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Rent increase: What to do?

When a rent increase occurs, whether for residential or commercial space, it's crucial to understand the rights and remedies available under Swiss law.

Landlord's rights:

Swiss landlords can adjust the rent at any time, taking into account the next termination date of the lease. To announce this increase, they must use a form approved by the canton, forwarding it to the tenant no later than ten days before the start of the notice period (Article 269d Swiss Code of Obligations; CO).

There are four grounds for increasing the net rent (excluding charges) under various articles of the Swiss Code of Obligations:

  • Increase in the reference mortgage interest rate (Article 269 CO): If this rate increases, the lessor may request up to 3% more rent for each 0.25 point increase, provided that the reference interest rate is less than 5%.

  • Investments to enhance the value of the property: Investments made to enhance the value of the property may justify a rent increase, particularly if they add significant value.

  • Increase in the cost of living: The lessor can pass on up to 40% of the increase in the cost of living since the last rent adjustment. This is determined by the national consumer price index.

  • General cost increases: If the landlord's costs increase (administration, taxes, insurance, etc.), this increase can be passed on to the tenant, often on a flat-rate basis.

Tenant's rights:

Tenants also have rights in the event of a rent increase. In accordance with article 270 of the Swiss Code of Obligations, tenants may contest the rent increase if they feel it does not comply with legal requirements. He can ask for explanations or evidence on the calculation of the increase and then contest before the conciliation authority of your district if it exceeds the limits set by law.


Various resources are available to help you check whether a rent increase complies with Swiss legislation. Specialized websites offer calculators to check whether the increase is within the limits set by law. The ASLOCA association for French-speaking Switzerland and the Mieterverband association for German-speaking Switzerland offer this calculation tool.

In case of doubt or disagreement, the tenants' associations mentioned (for Ticino, it's known as ASI), your legal insurance or lawyers can provide you with the necessary assistance to guide you through the process.


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