Sharing moments Young adults Bye bye Hotel Mum How you feel at home Semester abroad Language course abroad or work as an au pair? Be prepared for military training Grassrooted Pack smarter, travel better Make an impression Contraception Vegan diet Bye bye Hotel Mum – hello shared flat Big trip, small budget Planning a family Tracking fertility The right time? How men can help Fertility and diet Medical check-up What you need to know about ovulation What to do if you don’t conceive straight away Three electronic fertility and cycle trackers in comparison Planning a family and partnership Pregnancy Examinations during pregnancy Diet and nutrition Is my pregnancy progressing normally? Tips for daily life Important points for travel and holidays Is my pregnancy progressing normally? What items do I need for my baby? Where and how do I want to give birth? What do I need to pack for the hospital? How should I prepare my home for my child? Is my pregnancy progressing normally? How can I best prepare for my baby? How can I best prepare for the birth? Nutrition Parent-child relationship Preparing for breastfeeding | Sanitas Magazine Insurance Stretch marks Sleep Rupture of membranes Baby blues High-risk pregnancy Braxton Hicks & false labour Formalitites Morning sickness Family rooms Our baby Bathing baby – what you need to know How babies hear Infant first-aid kit Baby care Is my baby developing normally? Month-to-month overview of baby development Is my baby developing normally? Month-to-month overview of baby development Baby care Breastfeeding When does a baby start eating? Celebrating and enjoyment Christmas and New Year’s Eve with a twist A philosophical take on pleasure Pleasure can also be found in the soup kitchen in Zurich Tips for a peaceful and stress-free Christmas Living better with cardiac insufficiency Alejandro Iglesias Hana Disch Patrizio Orlando Vaccinations and travel first-aid kit Hay fever Everyday help In pursuit of happiness Seven tips for a happier daily life Kids in lockdown Online addiction Heart attack symptoms in women Be active Active during pregnancy Sport and exercise during pregnancy Antenatal exercise classes Standing properly Healthy eating Green smoothies Vitamin D Good eggs, bad eggs Diet plan Healthy fats Feed your muscles How much sugar should we eat a day? How much fat should we eat a day? Lactose intolerance Healthy diet, strong immune system Low Carb E-numbers and other additives in food Healthy heart Interview with Christophe Wyss Heart-friendly sports How the mind affects the heart Taking blood pressure correctly High blood pressure: what you need to know Healthy teeth Home remedies: relief for sore gums Changing habits Interview Stortpsychologie 10-step guide to changing habits Try, try, try again Running coaching Running ABC Race in Sarnen Factors affecting condition Weekly planner Running shoes Strengthening exercises Running nutrition Complementary sport Warm-up Stretching Functional clothing Fitness tracker Shopping – sportswear Running tips for women Relaxation technique Recovery New lease of life thanks to Sanitas running coaching Running training The first half marathon Training and heart rate Running Ticks Sport after childbirth Postnatal exercise Taking the strain off your shoulders Kangatraining Workout while walking Expert tips Stress and relaxation Moving air Fight stress with yoga What is stress Learn how to relax Dealing with stress What is burnout? “The first step was to create boundaries” Juggling family and a career Reduce stress Stressor factors The most beautiful Swiss saunas Sweating in the sauna Breathing exercises for relaxation The right rest & recovery: debunking myths Mindfulness Sleep Trend sports Fitness boxing Slackline Bouldering Fascia training Stand Up Paddling Keeping fit efficiently Swing with a smile! Vertical workout Hiking Altitude sickness Seven stroller-friendly hikes Needed: a hiking-friendly pushchair There goes the other sole! Tips on hiking with a baby Mountain lakes Planning a family: Fertility and exercise Stair climbing Pumptrack Your back Kids’ back Back exercises Sitting properly at work Forest fun Playing for life Promoting health and fitness Motivation Sledging Curling glossary What do you get if you cross a kite with snow? Snowshoeing Preventing falls Inline skating Swimming Swimming Wings for Life Stretching Bike tips Stretching exercises for cyclists koerper-und-kaelte Healthy teeth thanks to dental hygiene and preventive care Putting wishes into practice Tips for healthy teeth Hometraining Investigating teeth-related myths 10 tips to ease anxiety Hand care How our body regenerates Bauchübungen Keeping fit on holiday Swim training aids Wie viel Sport ist gesund Gathering mushrooms – the right way | Sanitas Magazine Living together today Digital life Online addiction Digital temptation Children and digital media Smartphone neck Our brains love habit Change my habits? You’re joking! Planning a family: Difficulties trying to have a baby Planning a family: Myth vs fact Solidarity study Newcomers Living together tomorrow Digital nomads Giesserei multi-generation house The blind film director Help instead of rent Working on the move Medical practices of the future Our skin – layer by layer Generational discussion: wishes for life Hausarzt und Corona Safe return to work Corona crisis: singing together Corona crisis: Working in intensive care Corona crisis: working in a nursing home Rest and recovery: learning from children Corona crisis: voluntary work for the needy Second opinion Relationships and children Gute Nacht! Drei Fragen, die uns den Schlaf rauben Outing The nature of lying Vorsorge Gute Gesundheitsinformation im Internet Developments for the future App check Aqualert SRC blood donor Codecheck Forest Freedom Freeletics Moment Three sleep apps reviewed PeakFinder Findery Six fitness apps reviewed Internet use High-tech trousers Prostheses Hospital of the future New skin for burns victims Online-Therapien How drugs are developed Generics Sanitas newsletter
Dossier: Young adults

Bye bye Hotel Mum – hello shared flat

Leaving home and moving into a shared flat is a big step towards independence. If living together is to work, you need to follow a few rules.

Text: Isabelle Fretz; photo: Sanitas

“Let’s get a flat together when we go to university in Zurich!” We had the idea at a party on a rainy winter’s evening at the end of February. Six months later my school friend and I really did pack up all our things and move into our first shared flat.

When we moved from small town St. Gallen to the bright lights of Zurich in 2008 in our early twenties, I would never have imagined that we’d still be living together today. Back then, we didn’t think about who would sign the rental agreement, how we’d split the rental deposit and whether we should have a household budget. We’ve been lucky: twelve years and three flats later, we’re still living together in harmony and have never really argued.

But things don’t always go as smoothly. Then you need clear rules and agreements – and contracts, because living with other people isn’t always straightforward.

Starting a shared flat: tips from an expert

Fabian Gloor, a lawyer and head of the hotline of the tenants’ association, explains what you should bear in mind when setting up a flat share and how to react in the event of disputes with your flatmates.

How many people do you want to share with?

Before leaving home, you should think about what you want. What do you think living with other people will be like? Do you need a lot of time to yourself? Or do you only really come into your own when you’re in a big group of people? Do you prefer to live with men or women? How many flatmates do you want – one, two, or maybe even eight?

Rental agreement: who is the main tenant?

In general there are two options:

  • All the tenants sign the rental agreement and are therefore all main tenants.
  • Or one person signs the agreement and signs subtenancy agreements with the other flatmates.

Fabian Gloor clearly recommends the second option. “If there’s only one main tenant, all flatmates are more flexible. The subtenants can terminate their contract if they want to move out and need only provide a reasonable and solvent new tenant. It also means that not all the tenants are liable if one doesn’t pay the rent.”

A major disadvantage of this option is that the main tenant has power over their subtenants – they can, for example, terminate the subtenancy agreements. And what happens if the main tenant terminates their contract? “Then the subtenancy agreements also have to be terminated, as these can’t have a longer term than the main rental agreement. However, there is the option of transferring the main rental agreement to another person and thus possibly avoiding a rent increase,” says Gloor. However, the main rental contract can only be overwritten with the consent of the landlord.

Rental agreement with parents’ signatures

It’s an advantage for the landlord if the parents also sign the rental agreement. However, Fabian Gloor advises against this: “If the landlord doesn’t insist on it, I wouldn’t do it. As soon as the parents co-sign, they are jointly liable for the flat and the rent – and not only for their own child, but for all flatmates equally.”

Household contents/personal liability insurance for shared flats

Household contents and personal liability insurance are a must for the main tenant, says Fabian Gloor. “The subtenants should also take out liability insurance.” This is the only way to ensure that they’re adequately covered in the event of glass breakage or parquet damage, for example.

Who pays how much rent?

As a rule of thumb, if the bedrooms are the same size, the rent is divided equally. If the bedrooms are different sizes, the rent can be calculated based on square metres.

Rental deposit

“Again, there are several possibilities,” says Fabian Gloor. “If several main tenants live in the flat, everyone pays an equal share of the deposit into a joint blocked account. If there’s only one main tenant, they pay the deposit in full.”

However, the main tenant then has the option of demanding a rental deposit from their subtenants and paying it into a separate blocked account. “The tenants’ association generally advises against taking out deposit insurance. At first glance it may seem attractive, but ultimately it’s very expensive, because the money you’ve paid in over the years is gone. With a deposit, on the other hand, you get back the full amount including interest as long as no rent is outstanding and no damage has been caused to the flat,” says Gloor.

Shared flat with rules

To live together peacefully you need tolerance, transparency and open communication. It’s important to get things straight from the beginning. Fabian Gloor: “If you wish, you can set out the agreed rules in a written contract. Then all flatmates know where they stand.” It’s also a good idea to hold regular meetings to discuss any problems as they occur. You can make these “meetings” more appealing by combining them with a shared activity, such as a home-cooked meal or a games evening.

Check ads carefully

Better safe than sorry! In recent years, fraudsters have found they can make a lot of money out of ads for shared flats. They pretend to be landlords or advertise flats that don’t even exist in order to collect rent and deposit. So, make sure to check the flat ads carefully and view the place before putting down a deposit. Fabian Gloor advises: “If the landlord or property management company demands payments, for example via Western Union, don’t sign the rental agreement.”