Swiss rule out relaxing Airbnb renting rules

Airbnb is a market place for people to worldwide rent and rent out lodging © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

There will be no easing the regulations over subletting - tenants must still seek permission from their landlord every time they want to rent via online platforms like Airbnb, the government has said.

This content was published on March 8, 2019 - 15:03

The government had proposed relaxing the current rental law to allow a general landlord’s permission note to serve as permission to sublet repeatedly over a given period.

It would have ensured that a landlord could only refuse the request if there were good reasons, for example if security could be compromised by an Airbnb profile that reveals too many photos of surrounding apartments.

But on Friday the government said that there had been too much opposition to the planned changes during the consultation process. This included several political parties on the right of the political spectrum. And the hotel industry pointed to unfair competition because sublets would not be subject to the same fire and hygiene standards as hotels.

The political left had been more in favour, as had the Swiss Tenants’ Association, although fears had been raised that there would be fewer affordable flats on the market.

Airbnb has been making inroads into Switzerland, with the number of people renting from the platform in the country tripling in the last three years to more than 900,000.

+ Read more about the winters and losers in the Airbnb boom here

The boom has led some cantons - which mostly handle rental laws as well as business/tourism taxation - to clamp down to ensure that visitor taxes are not lost and that long-term residents are not displaced from city centres.

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