In practice, tenants receiving a valid notice of termination and willing to remain in their apartment have two solutions: they may challenge the notice of termination as unlawful or request an extension of the lease.
Challenging the notice of termination:
According to Art. 271 I CO, notice of termination may be challenged where it contravenes the principle of good faith. Art. 271a I CO contains an exemplary, but not exhaustive, list of situations in which the notice of termination may be challenged, such as notices given because the tenant is asserting claims arising under the lease in good faith (Art. 271a I lit. a CO) or for the sole purpose of inducing the tenant to purchase the leased premises (Art. 271a I lit. c CO).
Requesting a lease extension:
According to Art. 272 I CO, the tenant may request the extension of a fixed-term or open-ended lease where termination of the lease would cause a degree of hardship for him or his family that cannot be justified by the interests of the landlord.
Where weighing the respective interests, the competent authority has particular regard to various aspects, such as the circumstances in which the lease was contracted and the terms of the lease, the duration of the lease or any need that the landlord might have to use the premises for himself, his family members or his in-laws and the urgency of such need.
It should be noted that the extension of the lease may not be for more than four years. However, at the end of this period, the tenant may request a second extension.
How to proceed:
Tenants willing to challenge the notice of termination or obtain a lease extension must file, within 30 days from the notice of termination, a request to the conciliation authority.