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Differences between rent, tenancy and leasing: a comprehensive overview

Updated: 6 days ago

In the world of property and business law, these terms are often intertwined, but their subtle nuances can have a significant impact on legal and financial issues. Our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive overview of rent, tenancy and leasing to help you better categorise and understand these terms.

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Whether you're looking for a home, renting land for agricultural use or leasing business assets, we'll guide you through the differences between renting, tenancy and leasing in Switzerland. These terms are more than just synonyms; they represent different legal and financial concepts that need to be understood.



Rent is a common form of utilisation of residential or commercial premises where the tenant makes a regular payment to obtain the right to use the space. Tenancy agreements are often for an indefinite period, but can also be for a fixed term. Tenants normally have limited rights to the property and are usually responsible for minor repairs.


Tenancy in Switzerland

Tenancy is similar to rent, but with one key difference. A tenancy is often a lease of land or agricultural land for a longer period of time. The tenant can use the land for cultivation or agricultural purposes. In contrast to renting, tenancy agreements are often more long-term and the tenant has more control over the use of the borrowed land.


Leasing in Switzerland

Leasing goes beyond mere utilisation and often refers to the long-term rental of assets such as vehicles, machinery or office equipment. Leasing contracts usually have a fixed term and the lessee pays regular instalments for the use of the asset. Unlike a rental or lease, the lessee often has the option to purchase the asset at the end of the contract.


Why the distinction is important:

  • Each of these arrangements has different legal and financial implications.

  • The choice between rental, leasehold and leasing depends on the type of asset, long-term goals and individual needs.

  • It is crucial to review the contracts carefully and seek legal advice to avoid misunderstandings or legal issues.


It is important to understand that rental, leasehold and leasing are different agreements used for different purposes. By understanding the subtle nuances of each option, you can make informed decisions and ensure that your arrangement meets your needs. If you are unsure, we recommend consulting with a subject matter expert to ensure you make the best choice for your individual situation.

Do you have any questions on this topic or would you like to find out more? Contact us for an appointment.



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