500 francs a month: Tent on a Zurich balcony advertised as shared housing

500 francs a month: Tent on a Zurich balcony advertised as shared housing

Zurich is well known for its high rental costs and extremely competitive market for rental properties. In response, one tenant has gone a step beyond, subletting a tent on her balcony as shared accommodation for 500 Swiss francs a month.

High rent prices in Zurich blamed for balcony tent room

The property boasts sleeping space for two, with a waterproof roof and insulating mat. Mattresses and pillows are readily available and the renter has access to the kitchen, living room and bathroom. In the description, the tent is described as an "original shared room with a view of the starry sky."

The idea was concocted by Sandra, who lives inside the flat in Zurich’s district 11. “I would like to live with someone else and reduce my rent a bit," she said to 20 minuten, but her 2,5 room apartment is too small for another guest, which is where the tent comes in.

She explained that those looking for a house or apartment in the city itself find it very difficult, especially on a budget. She said that several interested parties have contacted her, but worried that she may struggle to attract a tenant in winter, when temperatures regularly drop below freezing.

Tent room "isn't strictly forbidden"

According to housing lawyer, Beat Rohrer, you can’t just offer a tent on a balcony and call it a living space. However, in terms of rental contracts and housing rights, it isn’t strictly forbidden. So long as basic conditions are met, like hygiene, noise and fire protection, temporary use could be permitted. However, if the balcony tent stays there for a long time, it will have to be approved by the local council (Gemeinde).

Above all, before Sandra can welcome her first tenant to their new alfresco bedroom, Rohrer says she needs the consent of her landlord in order to sublet, otherwise she risks her contract being terminated.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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