As in any other country in the world tenancy in Switzerland has its own hurdles. Problems may arise from simple agreement issues, to notice of termination, and tenants not paying their rent on time. Whether you are renting an apartment or potentially considering to do so, you can learn more about your rights and duties in this blog.
What Does Tenancy Law Entail?
A tenancy law contract must include all the important details between the renter and the landlord. Relevant information include how to proceed with a termination notice, who should attend an apartment handover, and other important details.
What Are your Rights As Tenant?
As a tenant you have the right to live in an apartment in exchange for paying rent. The rent is generally is due at the beginning of each month. If not included in the contract you must pay additional charges for services such as heating, hot water, parking etc. In certain circumstances you might appeal to your landlord for a rent reduction, nevertheless there are valid reasons for that. You may apply for a rent reduction if you realize that you are paying considerably more than the previous tenants, you have 30 days to challenge the starting rent through the local conciliation board. If your apartment falls in value you can also request a rent reduction.
The landlord has the right to increase your rent from the next possible termination date. A notice of three months and 10 days must be given using an official form authorized by the canton. Additionally, the landlord must provide a justification for increasing the rent. Inflation, increased maintenance costs, a rise in the value of the property are valid reasons. To challenge a rent increase it is advisable to contact your canton conciliation authority, during this period your landlord cannot terminate your rent contract because you are protected by the law.
How should you Terminate a Rental Agreement?
If you want to move out of your apartment you must give an advance notice allowing considerable time. If you share an apartment the notice is only valid if it is signed by both residents. The rental agreement or contract usually contains specific dates when a notice can be given. If you would like to leave your apartment before the end of the specified period you can put a new tenant, the tenant has to take the apartment under the same conditions and must be accepted by the landlord.
How to Handle Disputes with Neighbours?
Noise disturbance, property damage and unpleasant odours are all causes of disputes between neighbours. In case such problems arise, it is advisable to contact the police or the local conciliation authority. The normal sleeping hours are from 10 pm to 6 am extra consideration is to be given during those hours. Sundays and public holidays and noon to 1 pm are considered rest periods. If overwhelming noise bothers you, contact the local police. In cases of noise arising from construction because of your neighbours building project you can file an objection with the local commune.
Who to Contact when Tenancy Disputes Arise?
Every canton has its own regional or communal conciliation boards; they provide advice in case of disputes. In case of disputes arising from a rental contract they can provide an amicable settlement. In addition the Swiss Tenants Association acts in the interest of tenants and offers helpful advice.
FERZ SA can assist you with problems arising from tenancy issues. If you are involved in a legal dispute or concerned about your rights our team will evaluate your case and ensure your rights are fully assessed and protected.