General terms and conditions of use

1. Scope and amendment of General Terms and Conditions

1.1. The following General Terms and Conditions apply for the use of the online platform (“platform”) www.homeswisshome.ch owned and operated by HSH SA, Rue de la Coupe Gordon-Bennett, 1219 Le Lignon, Genève (“HSH”).

1.2. “Users” within the sense of these General Terms and Conditions are natural and legal persons who have registered and whose registration has been confirmed by HSH. By registering for using the services of HSH, users accept the validity of these General Terms and Conditions.

1.3. HSH offers the usage of its platform, in particular the use of the database, solely on the basis of these General Terms and Conditions. General Terms and Conditions or Contract Conditions of the user that contradict or deviate from these General Terms and Conditions are not recognized by HSH.

1.4. HSH reserves the right to modify its General Terms and Conditions with effect for the future. The amendments will not become part of the agreement until the user consents to such modifications. HSH sends the new version of the General Terms and Conditions to the e-mail address that the user provided for information purposes and the user will be asked to agree the changes when next time he/she logs in to the website of HSH. If the user does not refuse the amendments to the General Terms and Conditions within two weeks, approval will be considered to have been granted.

 

2. Registration and obligations with regard to the user account

2.1. In principle, any natural person or legal entity can use the platform of HSH, however this person must register on the platform and the user account must be administered by a person of full age, or by a person entitled to represent such an individual.

2.2. Registration is free of charge and requires the acceptance of the General Terms and Conditions. The user agreement between HSH and the user arises on receipt of the registration confirmation e-mail at the e-mail address provided by the user.

2.3. With the complete registration (surname, first name, e-mail, telephone number and address) in addition to the consent to these General Terms and Conditions, the user account is set up and subsequently an agreement is concluded between the user and HSH for the usage of the platform.

2.4. When registering, the user chooses a member name and a password. Multiple registrations under different member names are prohibited.

2.5. The user undertakes to provide truthful, current and complete information during registration and to keep these data up-to-date and correct at all times.

2.6. The user undertakes to immediately inform HSH if there is reason to suspect unauthorized usage of his/her user account. HSH is entitled to then block the user account until the situation has been clarified.

2.7. The user undertakes to use the platform in a way that ensures that the security, integrity and availability of systems set up by HSH to provide its services are not affected. Users must not block, rewrite, or modify content generated by HSH or interfere with the offering of HSH in any other way that contravenes the purpose of the user agreement.

2.8. By publishing any content (texts, photographs, graphics and videos) on the online platform of HSH the user grants HSH the free, non-exclusive right of use for an unlimited time and area for the provision of the services offered by HSH or to advertise its services. The profile picture of the user cannot be used for advertising, unless the user has explicitly agreed to this at least in text form.

2.9. In the event of any violation of the General Terms and Conditions of HSH by a user, HSH is entitled to exclude the user and delete his contents. HSH will take legal action to exercise its legitimate rights for compensation.

 

3. General services of HSH

3.1. On www.homeswisshome.ch, HSH provides an online market place on which users can offer and rent apartments, houses, rooms or other accommodations (“accommodation”); they can communicate with each other and conclude agreements. HSH offers the technical possibility for users to publish content in word and images on the website themselves. HSH itself does not offer any accommodation and it is not a party to the rentals concluded between the users; it merely acts as an intermediary for the conclusion of agreements between users. The provider of accommodation is hereinafter referred to as the “host”; the person searching for accommodation is referred to as the “guest”. The term “user” applies to both the host and the guest.

3.2. The host is responsible for ensuring that the accommodation he/she offers is described correctly and completely. He/she must provide at least the information in HSH’s required fields. In addition, the host is free to stipulate further conditions. The hosts and the guests are themselves responsible for satisfying their own contractual obligations. In the event of default, this must be negotiated between the users. HSH saves and will transmit the contact data of both parties for this purpose.

3.3. The user is solely responsible for all content that he places on the platform. Hosts and guests are responsible for their adherence to the provisions governed by public law, including municipal codes regarding property rental. HSH does not examine the legality, accuracy or completeness of offers published on the platform or user content, and these do not represent the views of HSH.

3.4. HSH communicates booking requests sent via the online platform from guests to the hosts and the acceptance of a booking request from the host to the guest. Subsequently HSH sends a confirmation e-mail to host and guest in which the information provided by the contracting partners such as type of accommodation, length of stay and the prices are once again listed and the contact data (full name, address, e-mail address, telephone number) are included. Further contact details of the contracting partners stored on the online platform are not exchanged between the host and guest until this e-mail.

3.5. HSH offers users within the online platform a messaging system where they can communicate with each other without being able to exchange the real contact details.

3.6. HSH gives the users the option of creating a comprehensive personal profile. This, however, is not necessary. The online platform can be used with uncompleted profile after registration and choosing a member name and password, but completing the profile is profitable to build trust among the users. However, users are prohibited to indicate their contact details (full name, address, e-mail address and telephone number) or any access to their contact details in their profile.

3.7. HSH allows users to rate each other or objects by a rating system within the online platform.

3.8. Users have the option of subscribing and unsubscribing at any time to newsletters.

3.9. HSH will make every effort to ensure the accessibility of its services at all times. However, the usage options can be restricted or temporarily interrupted through maintenance work, further development or disruptions.

 

4. Hosts services and obligations

4.1. HSH allows hosts to place advertisements of their accommodations on the online platform with a description, photos, videos, price(s), maps and availability calendar. The information uploaded cannot constitute references to third-party content or personal contact data.

4.2. The listing of accommodation by the host does not constitute a legally binding offer. It merely gives guests the opportunity to make an offer. Only after an offer has been accepted by the host has a contract been concluded.

4.3. The host undertakes to accept or refuse booking requests from guests within 48 hours. Booking requests that are not accepted by a host within 48 hours shall be declined automatically by the system.

4.4. After a host accepts a booking request, both the guest and the host each receive a confirmation-email. In the case of multiple booking requests (from one guest to different accommodations for the same date or from different guests for the same accommodation and same date), when one booking request is accepted the others will be automatically deleted from the system.

4.5. When a host cancels an accepted booking, HSH may apply penalties or consequences to him or his listing, including publishing an automated one-star review on his listing indicating that a reservation was cancelled, keeping the calendar for the listing unavailable or blocked for the dates of the cancelled booking. A cancellation fee and the additional costs incurred are always imposed. In case the fee will be not paid as requested, it will be withheld from host future payouts. If the guest cannot check-in or need to leave the accommodation during the booked period due to a proven fault of the host, it is considered like a canceled booking from the side of the host.

4.6. The host undertakes to make truthful and correct statements with regard to his/her contact details, including the data for payment handling.

4.7. The host undertakes to describe the offered accommodation correctly and completely in order to provide guests with a true impression about it and to make it possible for them to assess the offer. The offer includes all amenities, features, conditions and “house rules” as well as all the defects and disadvantages of the accommodation that can be important for the guest’s decision.

4.8. The host undertakes to indicate the total price including any tax incurred as well as other price components (e.g. cleaning fees, breakfast, etc.) in the description of the accommodation. The guest cannot be charged with any other fees, commissions or other payments beyond total price.

4.9. The host is entitled to indicate a security deposit in his offer. The deposit can be charged on the guest only in case of proven damage in the accommodation caused by the guest and the claim must be made within maximum 48 hours after the checkout time. The exact amount and payment conditions of the security deposit must have already been clearly mentioned in the offer before the acceptance of the booking. If the host decides to ask a security deposit or change its amount and/or conditions after the acceptance of the booking, the guest has the right to refuse it and it will be considered as a cancellation by the host. The host can choose among the following payment conditions:

- The host collects the security deposit from the guest at the time of check-in,

- The host authorizes HSH to collect the amount of the security deposit from the guest until a certain time before the check-in (e.g. one week before the day of the check-in),

- The host authorizes HSH to collect the bank card details (account holder’s name, card number, expiration date and security code) of the guest via the platform.

 

5. Guests services and obligations

5.1. HSH provides guests an online marketplace to search for possible accommodation.

5.2. HSH has the option of issuing vouchers in favour of the hosts within the scope of special promotions. The guest must indicate the voucher code to redeem the discount when booking.

5.3. HSH accepts to get complaints from the guest if the accommodation differs from the conditions described in the agreement within maximum 24 hours after the check-in time. In this complaint, the guest must specifically indicate the grounds for the complaint and attach evidences (such as photos, videos, messages and so on). In such a case, HSH will attempt to bring about an amicable solution and if it is necessary reduce the booking price or offer total refund.

5.4. The guest undertakes to handle the payment according to these General Terms and Conditions.

5.5. The guest undertakes to make truthful and correct statements with regard to his/her contact details, including the data for payment handling.

5.6. The guest undertakes to recognize the “house rules” as part of the contractual conditions between the host and guest.

5.7. When the guest cancels an accepted reservation he/she agrees to pay the cancellation fee with the additional costs incurred and he/she accepts that the rent might not be completely refund according to the cancellation policy of HSH.

 

6. Rating system

6.1. HSH allows users to review and rate each other and the accommodations after the fulfilment of the contracts by using its rating system. Reviews are visible for the public and are intended to provide meaningful information on users' trustworthiness.

6.2. Users are obliged to make only truthful statements in the reviews they submit and to comply with the corresponding legal provisions. The reviews must be objective and must not include any abusive criticism.

6.3. It is prohibited to use the rating system contrary to its purpose. In particular, it is forbidden to users to issue reviews which are incorrect, which are about themselves or arranging for third parties, which include information that is unrelated to the settlement of the concerning agreement and which serve any purpose go beyond the actual purpose of the rating system.

6.4. HSH does not verify the reviews, however it reserves the right, when it becomes aware of this, to completely or partly delete reviews which include improper or prohibited content. The review can be also modified or deleted by the user who has submitted it.

 

7. Messaging system

7.1. HSH allows users to exchange messages on the platform in two different ways; via the question-answer messaging system or via the direct private messaging system.

7.2. The question-answer messaging system is placed under the description in the user profiles and also in the accommodation profiles and the messages made via this system are visible for the public. This way of communication can be used before a user sends a booking request. These public messages are intended to provide meaningful information for users, the owner of the profile or the accommodation is allowed to delete these messages at any time if he/she finds them to be unuseful or inappropriate. HSH does not verify these messages but randomly evaluate them. It is prohibited to put contents into these public messages which are incorrect, insulting, unrelated to the concerning profile and which serve any purpose go beyond the actual purposes of the platform.

7.3. The direct private messaging system can be used for communication between the guest and the host after the guest has sent a booking request for an accommodation of the host. This messages are not visible for the public but HSH reserve the right to randomly evaluate messages between the host and the guest. The evaluation is only used to prevent fraud (e.g. circumvent the service fees, use of stolen credit card, etc.) as well as if necessary for criminal prosecution.

7.4. It is particularly prohibited to share personal contact data or any access to personal contact data as well as any information in order to make contact outside of the platform before the confirmation e-mail about the reservation which includes the contact data of the contracting parties.

 

8. Payment

8.1. The acceptance of the booking means a binding agreement between the host and the guest. The host’s obligation to make the accommodation available under the agreed conditions to the guest for the booked period and the guest’s obligation to pay the total booking fee which consists the rent determined by the host and the additional processing fees like commission, banking fees and taxes.

8.2. Guests agree to pay the total booking fee to HSH or make it collectable for HSH maximum within 24 hours after the acceptance of the booking. If the total booking fee is not paid or cannot be collected in the given period, the booking is cancelled automatically. However, HSH keeps the right to settle different payment rules for certain bookings in agreement with the host and the guest, but at least 20% of the total booking fee must be provided maximum 24 hours after the acceptance of the booking.

8.3. Guests agree that HSH charges them a percentage service fee (commission) and related banking fees and taxes (additional costs incurred) after each booking made through its online platform.

8.4. Hosts agree that the total booking fee, included the rent, is first collected by HSH and the rent (total booking fee minus commission and additional costs incurred) is sent to the host 24 hours after the check-in time.

8.5. HSH undertakes to pay the rent (total booking fee minus commission and additional costs incurred) to the host. The commission is normally 5% of the rent; HSH, however, reserves the right to change this commission as part of special discounts or as general fee modification over time. The users will be always informed about the general fee changes or the available promotions and discounts via the user account and where necessary, also by e-mail.

8.6. After completed payment, HSH will send detailed payment report to the host and the guest and invoice of the processing fees to the parties concerned.

8.7. Unless HSH is notified otherwise, it is irrefutably assumed that the host operates in a business capacity and is aware of and satisfies his resulting tax obligations. HSH is entitled to demand corresponding evidence of the host’s business capacity.

8.8. Users are prohibited from circumventing these booking and payment processes, in particular the processing fees.

 

9. Cancellation and complaint

9.1. Cancellation occurs when the guest or/and the host have rescinded the agreement regarding the accommodation. In the case of cancellation HSH is always entitled to receive a cancellation fee of 5% of the total booking fee, the host can be entitled to receive a part of the rent and the guest can be entitled to refund partly or completely.

9.2. To ensure a smooth and secure process, all cancellations must be processed through the platform by the cancellation form which is available for both the host and the guest in the listing of their reservations in their user profiles. Cancellation is official after a confirmation e-mail from HSH is received. Hosts and guests agree to authorize HSH to make decision in disputable cases. In the case of special events, e.g. bereavement, natural disasters, war, terrorist attacks, nuclear accidents and other unavoidable failures provenly caused by third parties, the guest will be reimbursed 100% and cancellation fee as well as additional costs will not be charged.

9.3. The amount refunded to the guest is dependent on the date of the cancelled related to the date of the booked period and on which party has initiated the cancellation. The cancellation fee and the additional costs incurred related to the booking and its cancellation (e.g. banking fee and tax) must be paid by the party who initiated the cancellation.

9.4. The guest is entitled to total refund if the host initiates the cancellation. HSH will help the guest to find an alternative accommodation and the host is obliged to pay the cancellation fee and the additional costs incurred.

9.5. When the cancellation is not initiated by the host but it was made due to his/her mistake (e.g. the accommodation hasn’t been available for check-in or for the total booked period; or the conditions of the accommodation are significantly different from the conditions indicated in the advertisement which includes also the changes in the house rules set by the host), it is considered also as a cancellation by the host. However, the guest must prove his/her complaint about the accommodation.

9.6. The guest is entitled to total refund minus the cancellation fee and additional costs incurred if he/she cancels the reservation at least 7 days before the day of the check-in.

9.7. The guest is entitled to refund 50% of the total booking fee minus the cancellation fee and additional costs incurred if he /she cancels the reservation less than 7 days but at least during the day before the day of the check-in.

9.8. If the guest cancels the reservation during the day of the check-in regardless if before or after the actual check-in, the fee of the first night is not refundable and the guest is entitled to refund 50% of the fee for the remaining nights minus the cancellation fee and additional costs incurred.

9.9. If the guest cancel the reservation after the day of the check-in, all the passed nights are not refundable and the guest is entitled to refund 50% of the fee of the remaining nights minus the cancellation fee and additional costs incurred.

 

10. Forbidden content and activities

10.1. HSH does not check contents published by the users, however it reserves the right, when it becomes aware of this, to completely or partly delete contents which are unlawful or forbidden.

10.2. The user is generally liable for all activities made through his/her user account, unless the user is not responsible for these activities as there was unauthorized use of the account by a third party.

10.3. By publishing any content on the platform of HSH the users ensure that they have the necessary rights to use the texts, photographs, graphics and videos they have issued.

10.4. It is the responsibility of the users to ensure that their conduct on the online platform complies with the valid laws and these General Terms and Conditions. The following content and activities are particularly prohibited:

- insults, false accusations and other defamatory statements,

- statements and images relevant under criminal law,

- any sexual content and depictions,

- copying and distributing contents protected by copyright if the user doesn’t have the rights for use

- publication of images on which people can be recognized without their consents,

- de-anonymization of other users,

- use of the platform for own commercial purposes that go beyond the actual purposes of this platform without the consent of HSH,

- publication of personal data of third parties,

- use of the platform for political or religious activity,

- sending of junk mails, spamming, mass mails, chain letters or instant messages,

- disruption, interruption or excessive use of the services of HSH,

- the use of the account, user name or password of another member,

- overwriting or modification of contents published by HSH,

- use of the services of HSH in a way that contravene the valid laws and regulations in any another way,

- circumvent the booking and payment processes, in particular the service fees.

10.5. The user shall indemnify HSH for all claims from other users or third parties against HSH due to the contravention of their rights by the offers and contents issued by the user and for the necessary costs of legal counsel.

10.6. In the case of prohibited contents HSH will take one or more of the following actions subject to termination without notice:

- warn the user,

- delete the user's offers or other content,

- limit the use of the platform for the user,

- cancel existing bookings in the name of the user,

- temporarily or permanently exclude the use of the platform,

- initiate other legal steps.

10.7. HSH also reserves the right to exclude a user in any of the following cases:

- the user has repeatedly received negative reviews and must be excluded to protect the interests of other users,

- the user has given incorrect contact information, in particular an incorrect email address,

- the user account is transferred to another party,

- the user significantly harms other users, in particular if their accommodations and/or furnishings are damaged, destroyed, stolen, etc.

10.8. After a user has been excluded, this user is not permitted to register with another user account or use the services via another user account.

 

11. HSH’s Liability

11.1. HSH is fully liable for damages caused with willful or grossly negligent manner by HSH, its employees or agents, for fraudulent concealment of defects, when a guarantee from HSH was expressly assumed and for any damages arising from injury to life, body and health.

11.2. HSH is liable for other damages only if they arise from violation of an obligation whose fulfilment makes the proper implementation of the agreement possible and whose compliance the contracting partner may regularly trust.

11.3. The compensation obligation of HSH is limited to such damages that can be seen as typical of the agreement and foreseeable.

11.4. Any liability under the product liability law of Switzerland is not affected.

11.5. Any further liability of HSH that goes beyond the aforementioned is excluded.

11.6. As HSH does not participate in the contractual relationship between the host and the guest, it does not accept any guaranty or liability for services from the agreement regarding the accommodation.

 

12. Privacy

12.1. Protecting personal data is very important to HSH. As far as HSH collects, processes or uses personal information about users as part of the services provided, it does so in accordance with the relevant Swiss and European data protection laws. When a user register on the platform of HSH he/she declares to consent to these data protection provisions.

12.2. it is not necessary to give personal details to use the platform of HSH, however for use the services of HSH registration is needed by providing at least first and last name, e-mail address, address and telephone number.

12.3. For fulfilling a booking agreement via the platform of HSH, a confirmed e-mail address and a complete invoice address are required. PayPal account or bank account details might be also needed.

12.4. The aforementioned information is not made public on the platform. The contact details (name, address, e-mail address and telephone number) are exchanged between the guest and the host after the acceptance of the booking. Bank, credit card or PayPal data are never forwarded to other users.

12.5. Voluntarily the users are allowed but not obliged to give personal information, except their contact details, in their personal profiles such as nationality, spoken languages, marital status, professional situation, date of birth, a short description and a few photos or/and a video of themselves.

12.6. HSH also collects data to analyze visitor behaviors such as browser type, software used, the website previously called up by the user, time and duration of the visit to a website and IP address.

12.7. HSH uses the collected information to enable users to access and use the platform; to operate, protect, improve and optimize the platform, such as to analyze, conduct research, personalize or customize user experience and for promotional activities.

12.8. HSH only ascertains, processes and stores personal data for the purposes it has been provided on the platform. Personal data is not passed on to third parties without express consent as far as it is not necessary in order to render services or perform contractual obligations. HSH may use service providers to process personal data on its behalf. This is done to allow the facilitation of reservation payments, sending of marketing material or for analytical support services. These processors are bound by confidentiality clauses and are forbidden to use the personal data for their own or any other purpose. Furthermore, the transmission to authorized state institutions is done only within the scope of statutory duty of disclosure or if a judgment obliges a disclosure.

12.9. Users have the right to free information about their saved personal data. The user can revoke his/her consent to store, process and use data at any time with effect for the future. In addition, the user can correct, block or have deleted at any time the data that HSH has collected and stored. Certain data are obliged by law to be saved, those data can only be blocked.

 

13. Duration and termination

13.1. After registration, the user agreement runs for an unlimited period of time.

13.2. The users may terminate this user agreement at any time by deleting their user profile.

13.3. HSH can terminate the user agreement at any time with a period of notice of 15 days.

13.4. The contractual relationship is not ended until the last necessary payment processing.

13.5. The right of exclusion and termination without notice is not affected by this.

 

14. Closing provisions

14.1. HSH is authorized to transfer its rights and obligations under this agreement in full or in part to third parties.

14.2. This agreement is subject solely to the substantive laws of the Swiss Confederation with the exception of the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods.

  1. 3. In the case of any disputes arising from this contract between users and HSH, the exclusive place of jurisdiction is always Switzerland, even if the user doesn’t have a residence or general place of jurisdiction in Switzerland. The text of all provisions is subject to swiss law and must be interpreted in accordance with swiss understanding of law.

14.4. If individual provisions of these General Terms and Conditions are or become partly or completely invalid, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions. Invalid provisions shall be replaced by legal provisions. The same applies for the case of a lacuna.

14.5. All declarations related to the user agreement must be issued in writing or by email to be concluded by HSH. The postal address and email address given in the user accounts are stated as the current contact data of the users.

 

If you have any further questions about the General Terms and Conditions, please feel free to contact us at any time!