The rental contract must meet the requirements dictated in the Code of Obligations, but apart from that it can be designed in any desired manner. The contract must not absolutely be set down in writing, but it is highly recommended to do so.
What belongs in the contract?
Things that belong in the contract include:
- an exact description of the rental property including ancillary rooms (e.g. garage) and rooms for common use (e.g. laundry room)
- start of tenancy
- term of tenancy (fixed or indefinite)
- conditions for notice of termination
- gross rental amount or net rental amount plus additional expenses
- any provisions for security (deposit)
- special agreements
Smoking in a rented apartment is basically permitted. That's even the case if the tenant agrees to a ban on smoking with his signature on the rental contract. However, you must take your neighbours into consideration, otherwise you risk the danger of receiving a notice of termination.
Damage due to smoking
Important: When you move out, if there’s damage due to smoking you must not only pay the non-amortised portion of repainting but also the costs of anti-nicotine treatment of walls and ceilings. Your personal liability insurance does not cover any damage that arises from cigarette smoke.
Basic rules for keeping pets
If there is no ban on pets mentioned in the rental contract, the following applies: hamsters, budgies/parakeets and similar trouble-free small animals are permitted as long as they're not too numerous and lead to no complaints.
Ornamental fish are permitted as long as setting up the aquarium involves no modifications to the building structure. Dogs and cats are also permitted as long as there are no stipulations in the rental contract to the contrary. For all other animals, the landlord must issue written permission.
Basic rules for playing instruments
In a rental apartment you may play an instrument for 2 to 3 hours per day outside of designated quiet hours as long as you just don't happen to be pounding away on the drums and you take your fellow tenants into consideration. This right cannot be restricted in a rental contract or in the building's overall rules and regulations.