May I remind my tenant?
Can a landlord issue a warning to a tenant?
There are various reasons that would give a landlord the right to issue a warning to a tenant. For example, if the tenant is in arrears with payment or if their conduct represents a breach of contract.
Warning regarding payment arrears
What does arrears mean?
The tenant is obligated to pay rent and any corresponding ancillary costs at the agreed time. Usually this is at the end of the month. If on the agreed date, the payment has not been received, then the tenant is generally considered to be in arrears. However, this is not the case if:
- the landlord is responsible for the payment arrears, for example because they provided erroneous information regarding the bank account to which the rent must be transferred,
- the tenant declared settlement in good time, in other words within the payment term set out in Art. 257 d para. 1 of the Swiss Code of Obligations (for example, because the tenant still owes another amount) or
- the tenant has deposited the rent in a valid form (for example, because a defect was never remedied).
What can the landlord do in the case of payment arrears?
The landlord can send the tenant a letter setting a deadline for payment and threatening termination of the rental agreement if payment is not made by that time. The deadline for back payment is at least 30 days for residential and commercial space. If the tenant does not make payment within the defined term, then the landlord can terminate the rental agreement at the end of the month, subject to compliance with a notice period of at least 30 days. To do so, the official form must be used.
Warning due to noise
When can a landlord send a warning to a tenant due to noise?
A warning regarding noise can only be issued if it represents a breach of contract. This could be a violation of the house rules (for example, using the common room outside of the prescribed hours) or a breach of legal provisions, such as the generally applicable quiet hours.
What can the landlord do in cases of such conduct that represents a breach of contract?
The landlord can demand that the tenant comply with their duty of regard by issuing a warning and threaten to otherwise terminate the contract. If the tenant does not amend their behavior, then their rental agreement can be terminated. If their behavior is deemed to be a serious breach of their duty of regard, then termination can also be issued without notice.
How does the warning have to be submitted?
The warning must be submitted in writing and the excessive noise must be described in detail so that the tenant can also adjust their behavior accordingly. The warning must include a threat of contract termination.
When can the termination be issued?
If, despite the warning, the tenant causes excessive noise again, then the landlord can terminate the rental agreement at the end of the month, subject to compliance with a 30-day notice period. This is an extraordinary termination.
You can find further legal information on termination and templates for warnings below.