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HELP - Looking for a Lawyer to manage the termination of our lease

Dear all,


I need to ask for your help because we are stuck with the lease of a flat in Cologny.


We signed a 2-year lease last may, when we thought we would move to Geneva, but then had a different job opportunity in London, where we live, and decided to stay. We have been paying the rent (crazy uh?) since then, while looking for a new tenant (we paid an agent for the viewings). Unfortunately the housing market, at least in that area, is not moving at all. The agent is now saying that we can't even rely on the Diplomatic Clause in the contract, as this only applies to people being transferred abroad. Is there any lawyer out there who think could help us? Or anyone who can recommend one? We are desperate and terrified at the idea of being stuck with a double rent for another year and a half. Please help.


thank you


Brenda

The text you are quoting:

Dear all,


I need to ask for your help because we are stuck with the lease of a flat in Cologny.


We signed a 2-year lease last may, when we thought we would move to Geneva, but then had a different job opportunity in London, where we live, and decided to stay. We have been paying the rent (crazy uh?) since then, while looking for a new tenant (we paid an agent for the viewings). Unfortunately the housing market, at least in that area, is not moving at all. The agent is now saying that we can't even rely on the Diplomatic Clause in the contract, as this only applies to people being transferred abroad. Is there any lawyer out there who think could help us? Or anyone who can recommend one? We are desperate and terrified at the idea of being stuck with a double rent for another year and a half. Please help.


thank you


Brenda


brenda fOct 9, 2019 @ 10:23
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Re: HELP - Looking for a Lawyer to manage the termination of our lease
Post 1

Not a lawyer, but just completed a contract for a new apartment today.   We settled on a place in town, but also looked at Cologny ...  Anyway, in my experience of looking for flats and discussing with friends and refie (I have been in geneva for 20 plus years), it seems that there is a two tier market - flats that are correctly priced and those that are too expensive - It seems that the geneva market is very transparent and even being overpriced by 10% will dry up all interest.  Example - one apartment we saw listed at 3700 and was availble for almost 2 months.   The price was dropped to 3400 and 40 people saw the flat in the first week.


Check on the swiss websites (homegate.ch) to see if your apratment is fairly priced.   If not, you might think about lowering the price.  


Also, you are lucky, and unlucky that your bail is only for 2 years.   Most swiss seem to want a 5 year bail, especailly if the apartment if fairly priced.


 


Good luck


Having said all that, I think I pais a couple of percent over market myself.


 

The text you are quoting:

Not a lawyer, but just completed a contract for a new apartment today.   We settled on a place in town, but also looked at Cologny ...  Anyway, in my experience of looking for flats and discussing with friends and refie (I have been in geneva for 20 plus years), it seems that there is a two tier market - flats that are correctly priced and those that are too expensive - It seems that the geneva market is very transparent and even being overpriced by 10% will dry up all interest.  Example - one apartment we saw listed at 3700 and was availble for almost 2 months.   The price was dropped to 3400 and 40 people saw the flat in the first week.


Check on the swiss websites (homegate.ch) to see if your apratment is fairly priced.   If not, you might think about lowering the price.  


Also, you are lucky, and unlucky that your bail is only for 2 years.   Most swiss seem to want a 5 year bail, especailly if the apartment if fairly priced.


 


Good luck


Having said all that, I think I pais a couple of percent over market myself.


 


m petersen, Oct 10, 2019 @ 16:36
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Re: HELP - Looking for a Lawyer to manage the termination of our lease
Post 2

Not a lawyer, but just completed a contract for a new apartment today.   We settled on a place in town, but also looked at Cologny ...  Anyway, in my experience of looking for flats and discussing with friends and refie (I have been in geneva for 20 plus years), it seems that there is a two tier market - flats that are correctly priced and those that are too expensive - It seems that the geneva market is very transparent and even being overpriced by 10% will dry up all interest.  Example - one apartment we saw listed at 3700 and was availble for almost 2 months.   The price was dropped to 3400 and 40 people saw the flat in the first week.

Check on the swiss websites (homegate.ch) to see if your apratment is fairly priced.   If not, you might think about lowering the price.  

Also, you are lucky, and unlucky that your bail is only for 2 years.   Most swiss seem to want a 5 year bail, especailly if the apartment if fairly priced.

 

Good luck

Having said all that, I think I pais a couple of percent over market myself.

 


Oct 10, 19 16:36

Thank you, everything you say makes a lot of sense.


Our flat is indeed expensive, but I am not sure it's overpriced, it looks in line with what we saw in the same area, with a renovation in 2019 which should (should) make it more appealing.  However I do see that other flats in the same block have been there for months, and that's worrying.I suppose Cologny is quite a tricky area and most people who look there just don't want to live in a flat.


Unfortunately we can't lower the rent, since we are not the owners, we need someone to take our lease over as it is, we cannot sublet.


Considering that we don't even live in Geneva, what we need to understand is if there is any way to come out of this..


thanks again,


Brenda

The text you are quoting:

Thank you, everything you say makes a lot of sense.


Our flat is indeed expensive, but I am not sure it's overpriced, it looks in line with what we saw in the same area, with a renovation in 2019 which should (should) make it more appealing.  However I do see that other flats in the same block have been there for months, and that's worrying.I suppose Cologny is quite a tricky area and most people who look there just don't want to live in a flat.


Unfortunately we can't lower the rent, since we are not the owners, we need someone to take our lease over as it is, we cannot sublet.


Considering that we don't even live in Geneva, what we need to understand is if there is any way to come out of this..


thanks again,


Brenda


brenda f, Oct 10, 2019 @ 18:18
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Re: HELP - Looking for a Lawyer to manage the termination of our lease
Post 3

Go to Asloca

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Go to Asloca


Maria M, Oct 10, 2019 @ 22:09
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Re: HELP - Looking for a Lawyer to manage the termination of our lease
Post 4

+1 for ASLOCA https://www.asloca.ch

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+1 for ASLOCA https://www.asloca.ch


Sean C, Oct 11, 2019 @ 08:41
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Re: HELP - Looking for a Lawyer to manage the termination of our lease
Post 5

I completely forgot about Asloca ... go talk to them.


Also, You can negotiate with the regie - you pay the difference in rent until the end of your bail.


 

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I completely forgot about Asloca ... go talk to them.


Also, You can negotiate with the regie - you pay the difference in rent until the end of your bail.


 


m petersen, Oct 11, 2019 @ 09:22
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Re: HELP - Looking for a Lawyer to manage the termination of our lease
Post 6

Thank you everyone!

The text you are quoting:

Thank you everyone!


brenda f, Oct 11, 2019 @ 11:32
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Re: HELP - Looking for a Lawyer to manage the termination of our lease
Post 7

What about subleasing it? Officially, having notified the regie. The defaut position under Swiss law in my general understanding is that sublease is allowed subject to receiving the authorisation by the regie/landlord, which authorisation cannot be refused unless [3 types of situations one of which is charging abusive rent but if you only sublease for the exact same amount you are paying or a little bit more, it is not considered as abusive and it must be approved by the regie] 


Here is a website I have recently stumbled upon which explains things


https://www.ums.ch/info-landlord/right-way-to-sublet/


also the famous Art 262 of the Swiss Code of Obligations can be found online in English at https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classified-compilation/19110009/index.html#a262 


Of course, check your contract first to see what specific provisions it contains in relation to sub-letting but I doubt it that it would say anything that is contrary to the law... 


I have personally recently had a consultation with Asloca about subletting my flat for a period of time because of a change in circumstances and not being able to be there and Asloca lawyer basically confirmed that, as long as I follow the rules, seek authorisation, disclose the terms of the sublease, do not ask for unreasonably high rent, the regie is not entitled to say no. There may be some tension with respect to how much you want to charge if you decide to sublease. My formula that I have run past Asloca and that they said fine to is as follows: my flat came unfurnished, I have furnished it and am, paying outgoings on it, too, such as electricity, internet, other things, so I am going to take what I am paying to the regie and add all my actual monthly outgoings (electricity, wifi, billag) plus i can add up to 10% by way of compensation for furniture. And that should be considered as a reasonable price, according to Asloca


Don't know if this helps, but hopefully it does, although this stream of consciousness is not very well structured. I hope you find a good solution and a way out of this!


 

The text you are quoting:

What about subleasing it? Officially, having notified the regie. The defaut position under Swiss law in my general understanding is that sublease is allowed subject to receiving the authorisation by the regie/landlord, which authorisation cannot be refused unless [3 types of situations one of which is charging abusive rent but if you only sublease for the exact same amount you are paying or a little bit more, it is not considered as abusive and it must be approved by the regie] 


Here is a website I have recently stumbled upon which explains things


https://www.ums.ch/info-landlord/right-way-to-sublet/


also the famous Art 262 of the Swiss Code of Obligations can be found online in English at https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classified-compilation/19110009/index.html#a262 


Of course, check your contract first to see what specific provisions it contains in relation to sub-letting but I doubt it that it would say anything that is contrary to the law... 


I have personally recently had a consultation with Asloca about subletting my flat for a period of time because of a change in circumstances and not being able to be there and Asloca lawyer basically confirmed that, as long as I follow the rules, seek authorisation, disclose the terms of the sublease, do not ask for unreasonably high rent, the regie is not entitled to say no. There may be some tension with respect to how much you want to charge if you decide to sublease. My formula that I have run past Asloca and that they said fine to is as follows: my flat came unfurnished, I have furnished it and am, paying outgoings on it, too, such as electricity, internet, other things, so I am going to take what I am paying to the regie and add all my actual monthly outgoings (electricity, wifi, billag) plus i can add up to 10% by way of compensation for furniture. And that should be considered as a reasonable price, according to Asloca


Don't know if this helps, but hopefully it does, although this stream of consciousness is not very well structured. I hope you find a good solution and a way out of this!


 


Anna S, Oct 12, 2019 @ 19:00
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