Claim for personal use – how do you proceed?

The circumstances and your needs have changed or you just want a change of scenery: How can you register your own needs and cancel a tenancy? If you as landlord want to move into your own residential property, the current tenant of the property must move out. Here you will find what to look for.

Of course, you as owner are always free to use your home. You don’t own a property for nothing. Therefore, you can state your own needs. A few points must be taken into account so that your request can be implemented smoothly. By law, the framework in which a personal-needs termination may be pronounced, is clearly regulated. Finally, a termination is a decisive decision both for you as a landlord as well as for the tenant of your property.

Who – besides you – is included in your own needs?

To the home through own needs

If you want to use your property for yourself, the case is clear. But who else can you include? In principle, you can also make the claim for family members or other people in your household. Besides your relatives, there are also people who are allowed to use your property: for example, the children of your spouse or life partner. If you or someone in your household needs nursing staff, you may also claim a tenancy for this. It is important that you as a landlord can demonstrate credibly why you want to demand the apartment or house.

This is how a formal notice works

When terminating a lease, you must ensure that it is properly executed formally. Only then is it legally valid.

If the apartment is rented by several parties – spouses, cohabiting partners or shared apartments – the termination must be addressed to all persons individually. You must be able to prove the letter of termination arrives at the addressee: Send it as a registered letter or bring it in person with a witness. In the worst case, the renter may deny having received the letter.

As landlord, pay attention to the statutory notice period under the Swiss Code of Obligations Art. 266c: In the case of renting apartments, the parties may terminate the agreement with a period of three months prior to a customary date or, if there is no local custom, at the end of a three-month rental period. The decisive factor is not the postmark, but the date on which the lessee effectively holds the notice in his hands.

If you, as a terminating party, do not adhere to the date or the deadline, the notice of termination applies to the next possible date.


This must be in the termination letter

First, you need a cancellation form approved for termination by the canton. You have to sign this by hand. Any termination must be in writing.

It is not enough to state “own use” as reason for termination. You have to specify for whom the apartment is needed. If several people move in, you do not have to list each one individually. It is important that you substantiate the reasons why the need for use is true and plausible. You can also draw the renter’s attention to his right of opposition under the Swiss Code of Obligations Art. 271.

If you take these points into consideration, your termination letter for your own use is formally valid.

The right to own use does not always run smoothly

Be prepared, that not everything can go smoothly. But with the right knowledge, many hurdles can be mastered.


Make sure the claim for personal use was not already known when you rented your property. If this is the case, you must inform the renter already at the conclusion of the contract. If you refrain from doing so, you lose the right to terminate tenancy for personal use.

If the tenant does not want to move out of the apartment, within one month he can request an extension of the tenancy agreement from the arbitration authority. The result always depends on the individual case – the arbitration board weighs the concerns of both parties and mediates between the applicants.