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Switzerland – Lease Agreements

In Switzerland, the typical lease term for renting a property is one year, although it can be longer or shorter depending on the agreement between the landlord and tenant. Many rental contracts are renewed annually, with either party having the option to terminate the contract with adequate notice.

Furnished vs. Unfurnished

The difference between furnished and unfurnished rental properties in Switzerland is the presence or absence of furniture and household appliances. Furnished properties generally come with a bed, sofa, chairs, dining table, and kitchen appliances, while unfurnished properties only have basic fixtures such as cabinets, light fixtures, and bathroom fixtures.

Furnished properties may also include items like a washing machine, dryer, television, and internet. These items may not always be included in a furnished property, so it’s essential to clarify what items are included in the contract.

Standard Clauses

A lease agreement in Switzerland should include information about the rental property, the landlord, and the tenant, as well as the terms and conditions of the lease. Some of the standard clauses in a lease agreement in Switzerland include:

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  • Rent amount and payment schedule
  • Security deposit
  • Maintenance and repair responsibilities
  • Restrictions on subletting
  • Length of the lease
  • Termination clause

It’s essential for both the landlord and tenant to understand and agree to these clauses before signing the lease agreement.

Additional Clauses

While not mandatory, some landlords may include additional clauses in a lease agreement in Switzerland, such as:

  • Smoking restrictions
  • Pet restrictions
  • Parking arrangements
  • Use of common areas

These clauses can be included in the lease agreement if both parties agree to them.

Expats Beware

Expats should be especially aware of a few things when signing a lease contract in Switzerland. One is to carefully read and understand the lease agreement before signing it, as the contract is legally binding. They should also make sure they understand the payment schedule and know what the rent covers (e.g., utilities, internet).

Expats should also be aware of Swiss rent control laws, which protect tenants from sudden rent increases and ensure that the rent stays within a reasonable range.

Condition Reports

Condition reports are common in Switzerland before signing a lease agreement. This report details the condition of the property at the beginning of the lease and is used as a reference point in case of any disputes regarding damage at the end of the lease. Both the landlord and tenant should agree on the condition report before signing the lease agreement.

Qualifications & Licenses

Letting agents in Switzerland should possess a real estate agent’s license and be a member of the Swiss Real Estate Association (SVIT). SVIT sets the professional standards for real estate agents in Switzerland and provides support to its members.

Associations & Organizations

Reputable letting agencies in Switzerland should be a member of the Swiss Real Estate Association (SVIT). SVIT can be reached through its website, www.svit.ch, or by calling +41 43 244 81 81.

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