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Before letting your villa, flat or commercial premise

The following are some of the points that must be taken into account before putting your property on the rental market:

  • Do you want to let your property for a long or a short period?
  • Do you or members of your family intend to return to your home or premises at a later date?
  • Do you intend to sell your property in the short-, medium- or long-term?
  • Are you thinking of the rent as a fixed income? Would arrears in payment of the rent or payment of the rent into court in the eventuality of a dispute have serious financial consequences for you and your family?

Enhance the value of the property to be rented

If you wish to rent your villa or apartment at the best rental price, you should consider a more or less extensive renovation before putting it up for rent. You will enhance your villa or apartment if you carry out the following work:

  • Arrange and equip the kitchen. This is absolutely necessary when renting a villa
  • Replace the carpets with parquet or tiles
  • Paint the walls white or a neutral colour
  • Make small repairs such as changing hoses, broken plugs and switches and remove limescale from plumbing fixtures
  • Prepair the garden. Cut the lawns and hedges, clean the slabs on the terraces, remove weeds etc.
  • Clean the villa from top to bottom

If you rent a commercial premise in unfinished state, offer it in a clean condition.

Conditions of lease

Once, but only once, you have considered the abovementioned questions you will have to determine the conditions of the lease. Depending on the type of lease envisaged, special conditions are applicable in the Canton of Geneva. Additional conditions compatible with leasehold legislation may be negotiated, and this is often the case when renting out a villa or commercial premises.

The rent must be calculated and set in accordance with regulations and conventions. It should be set at the appropriate price, and enable you at least to cover your costs. The rent is considered to be unreasonable if it allows the landlord/lessor to obtain an excessive return on the object rented out and if it is consequent on an obviously exaggerated sale price. The regulations applicable to subsidized flats or subject to a controlled rent must be respected.

Looking for a tenant

It is very important to find a suitable tenant. It is abolutely essential to verify the details of his application meticulously, especially his solvency. You cannot correct a bad choice, which can have serious consequences.

Preparing the lease

After negotiating possible special conditions, the lease may be drawn up by choosing the appropriate basic form and completing it appropriately. The general conditions and rental conventions applicable in the Canton of Geneva must be attached. Tax stamps must be stuck on the lease.

Entry into possession and the inventory of fixtures and fittings

It is advisable to prepare an inventory of fixtures and fittings when handing over the keys.

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