Renting in Switzerland: Can a landlord ask if I am vaccinated? 

Keys sit against a blank background
Can your landlord ask you if you are vaccinated in Switzerland? Photo by Jozsef Hocza on Unsplash
The unvaccinated are restricted from a range of activities, but is it relevant when applying to rent a home?

Anyone wanting to secure a rental property in Switzerland will have to jump through several hoops before they get into their new home. 

Simply finding a flat is difficult enough – particularly in larger cities – as you will need to stand out from an ever-growing crowd to prove you should be the lucky one to move in. 

Finding a flat in Switzerland: How to stand out from the crowd

Towards the end of the process however, your landlord has the right to ask you a range of questions before you move in. 

We’ve covered these more broadly in the following explainer, which looks at the nature of the questions which a landlord may ask – and those which a landlord may not. 

As we discussed, Swiss tenancy law says questions of a certain nature are off limits. 

Perhaps surprisingly, if you are asked a question which is off limits, you are permitted to be untruthful in your answer. 

Click the following link for more information. 

Renting in Switzerland: The questions your landlord can and cannot ask you

Can my landlord or prospective landlord ask me if I am vaccinated? 

The law does not make direct reference to whether or not your landlord can ask for Covid vaccination status in applying for a flat. 

Under Swiss law however, a prospective landlord is not allowed to ask about your health status, i.e. if you have any diseases or pre-existing conditions. 

Therefore, as asking about general health information is largely restricted, presumably a landlord would not be permitted to ask a question about Covid vaccination status.

In this case – as was illustrated above – a tenant would be within their rights to provide an untruthful answer.

If you have however already provided an answer – i.e. said you are unvaccinated when a landlord may prefer vaccinated tenants – a prospective landlord can reject your application and will likely not face consequences.

This is because a landlord does not need to provide a justification as to why one tenant was chosen over another. 

As The Local reported in November 2021, a seller went back on a verbal promise to sell their home when they found out the buyer was vaccinated.

‘They might die’: Swiss homeowner refuses to sell to vaccinated buyers

Even though Swiss law forbids discrimination based on one’s vaccine status, this applies to public entities and employers only.

However, when it comes to transactions between private individuals, “the seller can refuse to sell to you just because he doesn’t like your face”, said a legal expert quoted by Swiss news outlet Watson.

“This is contractual freedom”.

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