According to annual vacancy figures published by the Federal Statistical Office, 60,775 apartments were available for rent in Switzerland on 1 June 2021 – but remained unrented. The same survey shows that this is equivalent to at least 228,336 uninhabited rooms. In addition, 7,066 apartments were less than two years old and had never been rented out. The sole positive about these figures is that 2021 was the first year since 2009 in which fewer apartments were vacant than in the previous year.
However, this good news did not apply in Chessel, a village to the east of Lake Geneva. At 13.9%, its vacancy rate is the highest in the whole of Switzerland in 2021. Solothurn was the canton with the highest rate. This map highlights the geographical distribution of vacant apartments in Switzerland, showing the country as a colorful patchwork with regional hotspots. Upon closer inspection, you will see that rental voids can be a very local phenomenon. In Vouvry, Chessel’s neighboring municipality, the vacancy rate is over 12 times lower at just 1.14%.
Why are there so many vacant apartments? What are the causes? What happens to them? What can you do as a landlord or landlady to prevent them? And what should you do if you end up with one?
We discussed these and other questions with Alexandros Tyropolis, the CEO of Novac Solutions GmbH, a company which specializes in short-term rentals as a means to combat rental voids.