Security deposits are usually one to three monthly rents. This sums up to a lot of money. Expats who rent an apartment in Geneva should make sure that they only pay this money to a blocked bank account and NOT directly to the landlord.
There was an expat in Geneva who got in trouble when she was leaving the apartment she rented for over one year. The landlord insisted that some minor damages in the apartment must be repaired and paid by the expat who was renting the apartment. However, the tenant was of the opinion that it was normal damages which must be paid by the landlord. The landlord in Geneva was only willing to refund half of the rental security deposit that was paid in the beginning of the contract period.
The expat in Geneva who was renting did one mistake. She paid the security deposit directly to the landlord. The landlord has a certain power over the tenant like this as he decides how much he will refund. In this case the tenant has two possibilities: either accept the suggestion of the landlord and just take the money back he is offering or take legal steps against the landlord. However, hiring a lawyer is very expensive and the whole procedure is complicated. Untrustworthy landlords know that and assume that you will just accept what they offer.
Trustworthy landlords and real estate agencies always request you to pay the security deposit to a blocked account. If you rent an apartment in Geneva and you are asked to just pay the money to the landlords’ bank account do not do it and insist on opening a blocked account from a bank of your choice. Once the money in the blocked account both the expat who rents the apartment and the landlord from Geneva must agree on the amounts which will be refunded.