Living in Switzerland – Information and counselling online  

Who is who in rented accommodation

The apartment belongs to the owner or landlord. He does not live himself there but rents it to a third party for payment.

The tenant does not buy or own the appartment, but lives there for a specified period. In return, he pays rent to the landlord, usually each month.

Many landlords employ an estate agent to manage the affairs of their property. In such cases, the agent is the tenant’s point of contact for all questions related to the appartment.

The caretaker can answer many tenants’ questions. In many large buildings the caretaker is responsible for small repairs as well as security and servicing.

Many apartments are owned by a housing cooperative or a housing association. These are more common in urban areas. Generally, tenants become members of the cooperative and can participate in decision-making. They have particular rights and obligations.