Renting out an apartment: Tips and useful tools

Letting an apartment made easy.

Letting an apartment - Successful letting in just a few steps

Would you like to rent out your apartment? Find out here how you can proceed step by step. This guide provides you with valuable support and practical information. Discover useful tips, legal aspects and tools to successfully master the rental process. From pricing and preparing the apartment to choosing the right tenant and signing the tenancy agreement, all the important steps are explained.

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1. pricing and rental market analysis in Switzerland

Pricing is a decisive factor if you want to rent out your apartment. Find out how to set the optimum rental price and which factors you should consider when analyzing the rental market to make your apartment attractive to potential tenants.

How high can the rent be?

As a landlord, you strive for an appropriate return on your invested equity, which is referred to as return on equity. The permitted return is linked to the reference interest rate, which is currently 1.5%. The net yield can be up to 0.5% higher than the reference interest rate. According to a Federal Supreme Court ruling from October 2020, the yield may exceed the reference interest rate by 2 % if the reference interest rate is below 2 %. A maximum return of 3.5% is therefore permitted.

Due to the current market situation and the rise in the reference interest rate, it is important for landlords to be well informed and act accordingly. Download our rent change checklist to take the necessary steps and react appropriately to the rising reference interest rate.

Market value, rental price & rental start date:

  • Check the market situation and compare your property with similar properties in the region
  • Calculate the ancillary costs as accurately as possible
  • Set the rent, e.g. with the help of a rent calculator
  • Set the start of the rental period

With the help of our online calculator you can calculate the optimum rent for your apartment in advance – simply, quickly and free of charge.

Calculate rent

As an owner, find out the optimum rent for your property now with our rent calculator - free of charge and without obligation.

2. renting out an apartment - What documents do you need for renting?

The following documents are required for the rental agreement and the associated documents (such as the house rules, the initial rent form and the general terms and conditions):

  • Handover protocol for documenting the condition of the apartment and the facilities it contains.
  • Application form or questionnaire for prospective tenants, including the required attachments.
  • Copy of the front and back of the Swiss identity card (ID), passport or residence permit.
  • Copies of the last three payslips, in the case of self-employed persons the last two annual financial statements and, if you receive social benefits, a certificate from the social welfare office.
  • Extract from the debt collection register: not older than six months

It is important to submit these documents in full and up to date in order to ensure that the rental process runs smoothly.

Use our comprehensive checklist for renting out real estate. It provides you with all the important information and practical advice if you want to rent out your home.

Checklist for letting an apartment

Use our checklist to make sure you don't forget anything when renting out your apartment.

3. do you need assistance to rent out your apartment?

When it comes to renting out your apartment in Switzerland, working with experienced estate agents can be of great benefit. Estate agents have the expertise and experience to make the letting process efficient and successful. You know the market, know how to present your apartment in the best possible way and have a broad network of potential tenants at your disposal. Estate agents support you in determining an appropriate rental price, carrying out viewings, selecting tenants and processing the rental agreement. By engaging our estate agents, you can also save time, approach potential tenants professionally and ensure that your apartment is let profitably.

Important aspects and questions to be clarified for the brokerage contract when renting an apartment:

  • 1. tasks of brokers: Check which specific tasks the brokers take on and record these in writing.
  • 2. remuneration of brokers: Determine the remuneration of the brokers, e.g. by means of a commission agreement. Clarify the amount of the commission and when it is due.
  • 3. costs and fees: Clarify whether there are any monthly costs or upfront fees for the broker’s services.
  • 4. exclusive contract: Check whether there is an exclusive contract stating that only one estate agent is commissioned to let your apartment.
  • 5. terms of the contract: Check the terms of the contract for appropriateness, particularly with regard to the notice period and form.
  • 6 Tenant guarantee: Clarify whether a tenant guarantee is included in the contract and what conditions apply.

Don't miss out on our 5-year tenant guarantee!

If the tenants placed by us cancel within this period, we will immediately find a new tenant for our premium customers. Thus, we are the first and only Swiss brokerage agency to advocate sustainable leasing.

4. renting out an apartment - how to approach marketing correctly

Letting your apartment in Switzerland requires targeted and effective marketing to attract potential tenants and achieve the best possible results. Successful marketing increases the visibility of your apartment and reaches a larger target group. Through targeted marketing and an appealing presentation, you can arouse the interest of potential tenants and shorten the time it takes to find a tenant. Strategic marketing also makes it possible to exploit the rental potential of your apartment. Use various marketing channels and strategies to highlight your apartment and find the right tenant. Effective marketing is the key to successfully and profitably renting out your apartment in Switzerland.

What do you need to successfully market your rental property? Consider the following points:

  • High-quality photos of the property (ideally 360° images and VR tours offer)
  • Precise description of the property including advantages
  • Explanation of the location and details of the surroundings – view, road access, public transport connections, neighborhood, distance to schools, shopping facilities, information on the municipality, tax burden, etc.
  • Create sales documentation
  • Advertise property on online portals

5. tenant search and tenant selection for letting

You should definitely consider these aspects before renting out your apartment:

  • Define target group (couples, families, singles)
  • Create an appealing display
  • Define whether potential tenants should take documents with them to the viewing
  • Prepare registration form for prospective tenants
  • Document important questions for potential tenants in advance
  • Carry out inspections
  • Check the tenants’ creditworthiness (are there any debt collection proceedings? If so, why?)
  • Can the tenants afford the apartment financially? (observe the ⅓ rule)
  • Contact previous landlord or employer and obtain references
  • Check completeness of all documents submitted and select suitable tenants

6 What do you have to consider in the rental agreement as a landlord?

  • Ensure that the rental agreement complies with the Swiss Code of Obligations (OR) and cantonal regulations
  • Define the landlord’s liability for damage to the rented property
  • Determine the rental deposit and how it is to be paid (rental deposit insurance, bank deposit)
  • Accurately document the operating costs of the rental property
  • Comply with statutory notice periods and reasons for termination and stipulate them in the rental agreement

7. handover of your rental apartment

If you are renting out your apartment, there are a few important points to bear in mind. The handover of the apartment should be carefully documented by means of a handover protocol. It is important to check whether the property has been left in accordance with the contract and thoroughly cleaned by the previous tenants. The condition of recent renovations should also be checked. In addition, the meter readings should be recorded and all defects documented and photographed. It is also advisable to record the number of keys and create a key directory. In addition, tenants should be informed of planned changes at an early stage. When repaying the previous tenant’s rental deposit, it is important that it is processed on time, including the preparation of a correct statement.

By paying attention to these points, a smooth transition process and a good relationship with the tenants can be promoted.

Apartment handover protocol

Use our helpful apartment handover protocol.

8 Buy-to-let: Is it profitable to buy an apartment and rent it out?

The real estate sector offers a wide range of investment opportunities, including the buy-to-let concept which has become increasingly popular in recent years. Around 20 % of mortgages are concluded for this type of investment. With buy-to-let, a private investor acquires a property with the aim of renting it out rather than living in it himself and generating regular income or building up assets. This investment strategy has proved profitable to date, as owners have benefited from both passive income and a potential increase in the value of the property.

9. tax aspects of apartment rentals

As a landlord in Switzerland, you must declare the rental income in your tax return. Rental income is taxed as part of income tax. The exact tax regulations may vary slightly depending on the canton and municipality. As a rule, rental income is treated as income from letting and leasing and is subject to income tax. You should document the rental income and any expenses for the rental, such as maintenance costs or insurance premiums, and declare them accordingly in your tax return.

When renting out a property, there are various costs that are tax-deductible. These include, for example, insurance premiums, expenses for value-preserving maintenance, taxes and levies such as property tax, as well as ancillary costs incurred by the owner. Administrative costs can also be claimed for tax purposes to reduce your tax burden. It is important to collect all relevant receipts and evidence and submit them with your tax return in order to benefit from the tax advantages. A tax advisor or real estate expert can help you take full advantage of possible deductions and structure your taxes efficiently.

We are happy to support you in all matters relating to your real estate project.

Free real estate advice

Let our real estate experts advise you.

FAQ's - Renting an apartment: Frequently asked questions

What aspects should I consider if I want to rent out an apartment?

Before you rent out your apartment in Switzerland, consider the following points: Set a reasonable rental price, find out about the legal framework, draw up a legally valid rental agreement, choose reliable tenants, take care of the maintenance of the apartment, make sure you have suitable insurance cover and find out about the tax aspects of letting. These steps will lay the foundation for a successful rental.

What expenses should I expect when I rent out an apartment?

When renting an apartment in Switzerland, you should consider the following expenses: Maintenance costs, ancillary costs, insurance, taxes, possible vacancy periods and, if applicable, management costs. These expenses are important to consider for your profitability and financial planning.

Is it possible to rent out my condominium?

Yes, it is possible to rent out your condominium in Switzerland on your own. As the owner, you have the right to rent out your apartment independently. However, you must familiarize yourself with the legal provisions, rental agreements and obligations as a landlord. There is also the option of taking advantage of professional support from property management companies or estate agents if you don’t want to take care of the rental yourself.

How much rent should I be able to afford?

As a landlord in Switzerland, you should take various factors into account when setting rental prices. This includes the location of the apartment, its size, condition and furnishings. It is advisable to analyze the current rental market in your region and find out the average rental prices for comparable apartments. You should also consider your own financial capabilities and goals, including the return you want to achieve on your invested equity. It is important to set a rental price that is both attractive to potential tenants and provides a reasonable return for you as a landlord.

How much is left of the rent after deducting the costs?

As a landlord in Switzerland, you are generally left with a net amount from the rent after deducting the costs. The amount depends on various factors, such as expenses for maintenance, insurance, taxes, administration costs and any vacancy periods. It is important to draw up a detailed list of all costs and offset these against the rental income in order to determine the actual profit. It can be useful to plan a financial buffer to cover unforeseen costs. With a solid cost calculation, you can ensure that after deducting all expenses, you will make a reasonable profit from renting out your apartment in Switzerland.

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