Tent for rent on Zurich apartment balcony costs CHF500

A woman in the Swiss city of Zurich has offered to sublet a tent on her balcony for CHF500 (€481, $537) per month.

A man works on a laptop inside a tent
Just look how cosy and comfortable you could be in your tent on a Zurich apartment balcony. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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. 

“I would like to live with someone else and reduce my rent a bit” the woman said. 

Cost of living in Switzerland: How to save money if you live in Zurich

“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.”

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. 

EXPLAINED: Can I rent my apartment on Airbnb in Zurich and what are the rules?

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.

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Zurich approves simplified path to Swiss citizenship

Voters in Switzerland’s most populous canton on Sunday approved a proposal which will make it easier for foreigners to get Swiss citizenship.

Zurich approves simplified path to Swiss citizenship

The vote passed with 69.1 percent support, making it the most popular of the four initiatives put to the polls. 

Around 350,000 foreigners live in Zurich, which is roughly one quarter of the population – although the percentage is as high as 50 percent in some municipalities. 

The successful proposal called for Zurich’s naturalisation process, including the citizenship exam, to be made uniform across all 162 municipalities. 

The questions in the exam will now be centralised on a cantonal level. 

The test will include 350 questions about Swiss history, tradition, politics and culture, with a focus on Zurich. 

Anyone taking the test will be given 50 questions at random and must answer at least 30 correctly to pass. 

More information about the citizenship process in Zurich can be found at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: How Zurich wants to make naturalisation easier

What else was decided on Sunday? 

Voters in Zurich also decided to reject a proposal to lower the voting age to 16, with 64.1 percent saying ‘nein’ to the proposal. 

A proposal to provide for more parental leave – and even up gender imbalances between fathers and mothers – was also rejected. 

Finally, voters supported law changes which sought to enshrine Zurich’s climate change goals in the cantonal constitution. 

A detailed breakdown of the vote can be seen here.