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Notice of termination

Check your lease with regard to the notice to be given for termination and expiry of the term of the lease. In principle, the period of notice is three months for a home and six months for business premises respectively. Other periods of notice of termination and periods of expiry of a lease are possible and are laid down in the special conditions, especially if you are renting a high-status villa or flat (diplomatic clause ore clause resulting in release from an obligation = "clause diplomatic" or "clause libératoire"). Tenants holding commercial leases sometimes negotiate periods of notice that are longer than six months.

Sending the letter giving notice of termination

The letter giving notice of termination must be sent to the agency by post (registered letter with confirmation of receipt) and you must mention the date when you wish to leave the premises or your flat, give your name, address, etc. (private and professional telephone numbers, e-mail, address) and the objects of termination of lease (flat, parking place etc.). The period of notice runs from the day after receipt of the notice termination.

The letter must be signed by all the holders of the lease and, if it is a family home, the husband and wife or partners must both sign.

Early restitution of a flat or villa

If you wish to hand over your home without observing the period of notice to quit, you may be released from your commitments before expiry on the following conditions: You must introduce a new tenant who is solvent and whom the lessor cannot reasonably reject, and who must also be prepared to sign the lease on the same conditions. In accordance with the general conditions and regulations and conventions regarding rental of flats and villas applicable in the Canton of Geneva and the "contrat-cadre romand", the period of premature surrender ist 30 days for the 15th or the end of the month. The deadline begins to run as soon as a substitute tenant is presented. The lessor is not obliged to enter into a lease with the person whom you have introduced, although you are nevertheless released from your lease if your candidate satisfies the abovementioned conditions. If you do not introduce a candidate, you must pay the rent until expiry of the period of the lease or until the next contractual or legal expiry date.

Early restitution of business premises

You may be released from your commitments before expiry of the lease if you introduce at least one solvent tenant who is prepared to take over the lease on the same conditions at the date when your premises are handed back. The period of anticipated or premature notice is 90 days from the end of the month in accordance with the general conditions and regulations and conventions regarding rental of business premises applicable in the Canton of Geneva (edition 2010). Within the 30 days you must provide the lessor with a complete file relating to the new lessee. Nevertheless, the lessor cannont be compelled to accept signature of a lease with the candidate whom you introduce, but you will be released from the lease if that candidate satisfies the abovementioned conditions. If you do not introduce a new lessee, you must pay the rent until expiry of the period of the lease or until the next contractual or legal expiry date.

© Esther Lauber, Property Fiduciary with Federal Diploma of Higher Vocational Education and Training

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