- SwissCommunity news
In Switzerland, 58 out of 100 people live in rented flats. This figure quoted in the “Swiss Review” 4/2022 led many readers to suspect that the resulting lack of freedom and discontent in daily life must be enormous. We researched and discovered that 11,000 complaints were settled in 2021 – because of a barking dog, a smoking barbecue or a noisy neighbour. That’s 30 grievances per day nationwide out of over five million tenants. We feel it’s safe to say that on the whole, Swiss tenants get on very well.
We very much welcome your comments on revue.ch. You can also share your opinions on the community discussion forum of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA). Link to the SwissCommunity discussion forum: members.swisscommunity.org/forum
“Wealthy Switzerland is a country of tenants”
Great article! I’ve often wondered why there are so many renters in Switzerland. The observation that a high proportion of renters is an indication of wealth (rather than the opposite) is particularly interesting. I previously lived in the US and UK, where state pensions are small and home ownership is important for a comfortable retirement.
Poor, rich Swiss. Always living with one foot on the street should the rent contract be terminated or the rent raised once again. Constant pressure not to offend the landlady, let alone demand a reduction in rent. And to top it off, there’s the horror story of the shared washing machine – yikes!
High renting population is an idea to keep the people at a certain level of abnormality. Owning your house does give the owner a sense of financial rest and the Swiss government and banks have made it so impossible for labourers to be able to afford their own homes. It is so wrong.
No wonder so many Swiss have difficulties when they reach retirement age since they have to pay a large portion of their pension to landlords. In the US, retired seniors have paid off their mortgage and are enjoying life.
Switzerland is very densely populated, so the price of land is also tremendously high. That’s why high-density living makes sense. It’s difficult to draw comparisons with other countries. Many people can’t or don’t want to take on over a million francs of debt to own their own home. Renting is a good option in Switzerland.
The psychological state of Swiss tenants is also relevant. How do tenants feel about coming home late at night and not even being allowed to take a shower? I had to go to the USA to be able to experience real freedom, and a large part of that is linked to home ownership.
Almost all of us emigrants own a beautiful detached house with a garden and would be completely unhappy back in Switzerland!
Swiss state pension – still a work in progress
Based on my experience of how pensions and retirement schemes work in my country of residence, I believe raising the retirement age is essential. This is the only way to ensure that young people are able to have an adequate pension.
Finally, Switzerland is at least talking about paying out a 13th month of AHV pension. This has long been standard practice in other EU countries. At the moment, I can still live reasonably well with my pension in Spain – but that’s why I had to leave Switzerland.
In my opinion, the penalties on OASI pensions for couples need to be abolished (abolish the penalties, not the pensions). Today, there are undoubtedly more non-married people living together and who each have access to a full pension!
Pensioners are struggling to get by on their pensions. The reasons are the same in all countries: not enough income because salaries (and therefore the contribution amounts) don’t evolve much, pensioners are living for longer, and the number and amount of fixed costs never stop growing.
The top job – on the Jungfraujoch
I got goosebumps while going through the story. I wish I were there at their place. Something really thrilling, adventurous and truly a place to work at. I seriously wish to experience the same in reality.