Is it lawful to force tenants to find someone to take over when they move out ;_;

I'm planning to move out from a flat shared with other two people. According to the intermediate company we signed the contract with, there are two ways to terminate my contract:

First, we could let them know 3 months ahead of time before "cancelling" the contract all together, and there are only 4 specific months in a year we are allowed to notify them of this. This doesn't work for me because my roommates don't have plans to leave yet.

The other way is that I find someone to take over the flat and the new flatmates "replace" the current contract. I can leave at any time as soon as we reach agreement, but if I fail to find someone, I'm obliged to pay the rent forever. I wanted to just pay 3 months of rent and let them know ahead of time before I move out, but the agent says it's not allowed in Switzerland.

The type of contract is unlimited. It's vague on the details of terminating the contract because it says the period of notice is 3 months but does not clarify whether it's only applicable to the "cancellation" or both "cancellation" and "replacement" of the contract.

I've tried to find new people to take over but maybe it's because the rent is a bit high for students (my roommates prefer students) I haven't found any. This is getting me extremely anxious because I've passed the interview somewhere new and signed the contract to move in. I'd have to pay double rent then.

How lawful does this sound to you? Is there any way that I can get around with it? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you so much in advance!

Appendix: the chapter in the contract on moving out


Notice period is 3 months.

The contract can only be terminated by landlord or tenant end of March (by giving notice in December) end of June (by giving notice in March) or end of September (by giving notice in June).

Either party (the landlord/sublessor or subtenant) can give notice by providing a written notice of termination to the other party without needing to provide any reason. This written notice has to arrive 10 business days before the end of the respective month.

Look at your contract. Did you sign jointly, or are you subletting? Joint contracts can be messy - you might even need a court order to dissolve it.

If you are with Mieterverband, I would get legal advice. See also:…ntal-agreement…-does-it-work/


Your problem is that you've signed a joint contract, so you have to get out of it together. You could either find someone to replace you, or ask your other flatmates to take over the whole contract themselves.

I would say that your roommates can't decide who they want you to give the room to. Meaning that if they want a student then they should take over your room and find someone themselves and you are off the hook. Otherwise they will just have to "live" with whoever you rent your room to. But as others have said: contact the Mieterverband. If you are not yet a member you will pay for their advice but it is worth it in my opinion. And become a member. This is money well spent if you are renting. Maybe also try to rent it out lower for the first three months and pay the difference between the regular price of the room and what the new person is paying. That way you will have to spend some additional money but less than if you have to pay for two rooms.

the problem is if the outher flatmates say "no, we're not going to pay extra, you just keep on paying"

Thank you guys for the advice! I see now that there's no other way out than finding the new person. I'm friends with current roommates so I don't want them to bear the cost. It's just shocking to me as I didn't realize this is how rental contracts work in Switzerland.

What is shocking about having to adhere to a contract you signed?

There are two ways of learning how rental contracts work: 1) read and understand everything down to the small print before signing or 2) wait till it bites you.

Only that type of contract. If you were renting alone then you could just give termination notice as per the contract and that would be that. It’s the way that sublet one is set up that’s the problem for you.

Why is it shocking? You rented as a group, you didn’t rent your room as an individual.

Depending on the contract, you could just leave and let the others pay for your share. Not very honourable perhaps.

Well, we are currently searching for an app in Zurich.. nothing shared, something only for us. And I see the demand is HUGE. So, I would just post and add on flatfox (you can put everything down with your roommates) , post a day for visitings and I am sure you will find a person to swap with in no time.

Good luck

There is a small issue with the replacement option: The landlord does not have to accept replacement tennant (the new flat share group or single main flatshare renter). The landlord can also say: Thank you folks, I will rent the place to someone else. Happened with a flat share in my building which was a bit of a nuisance.…#tab-1-content

Your contract is key. There are many ways to share- one is being on a shared contract on equal rights and responsibilities, one is being a lodger. No-one can advise as none of us know what your contract entails.