Smokers banned from new Zurich apartment block

Smokers banned from new Zurich apartment block
File photo: Flickr
A housing cooperative in Zurich is renting out 40 new apartments to tenants who sign an undertaking never to smoke – even on the balcony.

It is the first time a cooperative has specifically banned smokers, the Tages-Anzeiger reported.

24 heures said the move was a first in Switzerland.

The completely renovated apartments are being rented out by the Schönheim housing association (BGS).

Of the 90 apartments with between 2.5 and five rooms, 40 are in a block reserved for non-smokers.

The ban covers not just the apartment itself, but also the stairwell, balcony and garage.

Rolando Verardo, BGS chairman, said there had been massive interest in the properties situated in Eyhof in Albisrieden.

“We could easily have built and rented out three blocks like this,” he told the paper.

Verardo said there was no intention to discriminate against smokers. However, conflicts between smokers and non-smokers had often arisen in the past.

He said the smoke-free house was a new approach to resolve the problem.

All tenants sign an agreement not to smoke, and risk having the tenancy contract annulled if they break it.

The Zurich tenants’ association has criticized the new housing model as an attack on tenants’ lifestyle choices.

Head of communication Walter Angst said a line had to be drawn or else particular groups of renters – for instance those with children – could in future find themselves excluded from parts of the housing market.

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