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Renting an apartment

In principle, the landlord and the tenant sign a tenancy contract (lease). With their signatures, they agree to respect the terms of the contract.

It is important to read each point in the contract very carefully. If you have any doubts, double-check with the landlord before signing.


The contract usually contains the general terms of the lease and any regulations and guidelines.


Please note!
If you move into an apartment where the cost is unreasonable, it is possible in certain cantons to contest the rent. In Uri, Nidwalden, Zug, Fribourg, Neuchatel, Geneva and Vaud, the landlord must inform new tenants of this right and of how to defend themselves against an initial excessive rent.



In order to guarantee the rent or compensation for any damage, tenants are often required to pay in advance a sum of money, called the deposit. The maximum amount is equal to three months rent. The money is placed in a special bank account (rent guarantee account) on behalf of the tenant.


When leaving the apartment, the tenant gets back the deposit plus the interest.


In the case of cooperative housing, the tenant usually does not pay a deposit, but has to become a member of the association by buying a share in the cooperative. This may be more than three months' rent and may be returned on leaving.

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