A.D. Thompson
signs with rules

Back in 2013, a London woman looking to rent a room in the U.K. was so surprised by her prospective landlord’s extensive list of 31 weird rental rules, she posted it on Twitter.

Not surprisingly, it promptly went viral.

While you may not have to worry about limiting your showers to 15 minutes or getting all visitors approved two weeks in advance if you rent a foreign flat, there are still some strange rental rules to watch out for.

Here are a handful (whether or not they are enforced is another story).


Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel … with so many brilliant composers hailing from Germany, it’s semi-surprising they’re heavy handed when it comes to making or practicing music in rental apartments.

It’s forbidden outside the hours of 8-10 a.m. and 2-8 p.m. Beyond time restrictions, there are limitations, as well. Pianists are permitted two hours’ practice a day. And poor drummers? They can beat the skins for 45-minute increments in summer, 90 in winter. Tough gig.

Land of the rising regulations

It’s difficult enough for natives to rent in Japan’s restrictive climate and even harder for expats. Post WWII, the Japanese government took renters’ rights into a tight grip to ensure citizens trying to get back on their feet would find stability.

Eviction laws favor tenants, so landlords are super choosy. Background and credit checks in Japan are Jedi-level – more intrusive than most other nations, including the U.S.

Dutch treats

Your apartment may not come with lights. Or a floor. These are considered “furnishings” in standard leases in the Netherlands according to Dutch Review. And since most apartments are unfurnished, it’s essential to get a look at the place before signing that lease.

The good news? Tenants are heavily favored here, with loads of protection, so despite weird rental rules that could allow for “floor-less” apartments, your landlord won’t be able to lock you out on a whim.

Shush that flush

The Swiss are well known for liberal banking laws, but when it comes to the loo, it seems they might be uptight. According to the U.K.’s Telegraph, late-night drinking must be challenging because flushing the toilet after 10 p.m. is forbidden. Noise pollution, they say.

When in Rome….

You can’t keep goldfish as a pet, because keeping them in a container for no reason other than watching them serenely navigate the bowl is considered animal cruelty and will earn you a fine.

Similarly, in Switzerland, the Mirror reports goldfish are considered social creatures and so must be kept in pairs – or not at all.



About The Author

A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson spent the first half of her 25-year career behind the editor’s desk, including time at Playgirl Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Orlando Sentinel and a host of other publications, print and online. Now a full-time freelancer, she is the Orlando expert for USA Today’s 10Best.com and writes about everything from Mickey Mouse to marijuana-based tourism with equal levels of enthusiasm – and occasional bouts of the munchies.