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Diplomatic clause for rental leases applicable within the Canton of Geneva to the members of personnel of the permanent missions and the international organisations

The "Société des régisseurs de Genève" (Geneva Association of Real Estate Agents - SR) and the "Chambre genevoise immobilière" (Geneva Real Estate Chamber - CGI) decided in 2001 to integrate the diplomatic clause in the General Conditions and Rental Rules and Practices as applicable within the Canton of Geneva, which govern the rental leases. As of December, 1st, 2001, the General Conditions and Rental Rules and Practices include the diplomatic clause (see below).

The diplomatic clause is added to rental leases involving tenants, members of personnel of the permanent missions and the international organisations, holding a legitimation card ("B", "C", "D", "E", "F", "G", "H", "I", "L", "O", "P", "S") issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

It is thus no longer necessary for the tenant to expressly request the addition of the diplomatic clause in a rental lease, since the aforesaid General Conditions and Rental Rules and Practices are an integral part of such contracts. The tenant must however take care that the lessor integrates the General Conditions and Rental Rules and Practices into the rental lease.

The diplomatic clause is applicable within the Canton of Geneva. The real estate agencies and the owners of the Canton de Vaud generally accept to integrate the diplomatic clause to rental leases. The tenant must however expressly request the addition of the clause.

Diplomatic clause

Extract of the General Conditions and Rental Rules and Practices applicable within the Canton of Geneva (this text is only available in French) (cf. article 56 for rental leases of apartments and article 36 for rental leases of houses – English translation).

A. If the tenant or occupant of the accommodation specifically designated by the contract of lease, holding a legitimation card issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, whatever his nationality, is transferred from the canton of Geneva or Switzerland by his employer, he has the right, on presenting a document of proof from his employer, to cancel the contract of lease as from the end of the month following the one in which he claims the present clause;

B. If the tenant or occupant of the accommodation specifically designated by the contract of lease, holding a legitimation card issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, who is a foreign national and who is not holding a visitor’s permit or a residence permit in Switzerland in accordance with common law, is dismissed by his employer, he has the right, on presenting a document of proof from his employer, to cancel the contract of lease as from the end of the month following the one for which the dismissal is effective.

C. In addition to the rent and the rental charges remaining due until the restitution of the premises for the expiry set forth in art. A and B, the tenant must pay compensation for early termination of the contract of lease equivalent to three months of rent and rental charges. The compensation shall however be reduced in relation to the effective loss of rent if the apartment (in the house) which has become vacant can be rented to a third party less than three months after its effective handover by the tenant;

D. The tenant may not make use of the present diplomatic clause before the end of the first year of rental, all agreements to the contrary being reserved, in particular in the event of special installations carried out at the wish of the tenant or the occupant specifically designated by the contract of lease.


Practical and general information on the real estate market

Geneva Welcome Center
Housing Service
Route de Ferney 106, P.O. Box 103
CH - 1211 Geneva 20
Tel. +41 (0)22 546 14 00
Fax +41 (0)22 546 14 19