Ending a tenancy

Tenancy ended by tenant

Tenants must serve notice in writing. This procedure is mandatory even if no written agreement exists.

Note: It is of crucial importance to observe the notice periods stated in the agreement. The landlord must receive the notice by the last day before the termination deadline. It is advisable to send the notice by registered mail in order to have a receipt to prove delivery.

If you wish to hand deliver the notice, you should bring two copies and have the landlord sign them for confirmation.

All parties to the tenancy agreement have to sign the notice. With married couples, both have to sign even if the lease is made out only in one spouse's name.

If the agreement is ended earlier than the required notice period, the tenant has to present a replacement tenant who is willing to assume the existing lease under the same terms. This also implies that the landlord may not modify the agreement. If no replacement tenant is presented, the tenant is liable to pay the rent up to the termination date stipulated in the agreement.

Free download of a sample letter (Word document, in German):
Sample/Template for timely notice
Sample/Template for premature notice


Tenancy ended by landlord

If the landlord terminates the lease, he has to use the corresponding form approved by the canton (domestic and business premises). Otherwise, the termination is invalid.

In the case of a family home, both spouses or partners in a civil union must be served notice in a separate letter.

The landlord also has to state the reason for ending the tenancy if required.

The tenants may appeal to the conciliation authority against a wrongful termination. The appeal must be lodged within 30 days from receiving the notice. It is also possible to extend the lease by up to 4 years for residential property and up to 6 years for business premises.