The offer, which was first posted online in January 2022, offers a “sharehouse room with a view of the starry evening sky”.
The two-person tent is waterproof and includes an insulating mat, mattress and pillows.
The woman said she offered the tent to help out someone struggling to find somewhere to live in Zurich’s competitive property market.
Ich bin sicher, es lässt sich in Zürich auch irgendwo eine Wohnzimmercouch für 500 Fr. pro Monat mieten. 🤔🥴https://t.co/J4gQR6O64i
— Perica Grašarević (@PGrasarevic) January 26, 2022
“I would like to live with someone else and reduce my rent a bit” the woman said.
“That’s why I came up with the idea of the tent.
“In the city, the situation for those looking for a flat is very difficult. Finding an affordable room is almost impossible.”
The renter will not be confined to the tent and balcony. As part of the deal, the tenant will be allowed shared use of the kitchen, living room and bathroom.
“I realise that it will be a bit difficult to find a tenant in winter. Especially since the balcony is not covered. If someone doesn’t want to move in until spring, that’s fine with me too.”
The woman told Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes that she’d already had a good response to the ad.
“It’s mostly students who think the idea is cool. It’s something different.”
— Sylvain Gardel ❧ (@sylvain_gardel) January 27, 2022
The Zurich Tenant’s Association said the listing is a sign of how far rents have risen in Switzerland’s largest city.
“The fact that in Zurich a tent on a balcony is rented for 500 francs is the shocking result of the rental price drive-up in this city” Walter Angst from the ZTA said.
Angst said the number of subleases is on the rise in Zurich as a result of the affordability crisis.
Is subletting a tent on your balcony against the law?
Legal experts say there is no direct law preventing you from subletting a tent on your balcony, although doing so may run foul of other rules and regulations.
All tenants must ensure their spaces, including balconies, are compliant with health and safety (including fire) protections.
In addition, subletting is only allowed in Zurich with the permission of the landlord.
Swiss subletting law allows someone to sublet their apartment if they are “temporarily unable to use their rental property due to unforeseen circumstances”. This applies to a complete sublet and will however not be the case if they are subletting a room or balcony.
Importantly, in each case the tenant needs to get permission from the landlord in order to do so. Written consent is not a requirement, but will be helpful in the case of a dispute.
The landlord is free to refuse to consent in certain circumstances, for instance if the tenant is believed to be “abusing” the rental contract.