Tenants don't want to mess with the landlord. That is why they do not defend themselves enough against excessively high rental rates. More transparency in apartment rents could help.

The real estate market in Switzerland is overheated.

Out of fear Many tenants pay more than necessary when canceling their apartment

If you want to visit a vacant apartment in a good location, you have to wait a long time.

 For fear of being canceled, many tenants pay more than necessary

Anyone who has been given an apartment defends themselves then often not against rents that are too high.

That's what

  • Available apartments are scarce.

  • Tenants are afraid of giving up their apartments.

  • That is why they hardly defend themselves against rents that are too high.

The housing market in Switzerland is tense. Hundreds of people are queuing up to view apartments for rent in good locations. And whoever has found an apartment often pays more than is necessary. Tenants are afraid of making a mess with the landlord, as the “SonntagsZeitung” writes.

If the reference interest rate falls, tenants can request a lower rent. At the last reduction in 2020, however, according to a survey by the polling institute Sotomo on behalf of the tenants' association, 42 percent of the participants decided not to request a lower rent.

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Almost exactly half of them named the reason that they feared conflicts with the landlord or that at least the relationship could get worse. Natalie Imboden, general secretary of the tenants' association, says: “Many are afraid that they will be given notice sooner or later.” According to the survey, 72 percent complain that it is very difficult to find a suitable apartment when moving. It's not only difficult in the best locations. Even outside the cities and agglomerations, 64 percent of those surveyed said that looking for an apartment was difficult.

The tenants' association is now calling for an automatic rent reduction as soon as the reference interest rate falls. So far, according to the survey, this has only happened in six percent of cases. Imboden says: “Although the reference interest rate applicable to rents has fallen eight times in a row, in reality rents have risen. So it needs an automatism. »

Homeowners 'Association warns of automatic rent increases

The homeowners' association (HEV) opposes that with an automatic mechanism there would also be an adjustment in the event of an increase in the reference interest rate. In many cases, landlords have so far waived such increases. In addition, not only the reference interest rate, but also the inflation or changes to the maintenance and operating costs should be taken into account for rent adjustments.

The tenants' association also demands more transparency. He demands that landlords disclose to the new tenants of an apartment what rent their predecessors have paid. This obligation already exists in some cantons such as Zurich, Basel Stadt and Lucerne. In these, the tenants contested the initial rent significantly more often.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teresa@ntelegram.com 1-800-268-7341

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