time. In French."

I do not add anything, I leave it to the reader. At the end luckily the etat-des-lieux went well, I asked a French-speaking colleague to be there with me just in case but everything was OK.

Say NO to Asloca.

Last edited by italo; 12.02.2020 at 20:18.
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Old 12.02.2020, 19:55
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

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As you might already know, they are EXTREMELY expat-unfriendly. They do not accept communication via email, only by phone, and they do not speak anything but French.
Why do they have to speak anything else?

They are not a company for expats, they help all people who rent a place. Offering translation services is not part of their business plan.
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Old 12.02.2020, 20:13
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Re: Leaving flat in Lausanne with Domicim and Swisscaution... Get prepared!

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Why do they have to speak anything else?

They are not a company for expats, they help all people who rent a place. Offering translation services is not part of their business plan.
EDIT: sorry, actually maybe it was not entirely clear from my wording: at the end they did not even offer the French-speaking assistance - I would have taken that gladly.

Also, please... Lausanne is not France. I do not understand how it is possible that an association like Asloca can only be talked to in French by phone. At least give me an email address, I would be happy to do my homework at home and send you a text in French, but no, you have to be annoying on purpose.

Because this is what really is at the end. I don't want to start a general complaint about *that* topic, but not even in Italy nowadays it is so easy to find an office where nobody speaks at least a bit of broken English. For sure it is not acceptable in a multilingual country (I mean, I speak Italian, English and German), and for sure it is very different in other areas of Switzerland, not only Zurich.

Just as a side note: the Lausannoise colleague who called Asloca and interacted with the lady at the phone was also shocked, and assured me that he never experienced such a bad service.



I am really, really glad I moved
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