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Old 20.10.2011, 11:44
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Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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!
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Old 20.10.2011, 11:54
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

That's a lost battle, as revolting as it may be. They can discriminate at the latest when they have all the applications. Market economy, supply, demand, shortage of housing... you name it.
And when they sey Swiss only, they may have in mind a different target than your national/racial/socioeconomic group. And discrimination goes many directions... one day you are victim of it, next day you may be prefered to another application because they discriminate the other one(s).

Ethically never ending dilemma, I admit.
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:08
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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!
Welcome to Switzerland. Foreigners always want to get out of their contracts early, I am really not surprised.

Generally if you have a C permit there will not be an issue.
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:08
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

If you're a landlord in the UK, for example, and you place in your advert "No Swiss", you'll get prosecuted. Obviously, what you do is get all the applications and turn down the Swiss who apply.

Of course the battle is already lost, the question is, is it legal in CH to actually say on your adverts "Only Swiss"?
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:28
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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!
This is a country where putting personal information like your age, whether you are married, how many kids etc on your CV is encouraged - whereas in the UK, you can be sued as an employer if you are perceived to ask it in a discriminatory way.

What do you think?
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:31
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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If you're a landlord in the UK, for example, and you place in your advert "No Swiss", you'll get prosecuted. Obviously, what you do is get all the applications and turn down the Swiss who apply.

Of course the battle is already lost, the question is, is it legal in CH to actually say on your adverts "Only Swiss"?
Yes exactly- i am just surprised to see discrimination so upfront in black and white. As far as I can find out on the Internet, as long as the Landlord lives in the same building they can advertise for whoever they like.
It just feels like there should be another check box when selecting your price-range, sqm, location, ....

Last edited by ibk; 20.10.2011 at 12:32. Reason: enter quote
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:41
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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If you're a landlord in the UK, for example, and you place in your advert "No Swiss", you'll get prosecuted. Obviously, what you do is get all the applications and turn down the Swiss who apply.

Of course the battle is already lost, the question is, is it legal in CH to actually say on your adverts "Only Swiss"?
I think if you put "No English" in an advert here, the same will happen. The advert is asking for Swiss people only but that doesn't exclude foreigners or any particular race or gender. They just need Swiss citizenship. At least that's how I understood it.

It's probably badly worded and would probably have been less inflammatory if it had said "Only permanent residents in Switzerland need apply" or similar.
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:48
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

Even if it is illegal, who are we to contest it? We can't even speak the bleeding language!
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:52
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

But why would somebody only want someone with a Swiss Residence Permit?

It is interesting to differentiate between discrimination or personal preference.

If we imagine we owned the current building we live in and we had the flat underneath ours free to rent out- who would we choose and who would we choose against?

I have to admit, i would say our building is so old and insulation is minimum so i would prefer no babies or children living underneath me- is that discrimination too?

I would also prefer a non-smoker and quiet people....
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:54
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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That's a lost battle, as revolting as it may be. They can discriminate at the latest when they have all the applications. Market economy, supply, demand, shortage of housing... you name it.
And when they sey Swiss only, they may have in mind a different target than your national/racial/socioeconomic group. And discrimination goes many directions... one day you are victim of it, next day you may be prefered to another application because they discriminate the other one(s).

Ethically never ending dilemma, I admit.
Yep, in my house they are officially interested in obtaining and retaining a certain balance of old people vs. young people, Swiss vs foreigners. single people vs. families etc. So that means that if you fit into a certain category you may have a better chance of getting it. The discrimination can go one way once and the other way the next time.
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:55
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

Well, I guess it's saving everyone some trouble - if you apply when you don't have a chance anyway, it wastes your time and that of the people looking at the forms. Someone who is Swiss is probably easier to chase when it comes to late rent or damages to the property as opposed to someone who may leave the country again in six months. There is less bother with all the house rules as most Swiss (some anti-social twits excluded) are already perfectly familiar with them. And then there is the issue of housing shortages, where many Swiss people feel that they are being crowded out by foreigners. Somehow all my expat work colleagues live in the best areas of Zurich, in lovely apartments, so the discrimination can't be that bad. At least not for the higher salary echelons.
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Old 20.10.2011, 13:04
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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But why would somebody only want someone with a Swiss Residence Permit?

It is interesting to differentiate between discrimination or personal preference.

If we imagine we owned the current building we live in and we had the flat underneath ours free to rent out- who would we choose and who would we choose against?

I have to admit, i would say our building is so old and insulation is minimum so i would prefer no babies or children living underneath me- is that discrimination too?

I would also prefer a non-smoker and quiet people....
Whatever criteria a landlord chooses a new resident over the other applicants is going to involve some discrimination to a certain extent. He might just not like the look of someone for whatever reason, maybe an applicant reminds him of an ex girlfriend that did the dirty on him or a teacher that was nasty to him as a kid.

Someone might drop into the conversation that they like hunting and the landlord might be a veggie. Or the fact they like Heavy Metal music might throw up a red flag. Who knows?

Isn't that also discrimination?
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Old 20.10.2011, 13:04
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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But why would somebody only want someone with a Swiss Residence Permit?
Errr yeah! This is exactly why it's discrimination!
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Old 20.10.2011, 13:06
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

Will you find it also a save of time if it was written: White Only?
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Old 20.10.2011, 13:08
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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Will you find it also a save of time if it was written: White Only?
Are you saying that all Swiss people are white?

I should tell my husband's non-white work colleague that he isn't Swiss in that case.
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Old 20.10.2011, 13:09
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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Will you find it also a save of time if it was written: White Only?
Nil, I really think this is about culture, not race, as well as the issue of "accountability". A Swiss person can bring a Betreibungsregisterauszug, which someone from abroad can't, a Swiss person is more likely to stay in the place for a while, while a foreigner may go back home suddenly, etc.
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Old 20.10.2011, 13:18
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

Of course not, Nil, but fact is, the adds don't say "Inferior races excluded" but just some formulation with "Swiss" in it.
The flat I am presently living in was adverted for Swiss residents. Ambiguous language, but it just obviously just meant that they wanted long term tenants only, otherwise, Iwouln't be linving here.
One will never know what they want anyway, and from what I've seen around me, the real difference is L/B permits on one side and Cpermits/Swiss passport on the other side. But I am not saying there are no racists.

One can be discriminated for so many reasons: skin colour, gay, single male, family etc. it's all contradictory and I wouldn't be surprised if there were also people targetting foreigners only for some obscure reasons.

All in all, it's not nice to feel discriminated, but even as white male, I've had my share of discriminations. It may be the first time for some of you, I understand that it must be quite a shock. I had that shock at the age of 10. I am over it now. I am sure women, dark skinned, people with overweight, gays, red haired, muslims in Europe and perhaps even Jews will know what I mean.
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Old 20.10.2011, 13:19
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

The point is that, if the landlord only wanna get Swiss people into his property, he does not have to publish it in the ad. Just get the applications and then drop into the trash those of non-Swiss.

I think the goal of those ads is very different than what you pointed out. The goal is that, if in the add it is written "Only Swiss" Swiss people who don't like Ausländers are gonna see it and will think that advertisment is advertising a better property, a more high quality one, and thus better place to live.... call it as you want.

It's just a part of the ad. I could also say "Only beautiful people" or "only smiling people" or "only washed people" or "beautiful views to the lake" .

It is just a point to add to the property to raise its market value face to a particular target group, Swiss citizens.
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Old 20.10.2011, 13:20
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Re: Is it legal to advertise a flat only for a "Swiss" national?

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Nil, I really think this is about culture, not race, as well as the issue of "accountability". A Swiss person can bring a Betreibungsregisterauszug, which someone from abroad can't...
Also applies to a C-permit holder.

Still no answer though. Regardless of the ethics, the purpose, the desirability, and the obvious fact that making any decision is "discrimination", is it legal to specify "Swiss Only"?
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Old 20.10.2011, 13:21
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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!
You might consider it discriminate BUT would you not prefer to read the advert and know that you are wasting your time viewing an apartment that the landlord wouldn't rent to you anyway.
I actually think that being upfront is much better.

On my experience of being a Landlord, I have to say that foreigners seem to be worse than the Swiss locals when it comes to renting in respect of keeping to the terms of the contract and I could even argue tidiness.
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