Subletting in Switzerland

Subletting in Switzerland

Subletting in Switzerland

If you are going to be abroad for some time and are renting a house or apartment in Switzerland, you might consider subletting your property while you are away. Subletting is a form of renting which can allow you to save money on your rented property while you are abroad working, on holiday or when you no longer require a larger home.

What is subletting?

Subletting is where the original tenant of a rental property leases out a room or their entire apartment to a subletter. The tenant is entitled to rent from the subletter and is also responsible for the apartment while the subletting is in progress. In Switzerland, subletting is typically used for short absences from the tenant, using the rooms during divorce or separation or for student housing.

What can you sublet in Switzerland?

In Switzerland, you are legally allowed to sublet all types of accommodation. This includes rented property leased recently to the new tenant. It is also possible to sublet rooms in your rented accommodation as long as they fit the size requirements for habitation. It is also typically expected for the property to be fully furnished but always make sure that any personal belongings are securely stored before the subletter arrives.

Requirements for subletting a Swiss house or apartment

In order to sublet your rented accommodation, you must first apply for a permit from your current landlord. You must submit your application in writing or orally, detailing your reasons for subletting. In this letter, it is recommended to include:

  • Your full reasons for subletting the property including evidence.
  • How much of the property you are subletting.
  • A rough estimate of what you will be charging.
  • A draft of the subletting agreement.

Criteria for refusing to sublet

According to article 262 of the Swiss Code of Obligations, landlords must accept permission to sublet a property. This can only be challenged under the following circumstances:

  • The property is being misused for a commercial or tourist reason, such as a furnished apartment or aparthotel.
  • The rental price is significantly higher than the original contract.
  • The tenant refuses to inform the landlord that they are subletting.
  • The subletting contract is significantly different to the original rental contract.

What to include in your subletting contract

In Switzerland, a subletting contract holds the same legal rights as a regular rental contract. Therefore, it is important to include provisions for all circumstances so that your relationship with your subletter is laid out legally. It is also important due to the fact your landlord can refuse your application to sublet if they deem your contract to be contradictory to the one agreed to originally, or the new contract was made in bad faith.

In a good subletting contract, it is vital that you include:

  • Full details of the leasing party, the subletter and the landlord
  • Full description of what is being sublet
  • A strict definition of how long the contract lasts (a specific date can be set or an official notice period)
  • Cost of rent for the subletter
  • Any rental deposit

If your landlord and your subletter agrees to the contract, you may start the subletting at any time.

How much should you charge when subletting?

Officially, you are not supposed to make a profit out of subletting your property, it is simply designed to cover your rent while you are not living there. In Switzerland, you are allowed to charge the equivalent amount of rent as your landlord if you are leasing the full property. This is increased to 20 percent more than your landlord’s rent if you furnished the accommodation yourself, although the definition of “fully furnished” can be challenged by your landlord.

If your landlord finds that you are charging extortionate amounts for all or part of a property, they are legally allowed to terminate your rental contract.

Landlord responsibilities when subletting

When you are subletting your property, you assume the responsibility of a landlord. This means that you are liable for any issues caused by your subletter, as well as any maintenance costs incurred during their stay. It is also likely that you will have to pay the cost of all utilities. If you are planning on subletting, it is recommended to take out various types of private insurance to make sure that you are covered should any damage be caused. These are:

  • Contents insurance
  • Damage insurance
  • Liability insurance

How to cancel a subletting contract in Switzerland

Subletting contracts can be cancelled under the same regulations as standard rental contracts. This means that the contract can be cancelled under a three-month notice period, or by a specific end date as listed in the subletting contract.

Read also

  • Apartments and rooms for rent in Switzerland

    Apartments and rooms for rent in Switzerland

    Find apartments, rooms and houses for rent in Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich and all over Switzerland.
    read more
  • Short stay rentals and Serviced apartments in Switzerland

    Short stay rentals and Serviced apartments in Switzerland

    Short stay rentals, serviced apartments and short-term accommodation for expats in Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Bern and other cities in Switzerland.
    read more
  • Rental contracts & Housing rights in Switzerland

    Rental contracts & Housing rights in Switzerland

    Signing your Swiss rental contract? Get to grips with your housing rights: contract types, general conditions & terminating a rental agreement in Switzerland.
    read more
  • Changing address in Switzerland

    Changing address in Switzerland

    Are you in the process of moving to a new house in Switzerland? Here's how to register and who to notify in case of change of address in Switzerland.
    read more
  • Home utilities in Switzerland

    Home utilities in Switzerland

    Moving to or changing home in Switzerland? Find information and discover the main utility providers and comparison sites for electricity water and Internet.
    read more
  • The Swiss housing market

    The Swiss housing market

    Learn about the Swiss housing market: types of housing in Switzerland, changing address, moving services, short-stay, student housing and utilities.
    read more
  • Swiss housing types

    Swiss housing types

    What housing types are available in Switzerland? What do expats & students need to consider when choosing between (furnished) apartments, houses and rooms?
    read more
  • Moving services & companies in Switzerland

    Moving services & companies in Switzerland

    Moving to a new house in Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Bern or another Swiss city? Find expat-friendly moving companies offering services in Switzerland.
    read more