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Platforms such as Airbnb and Wimdu offer private individuals to make their accommodation or a room available to tourists for short-term rental with or without additional services such as breakfast.

Laws and regulations

In some cities such as Berlin, Munich or New York, for example, the authorities have introduced regulations that must be respected. In Geneva and Switzerland, there is no specific law or regulation concerning bed and breakfast. The tenancy law for tenants and the law must be applied and in Geneva the law on tourism and its regulations.

Law and regulations in Geneva

The sublease is regulated in the Swiss Code of Obligations, art. 262. The tenant may sublet all or part of the property with the consent of the landlord. The tenant must therefore request the lessor's consent. The lessor may, for example, refuse his consent if the conditions of the sublease are abusive in relation to the main lease or if the sublease presents major disadvantages for the lessor. If a tenant subleases his dwelling without the lessor's consent, the lessor may demand to cease this activity immediately and after an unsuccessful notice, he may terminate the lease early in accordance with art. 257 f para. 3 of the Code of Obligations.

Law in Geneva

Tenants living in subsidized housing are not allowed to sublet it. In Geneva, the maximum duration of accommodation is 90 days. It is clear that this income is taxable.

Tourism law and regulations

In the canton of Geneva, the new law and regulation on tourism came into force on 1 January 2020.The visitor's tax, per person and per night, is subject to a single rate of between CHF 3.50 and CHF 5.00, which is fixed by the regulations implementing this law. The debtor of the visitor's tax per person and per night is responsible for collecting it from guests and tenants and paying it to the collecting authority.The debtor of the visitor's tax may enter into an agreement with an operator of an electronic accommodation platform for the operator to collect the tax and pay it to the collecting authority. For this purpose, the operator must have concluded a service contract with the competent tourism authority.

© Written by Esther Lauber, Real Estate Trustee with Advanced Federal Diploma of Professional Education and Training, real estate manager
Translated from French to English with DeepL, in case of doubt, the French or Germain version should apply


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Sublease in Geneva and in Switzerland

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