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Reader question: Can my Swiss landlord decide how often I can have overnight guests?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Reader question: Can my Swiss landlord decide how often I can have overnight guests?
In most cases, you can have overnight guests. Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

Tenancy laws in Switzerland impose certain rules on apartment dwellers, but what about having people stay overnight in your apartment? Does the landlord have the right to impose restrictions — or forbid it altogether?

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Say you have a friend who occasionally sleeps overnight at your apartment, or maybe your family is visiting you for a longer stretch.

Is this allowed in a rented accommodation?

In most cases, rental contracts prepared by management companies do not ban (or even mention) overnight guests.

When you live in, and pay for, rented accommodation, you have the right to enjoy your dwellings, and having guests is part of that implied ‘enjoyment.’

So for a typical rental agreement, having well-behaved guests who are respectful of the other tenants, is not an issue (more about this below).

That is the case for standard contracts.

However, if you are renting directly from an individual (rather than going through the management companies which act on the landlords’ behalf), he or she could set special conditions, including that you have no overnight guests on the premises.

This could be the case if, for instance, you rent a room in a private house or in a dwelling where the landlord also lives.

That is why it is very important to read the lease and all the conditions outlined therein carefully, before signing it.

However, even if your contract doesn’t contain a mention of guests, there could be situations where overnight visitors could get you in trouble:

Your guests are too loud or disruptive

Having friends or family sleep in your flat is one thing, but if they are being very noisy or generally unruly, and their behaviour upsets the neighbours (who then complain to the management company / landlord), then it is on you.

You will be held accountable because the person is your guest, and you are responsible for what goes on within your walls.


Too many guests

Say, you are renting a two-room apartment, but you have several people staying there, not just overnight, but for longer periods of time.

That too, could make the neighbours complain (especially if the group is disruptive in any way — overusing the lift or laundry facilities to the detriment of other tenants, for example.

Someone staying long- rather than short-term

‘Overnight’ guests are just that — someone staying with you for a brief period of time.

If, however, you sneak in another person to be your permanent flatmate, without notifying the landlord and revising the lease accordingly, then expect to hear from the management company sooner or later (probably sooner: your neighbours will make sure of that).

After all, owners have the right to know who exactly is living in their premises.


The same applies to…


In principle, all tenants can sublet their apartment, but only on the condition that the landlord is informed and agrees to this arrangement.

READ ALSO: Can I sublet my rented apartment in Switzerland? 

Under no circumstances should you put another tenant in your apartment on the sly (pretending this is just a visitor), as this — and rightly so — will anger the landlord, who could then terminate your lease and demand the rent money you made from your sublease. 


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