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-   -   interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction [Referenzzinssatz] (https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-general/52854-interest-rate-reduction-possible-rent-reduction-referenzzinssatz.html)

jot 08.06.2009 14:16

interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction [Referenzzinssatz]
 
Hi,

not sure if this has already been posted elsewhere or if this is the most appropriate section, anyhow... I got this information in the post this morning from the Zurich Mieterverband, of which I am a member, and thought it might interest some of you:

On 2nd June, the Federal Housing Office (Bundesamt für Wohnungswesen) announced the reduction in the reference interest rate from 3.5 to 3.25%. This means that many tenants* have the right to a reduction of up to 3% in their net rent.

However, most likely you will not be given this rent reduction automatically, but have to request it!

This is currently the first news item listed on the Zurich Mieterverband website, but from what I understand this is Switzerland wide, not just limited to Zurich (other areas are listed on the start page).

If you want to request a rent reduction according to the interest rate drop, you have to do this in writing and abide by the official notice periods as stated in your rental contract - the reduction can only take effect from that date (i.e. if your next official notice date (Kündigungstermin) is 1st October, with a 3 month notice period, you have to send the letter by recorded delivery (Eingeschrieben) by the end of this month for the reduction to take effect from 1st October).

The reduction won't be huge, but if you want to do this, there is a template letter for you to fill in the blanks (name, address, dates) to send to your landlord/agency here.


* There is also a disclaimer in the notes along the lines of 'if the last time your rent was adjusted due to interest rates is between June 2003 and December 2007, then you won't be entitled to a reduction, because the rate then was lower (fell from 3.25 to 3% during this time).' You're only entitled to a reduction if your current rent is based on the 3.5% rate. If you're not sure, it doesn't hurt to ask.

mabern 08.06.2009 14:32

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
Ours was highered last year with a promise to lower it again if the rate changed again. I suppose some owners are less generous and need to be reminded.

Nathu 08.06.2009 22:11

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
The national reference interest rate was only introduced in September 2008. If you signed your contract back then or later, it does qualify in principle, as I understand it. The same applies if your rent was increased after that date to bring it in line with the national reference interest rate.

Long time tenants have to check their contract or latest adjustment letter to research if their current rent is based on an interest rate over 3.25%. (e.g. if it is a 4% reference rate even, the mathematical reduction is 8.26% of the rent)

The reduction is influenced by inflation (which hovewer in the most recent quarters has been low or even negative) - I assume this is a rather small influence. The reduction can also be lowered if the landlord can prove that maintenance costs have increased.

Most tenants probably have to take action themselves to get the reduction. Livit for example has stated that no rents will be adjusted automatically (source).

Nelly_Da_Hefferlump 08.06.2009 22:25

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jot (Post 471370)
Hi,

not sure if this has already been posted elsewhere or if this is the most appropriate section, anyhow... I got this information in the post this morning from the Zurich Mieterverband, of which I am a member, and thought it might interest some of you:

On 2nd June, the Federal Housing Office (Bundesamt für Wohnungswesen) announced the reduction in the reference interest rate from 3.5 to 3.25%. This means that many tenants* have the right to a reduction of up to 3% in their net rent.

However, most likely you will not be given this rent reduction automatically, but have to request it!

This is currently the first news item listed on the Zurich Mieterverband website, but from what I understand this is Switzerland wide, not just limited to Zurich (other areas are listed on the start page).

If you want to request a rent reduction according to the interest rate drop, you have to do this in writing and abide by the official notice periods as stated in your rental contract - the reduction can only take effect from that date (i.e. if your next official notice date (Kündigungstermin) is 1st October, with a 3 month notice period, you have to send the letter by recorded delivery (Eingeschrieben) by the end of this month for the reduction to take effect from 1st October).

The reduction won't be huge, but if you want to do this, there is a template letter for you to fill in the blanks (name, address, dates) to send to your landlord/agency here.


* There is also a disclaimer in the notes along the lines of 'if the last time your rent was adjusted due to interest rates is between June 2003 and December 2007, then you won't be entitled to a reduction, because the rate then was lower (fell from 3.25 to 3% during this time).' You're only entitled to a reduction if your current rent is based on the 3.5% rate. If you're not sure, it doesn't hurt to ask.

I signed a lease for our apartment starting from 1 April this year. Would I be entitled to this drop in rate too? :msnblush:

Nathu 08.06.2009 22:40

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
According to jot's link to the Zurich Mieterverband, yes.

z5w_6y.q8 08.06.2009 22:49

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
Do you send this application to the firm handling the rental property (Livit, Vertit, etc.) or the owner of the property?

Nathu 08.06.2009 23:50

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
According to the Zurich renter's association draft letter, you send it to the administration (e.g. Livit).

bill_door 08.06.2009 23:53

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by z5w_6y.q8 (Post 471782)
Do you send this application to the firm handling the rental property (Livit, Vertit, etc.) or the owner of the property?

yes to the handler if there is one and direct to landlord if not.

ydyzzm 24.06.2009 17:47

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
Can anybody kindly have a template letter in French?
Thanks!

Quote:

Originally Posted by jot (Post 471370)
The reduction won't be huge, but if you want to do this, there is a template letter for you to fill in the blanks (name, address, dates) to send to your landlord/agency here.


carcharhinus 24.06.2009 23:06

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nelly_Da_Hefferlump (Post 471765)
I signed a lease for our apartment starting from 1 April this year. Would I be entitled to this drop in rate too? :msnblush:

Yes, starting from the first lease termination date as defined in your leasing agreement.

Martin

kzs 24.06.2009 23:15

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
It's interesting: I moved to CH and rented an apartment from May this year - I agreed to a minimum rent duration until October 2010 (I plan to stay long term): and the the surprise, yesterday I received a note from my agency / landlord, that my rent will go down from October 1st...

Needless to say, it's a pleasant surprise (even thoug it's only ca 2% reduction), because I figured I wouldn't have a chance asking for reduction, due to being such a new renter and having agreed a longer minimum term... Go figure :)

Guest 13.07.2009 22:56

Rents going DOWN?
 
Hi folks

We rented an apartment recently, signing the lease about 2 months ago. At the time it was explained to us that the rent would increase automatically with the thingummyjig index (not sure exactly what it's called ... renting index?), but also that it would be decreased if the index decreases -- but ONLY if we apply for a decrease.

Does anyone know where I can track this index on line? Also, any advice or comments about rental decreases due to moves in the index -- has anyone experienced this?

Many thanks!

Nathu 13.07.2009 23:04

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
You can track it here:

http://www.bwo.admin.ch/themen/mietr...285/index.html

Guest 13.07.2009 23:16

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nathu (Post 494894)

Many thanks, Nathu, and thanks for moving my post to the right place.

Scoobysue 14.07.2009 08:36

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
I think I got this reduction, without even asking! Well, I got a letter saying my rent would go down from 1 November - I know that because it was the numbers bit. As to the rest of the letter, presumably explaining what happened and why, I'll wait till I can get someone to translate for me.

Common sense says it's got to be related to this interest rate thing but I'll have someone check the letter just in case it says 'and we promised your soul to satan'!

kaye_nd 16.07.2009 01:27

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
Hi,

I just received a letter from my agent informing me that the rent reduction will take effect from 1. April 2010 :confused:. Given that I started my tenancy on 1 Jan 2009 based on minimum 1 year contract, is this effective date correct?

Guest 16.07.2009 09:39

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kaye_nd (Post 496741)
Hi,

I just received a letter from my agent informing me that the rent reduction will take effect from 1. April 2010 :confused:. Given that I started my tenancy on 1 Jan 2009 based on minimum 1 year contract, is this effective date correct?

Hi Kaye

Without knowing exactly what's in your rental contract, I would guess that the effective date may be correct -- if you took out a one year fixed term contract, then it will expire in January 2010. Assuming it then reverts to a rolling monthly contract and that you have a three month notice period (standard here), then your first opportunity to alter the rent would be three months after the initial contract finishes -- viz, April 2010.

I think.

Geminder 02.09.2009 11:47

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
Now down to 3% (from 3.25)

http://www.bwo.admin.ch/themen/mietr...285/index.html

Shove 02.09.2009 20:28

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
When I signed my contract in September 2008 the reference rate was 3.5%, but in my contract it stated my reference rate is 3.25%, and a Landesindex per 12.2007 of 102.6.

Can a Landlord do this or are they obliged to use the prevailing reference rate at the time of inking the contract. Last time there was a reference rate reduction I was told to go whistle for my reduction as my contract already had 3.25% in it.

Guest 08.09.2009 20:47

Re: interest rate reduction = possible rent reduction
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Shove (Post 538443)
When I signed my contract in September 2008 the reference rate was 3.5%, but in my contract it stated my reference rate is 3.25%, and a Landesindex per 12.2007 of 102.6.

Can a Landlord do this or are they obliged to use the prevailing reference rate at the time of inking the contract. Last time there was a reference rate reduction I was told to go whistle for my reduction as my contract already had 3.25% in it.

Apparently they can -- or so I was told by my landlord (not that they did this to me). Anyway, you can ask them for the reduction now, with the ref rate at 3.0%.


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