Some agencies in Geneva are exploiting the city’s tight property market by charging people money just to view apartments, according to a report by RTS.
A practice described as parasitic by ASLOCA, a rental association, involves an agency contacting those who have placed adverts for vacant apartments and offering them their services. The agency promises to find tenants at no cost to the advertiser if they take down their advert. It then makes its money by charging prospective tenants fees to view the apartments.
An investigation by RTS found four agencies in Geneva engaged in the practice affecting around 100 advertised apartments. Agents typically target those with a long term lease looking for someone to take it over.
According to ASLOCA, the practice grows when there is a housing crisis as there currently is in many Swiss cities.
None of the agencies contacted by RTS responded to the broadcaster’s invitations to discuss the practice.