Practicalities for the USI community

Accomodation - FAQ

1. What basic rules (code of behaviour) apply in Switzerland for peaceful living in large blocks of flats?
Please visit the website of the Federal Office for Housing where you may find the information brochure entitled Abitare in Svizzera: informazioni concernenti la locazione/ Living in Switzerland: all the information you need when renting a flat.

2. Who to contact in the event of damage caused by the tenant?
The tenant is liable for any damage caused except if he/she is in possession of a third-party insurance policy.

3. Are overseas students obliged to take out a third-party insurance?
There is no legal obligation, although many landlords demand it.

4. What sort of documentation is a foreign tenant required to produce in order to sign the tenancy lease? What is the procedure?
Foreign students must show (a) a certificate indicating the income of the person who guarantees for the lessee and (b) an identity card.

5. Can a tenant terminate the contract before its expiry date?
Yes, he can, provided he finds a 'successor' or has a valid reason (please see the Swiss Code of obligations (art. 266g).

6. Is the lessee (tenant) allowed to put up other people in the flat he rents in his name?
In the case of sub-tenancy, the lessee has to obtain the approval of the lessor/landlord and inform the owner.

7. Is a tenant allowed to keep domestic animals (pets) in the house?
It depends on the lessor. It is advisable to find out in advance.

8. Is the managing agent entitled to raise the rent on a property indicated in the agreement? In what particular cases?
Yet, the law authorises it; however, the managing agent must respect the proper expiry dates and justify the rent increase by completing an official form. The tenant can appeal against the increase within thirty days of notification.

9. What does 'separated rubbish collection' mean?
By separated rubbish collection we mean a system of rubbish (solid urban waste) collection which separates various types of refuse (such as: aluminium, paper, plastic, glass, wet, etc.).

10. Are we allowed to retrieve furniture or similar items from bulk wastes?
Yes, in Switzerland the law allows you to do so.

11. Where and when can one find discarded furniture and large household items?
All categories of rubbish (bulk, paper and cardboard, glass, aluminium and tin, oils, batteries, electronic goods, special (hazardous) waste, garden waste, etc., excluding 'RSU'(= urban solid waste) bags containing ordinary household waste) may be  taken to the Eco-centres of Molino Nuovo, Breganzona, Pregassona and Noranco. Open: Monday to Saturday (except public holidays): 09.00-17.30, non-stop.
For further information please go to the following link:

12. What is the SOSTA project about?
"SostA... for a sustainable University" is a project aimed at raising environmental awareness at USI, so that its students and staff population act responsibly toward the demands of the ecosystem, the economy and society together.
Specific targets of the Project:

  • To improve Energy efficiency;
  • to introduce and consolidate sustainability criteria for the management of our day-to-day living and buying habits;
  • To steer our University toward building an effective sustainability model.





Updated on: 19 August 2021