Demand a rent reduction now
Richard Eisler is the
CEO of comparis.ch
01 June 2012 - Living
The Federal Housing Department informed that the mortgage reference interest rate dropped to 2.25 percent. The Federal Housing Department calculates the interest rate every quarter. The reference interest rate is based on the average interest rate for mortgages. It is determined by commercial rounding onto the next quarter of a percent.
The rents are based on the reference interest rate: however, the rents generally do not drop automatically. According to a survey by comparis.ch in May 2012, it is only a minority of tenants who benefit from the lower reference interest rate. Therefore it is now worthwhile to check the rents in the tenancy contract. In order to do so, the rent calculator by comparis.ch can be used. If the rent is higher than the current reference interest rate, the tenant can send a written demand for reduction to his/her landlord. This can be done quickly and easily with the following sample letter. For reasons of proof it is best sent as a registered letter. The landlord has to answer within 30 days. If he/she does not do so or refuses with no justifiable reason, the tenant can turn to the tenancy arbitration board.
By the way: a rent adjustment based on the reference interest rate is worthwhile. If the rent is based on a reference interest rate of 3.5 percent – which was the case three years ago – the rent would have to be reduced by over 10 percent today (other factors such as inflation adjustment are not taken into consideration).