Rental guarantee and Swiss guarantor

In Switzerland, a rental guarantee is generally required when a lease contract is established. Here is useful information:

A rental guarantee is an amount corresponding to one, two or three months rent (maximum) and serves to guarantee payment of the rent in case of problems at the time of your departure from your flat. The amount is refunded in its entirety upon departure as long as no problem is found by your landlord/real estate agency.

The amount of the rental guarantee must be deposited in a bank account in the name of the tenant. This account is blocked and neither the tenant nor the landlord can access it without a formal notification transmitted to the bank (see legal article below).

A guarantee such as the one proposed by a security service (for example, SwissCaution, FirstCaution, SmartCaution, etc.) can be subscribed instead of making an actual bank deposit which avoids blocking your funds on a bank account.

Article 2 of the “Rules and Common practices for letting premises in the Canton of Vaud”:

Guarantees (art. 257 of the Swiss Code of Obligations – CO)

If a financial guarantee is required by the lessor, it shall not exceed three months’ net rent, except for leases concerning premises for commercial use. The guarantee shall be provided within 30 days after signature of the contract, but at the latest at the moment the lessee takes over the premises. If the lessor receives a guarantee, within ten days after receipt it shall be placed in a bank account in the name of the lessee at a bank in the area where the premises are situated. Likewise, if the lessee sets up the guarantee, it shall be done in the same way.

This arrangement guarantees that the lessee will fulfil his/her obligations to the lessor arising from the lease they have signed, or from possession of the premises beyond the term of the lease. The lessee may not use the guarantee to settle outstanding debts towards the lessor during the period of the lease, or at the time of final departure from the premises.

A part or the totality of the amounts or securities forming a guarantee may be withdrawn only after an agreement has been signed by the lessor and the lessee, or following a court decision. If there are no legal proceedings begun within one year from the date on which the lessee vacates the premises covered by the guarantee, it shall be released in full and the lessee, or the lessee’s representative, shall be authorized to claim it.

Important information for non-Swiss residents:
Estate agencies may require a guarantor in Switzerland in addition to a rental guarantee.

This is a person domiciled in Switzerland, who by his signature guarantees payment of rent. In case of non-payment, the estate agency will turn against that person to get the nonrent set.

This is a person domiciled in Switzerland and having an income (in Switzerland or abroad) who, by his signature, guarantees the payment of rents and takes full responsibility regarding the rental lease by signing it. In case of non-payment or other problem, the real estate agency/authority will turn against that person for the required compensation.