Thursday’s court decision came after the landlord brought a case against his tenant for subletting the apartment on Airbnb without permission, 20 Minutes reported.
In October 2015 the man moved into the Zurich apartment for which he would pay a fixed monthly rent of 3,000 francs.
When he signed the contract, the man neglected to tell the apartment’s owner that he intended to put the flat on online rental platform Airbnb.
The owner got wind of what the tenant was doing by accident and was particularly dismayed to find out that he was charging a higher rent than he was paying himself, according to 20 Minutes.
In its judgement the court stressed that the rules concerning subletting are applicable to Airbnb rentals.
And in this particular case other people living in the apartment building had been bothered by the behaviour of the Airbnb customers.
The judge ruled that the tenant should pay the owner 1,620 francs, the amount of profit he made subletting the flat.
Subletting is legal in Switzerland with the landlord’s consent. But that consent may be refused if the tenant doesn’t tell the landlord the terms of the sub-lease, if those terms disadvantage the landlord or they are unfair in comparison to the principal lease.
According to sublet portal Ums.ch, subletting is almost always problem-free as long as the sub-lease rental income isn’t higher than the amount the principal tenant pays to the landlord.
“Greater risks apply if you are subletting your apartment for profit or renting it out to tourist by the day,” it says.
As in the Zurich case, tenants can be ordered to repay profits gained through subletting if they charge excessive fees.