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Reference interest rate unchanged – no rent increases: arbitration authorities can also breathe a sigh of relief – News

Reference interest rate unchanged – no rent increases: arbitration authorities can also breathe a sigh of relief – News

The reference mortgage interest rate remained unchanged at 1.75 percent. This is also positive for arbitral authorities. After a deluge of complaints, the number of new arbitration proceedings began to dwindle – and what remained was a mountain of pending cases.

Arbitration powers have literally been overstepped: last year, 43,000 arbitration cases were filed in Switzerland, 80 percent more than the previous year. This means: There were a lot of disputes between landlords and tenants.

There was also a rush at the beginning of this year; The wave of lawsuits has only subsided somewhat in the past few weeks, according to the various arbitration boards at the request of the SRF. One of the people taking part in the arbitration proceedings is Walter Angst from the Zurich Tenants Association.

He says the arbitration boards, including the one in Zurich, were stressful, especially in the beginning. “The arbitral tribunal was in the wrong position. Initially, we had to invest all our resources to be able to document and raise the incoming disputes.”

Great ambiguity among officials


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Last summer, the benchmark interest rate rose for the first time in 12 years. As a result, rents rose. Those affected reported to arbitration panels to defend themselves against rising rents – and the authorities lacked the routine to deal with many of the disputes.

There were also legal doubts. There was a lack of clarity regarding the overhead allowance, which relates to maintenance and additional costs.

Walter Angst says the most important lesson from the past few months is that crystal clear rules are needed in the rental sector. “It is important that the rules of arbitral authorities are clearly spelled out in advance.

“If arbitral authorities prepare well enough to know in advance what applies and what does not, there will be fewer challenges.”

The arbitration tribunal can only perform its function if the rental rules are clear and simple and if no large and complex evidentiary procedures are required.

The Federal Council currently wants to improve transparency in the rental law and review the regulation – similar consultations are currently underway. Clear rules are also important from the homeowners' perspective, says Monica Sommer, deputy director of the homeowners association. “The arbitration tribunal can only perform its function if the rental rules are clear and simple and if there is no need for large and complex evidentiary procedures. Otherwise, it will be cumbersome and the parties will have to argue in court,” says Sommer.

Important: Stay in touch with each other

Despite the rush and long waiting periods, arbitration authorities have proven themselves in recent months and many disputes have been resolved.

It's important for people to talk to each other, says a homeowners association representative. “I often get the impression from the arbitral tribunal that it will be easier if you contact the party and explain to them if you don't agree with something or it's unclear.”

legend:

Not only can tenants breathe a sigh of relief due to the fixed reference interest rate: arbitration authorities are also likely to find this positive. In recent months, they have been inundated with inquiries.

Keystone/Enio Lenza

Practice shows that parties to a dispute quickly reach an agreement before arbitration bodies. This means that problems can be resolved in advance without having to resort to arbitration.