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Distinction furnished apartment and furnished room

A furnished room is not subject to the same legal provisions as a furnished studio. A furnished room is to be distinguished from a furnished studio or a furnished apartment.

A furnished studio has a private kitchen and bathroom, which is not the case for a furnished room. A furnished room is at least equipped with a wardrobe, a bed, a table and a chair.

Drafting of the lease

It is recommended to conclude a lease in writing, even if it can be validly concluded orally. The contract must be drawn up taking into account the law of the lease, otherwise some clauses may be invalid.

The purpose of the lease and the destination

A furnished apartment is intended for residential purposes. It is generally equipped with furniture, crockery, bed linen and towels, etc. A detailed inventory list is drawn up and forms an integral part of the lease. It will be checked and signed by both parties when the inventory of fixtures is drawn up.

In the Canton of Geneva, the kitchen is counted as one room. A room that is less than 9 m2 is half a room.

Lease holders

The lease holder can be a single person, a couple, several people sharing a flat or a company.

Lease term and renewal

The lease may be concluded for a fixed or indefinite term. A lease for a fixed term expires without notice at the end of the term. A lease of a studio or apartment for an indefinite term may be terminated with at least 3 months' notice before the agreed expiry date. A lease for a furnished room may be terminated with two weeks' notice at the end of a month's lease.

The rent deposit

The rent deposit shall not exceed three months' net rent.

The payment of the rent

The rent, heating and incidental expenses must be paid monthly in advance to the landlord's account. If the apartment is rented for a short period, the landlord often fixes a flat rate for heating and incidental expenses or includes them in the rent.

Insurances to be concluded

The tenant and landlord must take out liability insurance. The landlord must insure his furniture and the tenant his personal belongings against fire, explosion, water damage and burglary.

Keeping animals

The landlord is not obliged to tolerate animals and may prohibit them.

The diplomatic clause and the exit clause

The diplomatic or the exit clause (clause governing release from an obligation) allows the tenant to terminate the lease early from the second year if certain conditions are met. The release clause does not form part of the general conditions and must be drafted in the special conditions.

Tenancy law

Tenancy law is regulated in the Swiss Code of Obligations and the order concerning leases and agricultural leases in respect of residential and commercial premises. The framework rental agreement for French-speaking Switzerland was declared binding by the Federal Council on 25 June 2008.

The notice of rent fixing is mandatory

In the canton of Geneva, the notice of rent setting when concluding a new lease is a compulsory form to be filled in and given to the tenant at the latest when taking possession of the rented apartment. This form is not mandatory for the rental of luxury apartments of 6 rooms or more, not including the kitchen, or if the rent is controlled by the state.

The exit inventory of fixtures

At the end of the lease, the tenant must return all the keys entrusted to him and clean the apartment thoroughly. Bedding, sheets, towels, dishes etc. must be returned in good condition and perfectly clean.

 © Written and translated by Esther Lauber, Real Estate Trustee with Advanced Federal Diploma of Professional Education and Training, property manager
Legal terms taken from the portal of the Swiss goverment (Swiss laws), partly translated from French to English with DeepL, in case of doubt, the French or Germain version should apply


More information with video that may be of interest to you

Inspection report of fixtures and fixing
Rent deposit in Geneva and Switzerland
Termination of a lease by the tenant

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