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COST OF LIVING

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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FOOD & DRINK

REVEALED: Which city has Switzerland’s cheapest beer?

Anyone looking for a cheap pint in Switzerland is likely to struggle no matter where they are, but there are still good deals to be had for a cold, frosty one.

REVEALED: Which city has Switzerland’s cheapest beer?

Some research carried out in Switzerland is more important to consumers than others.  

This one definitely fits under the ‘news you can use’ category.

A recent survey conducted by consumer website Hellosafe compared the price of a half a litre of beer in 29 cities in different cantons.

The prices come from 2022 and have incorporated recent spikes in cost for beer producers. 

READ MORE: Seven beers to try in Switzerland

Where is Switzerland’s cheapest beer? 

The study found that one of the cheapest pints, at 5.22 francs, can be had in Aarau, followed by Bern  (5.92).

While it is one of the world’s most expensive cities, a big mug of beer in Zurich costs “only”  6.96 francs, four cents less than in another relatively inexpensive location, the Valais capital of Sion.

Where is Switzerland’s most expensive pint of beer? 

Beer lovers in the west of Switzerland would be better off sticking to wine, with French-speaking Switzerland charging the most when it comes to beer anywhere in the country. 

The priciest half-litres are in Geneva (7.72 francs) and Lausanne (7.96).

Reader question: Can you drink in public in Switzerland?

Next on the list are Basel and Davos, which may appear to have very little in common with each other besides beer costing CHF7.03 per pint. 


What does the future hold? 

The study also looked ahead at how the war in Ukraine is likely to increase the cost of cereals used to manufacture beer, impacting the price of the end product.

Grain prices in Switzerland are expected to rise by 4 percent per tonne by the end of 2022, which will see price increases in several parts of the country. 

Accordingly, the price of a pint in Lausanne could increase by 32 cents and reach CHF 8.28. 

If Hellosafe’s estimates are correct, then the price of beer will increase the least in Olten, Langenthal, Chur and Arbon.

Beer in Switzerland

While Switzerland may be known internationally more for wine, beer has seen a strong surge in interest in recent years – particularly since the pandemic. 

Switzerland now boasts the highest density of breweries anywhere in Europe, with the Covid crisis a major factor in transforming the country into a beer hub. 

READ MORE: How the Covid crisis led to a boom in Swiss beer production

In 2020, 80 new breweries were established in Switzerland. 

Switzerland now has 1,212 breweries – which gives it a higher ratio of breweries to people than any of the other big brewing nations in Europe, including Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Belgium. 

Just ten years ago, Switzerland had only 246 breweries, while in 1990 there were only 32 breweries in the entire country, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports. 

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