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Old 07.10.2021, 16:12
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Apartment too small?

Two adults, two kids, we applied for a few 3.5 apartments. Two times they told us the apartment is not big enough for 4 people. Both apartments were around 90m2. What is the formula that says this is too small for a family?


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Old 07.10.2021, 16:25
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Re: Apartment too small?

Usually they say one less room than the number of people, but that doesn't always work out as you've found. I'd say number of bedrooms, depending on the age of the kids: 1 for parents and 1 each for each child. So minimum 4, preferably probably 4.5. If kids are very small, less than 9-10 years of age you might get away with them sharing a bedroom, but the Swiss believe when older they should have their own bedrooms.
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Old 07.10.2021, 16:36
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Re: Apartment too small?

Check this thread https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-...ml#post3348761

You need to look for the Schwyz cantonal law of housing where there's probably a table where the calculation of rooms in the house according to inhabitants is made.
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Old 07.10.2021, 16:52
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Re: Apartment too small?

There isn't any fair housing protection here in Switzerland and you can be rejected for simply having children when applying for an apartment.

Having that amount of people in a small apartment increases the damage potential and also increases the risk of noise complaints from other neighbours. Therefore it would seem natural for a landlord to pick another smaller family who would be a less risky option for them.

Sorry for this, but the housing market is competitive and often unfair ... why not look for a 4 room apartment?
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Old 07.10.2021, 17:00
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Re: Apartment too small?

I just realized the rejection was not by the gemeinde but by a real estate company/landlord, right? If that's the case, Susie-Q is damned right.
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Old 07.10.2021, 17:11
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Re: Apartment too small?

I think so. Me and husband and dog live in a 3.5 room and whilst there is enough room for us, there is not enough room for our stuff (and we don’t have that much). Kids have a lot of stuff.
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Old 07.10.2021, 21:16
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Re: Apartment too small?

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There isn't any fair housing protection here in Switzerland and you can be rejected for simply having children when applying for an apartment.

Having that amount of people in a small apartment increases the damage potential and also increases the risk of noise complaints from other neighbours. Therefore it would seem natural for a landlord to pick another smaller family who would be a less risky option for them.

Sorry for this, but the housing market is competitive and often unfair ... why not look for a 4 room apartment?
I doubt if potential noise complaints would be the issue for them. They may be looking for someone to stay longer term and a family with already 2 children would soon need more space.

I don't know what you do for a living, but if there is a chance that you could be doing any work from home (remember that the Greek alphabet is far from exhausted covid-wise), then a 3.5 room apartment will drive you crazy if you don't have a dedicated space to work.
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Old 07.10.2021, 21:58
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Re: Apartment too small?

We had this issue when renting our apartment - the concern of the landlord was that a) it was not a really nice 'family' apartment and b) we may not stay long as we would want something bigger.


my employer advocated with the landlord - explaining (in Swiss German) that we were choosing the apartment because we needed something low-cost and close to my workplace, and that we considered it a long-term move...



His prejudice was resolved, and now we have an apartment building with three apartments, all with families....total 6 adults and 7 kids in three apartments that 'technically' are 2 bedrooms... The landlord, on handing over the keys - wished my husband a 'happy ten years' in the apartment, and here we still are....ten years + later!



It may be not so much that it's too small, but that your family will grow, and then you may only stay a few years - and whilst there are some landlords that thrive on higher rent, faster turnover, most landlords are very happy to have good tenants for 10+ years.... and lower rental which pays off in the long-term with less renovation cost and no loss of income when there is a changeover.
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Old 08.10.2021, 10:02
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Re: Apartment too small?

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the Swiss believe when older they should have their own bedrooms.
That only applies to foreigners, not to Swiss themselves.

Tom
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Old 08.10.2021, 10:28
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Re: Apartment too small?

At what age do brothers and sisters need separate rooms?
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Old 08.10.2021, 11:02
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Re: Apartment too small?

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At what age do brothers and sisters need separate rooms?
I suppose that's partly a cultural and partly a financial matter. I know a family in Switzerland where the son and the daughter have always shared a room and still do - and they're now in their early 20s. They make it work, with a partition, because they've understood that moving would put a huge financial strain on everyone in the family.
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Old 08.10.2021, 12:22
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Re: Apartment too small?

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That only applies to foreigners, not to Swiss themselves.

Tom
Dude, I only JUST took you off my ignore list, don't blow it


@OP
My understanding was that the number of people should not exceed the number of rooms in total, especially for a landlord who is interested in having their tenants stay for longer. So while it is currently not an issue to have the kids share a room if they are of pre-school age, this may suddenly become one in two or three years.

Even if they are still very young and able to share for many years to come, infants bring other trappings with them, for example prams. My building did not include planning for a space to store your pram near your apartment (or anywhere, nearly), so those with young children usually have theirs in front of the apartment. If there is a fire and we (I'm in the voluntary fire brigade) have to carry someone out or even just get to the upper floors with our fire hoses, we will be pretty much screwed. Or rather, we will have to carry the damn prams out first. Technically, we are breaking fire safety rules by tolerating the prams in the stairway. The owners of the apartments you applied for may have had bad experiences with this and wants to avoid it in future.

Finally, when allocating apartments, landlords who want a life without enraged letters from their tenants tend to pay attention to matching people with similar lifestyles/backgrounds together. If your immediate neighbours are all people without kids, it would not be fair to them (or you, for that matter, because they will complain) to subject them to the inevitable noise and occasional full blown anarchy that comes with having young kids as neighbours (shoutout to the kids who were playing catch in the staircase a few years ago - one of them clearly got so into the game that he confused my door with his own and came pelting into my apartment, frightning the hell out of me and the cats. RIP the mug I was holding at the time.).

It's hard to say what the reasoning behind the rejections is, but a landlord can decide freely how many people can live in an apartment at the start of a contract. Which I feel is fair, it is their property after all. I wouldn't want my apartment to be stacked with six people either, the wear and tear on the fittings would be horrendous.
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