connect, grow & thrive.

Renters Rejoice. Your rent just got cheaper!

The goverment has once again decided to lower the interest reference rate to a record 1.25% for mortgage holders; this means that you are entitled to have your rent lowered (for the 4th time in 8 years). When you signed your rental agreement an interest reference rate was written in the contract (probably somewhere around 2%) and over the last 8 years this has been continuously lowered. Although the landlord should have lowered the rent, it actually  is up to you the renter to make sure that this is being followed through.

Not all rental properties will qualify for the reduction, however. Indexed and state-subsidized rentals are not subject to the reference rate. Private property owners may also not yet be aware of the change.  It could be the case too that the landlord does not pass on savings due to increased maintenance and operating costs, but these claims can be further verified and disputed. Usually the lower rate is due to take effect on the next month when you could technically resign, this could be monthly or quarterly, check your contract to find out.

You can calculate how much your rent should be lowered by here.

The first thing you will need to do is write a letter to the landlord/rental agency asking them to lower the rent. In the letter you should ask for a reply to be sent within thirty days with full clarification of the benefits you will receive. Don’t be afraid to do this because property owners and agencies are not obliged to inform or automatically pass on the savings. Should they try to find an excuse not to do lower the rent then I would highly recommend you contact the mietverband as they deal with this issue regularly.

Here is a template for you to download here.

You can find more information about this issue on their website.

As an example someone paying CHF 2000.- monthly rate could be making savings of up to CHF 720.- per year.

Happy days!

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.