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Please set subtitles on Youtube in English.

If you wish to sell your rented property, it is important to think about the following points:

Lease transfer Switzerland

According to article 261 paragraph 1 of Swiss Code of Obligations, in case of transfer, the lease passes to the acquirer together with ownership of the object. The transfer of the lease is of imperative law, i.e. the parties cannot exclude this transfer by a contractual clause.

According to article 261 paragraph 2 aligna a of Swiss Code of Obligations, the new owner may serve notice to terminate a lease as of the next legally admissible termination date if he claims an urgent need of such premises for himself, his close relatives or in-laws

In Geneva, there is no legally admissible termination date, the buyer can terminate the lease with 3 months notice for the end of a month.

This right is excluded if the rental agreement is entered in the land register or if the buyer has taken over all the rights and obligations of the seller (Art. 112 para. 2 CO). According to SVIT's commentary on tenancy law, if the lease has been extended in a procedure, such termination is also excluded.

For more details concerning a termination for urgent need, I suggest you watch my video on this subject (actually in French only): acheter un bien immobilier loué et résiliation pour propre besoin.

Attention: the tenant can claim damages from the seller

The Federal Court considers that the seller commits a breach of the lease agreement if he/she sells the property without obtaining an undertaking from the buyer to take over the lease in its entirety, and the tenant may claim damages from the seller.

Attention if the tenant does not vacate the house

If you have terminated the lease for a specific date and the tenant does not leave the house and you fix the entry date in the contract of sale on the day after the lease end date, you are obliged to compensate the resulting damage according to Art. 97 of the Swiss Code of Obligations.

Is there a demand for rented villas?

In the last few years, the yields of rented villas have dropped a lot, because rents have fallen and selling prices have been rising steadily. An increase in the mortgage rate will further reduce the yield. This is why an investor is not very interested in buying a rented villa. In fact, there are no purchase applications for rented villas in Geneva.If you have rented your villa and you would like to sell it at the best price and at the lowest risk, you will have to wait for the tenant to terminate the lease or you will terminate it for the next term. A termination pronounced in order to be able to sell a house is legally admissible. If the tenant objects, you will be forced to go through the courts. If you are careful, you will wait until the tenant has left before signing the contract of sale.

Conclusion, my opinion

If you would like to rent your house for a certain period of time and sell it later, it is in your interest to enter into a lease for a fixed term. You will have to wait for the departure of the locatare before putting it up for sale or signing the sales contract. There are no purchase requests for rented family houses.


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