Deposit and Rent

Information about the deposit when renting a flat or house in Switzerland...

The agreed deposit, usually the equivalent of one to two months' rent, though it cannot be more than three months' rent in Geneva, should be paid into an account in the name of the tenant. The money stays in the account and can only be released when both parties sign to release it.

Rent (and, if applicable, charges of water, electricity, services) is usually due at the start of a month.

While landlords may impose rent increases and tenants may request reductions and withhold rent, these processes are controlled: rules apply and, in some cases, application forms are available. The cantonal conciliation board (Kantonale Einigungsamt) provides information and advice to both tenants and landlords.

Payment of all taxes is the landlord's responsibility.

Sub-letting

A rental property may only be sub-let by a tenant if they have the owner's agreement.

An owner may refuse if the tenant does not disclose details of the sub-tenant (identity, agreed rent), if the tenant is charging substantially more rent than they are paying or if the sub-tenant will be using the property inappropriately.

Insurance

It is optional for a tenant to take out household insurance on their goods to cover fire, water and theft except in some cantons where fire insurance is compulsory.

Note: Some lease agreements call for a tenant to have household insurance on both their items and the owner's "removable objects"