Renting For Members

How you can save money on your rented apartment in Switzerland

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
How you can save money on your rented apartment in Switzerland
Cutting your energy consumption can lower your overall housing costs. Photo: Pixabay

Depending on where you live, you could see your rents go up from October. While there is likely not much you can do about this hike, you can nevertheless cut other costs associated with your Swiss apartment.

Looking to move? Find your next rental apartment here.


Many Swiss rents are set to increase from the beginning of October.

After the Federal Housing Administration raised reference rates to 1.50 percent on June 3rd, another hike — this time to 1.75 percent — by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), was also announced.

The BWO's hike concerns tenants whose leases are based on the reference rate — about 54 percent of contracts overall.

READ ALSO: Tenants in Switzerland hit by another blow with rent prices to rise further 

The landlord can only up the rent once a year — either on the specific date mentioned in the lease, or the next possible termination / notice date.

The notice period in Switzerland is typically three months, which means landlords will be able to charge the higher rate from October 2023.

It is not yet known by how much more the rents will rise due to the new reference rate, but it will put further pressure on the tenants already dealing will high costs of living and decline in purchasing power.

While this is certainly not a rosy outlook for tenants, there are ways to cut some of the costs associated with rented apartment.

What this means is that even though you can’t do anything about your rent, and assuming you can’t move to a cheaper place, you can at least try to save on other services to compensate for the hike.

Here are some ways to curb your costs as reported on by the Swiss consumer platform, Moneyland.

Get a roommate

If your dwelling has a spare room which is not in use, you may benefit from having another person live with you.

A flatmate — provided he or she has the financial means, which is the goal of co-tenancy anyway — will have the same obligations as you, that is, share not only the rent, but also the cost of utilities and other services that tenants are responsible for.


Cut your energy consumption

Some rents include charges such as electricity and water consumption, but others don’t. (Read more about this below).

If your apartment falls into the latter category, and if you must pay these charges out of your own pocket (in addition to rent), try to lower your energy consumption and, consequently, your costs.

"The costs of electricity, heating, and hot water have substantial savings potential, in particular during periods of climbing energy prices,” Moneyland said.

If you are not sure how to do this, almost exactly a year ago, the government issued guidelines on how to reduce energy use at a time when shortages were expected due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The feared shortage had not occurred, but these tips are still valid:

READ ALSO: What the Swiss government is asking you to do to save energy

"One difficulty with regards to saving energy costs is that in many apartment houses, these costs are billed collectively for all apartments, rather than individually for each unit," Moneyland pointed out. "Energy bills are simply divided equally between all renters."

However, if you are responsible for these services yourself, you will be better off, as you will only have to pay for the energy that you (rather than your neighbours) consume.

Get a cheaper home Internet plan

Today, practically all people use internet in their homes, so telling you to get rid of it to save money would not be realistic.

However, you may be paying too much for the wi-fi i and migrating to a cheaper plan could lower your monthly expenses.

You can see what internet plans are cheaper either on consumers sites like Moneyland or Comparis.


Pay the security deposit instead of insurance

Landlords in Switzerland usually demand a security deposit equal to as many as three monthly rents.

It is a form of guarantee against damages and other mishaps.

Depending on your rent, a three-month deposit can add up to a tidy sum, and you may be tempted to use another option, the security deposit insurance.

A number of insurance companies offer this option, for an annual fee typically equivalent to 5 percent of the deposit.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about rental deposits in Switzerland

However, according to experts, a security deposit insurance "is generally a poor financial move because you have to pay a premium every year just so your landlord has a guarantee that costs will be covered". You can actually lower your overall housing costs by paying the deposit instead.

So although it's a lot of money to pay in one go, it's better value than the insurance. 


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