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Old 15.05.2015, 23:16
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Sub-renting a flat: problems with registration?

I will be moving to Zurich and have the possibility to move into a flat with a Swiss girl who already lives there. The flat was originally rented by friends of this girl, and the rental contract has been transferred over rather than a new contract - so as to freeze the rent at its original rate. Thus, if I were to move in, I wouldn't be put on the rental contract, it would be an informal arrangement.


Could someone explain to me whether (how) this would cause an issue with registration at the Gemeinde/Kreisbuero? And what implications would this have for life in Switzerland? Are there any pitfalls to asking a friend to have me pretend to live there, for registration purposes? Being British, I don't really 'get' the purpose of this registration.


I do have a work contract which gives my Swiss work address i.e. to prove I really am based there. I already had a meeting with the bank and they took copies of all my other documents, and said I just need to email my bank manager with my Swiss address (i.e. he didn't request to see my registration).


Thanks for any advice
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Old 16.05.2015, 02:39
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Re: Sub-renting a flat: problems with registration?

You need a sublet agreement...if only to properly protect yourself. She needs to inform the landlord that she is having someone share the flat or sublet the flat...and whatever document you agree together will allow you to register at the town hall.
It is fine to not be on the lease, but you still need some sort of flatshare agreement to cover everyone and make it a lot easier when you want to move somewhere else...
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Old 16.05.2015, 04:45
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Re: Sub-renting a flat: problems with registration?

Hi alsion
welcome to Switzerland!

These are two separate issues: rental and registration.

RENTAL
In short: on no account, ever, should you rent somewhere (even just one room in a flat-share) in Switzerland according to an "informal arrangement". On no account should you or anyone else "pretend" do live somewhere, in the stead of someone else. Please don't do it! It just leads to confusion, and can turn out to be very, very expensive to solve if ever anything goes wrong. The sublet contract (between you and your friend) should be formalised and it really, really is best to get it all done properly, in writing, signed and approved by the landlord.

For info about rental and, more particularly the hows and whys of subletting (which is what you would be doing by moving in to the flat when someone else holds the main rental contract), please have a look at this thread:
Subletting via airbnb - legal issues?
Although it starts off being about airbnb, it soon goes on to be about the rules for subletting (since airbnb is considered a kind of sublet).

REGISTRATION
Yes, all residents of Switzerland (even Swiss people!) have to register. This is done at the municipal offices / town hall and is compulsory within 8 days of arrival. We (and you) all have to state where we reside, and sometimes, to document it with a rental contract.

In at least some municipalities, there is a reciprocal responsibility between the town hall and the landlords, so that a landlord will be informed by the municipality when someone registers at the address of his/her building, and vice versa.

This may sound like Big Brother to you, coming, as you do, from a different system. Here, however, it is completely usual. For foreigners, the date of registration also becomes relevant for renewal of residence and work permits.

These two issues, rental and registration, must rank amongst the two most common areas (along with, e.g. drivers' licences) in which new immigrants to Switzerland inadvertently cause themselves problems, later. I hope you get them right (= formalised, signed on paper).
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Old 16.05.2015, 07:24
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Re: Sub-renting a flat: problems with registration?

In this webpage (https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...am-wohnen.html) there is a sublet form (Untermietvertrag). You can fill this form in, have it signed by whomever is mentioned on the official contract, and take it to the Gemeinde.
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