I just got confirmation from my building manager that they accepted the reduction of rent that I asked for. Although I’m quite satisfied by the answer, they have been incredibly slow in answering me. They answered more than two months after my request… My base rent goes from 1175 to 1122. This will only start at the next term of my lease, on April 1st. But this means that next year, I’ll save 53 CHF * 9 = 477 CHF. And I’ll save even more the following year since all months will be lower :)
Switzerland reference interest rate
You may not know it, but in Switzerland, rent prices are indexed on a reference interest rate. When the interest rate goes down, you can ask for a reduction of your rent. Unfortunately, this is not an automatic process. You have to ask yourself to your house owner or building managers. On the other hand, you can be sure that if the interest rate rises, it will be an “automatic” process… I believe this should be automatic when the rate decreases since it’s your right to get a reduction of price in that case. Switzerland is very good to the rich people. It makes it easier for them to stay richer ;)
Don’t forget to check if the interest rate decreased since you signed your lease. If you haven’t asked for a reduction in many years, this could be a large reduction! Every year, the number of people who are paying too much is increasing. There are lots of models online for this, such as the calculator from ASLOCA or the one from Comparis.ch. You should really not hesitate doing this, it’s in your rights. They cannot refuse to reduce the rent, it’s in the law. The only reason they would have to refuse would be if they had made improvements to your apartment that would raise its value. And in that case, they have to justify the raise of value of the apartment.
Some people are also afraid to get into trouble with the building manager or the owner if they ask with a reduction of rent. But a building manager cannot put you out just because you ask for a reduction of rent. This is something you are entitled to. There is no reason to give them more money than they should get.
You can find the most recent reference interest rate on the admin.ch website (in French/German/Italian). They are updated every three months. I’ll be sure to let you know if the rate increase in the future. I’ll sure ask for a new reduction of rent if this happens :) And so should you!
Overall, I’ quite happy, this is more than 50 CHF per month saved next year! The rent is often the biggest item in a budget. At least, it is the case in my budget. Therefore, it can be very interesting to reduce it. But, it’s not always possible. If the reference index rate decreases, it is a nice opportunity to cut this large expense!