How can I end a lease in Switzerland?

How can I end a lease in Switzerland?
Everything you need to know about moving out

Are you looking for a bigger apartment or are you planning to buy property? Are you planning to move and therefore terminate your lease? You will find below everything you need to know about moving out of your accommodation.

Time limit and notice period

In Switzerland you may only terminate your rental contract free of charge at the end of your lease with a notice period. The notice period is set out in the lease and is generally three months. This means that the agency (or owner) must receive your request at the latest one day before the start of the notice period.

Example: Your lease expires on 1 December 2019, meaning management must receive your notice by 31 August 2019 at the latest.

If you wish to move out of your accommodation before the expiry date of your lease, an additional condition will apply (see paragraph 3 "Early termination").

Termination request

Your termination request must:

  • be signed by all tenants (including married couples)
  • be in writing and sent by registered post (in order to have proof if necessary)

Early termination

Do you wish to terminate your lease on a date other than the date indicated in your contract? This is called "early termination" and requires you to pay the rent until the end of the lease. No worries, it is commonplace and solutions exist to avoid these costs.

How can you avoid these sometimes very high costs?

You must recommend a new solvent tenant to take over the lease to the property management company (or owner). This is known as a lease takeover. You will sometimes see ads like this in classifieds online.

What does recommending a new tenant mean?

When you make a request to terminate your lease you must attach the application of at least one person who could take over the lease (pay slip, certificate of good standing, etc.) and indicate the takeover date. We would suggest you recommend several people for added security.

Inventory of fixtures

First of all, you must compare your accommodation with the inventory of fixtures to see if any repairs need to be carried out. Cannot get your hands on it? You can request a copy from your agency for a fee.

The date is to be determined between you and management, but the inventory of fixtures is generally drawn up on the last day of the notice period. Some real-estate agencies even carry out an inspection of the premises in order to determine any work to be done on your side in advance to avoid any unpleasant surprises when you move out.

There are two types of wear and tear:

normal wear and tear

  • holes left in walls by nails and pegs (to be filled in)
  • marks left on the walls by paintings
  • yellow wallpaper
  • etc.

Excessive or abnormal wear and tear

  • deep scratches on the floor
  • carpet stains
  • cracked sink
  • etc.

Rental deposit

You can get your rental deposit back after you move out.

The rental deposit can only be returned when the agency has given its approval to the bank where the deposit is located.