Rent increases due to increase of the reference interest rate

In June 2023, the mortgage reference interest rate in Switzerland was increased from 1.25 to 1.5 per cent. It is expected that the interest rate will be increased again at the beginning of 2024. This will lead to rent increases for many tenants. If you conclude a longer sublease conmtract, consider to take such rent increases into account.

Will your rent also be increased? It is expected that about half of all rents in Switzerland will be increased. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that your rent will be increased if you have benefited from rent reductions in recent years. If this was the case, your owner or management is 'working' with the reference interest rate and will probably increase the rent now.

Increase of additional property expenses 2023

Due to the current situation, the additional property expenses will increase. This affects both, heating costs as well as electricity costs. How much will my additional property expenses increase? We recommend our housing providers to continue to charge an «all-in» rent and to integrate the expected cost increase in the rent.

Our recommendation

[PDF] Increase of additional property expenses

The rent may not be 'abused'

The right rent 'Abused', in this context, means if you make a profit from the sub-lease. In other words, the rent you receive may not exceed your own costs.

But of course you can demand a sum that covers your effective costs. That includes ancillary costs, such as utilities (electricity and water), TV and radio license fee, internet charges, etc, in addition to the gross base rent.

Legally, you can also include a surcharge of up to 20% for furnishings, but we advise customers not to add this surcharge. The reason is that apartment-seekers pay us a brokerage & service fee that, on average, is roughly equivalent to the 20% surcharge for furniture.

The fact is that 60% of our providers demand only their effective costs and about 30% even less than that. Only about 10% ask for a surcharge for furnishings.

We don't publish clearly overpriced apartments.

Use, but not gainful use

The legal background of this provision is that you can «use» the property you rent, but not 'gainfully'. In other words, you may not profit from the property you rent – only the landlord is able to do that.

If you sub-let your apartment at a higher rent than you pay yourself, you are profiting from it. At a correct rental price, however, the apartment is let to the sub-tenant 'for the use of' – and in legal terms, that makes a difference.

Form submission obligation in certain cantons

In these cantons, you are required to submit a form indicating the initial rent. If you fail to do this, you run the risk that the initial rent may be contested and in some cases set by a court.

This can have negative consequences if you are renting the property out for a profit and not merely to cover your costs.


No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information.