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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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ZURICH

‘We are fully booked’: Over 800 Zurich residents volunteer to try out new jail

A new prison in the west of Zurich has been inundated with responses from people wanting to stay the night.

'We are fully booked': Over 800 Zurich residents volunteer to try out new jail

As we wrote recently, the new Zurich West prison has put out a call for local volunteers to spend several nights in the 241-place jail to test it out before it accepts actual prisoners.

So far, 832 people who presumably have nothing more pressing to do have volunteered to be imprisoned for several days without access to the internet or phones. Because, why not?

The registration closed on Sunday, February 13th. 

READ MORE: New Zurich jail calls for volunteers to serve time

“You could say we are fully booked” a spokesperson for the prison told Swiss media

The dress rehearsal, as it were, will take place between March 24th and 27th in conditions that will be as close as possible to reality. 

This means participants must hand in their mobile phones and other devices at the entrance.

Different dietary requirements can be catered to, although only vegetarian, Halal and non-vegetarian options are on offer. No last meals will be served. 

On the other hand, the body search will be carried out only on those who consent.

In addition, a keyword will be agreed upon, with which the fake convicts will be able to signal that they have had enough of isolation.

The selection process of candidates is about to begin, though given that four times as many people have applied as there are open spots “there probably won’t be room for everyone,” in the new prison, said a spokesperson the Department of Execution of Sentences and Reinstatement.

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

‘There are only winners in this situation’

Prison officials have extolled the virtues of the program, saying people can get a real idea of how it feels to be in prison – without having to commit a crime. 

“There are only winners in this test operation. As a participant, you can experience in a safe environment how it might feel for a real arrested person to suddenly be locked up.” 

“Make your own comparison between fiction from various series and reality in Switzerland.”

 

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