Take over friend's flat – convince landlord


How can we make sure that landlord really gives our friend’s apartment to us.

We live in Zug where the apt rental market is desperate. We are a family of 4 (kids 9 and 6), living in a 3.5 room apartment and have been looking for a >= 4 room apartment for years. We are very attached to Zug, specifically to our neighborhood. Now it happens, that a friend/neighbor in the same building will move away, so his 4.5 room apartment will become available again and we definitely want it. He approached us and offered to present us as the next tenant to the landlord (same landlord as ours). For him the benefit is, that he can move out quite flexibly without being bound to contract termination terms.

Few years ago, we had a similar situation. Same landlord (a pension fund). We approached landlord in a really nice way asking to consider us, checking back with them, and so forth. In the end, he gave the flat to a new family, although they already knew us as pleasant and reliable tenants. Why they did that? Don’t know. Maybe to be able to significantly raise rent, personal connections, etc… The law seems to be quite clear: landlord is free whom to rent out to. There is some protection for the existing tenant (that he gets released from contract when he presents an acceptable next tenant).

Anybody here with knowledge / experience in these regards. In general, any good tips / opinions, how to get this apartment? Much appreciated!

I’ve been subletting an apartment, in the role of the landlord. The situation back then was, that I had multiple interested parties, and they were all very different. I had one person that I clearly preferred for various subjective reasons. The choice hasn’t been a close call at all. There was a clear “winner”.

I don’t think these are the reasons. They will pick whomever they think is the best choice for their particular set of reasons.

This helps a lot. I’ve also heard that it helps to follow up with the landlord after the viewing and show enthusiasm, i.e. that one is really, really interested in the place. But it doesn’t guarantee success.

I’ve also heard, that there are a lot of times when people apply and change their mind once it’s time to sign the contract, which causes a a lot of issues for the landlord, so they try to avoid this, especially if the start date is soon. So make it clear that you won’t be changing your mind.

I wouldn’t get too attached to one particular apartment. It’s a numbers game and luck is playing a significant role in the process. So the only way to succeed is continuing to apply to a lot of places.


Had a similar situation when moving. We had a good connection with the previous tenants, they recommended us, had a person we knew and who lived in the same complex recommend us as well, jobsecurity, pay,… everything seemed to be in our favor. Didn’t take us. They do not have too tell you why either.

I guess I can see why they could prefer another tenant over you… having you move in means having to look for another tenant for your flat. Basically twice the work for them.

Exactly. The logic of the pension fund is likely to increase the price based on recent market benchmarks.

I think you have limited power. Just speculating one Potok could be:

  • get recommendation from your friend
  • offer the pension fund
  • 10-20% more than what your friend is paying
  • have a replacement ready for your own apartment so that it minimize their work

However, if I were in the shoes of the pension, there are still direct and indirect costs of replacing not 1 but 2 tenants - this is the issue

Blockzitat I guess I can see why they could prefer another tenant over you… having you move in means having to look for another tenant for your flat. Basically twice the work for them.

Yes, agree. However, when we move out, landlord has the chance to raise rent for our flat as well. Maybe even beyond the 10% which they are normally allowed to, as we have been living in this flat for 13 years, so rent is way below market.

I think what we will try is: we approach the landlord again very nicely asking what we can do to support he decides for us. Also pointing to the fact that he did not pick us a couple of years ago in similar situation. So what was it and what can we do this time to be favoured? Then the ball is on him and let’s face it, most people like it to feel to be in a helping role. Especially when there already is a connection (us being easy tenants for 13 years).


I do not know about the precise situation in Zug but from what I gather the market is very tight, as it is also around the Lake Geneva region. So the same rules should apply.

First of all, there are two possible situations to what you’re describing. It can either be that your neighbor is leaving at one of the possible terms stipulated on the rental agreement or that he’s leaving ahead of time.

In the latter case he is obligated to present a suitable tenant to take over the lease at the exact same conditions. Until a new lease is signed he ows the rent until the end of the contrat. But he’s only obligated to present one candidate (even if in practice people tend to present several ones), so if he can only present you and you’re solvent, there’s that. However the landlord is no obligated to accept you. Your neighbor will be free from any further rent to be paid if the landlord refuses you.

The thing is that they could increase the rent but since the new tenant is just taking over the previous lease this would be hard to justify. Also, in Zug you also have the right to dispute an “excessive rent” within the first weeks after getting the keys.

I have recently moved an I did exactly this. The landlord insisted that I presented more candidates and I told them that I was obligated by law to present at least one and that I did. And that the one I presented fulfilled all the legal requirements so in case of refusal it would be their problem with all the associated costs: publishing the ad, organizing visits, and so on.

If your neighbor is leaving at the usual term then it’s easy for the landlord to increase the rent and to choose whoever they like. It would be harder for you to “force their hand” in this case. However the “excessive rent” dispute regulation still apply although in this case they can claim an adjustment to market prices (with certain limitations, of course).

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