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Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Elderly are warned about fraudulent phone calls. Image by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay

Zurich residents urged to downsize apartments to save on rent; phone scammers target the elderly; and other Swiss news in our roundup on Friday.


Zurich residents who willingly move to smaller flats will save on rent

Switzerland’s largest city has been in the throes of housing shortage for quite a while.

Now a 148-unit development called Accu, which is located in the Oerlikon neighbourhood, is launching a project seeking to remedy this situation.


It is encouraging people who no longer need large accommodations to move into smaller, cheaper dwellings within the same property, leaving their apartments for families who need more space.

"For many tenants, their current apartment is too big due to their changing needs,” according to spokesperson Andreas Kern. "Why don't these people move into smaller apartments if they no longer need all the rooms?"

Anyone who switches flats could save up to 600 francs in rent per month, Kern said.

“With this project-,we want to make a contribution to ensuring that apartments are used on 'needs basis',” he added.

New campaign warns against telephone fraud
Swiss Crime Prevention organisation (PSC), along with cantonal and municipal police forces, have launched a new campaign to alert Switzerland’s population about the increasing fraudulent phone calls.

Officials are urging recipients of suspicious calls — primarily the elderly — not to give any money or divulge personal information to unknown callers. They also recommend notifying the police.The campaign, called “Don’t panic, hang up,” will run until mid-November.

READ ALSO: The common scams foreigners in Switzerland need to be aware of 


Trains will run again in the Gotthard tunnel — but not often
On August 10th, a freight train derailed while passing through the Gotthard base tunnel, causing heavy damage to the tunnel infrastructure and resulting in severe rail traffic disruption. 

Certain passenger trains will start running from this afternoon, but at a reduced speed and frequency, the national rail company, SBB, said in a press release on Thursday. 

Rail traffic will continue to be reduced until December, operating only over the weekend. However, three additional trains will be in service during the autumn holidays.


Ahead next week…
Rents will increase
With the start of October, about 1 million Swiss households — all those whose leases are based on the reference rate — will be hit with a 5-percent rent hike.

The hike was announced in June,  but landlords  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 1st, 2023.

READ ALSO: Why rents in some parts of Switzerland are now set to increase sharply 
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