5000 apartments are in the danger zone. This is shown by an analysis of the “SonntagsZeitung”. Two thirds of the 340 Swiss campsites are also in the danger zone. Valais, Toggenburg and the Glarnerland are particularly exposed. In the rarest of cases, tenants and tourists would be aware of the impending dangers.
The newspaper relies on the cantonal natural hazard maps for the analysis. Areas with floods, landslides, rockfalls, rockfalls, landslides and avalanches are recorded on it. In total, according to the report, around 1.2 million people live in hazardous areas in Switzerland.
Vacation in the red area
But not all houses are exposed in the same way. The law knows different levels of danger. The highest level on the scale is marked with the color red. It means: «considerable risk». Construction is no longer permitted at these locations. The forces of nature can even destroy massive buildings here. Human lives are at risk.
158 of the 5000 apartments that are located in hazardous areas fall into this category!
And what does that mean for tenants and landlords? Is there an obligation to provide information? Can it be rented at all? The situation is controversial. The Federal Office for the Environment (Bafu) says to the “SonntagsZeitung” that it is “basically the responsibility of the tenants of holiday apartments and houses to find out about the general and current natural hazard on site”.
Avalanche accident from Evolène
Beat Stalder, professor of spatial planning and building law at the University of Bern, points out that landlords are responsible under civil and criminal law. There is no general obligation to inform vacation rental owners, he says. “But if the dangerous situation should become acute in an individual case, information is certainly indicated.”
An example: Evolène VS, 1999. Two avalanches thunder down into the valley. 12 people die – including five tourists from France. They lived in a non-reinforced holiday chalet. As a result, the federal court sentenced the mayor and the chief of security for negligent homicide. They had refrained from evacuating the holiday chalet or closing the streets.
Interesting: The avalanche then penetrated into an area that was only assigned to the intermediate danger level. (ise)