There's something your landlord probably isn't going to tell you.
The interest rates have fallen in Switzerland and therefore many renters are entitled to a rent decrease. The catch? Unlike rent increases (which have happened to us once already over the last four years) rent decreases don't typically happen automatically (unless you have a really nice landlord).
Please do not let language issues get in the way of your rightful savings like I have been guilty of doing in the past. Here are the basics about what you need to do:
1) Check your lease to see what the national reference rate that your current rent is based from (Hypothekarzinssatz). Our lease, from 2006, shows a rate of 3%, which was later raised in 2008 to 3.5%, which increased our rent a lovely SFr 150/month. The rate has just been lowered to 2.75%, so we should (fingers crossed) be entitled to a nice rent decrease.
2) To qualify for your decrease, you must send a letter by registered mail to the people you rent from. But don't worry, the letter is already written for you. You just need to download it and fill in the blanks. To download your letter, click here. As I understand it, you must send this letter within 30 days and every person listed on your lease must sign it. You can visit the renter's association website for more information by clicking here, where you'll also find the letter available in a Word document.
Here's to trying to save money in Switzerland! Good luck. And if anyone has information on where to find these letters in French, please let me know so I can add the links to help our friends on the other side of the roesti ditch.
Has anyone had success with rent reduction in Switzerland? Please share.