Tenancy law

Tenancy law

We advise and represent tenants and landlords in all matters relating to tenancy law issues or disputes. We help you to negotiate and draft a lease and provide advice on any questions that arise during the course of the lease (e.g. reduction of rent, rental payment deposit or defects in the leased property).

Termination of a lease often gives rise to questions relating to a lease extension, challenge of termination, sublease or expulsion. We also represent your interests in out-of-court proceedings and litigation in these matters.

"Tenancy law" questions

  1. Examine the rent and apply for reductions: If the landlord does not reduce the rent of his own accord after a reduction in the reference interest rate, the tenant has the option of making a written request for a reduction. The reduction of the rent is only possible with effect from the next termination date and not retroactively. Look at your lease or the last amendment to the lease in order to determine the reference interest rate on which your rent is based. In your request for a reduction, you must request that the rent be adjusted with effect from the next possible termination date. The request for reduction must be made in writing and received by the landlord before the start of the next notice period. We recommend that you send your request for reduction by registered mail or by A Mail Plus for evidentiary purposes and demand that the landlord state his position within 30 days.
  2. Awaiting and examining the landlord's response: The landlord has the opportunity to comment on the request for reduction within 30 days of receipt. The landlord can, for example, offset the reduction claim against inflation or increased operating and maintenance costs, take the view that the rent is customary for the location or district, or that it does not generate an adequate return or net return.
  3. Submitting an application for conciliation: If you disagree with the landlord's response, you can file for conciliation within 30 days of receipt of the reply letter, but no later than 60 days after the date you sent your request for a reduction. If the landlord does not reply at all, you can also file an application for conciliation after 30 days (but at the latest within 60 days of sending your request for a reduction). If the aforementioned deadlines are not met, a new request for a reduction may be made. In the proceedings, the landlord has the burden of proving his objections to the reduction in the rent.

In addition to the possibility of debt enforcement proceedings, the landlord can terminate the lease for cause. However, in the case of termination for cause as a result of default of payment pursuant to Art. 257d SCO, various provisions and deadlines must be observed.

  1. The tenant is in default of payment: In order for the tenant to be in default of payment, the rent or ancillary costs must be due. Check the lease agreement to determine whether the rent is payable monthly in advance or at the end of the month.
  2. Setting a written payment deadline: In the event of default of payment, the landlord may request the tenant to pay within 30 days and threaten termination. The letter must indicate the following:
    1. The amount due.
    2. A payment deadline of at least 30 days.
    3. Notice to the tenant that default of payment and non-payment within the deadline will result in early termination or termination for cause of the lease.
    4. It is recommended that the letter be sent by registered mail for evidentiary purposes.
    5. In the case of family homes or homes of registered partners, the letter must be sent separately to both spouses or registered partners (cf. Art. 266n SCO).
  3. Termination for cause: If the tenant fails to pay the rent due and/or ancillary costs after receiving a warning within the 30-day period, the landlord may give notice of termination effective at the end of a month, with a further 30 days' notice. Please note:
  • It is recommended that the letter be sent by registered mail for evidentiary purposes.
  • Notice of termination may only be given after the payment deadline expires. However, it is not allowed to wait too long, otherwise the right of termination will lapse.  

Calculation of the 30-day payment period: The payment period starts to run on the day following receipt of the request for payment. If the letter was sent by registered mail, the landlord may check by means of post tracking when the letter was collected. If the letter is not collected, it is deemed to have been delivered on the seventh day of the collection period and the payment period begins to run the next day.

  • The notice period of 30 days must be observed. However, the only allowed termination date is the end of a given month.
  • Notice of termination must be given using the officially approved form.
  • The reason for the termination must be stated in the payment default notice.
  • In the case of family homes or homes of registered partners, notice of termination must be sent separately to both spouses or registered partners. 

Challenging termination for cause

30 days after receipt of the notice of termination, the tenant may challenge the notice of termination and refer the matter to the conciliation authority. However, an extension of the lease is not permitted.

To qualify as a horse lease agreement, the parties must have agreed on more than a mere assignment of space (in the legal sense of a lease), and on active care and maintenance of the horse (in the legal sense of custody). Thus, the main delimitation criterion is the duty of care or guardianship. Accordingly, a horse lease agreement is to be qualified solely as a lease if only the horse stable is provided for a fee without any further services and without the obligation to secure accommodation and care for the horse. If, on the other hand, the stable owner provides other services such as feeding, exercising the horse or clearing the stable, then it is a custody agreement (with agency contract aspects).

Further services