Real Estate Glossary


Raised floor which is mounted on cylinders that adapt to differences in level. The free space between the slab and the floor allows the passage of technical installations (cables and pipes).
In the event of propery acquisition (sale), it is important to know that in addition to paying the property, the buyer will have additional costs to cover, called acquisition fees (or otherwise known as notary fees). It includes the transfer duties of 3% levied by the State of Geneva, together with the fees paid by the Land Registry (up to 0.25% of the property price (collected for the register the property), notary fees (which are based on the amount of the transaction (per floor) but generally 0.7%), and other fees and disbursements. The acquisition costs normally amount to between 4% and 5% (excluding the Casatax special discount) of the transaction value amount, which therefore add up to this amount. These amounts are in the case of a genuine deed concerning a transaction. They are inferiorin the case of a constitution of a mortgage certificate.
Tax calculated based on the value of real estate property. The amount of the additional property tax is 0.1% for individuals and 0.2% for legal entities based on the tax basis.
The State of Geneva enacts administrative practices, in particular for tenants and for housing applicants and professionals in the real estate sector. These practices are the repetition of principle guidlines in decision-making by law enforcement authorities.
Person elected by the General Assembly, with the task of managing the co-ownership in accordance with the decisions made by the General Assembly and the provisions of the law and the Rules concerning administration and use. Executive power.
Rent which is partly covered by the State. There are several types of subsidised housing: controlled rent housing (HLM), low-cost housing (HBM), mixed housing (HM), and old peoples' homes.
This document authorises, in principle, the completion of a real estate project located in the development land and determines the benefits provided for in the General Law on Housing and Tenant Protection act (GLHTP), granted by the Office of Housing and Land Planning (OHLP).
The main allocation of these areas is agriculture. These lands shall be kept as free as possible of any construction. These are the environmentally friendly lands. The Confederation issued a reservation during the adoption of the Geneva cantonal master plan, which consisted of the conservation of cropland (the ideal land for agriculture).
A climate control installation inside the premises with user settings. Possibility to maintain constant temperatures, humidity, pollution level (stale air replacement).
An installation that lowers the ambient temperature by a few degrees depending on the outside temperature in order to improve comfort.
An installation that lowers the ambient temperature by a few degrees depending on the outside temperature in order to improve comfort.
A recess in a room that can accommodate for example a bed, a table, etc.
Additional agreement to make one or more adjustments to the lease agreement.
Staggered mortgage payment.
Application for funds from third parties to cover the current and / or exceptional expenses managed by the company. These applications can be on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, etc.) based on an annual budget or on an ad hoc basis during work.
A stable base or platform made of concrete that is used as a foundation for a building. It enables to distribute the construction weight on the ground.
A person who carries out plans to reconcile the aesthetics, practical, technical, economic and constraints resulting from the canton's political will, with the aim of building and landscaping.
Plans which define zones by the nature of activity that are allowed there (building zone, agricultural areas, protected areas in particular). General assignment plans are mandatory for individuals and may be subject to appeal. In Geneva, the building zone has been multiplied into 5 basic zones and the protected areas can be in areas to be built or not to be built.
An act signed before a public officer, a notary, which gives all parties necessary advice and explanation as to their legal position and the consequences of their actions.


Exterior with railing or balustrade overhanging a facade.
Premises that are provided without any layout.
Official document, entered at the Land Registry, mentioning lots, thousandths (quota), areas and designations of the objects of a building, to which are annexed the easement of private use.
Professional activity where two people in the field which interests us, seek respectively to sell and buy property.
Under federal law, there is an obligation to obtain prior authorisation to start construction work and installations. The various conditions to grant this authorisation are set out in the various sections of the act, which will also define the various restrictions or obligations necessary for the construction of a building.
Document required when work is carried out, for storey extentions, modification or demolition of a building, tree-felling in conservation areas. A request must be submitted to the Department of Housing and Energy, which delivers the approval after consulting its various departments. There are different types of requests, which vary according to the nature and importance of the work required: the most common definitive application, but also the prior request, the accelerated procedure authorisation, aproval by announcement of work, the supplementary request, or the request for information. These points are governed by Articles 7 and onwards, of the By-law concerning buildings and installations.
Costs related to building work and which are part of the cost price of a financial plan. Notably, these costs include the cost of building SIA m3, special works and sill plates.
Limited real right, constituted legal form, by which the landowner, gives up their land to the superficiary. The latter has the right to dispose of it for a limited period of time, maximum 99 years. The superficiary can build a property, which they will own and be able to exploit during the period of the right, in exchange for an annuity to be paid periodically to the landowner.
Loan granted by a bank or certain insurance companies governed by public law which is used exclusively to finance construction projects (new constructions, transformations or renovations). Its use is generally made through a current account and is secured by real estate warrants on the financial object. When the construction or renovation is completed, the bank consolidates and the loan is transformed into a mortgage.
Contract by which the contractor undertakes to carry out work for a price which the owner promises to pay them. The contract hereby contains an obligation of result.


A system fixed to the ceiling to allow the installation of cables (electrical or computer) inside premises. It is connected to a network of channels that relays the cables to the user.
Element fixed along a wall, at desk height, in order to allow the installation and cables to run (electrical, computer) inside. Connection sockets are distributed along the trunk as required.
A way to transmit television programmes via a cable network.
Tax levied in the canton of Geneva on the net profit from the sale of a building or part of building. This tax is degressive depending on years of ownership. The rate begins at 50% on the gain on a sale in the first two years of ownership and 0% in case of resale after 25 years of ownership.
"Maximum guaranteed price of the work for all services included in the general contract. The contract must specify whether or not the capped price includes inflation. The capped price must be adjusted according to the modifications required or requested by the contracting authority, additional costs due to tenders requested by the contracting authority and delays not attributable to the general contractor. If the total amount of the final statement exceeds the price cap, the difference in cost will be covered by the general contractor. If it is inferior, the saving is shared between the project owner and the general contractor and fixed in the contract. "
A CHF15'000.- (annual indexation)reduction in registration fees, provided that the property whose ownership is transferred serves as the principal residence for the purchaser and does not exceed CHF1 million (annual indexation). Upon registration of the sale, the purchaser has a period of 2 years to notify the administration that theproperty is their main residence. From that moment, they must occupy it for at least 3 years.
Modification of the intended use of premises (residential, commercial, etc.) generally subject to an application for authorization from the State authorities.
Designing, constructing, operating and rehabilitating and managing construction and infrastructure works to meet company needs, whilst ensuring public safety and protecting the environment.
A non-profit organisation dedicated to meeting the housing needs of its members by building high quality flats at unbeatable prices. Each member's initial contribution is in the form of purchased shares, the minimum number of which varies according to the number of bedrooms.
A building where each co-owner has the exclusive right to use and fit interior parts of the building, in accordance with the booklet of allocation of premises.
Private area, including exterior walls and half the adjoining walls.
A document listing the overall costs and income of joint property ownership. The costs and income are then allocated individually to each joint owner according to pre-defined coefficients.
A legal text regulating the obligations in Swiss private law. The obligations are a legal tie between two people under which one of them is required to provide a service to the other. The eighth part, the rental lease, regulates property rights.
Term consisting of certificates and bank guarantees to be provided to the lessor when renting a property.
Building whose premises are intended for activities other than housing: administrative, artisanal, industrial, commercial.
Property mainly located on the ground floor of a building with liberal professions or commercial and administrative activities.
Procedure proposing property for lease or sale with a view to concluding a contract. This includes property estimation, analysing its qualities, identifying the target clientele, choosing the means of communication to reach the target clientele and implementing the strategy to the signature of the contract.
A document listing all the costs and common products of a group of buildings.
Parts of a building as well as installations and accessories and which are not burdened with an exclusive right.
Document prorating, according to sale date, the expenses and income between the seller and buyer of property. It results in an outstanding balance that the buyer owes to the seller or vice versa.
An area which allows, within the perimeters highlighted by the cantonal master plan, to refuse, as a precautionary measure for a period of five years, planning permission which would pre-empt future developments.
Meeting held following a notarial deed drawn up to outline various statutory appointments and in particular, to approve an operating budget.
The main use of an area allows buildings to be erected that have nothing to do with land use (ie agriculture). In Geneva, it is the master plan that set the area to be built on. It is no longer possible to add to until 2030. In these areas, and if in public interest, the authorities can even impose a construction period (the aim being to develop and build as much as possible in these areas). Conversely, construction outside the building area: an establishment is possible if the construction is in accordance with the area's allocation.
Term used to designate the volume in relation to its limits. These two parameters must first meet a certain distance from adjacent buildings or property boundaries and secondly a limited height between the ground reference level (the level calculated before work) and the Maximum height allowed. In other words, depending on the area, it limits the construction of buildings to a certain height, which varies according to the area in which they are located.
Moral or physical person elected by the General Assembly to control the annual report of a condominium ownership.
Habitation à loyer modéré, subventionnée par l'Etat. Les HLM sont destinés aux personnes à revenus modestes. Leur loyer est contrôlé pendant au minimum 20 ans. Controlled rent housing is subsidised by the State. HLM is for people with modest incomes. Their rent is controlled for at least 20 years.
In the case of a real estate project, the price corresponds to the total cost of an project and includes the price of the land and the resulting costs, construction costs (m3 SIA, special works, operating equipment) (Roads, squares, gardens), various taxes, financial expenses, promotion fees and contingencies.
Accounting entry to cancel an existing entry.


Index used to determine the density of the areas allocated to dwellings and activities. It is based on the ratio of a building's gross floor area to the net plot area (traffic lanes, connections and public facilities). It is used within the framework of the development zone.
State department in charge of urbanisation for the Canton of Geneva. Its role is to satisfy the population's housing needs to protect property heritage and to encourage the gradual abandonment of the use of fossil fuels.
Cantonal service which ensures the respect and proper application of the housing regulations. In particular, it encourages the construction of public housing.
The procurement by the contractor of the services provided by the LGL such as subsidies, tax exemption from the complementary property tax and reduced tax rate.
Maison se trouvant au centre de sa parcelle, sans être accolée à une autre propriété. House located in the center of its plot, without being contiguous to another property.
The development zone is the result of a primary modification areas. The new constructions included in this perimetre are subject to control by the State of Geneva in accordance with the rules laid down by the LGZD (Act). The State Department of Housing and Land Planning (OCLPF) is responsible for the implementation of these standards.
Contrat conclu devant le notaire sous la forme authentique, sans condition suspensive. Le transfert de propriété est alors consécutif à la signature de l’acte de vente, le paiement est effectué avant la signature et la remise des clients à l'acquéreur s'opère directement. Contract signed before a notary in a legal form, without suspensive conditions. The transfer of ownership is then consecutive to the signature of the deed of sale, the payment is made before signing and the handing over of the keys takes place directly.
Amount remaining to the owner at the end of the year once interest, expenses and amortisation are deducted from the statement of rent account.
An electronic keypad on which an access code must be entered to access a building.
Ventilation system that collects part of the heat contained in the exhaust air, expelled from the building, converted into fresh air that is recycled into the building in order to "preheat" it.
Property with windows or French windows on at least 2 facades of opposite sides of a building.
"Apartment / flat on two floors connected by an inner staircase.


Case where a real estate owner tolerates certain acts of use to one or two thirds of that property or abstains himself. These acts can be constructions, pipes, plantations and fences, uses, industrial exploitations, crossings or neighbourhood developments. It can be made in favour of another real estate and in the name of the owner (landed property). It may also be conventional or imposed on the owner by law. Land easements must be registered at the land registry.
"Amount of all floor surfaces and basements that are included in the thermal envelope and require heating or air conditioning. It is formed by clearances (ramps and lifts), the sanitary spaces and cloakrooms and the vertical ducts of 10 m2 max. Other secondary surface areas, for vehicules to manoeuvre and areas less than 1.0 m in height are not taken into account.
Activity consisting mainly in making soil and subsoil of an area suitable for new industrial use or residential use, or even capable of returning to a natural state or for agricultural use after it has been polluted by industrial activity or accident.
Capital or money made available to a business or individual to finance a transaction. As part of a real estate project, the equity capital corresponds to the risk capital invested by the developer, equivalent to the price of the land. During a sale, lending institutions (banks) usually request a capital contribution equivalent to 20% of the property value + 4% to cover costs. This amount is more important in the case of luxury property sales.
Potential rent for a fiscal year allowing the inland revenue to calculate the value of a building in order to tax the taxpayer.
Fait de percer, creuser ou de faire un trou dans le sol afin de créer un tunnel, une fosse, un chenal. Un sous-sol est dit entièrement excavé lorsque sa surface a été intégralement creusée dans la terre. Drill, dig or make a hole in the ground to create a tunnel, a pit, a gutter. A basement is completely excavated when its surface has been completely dug out of the ground.
Expenditures made to maintain or improve a property.
Meeting convened either by the administrator or by at least 1/5 of the co-owners, when an event, requiring a decision by assembly, intervenes during the year.


"Application for building authorisation, submitted to the Office of Building Permits, which may be fast tracked if it concerns the following work: interior modification of an existing building (interior fittings or interior renovation) ; Modification of a building without changing its general appearance (renovation of the building envelope); A new construction of little importance or provisional; On an exceptional basis, reconstruction work of an urgent nature.
An act to prevent foreign influence on Swiss land ownership. This law regulates the acquisition of property by foreigners. This restriction is more or less strict depending on the nature of the property (main or secondary residence). The act does not apply to commercial, industrial or workshops used for business activities.
An act to encourage rural land ownership and farmers. In order to do this, it is combating hiked prices through controled measures. Its scope covers all agricultural buildings, even if the building is a house located in the villa zone which is surrounded by the agricultural zone: its environment will define how its dealt with.
A law that the Canton of Geneva has enacted to implement the management principles set out in the act.
Remuneration paid to providers in exchange for their services.
Authorisation to cut trees, delivered by the department of housing and energy, which in principle is subject to the obligation to replant the equivalent amount of felled trees.
Official publication, which contains all the official acts, administrative or judicial opinions of various local authorities. These include Department of Housing and Energy communications and Land Registry publications. It is published on working days, and is now available in digital form:
Request submitted to the Department of Housing and Energy to obtain a building permit in accordance with ordinary procedures.
All costs related to financial borrowings contracted by a natural person or a legal entity. In the case of a real estate project, these expenses are part of the transaction costs and correspond to interim interest, interest on own funds, notary fees and borrowers' notes, as well as mortgage notes.
An overview that compares the various expenses related to a real estate project and the resources on which the owner can count to finance it. It allows one to determine the amount to borrow and if the project is feasible. The main items are: cost price (assets), financing (liabilities), operations including rental income and interest, expenses and amortization (expenses), gross return (The gross rental statement divided by the cost price), the net return (the net rental income divided by the equity) and what the owner has available after paying all expenses.
An action by which an organisation or a private person allocates funds to a third party in order to support a project. It can be granted by individuals, as in the case of private pension funds, but also by specialised companies and bodies such as banks.
Kitchen with units such as cupboards, work surface, sink, etc., form a homogeneous ensemble.
Fixed remuneration for all services included in a general contractor contract, including any additional costs due to inflation. In general, the general contractor is entitled to the reimbursement of additional costs due to the increase in existing (VAT) or newly introduced indirect taxes.
Funds lent by an organisation or a private person.
Contract signed before a notary in a legal form, with a transfer of ownership deferred according to a date determined by both parties and which constitutes the end of the sale. Deferring the transfer of ownership may, for example, allow the seller to release the premises and the acquirer to set up its financing.
A set of rules governing residential leases negotiated between real estate representatives and tenants' associations. Approved by Federal law, which gives it binding force.
A public-law organisation to facilitate the setup and development of businesses in Geneva's industrial zones on favorable terms. Examples of FTI zones: La Pallanterie, Meyrin, Plan-les-Ouates.
Liquid petroleum product, black in colour and viscous, residue from the fractional distillation of crude oil. This fuel is used to supply certain types of boiler rooms.
Fitted and fully equipped kitchen with appliances such as a fridge, hob, oven, extractor hood and eventually a dishwasher.
A dwelling with all the basic furniture (table, bed, chairs, sofa, etc.). A detailed inventory is drawn up by the lessor and signed by the parties at the time of the move-in inventory.


A tradesman who oversees work and its completion, for a price and within a period determined by a business contract.
An act which supports subsidised social housing (HM, HLM and HBM). In particular, the conditions relating to the establishment and operation of such housing.
Lease clause granting the tenant the possibility of divesting the lease before its expiry. The clause provides for when it can be applied and when it should be activated. This option is unilateral, usually for the tenant's benefit.
Glass part of a window, which can be single, double or triple. Each layer is separated by thermal insulation glass using inert gas to prevent moisture from entering the layers, which ensures good insulation.
Total built area, including walls, without exterior surfaces such as loggias (unheated) or porches.
It corresponds to the gross rental statust divided by the total cost price of a transaction. In general, it does not allow an investment decision because the amount of the mortgage is crucial to make such a decision, in order to better understand the financial risk that will increase the volatility of operating cash flows.


Annual amount of energy required to heat and produce domestic hot water of a building brought to the heated surface.
Heating & ventilation engineers carry out studies on heating, ventilation, sanitation and electricity.
Compulsory energy standards now in force in the canton of Geneva. The Minergie certification allows compliance with these standards.
Current used to relay electrical energy and intended for lighting, heating or motive power.
Policy covering the damage caused to the personal effects of the policyholder in their household. The basic policy covers damage caused by fire, natural events, flooding and theft.
A federal framework law that sets out general principles of land use planning. The powers of the confederation are limited to these principles. It is the cantons that govern the application of these principles. The act has two aims: to ensure that there is no land is wasted, and to coordinate the cantons and various services (roads, energy, housing).
This type of organisation almost no longer exists, slowly being replaced by co-ownership. The shares of this organisation give the right to its owners to use a particular premises, often a dwelling. This use is equivalent to rental.


Legal or natural person, public or private, owner of real estate. In the case of a company contract, they hire a general contractor.
Appareil servant à mesurer la quantité de chaleur et d'eau consommées dans un logement. Apparatus which measures heat and water consumption.
Accrued interest on construction credit calculated during the construction period.
A telephone with loudspeaker and receiver to communicate in order to access building.
Value corresponding to building costs or to the building's new value, minus the property's physical depreciation due to its dilapidated condition. This value does not take into account criteria such as supply and demand and geographic location.


Fitted kitchen in a small space.


In Switzerland, this concept refers to the use of land, in particular to the State's activity aiming at a judicious and measured use of land, as well as the rational occupation of land.
A public register that gathers maps and plans drawn up following topographic surveys and administrative operations and draws up the state of land ownership, thus enabling various plot delimitation.
A public institution that ensures the publicity of real estate transactions and mortgage loans, in order to guarantee them.
It is used to determine the building rights and, on a larger scale, the general density of a neighborhood. It will be lower than the index, since it includes areas of public use. The ratio is based between the gross floor area of the building and the total area of the plot or perimetre on which one wishes to build. It is used for building permits or located neighbourhood plans.
City of Geneva regulation on the use of territory, it defines in particular the allocation (habitation / activities) of plots and constructions.
A document listing costs and property rental income. The statement determines the balance available to the private or institutional owners.
An act to preserve existing habitat and living conditions, namely the quantity of housing available, of equal quality and aimed at maintaining affordable housing. The law applies only to rental housing, excluding single-family housing with accommodation, housing in villa-zone (zone 5), as well as owner-occupied housing. The application means of this law are expressed at each transformation, demolition and renovation of an apartment on the rental market.
Contract whereby a party, called the lessor, grants another party, called the lessee, the right to use property for a certain period of time, subject to the payment of rent.
Moral commitment to negotiate a contract in good faith on the basis of the elements in the letter of intentt. It is often a wish formulated by the tenant wishing to apply for an object.
Housing located in the development zone whose rent is controlled by the State for 10 years.
Private subjective right which confers to its holder, the exclusion of any other person, the partial control of something (example: easements and land fees, real estate guarantees).
Located outside buildings, it enables trucks to unload their goods directly at the truck's. This speeds up loading and unloading.
Plans qui viennent se superposer aux plans d'affectation de zone pour donner des détails. Ils sont tenus de respecter le plan de zone et ne peuvent pas y déroger. En zone de développement, les PLQ doivent en plus préciser les aspects du contenu architectural (gabarits, végétation, route, parkings). Plans that overlap with area assignment plans to give details. They have to respect the zone plan and can not be altered. In the development zone, the plan must also specify the aspects of architectural content (templates, vegetation, road, car parks).
Open and sheltered balcony embedded in the facade of a building.
Current used to relayf information: telephony, home automation, computer network, automation.
Low-cost housing is subsidised by the State. HBM is for people with very modest incomes. Their rent is controlled for at least 20 years.


"Accompany a client during the various stages of a real estate project. The manager's role includes the following functions: defining the construction programme, overseeing the administrative procedures to obtain building permits, negotiate the construction credit opening, dealin with land planning formalities via perimetre (reshaping plots of land, easement). It also designates the various representatives required for the project development (architect, general contractor, civil engineer, heating & ventilation engineer, surveyor.
Contract between the co-ownership,management or the administrator and establishes the powers of the mandatory.
Document reflecting the actions taken by the administrator, in collaboration with the co-ownership board, and the events that occurred during the past fiscal year.
Contract whereby the mandator entrusts a rep with the task of finding a buyer to takeover their business. The representative has an obligation of means but no obligation bring results. The mandator reimburses the representative if this is stipulated in the contract and pays their expenses.
Mansions are large structures located either in urban areas or in the countryside. They have a typically square-shaped base and large angular stones. Sometimes built by famous architects and are usually inhabited by notables or the middle class. The property must meet the requirements of the owner's social status, including having rooms large enough for receptions.
The eventual value obtained from a property in a resale, in today's market.
Contract whereby the mandator entrusts a rep with the task of finding a tenant or buyer for their property. The representative has an obligation of means but no obligation to bring results. The mandator reimburses the representative if this is stipulated in the contract and pays their expenses.
"Plan which gives the general position of the authorities. Every canton has an obligation to adopt one. The master plan of the canton of Geneva stipulates the intentions to urbanise until 2030. It has received Federal approval, provided that the canton of Geneva does not downgrade more Green belt land than was agreed. The management plan will set the targets (such as the number of dwellings to be built in the next 15 years) and densify in already built up areas. Le plan directeur localisé se retrouve pour les communes.The master plan is found for the municipalities. "
A Swiss certification that guarantees a rational use of energy, with a greater use of renewable energies, respect for the environment and a higher quality of construction and comfort than the norm. The whole building must be up to this energy saving standard: the envelope and the technical installations.
An even more demanding certication than the Minergie standard and Minergie P certificates, requires the use of local energy factors for energy needs, including solar energy. In homes, only the most efficient electrical appliances can be installed.
Certification of higher standard than the Minergie standard certficate, which aims at an even lower energy consumption.
In addition to the Minergie standard and Minergie P. In addition to comfort and energy efficiency, Minergie-Eco construction guarantees a healthy and ecological building (eg with more natural light or no internal pollution).
"Services provided by the lessor or a third party which are not included in the rent, such as heating and hot water, electricity, gas, air conditioning, concierge fees, elevator use and cable tv fees. These costs may be charged to the tenant if the lease so provides. In this case, an annual statement is drawn up and the costs are allocated among the tenants according to pre-established coefficients. In order to cover expenditure pending the annual statement, it is customary to invoice monthly provisions to the tenants. "
Mixed-income housing is subsidised by the State. It is for people with modest incomes. Their rent is controlled for 25 years. 60% of the tenants receive a personalised subsidy paid by the State (variable according to income and occupancy rate). The remaining 40% do not receive a subsidy, but must nevertheless respect certain criteria such as the occupancy rate of their dwelling.
Long-term loan to finance the purchase of real estate that will be used as collateral.
Paper reflecting the value of a pledged asset. This document is given to the creditor (bank) against a loan to finance property. This document is returned when the loan has been repaid and can be re-used to obtain a new loan.
Interest rate applied in a mortgage loan by the lender to the borrower and which corresponds to the remuneration of the lender for the provision of funds to the borrower.
Document stating what condition the rented premises were in prior to tenant moving in, to identify defects in the property with a view to rectifying them.
Document stating what condition the rented premises were in prior to tenant's departure, to ascertain damage that would have been caused during the occupancy of the premises.


It corresponds to the net rental status divided by the equity capital invested in a transaction and is equal to the rental profitability of a net leasing of property.
"A public officer whose role consists mainly in drafting up agreements in their legal form. (Example: contracts for the sale of buildings, easements, deposits, wills)
Notary fees take into account the notary's emoluments, which are fixed in incremental stages according to the value of the property stated in the deed (the fees scale is defined by notarial law); and eventual invoiced fees, if the notary has to establish any particular supplementary work. However, it may also refer to acquisition fees in general.


Contract whereby the mandator entrusts a rep with the task of finding commercial premises or a property, according to pre-defined search criteria. The representative has an obligation of means but no obligation to bring results. The mandator reimburses the representative if this is stipulated in the contract and pays their expenses.
A glass or plastic wire used to transmit digital data via light. It offers high-speed compared to standard cables.
A right in the form of an annotation in a contract or an empowerment agreement in the form of genuine document, and which gives the prospective buyer the right to acquire an building at a price and, by unilateral decision. The right will remain subject to the land even in the event of the building being resold. This right does not give rise to any obligation. It can be annotated in the Land Registry with a maximum duration of 10 years.
The supreme committee of the co-ownership legislative branch, which makes all the decisions concerning the co-ownership and its administration. It meets once a year, six months after the closure of the accounts.
Pièces non habitables du logement, telles que cave, grenier, véranda, terrasse.
Planned real estate project layout surrounding buildings (eg roads, squares, gardens, green areas, playgrounds, pipes ...). These adjustments are part of the cost price of a financial plan.
Fixed remuneration for all services included in a general contractor contract, with the exception of any additional costs due to inflation and the increase in existing (VAT) or newly introduced indirect taxes.


When a car park is separately rented, there is a VAT charge if the owner meets certain conditions. On the other hand, if the car park is rented with property, there is no VAT charge. Indeed, Rents included in a dwelling are not subject to VAT and in this case, parking rental is considered to be an accessory to the dwelling.
A contract in which a person, called "Guarantor", undertakes to guarantee the payment of debts that the tenant could contract with the lessor. The lessor must first fail to prosecute the tenant debtor.
A payment slip attached to an invoice for easy and automated payment. The reference number shown on the payment slip is used to identify the receiver and the cashing in is done automatically.
Electronic payment system used in the case of periodic payments. The total of invoices are automatically debited from the bank or postal account at the time of invoicing, usually on a monthly basis.
Invoice transmitted electronically through online banking.
Electronic payment system used in the case of payments. The total invoices are automatically debited from the bank or postal account at the time of invoicing, usually on a monthly basis. This means of payment requires a Swiss bank account.
Fuel from wood processing. The pellets are shaped like granules and are produced by refining, drying and compacting sawdust, wood chips, and sometimes even agricultural waste.
Floor located at the top of a building or additional small floor. In general it benefits from a clear view of its surroundings.
Pipes to convey mainly liquids, gas or electricity.
Fee levied by the State of Geneva in the case of a planning application.
Fully equipped area where one can move in and start using without any extra facilities. This concerns mainly administrative premises.
Potential rent from real estate calculated on a specific date, taking into account rented apartments, vacant and made available free of charge.
Authorisation given to a third party by a co-owner to make any decision on their behalf at a general assembly, in which they can not partake.
A right which entitles the holder first option to buy property. The pre-emptor may then substitute the initial buyer at the prices and conditions provided for in the pre-emption pact. This right can only be exercised in the context of a sale, where the third-party buyer substitutes the main buyer. It must have a limited duration which can not exceed 25 years. It may take the legal form (pre-emption of the State for example) or conventional (between the parties). It is not necessarily annotated in the Land Registry, although it is strongly recommended to do so.
Inventory report established before the tenant leaves and in view of any work to be done and the releasing of the property.
Work carried before building and included under "land" in the financial plan. It includes demolition, geotechnical studies, site installation, piping, levelling and flooring.
Person appointed by the assembly to preside the general assembly, in general the director.
Notice given by an entity before a formal decision is made.
Request submitted to the Department of Housing and Energy to provide an answer from its administration on the location, destination, size, volume and service of a presented project .
Premises on which each co-owner owns an exclusive right, according to the premises distribution booklet and its act of sale.
A contract drawn up by a notary, which requires both parties to conclude a deed of sale at a later date. The promise pre-determines the conditions of the transfer (price, deadline, etc.) as well as any previous conditions. A payment of approximately 10% of the amount of the final sale price may be claimed by the seller from the purchaser as a deposit. The promise to sell, like the deed of sale, involves fees (state taxes, land registry fees, notary fees). In case of withdrawal of one of the parties, the judge may oblige them to respect their commitments. The promise can not be entered in the Land Registry, therefore it is recommended to include it with a right of possession.
Optional committee, elected by the General Assembly, whose task it is to assist and advise the administrator in their work and to represent the co-owners.
Occupation of the developer who oversees a real estate project.
Limited real rights entitle the holder (the creditor), in the event of non-performance of the secured claim, to benefit from the sale of the property at public auction. It must be entered in the Land Registry and is valid only in its authentic form.
A three-party agreement by which a new tenant (the beneficiary of the transfer) acquires the rights and obligations of an outgoing (transferring) tenant, with the lessor's agreement.
Managing real estate (apartments, houses, business premises, commercial premises) carried out on behalf of owners. The management includes the administrative tasks related to the leasing and supervision of maintenance and repair work on buildings.
Written agreement, certified, signed by both parties and their will. The payment of a deposit may be requested from the purchaser as a pledge in good faith. However, the parties can not, on the sole basis of this agreement, be legally obliged to sell or buy.
Fixed fee owed by the owner for occupation of the public domain. Fixed fee is levied on encroachments for which a permission which is not granted a tacit renewal is granted either for a short period of time pre-defined or for a season or for fixed items, removal may be required only if the public interest so requires, or for temporary encroachment, such as building site installations. Permanent encroachments are subject to an annual fee and for which permission is tacitly renewed in the absence of withdrawal or renunciation.
Amount owed by the owner or land superficiary on which a project is erected. It goes towards the costs of implementing or modifying public roads. In general, the tax amounts to CHF 40.- / m2 of SBP to create. When public facilities costs required by a localised district plan are known and result from the approval adopted by the municipality, the fee corresponds to 75% of these costs. The amount is limited to 2.5% of the project's cost.
A policy that financially covers the consequences incurred by the policy holder when they cause material damage or injuries to a third party, whether through negligence, imprudence, children, employees, animals or other persons for whom the policy holder is responsible.
A private or public non-profit organisation whose objective is to build of a cooperative housing. It can be either individuals wishing to create a cooperative (for which it is necessary to have at least 7 people, 5 of which form part of the committee) or promoters who develop the real estate project before transmitting it to future residents, or even for-profit companies (such as pension funds).


Minimum amount of co-owners and thousandths they represent, required to hold an assembly and to make certain decisions.
Software for real estate management professionals. Featuring a modern interface, advanced features, it is compatible with Windows as well as smartphones and tablets.


The equivalent of a public limited company, whose statutes specify a willingness to make real estate in particular. The value of the property in the company must make up at least 2/3 of the assets of the balance sheet and that 2/3 of the profit and loss consist of real estate income. In real estate companies, purchasers buy shares in the company, which are divided into quota shares.
The process of looking for tenants with a view to renting out properties in a new building.
Tax levied on property transfers by the State of Geneva. This term is associated with registration fees, which are governed by the Cantonal Law on Registration Fees. They are levied in the event of property transfer (sale, sharing or donation) (thus the subject of an authentic deed). The buyers of the property will have to pay a 3% tax on top of the property's value if sold.
Regulation issued by the Federal Council which indicates the rights and obligations of the parties in a rental, farmhouse and commercial premises lease.
Document ayant pour but de fixer les règles relatives à l'administration et à l'utilisation de l'immeuble.Document intended to lay down the rules relating to the administration and use of the building.
Election by the assembly, the administrator, the supervisory body and, optionally, the board of co-owners.
Transformation of a short-term debt into a long-term debt such as a change from a building loan to a mortgage. The financial institution selected for the mortgage may differ from the one that financed the work with a building loan.
Installation that provides remote heat to buildings through the Cheneviers incineration plant's pipeline.
Provisions to finance future renovation of the common elements of a co-ownership. In principle, the purpose of setting up a renovation fund is to avoid making extraordinary appeals for funds when the building requires heavy work.
Amount paid by a tenant in return for the use of property (housing, garage, warehouse, offices, villa, etc.)
Rent from housing built in a development zone, established by the laws and regulations of the State which fixes limits to rents or increases that can be applied. These types of rents constitute a form of price cap.
Building to let, including commercial premises, workshops, industrial premises, apartments, villas, various residential premises.
Rent based on the evolution of the Swiss Consumer Price Index. Index-linked rents can only be fixed for contracts concluded for a period of at least 5 years.
Approval by the OHPP, of the provisional rental status of a rental building built in the development zone until the finalization of the LGL's services. This document permits the conclusion of leases and thus leases the building.
Redistribution of land holdings with an adaptation of all land rights. Such a reshuffle helps to facilitate the development of a real estate project that is carried out on many plots of different owners.
Amount invested in the rebuilding of an existing property to its former glory.
Report reflecting the co-ownership accounts for the current year and the approval or disapproval of the accounts and the administrative offload.
A person or company acting on behalf of another (the mandator) under a mandate entrusted to them. The representative must act within the limits imposed by the mandate.
Request submitted to the Department of Housing and Energy to get an opinion on a proposed plan for land use, including zonal modifications or a local area plan.
This is a distance that must be respected in order to guarantee a minimum sanitary space between the windows of two buildings facing each other. Thus this easement helps preserve the vital space of the building and the natural light inside the rooms, preventing a building from obstructing the view. The minimum distance is 4m in front of the window. In the case where two windows face each other, the distance of 4m for each building is required, ie a separation distance of 8m.


At a '' SI '' or '' SIAL '' sale, the real estate property is sold as shares. As in, it is not the property as such that is sold, but the shares of a company that owns the building (and often the building in question). This type of transaction can have an impact first and foremost on an equity level, which is higher, but equally at tax level.
Satellite dishes generally installed on the roof of a building to the receive television channels.
Person (s) designated by the General Assembly to count the number of votes and thousandths during an election.
Person designated by the General Assembly to draw up the minutes.
Room with the server (s) of an IT infrastructure. It can be equipped with an air cooling system in order to avoid overheating of appliances as well as fire safety measures equipment preserving the computer installations (gas).
Amount owed by the owner of a real estate project due for new construction or existing construction during connection to the public sewer. The amount due is calculated according to the allocation of buildings and their activities.
A list of rules drawn up by Société Suisse des Ingénieurs et Architectes. The 416 standard relates to the calculation of the actual surfaces and volumes of an element. The 116 standard considers additional volumes for specific parts of the structure (roof, balcony, basement). The 116 Standard is still required by the Department of Housing and Energy in Geneva, in particular for financial plans.
Public institution which distributes electricity, gas and water in the canton of Geneva. It also runs a network of fibre optic connections, and finally, it also manages waste treatment.
Panels usually on the roof of a building to use the sun's heat or transform its energy into electricity (otherwise known as photovoltaic panels).
Specific provision of a legal act (for example a contract), which specifies certain elements, obligations or methods of execution.
Specific work depending on the type of land on which a project is built. This includes special foundations, stakes, excavation shielding and asbestos removal.
Rent which goes up in stages, fixed beforehand. Staggered rents may only be fixed for contracts concluded for a period of at least 3 years.
Document made out to joint property owners listing maintenance costs of their property which can be tax deductible.
A practice whereby a tenant decides to make available to a third person all or part of the property against payment. An request to sublet must be submitted to the lessor for approval.
"A natural or legal person to whom a general contractor entrusts, under their responsibility, all or part of seeing out the business contract is concluded with the general contractor.
Interface between the remote heating, or central heating, and the internal heating network (including domestic hot water).
Same guarantee as the simple version except that the creditor does not need to prosecute the debtor. He can deal directly with the "guarantor".
Private subjective right which confers to its holder, the exclusion of any other person, the partial control of something (example: easements and land fees, real estate guarantees).
Technician who performs field surveys. They prepare plans and topographic maps and land-impact documents.
A ceiling which is suspended by fastening to the slab by. A suspended ceiling enables for space between the slab and the ceiling to install in between, technical components (cables, sheaths ...) . It also enables to everything out of view.
A measure of property prices and services used by Swiss households.


Theoretical lease value based on co-owners occupying their dwelling. Fiscally, this value is added to the taxpayer's income for which they'll be taxed.
Value determined by the tax authorities on which the taxpayer is taxed on capital, on which the complementary property tax is calculated. For a rental property, this tax value is determined by capitalising the tax rental statement by a rate fixed by the tax authorities. This rate may fluctuate from year to year.
When one of the parties terminates the contract.
Set of rules, which are the result of negotiations between representatives of the real estate community and tenants' associations. They only apply in so far as they are annexed to the lease agreement.
House that is either situated in a row of other properties, through an external wall that will link a house to another, or through a garage attached to the garage of the neighboring property.
Law that applies for constructions carried out in development zone. For all new constructions in this zone, the State carries out a periodic inspection every 10 years.
Owner's obligation to take compensatory measures in case of tree felling or clearing of hedgerows and hedges. Replacement value of plants which are removed is authorised. The department requires a suitable bank guarantee to ensure the correct execution of such a compensation where the value set out in paragraph 2 exceeds CHF 20 000.-. This guarantee must be sent to the department before the the authorisation to fell or remove can be approved.


Use of property without the lessor's permission.
Rent fixed exclusively according to to Swiss code of obligations. It is calculated precisely in order to allow the owner to cover their expenses. Rent covering costs takes into account the following criteria: the purchase price of the property, mortgages, equity, purchase fees.
Personal loan granted with no guarantee, thus not benefiting from a priority of repayment.
Internal area of private premises, which excludes partitions and any non habitable part.
Dwellings whose rents are controlled for a minimum period of 50 years (dwellings in private hands) and in the majority of cases, with no time limit. They may be State-owned, a public law foundation, a municipality or a non-profit organisation; They may belong to any other private entity if the latter undertakes over fifty years by an agreement with the State. Two other criteria characterise public housing: the application of a rate effort, that is, a ratio between income and the amount of rent; The application of an occupancy rate, ie a ratio between the number of people occupying a dwelling and the number of rooms in it.


Cost of work based on the general contractor's final statement .
A secure video system of communication which lets a person see anyone wishing to enter a building.


The single connection charge is for a sewage disposal and rain water drainage. The total amount of the single connection charge may not exceed 2.5% of the building costs.
Co-ownership area of an apartment, established by an official surveyor, to which the surface area of balconies (50%), terraces in the attic (30%) or gardens (10%) are added.


An initiative often coming from the department (Department of Housing and Energy), the state council, the commune or the Greater Council. It makes it possible to modify one area of assignment to another, often in order to densify more land than the initial zone allows.
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