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  #41  
Old 20.10.2011, 15:29
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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I see what you're saying here. But there's a big difference between someone's taste in music or extracurricular activities and factors that they can't control for such as their nationality and skin color.
And how is skin colour relevant to this thread, or do you also believe there are no non-white Swiss?

The advert asked for "A Swiss" not "A White Person" or are we so desperate to turn this into yet another thread about racism in Switzerland?
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  #42  
Old 20.10.2011, 15:57
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

I do not believe it is illegal in Switzerland to advertise as such. Neither does it stop you applying, but you know up front you are probably wasting your time. It is often reported in UK about shortage of housing, One wonders if people could be more up-front about who they prefer or dont prefer if that would still be the case?
Something we used to have in UK years ago that almost seems to have vanished is the word "Lodgers" that implies the person is renting a room (s)in one's own house home. I knew an Irish Woman who used to advertise for Irish Male Lodgers, - why because she could understand their pecularities better than other nationals. I remember her saying once a black man came to her door once and how bad she felt about turning him away, why because of her being Irish she understood prejudices, then later she found a black woman, friend, who only wanted to let to black men for similar reason, so if it happened to her again, she could point them in her direction.
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  #43  
Old 20.10.2011, 15:58
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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I keep coming across adverts for apartments available to rent to Swiss- is this not discrimination? Is there not a law such as the Fair Hosuing Act or such in Switzerland? I'm surprised!
I suspect that many Swiss would laugh at the concept. They'd argue that if they own the apartment they have every right to choose who to rent it to.

In the UK you have a ridiculous situation where you're not allowed to _advertise_ for a particular preference, but there's absolutely nothing to stop you choosing a tenant on whatever grounds you like. Here thy just cut the process short, so avoiding the hassle of seeing people they won't rent to anyway.

Is it right? Or fair? I don't know, but the whole housing system here is so different from the UK or the US that any comparisons are generally a waste of time.

Last edited by Guest; 20.10.2011 at 18:19.
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  #44  
Old 20.10.2011, 16:13
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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...In the UK you have a ridiculous situation where you're not allowed to _advertise_ for a particular preference, but there's absolutely nothing to stop you choosing a tenant on whatever grounds you like. ..
Well there is. If it can be shown, on the balance of probablities that you denied someone because of their ethnicity, national origin, nationality or sexuality, then you risk being fined. It's a civil offence. The only exceptions are if you're offering a room in your own home to a lodger, or you're selling your house privately, without the assistance of an estate agent.
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  #45  
Old 20.10.2011, 16:33
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

Such (regrettable) housing postings are clearly not illegal in Switzerland (if they are de jure, then not de facto). This is also the case in much of continental Europe. It's possible that these ads just mean "undesirable" foreigners, but then you have to weigh if you want to reward such a landlord with your business.

That's how I ended up living in the sketchiest apartment ever in Rome in the mid 90s. Almost all of the ads in the newspaper said something like, "Foreigners need not apply." So, I ignored those ads and ended up living in a mostly northern African immigrant neighborhood in Rome where I didn't feel comfortable coming home after 9pm. (There would be be sketchy groups of guys only standing around watching you and whispering in Arabic in the evenings.)

Years later, when I would tell this story to Italians, they would say, but those ads didn't mean you. They just didn't want the northern Africans or eastern europeans. It's definitely a different way of thinking about things.
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  #46  
Old 20.10.2011, 16:54
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

Well sadly it is not illegal here. It does not mean it is good practice, but it is accepted by the Swiss (not all, I am Swiss but I have spent years in the UK).

That being said in the UK you can discriminate against smokers, children, dogs and people on benefits, which is not great ethically either...
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  #47  
Old 20.10.2011, 17:30
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

Discriminating against smokers and dog owners is definitely not unethical. Not all forms of discrimination are wrong.
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  #48  
Old 20.10.2011, 18:04
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With the carbon footprint of dogs, you could argue that it would be unethical not to discriminate against them! now were was that eat your pets article...
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  #49  
Old 21.10.2011, 08:25
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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In the UK you have a ridiculous situation where you're not allowed to _advertise_ for a particular preference, but there's absolutely nothing to stop you choosing a tenant on whatever grounds you like. Here thy just cut the process short, so avoiding the hassle of seeing people they won't rent to anyway.

Is it right? Or fair? I don't know, but the whole housing system here is so different from the UK or the US that any comparisons are generally a waste of time.
And from what I understand that applies to employers employing people.
In Switzerland the agencies appear to specify age and even "attractive" and "Swiss" in their advertisements.

In my opinion employers should have the prerogative to choose who they want in their employment.
If one was running a model agency, one would not want a fat ugly old person working at reception because that could be the wrong perception of the business.
If one was selling afro hair products, one would probably want a black african sales person that could relate to the products better than a straight haired white.

Back to renting apartments, a lot of smaller buildings are occupied by the owner like myself and I prefer to receive less rent than I could get but have no dogs barking, cats getting trapped in the hallways and excreting and screaming kids. You then get a type of tenant that all tenants can exist in harmony with.
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  #50  
Old 21.10.2011, 08:31
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

We had a similiar thread but on service in a bar ( allegedly ) and it would appear that protected grounds do not include age and doubtful if it includes nationality ( under ethnic origin ):

Allegedly, locals only admitted at Talacker bar in Zurich!!!

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Art. 261bis 1

Racial discrimination

Any person who publicly incites hatred or discrimination against a person or a group of persons on the grounds of their race, ethnic origin or religion, any person who publicly disseminates ideologies that have as their object the systematic denigration or defamation of the members of a race, ethnic group or religion,

any person who with the same objective organises, encourages or participates in propaganda campaigns,

any person who publicly denigrates or discriminates against another or a group of persons on the grounds of their race, ethnic origin or religion in a manner that violates human dignity, whether verbally, in writing or pictorially, by using gestures, through acts of aggression or by other means, or any person who on any of these grounds denies, trivialises or seeks justification for genocide or other crimes against humanity,

any person who refuses to provide a service to another on the grounds of that person’s race, ethnic origin or religion when that service is intended to be provided to the general public,

shall be liable to a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or to a monetary penalty.
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