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Old 25.02.2011, 13:14
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Re: Moving to Zurich for March/beg April latest

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Hello, I was wondering if anyone can help. My husband and I are moving to Zurich with our 20 month old daughter for my husband to start his job at UBS for the beginning of April. We need a flat to live in and I was wondering if anyone knows of anything that might suit us. we are hoping for something near to a good rail line or other form of transport, hopefully a ground floor with (okay this may be asking for the moon) a little private garden??! We want to pay ideally between 1300 and 2000chf.

Does anyone have any insider knowledge or contacts that can help us? We will be flying to Zurich to view flats within the first week or two of March and could sign papers right then if the place was right. I am a little nervous as I have heard it it really difficult to find a place in Zurich so my mum suggested I send out a wee call for assistance on this site.

Many thanks and best regards,
I Alyssa,

I can empathize fully with you on this. I am also moving in in a few weeks to ZH.

Finding a flat in Zürich was really tough. And one month is really short for that. Have you ever considered temporary housing? I myself got a short lease from the tenant (called Untermiete in German) for 6 months. You can settle down here and then search. It'll be a lot easier this way.

You could also make a nice profile for your family (like a CV) and say how sweet and quiet you all are. And get your employer to write a passionate and convincing letter will definitely help.

Also a very nice swiss woman provided me a list of documents recommended for flat search. It is not all applicable, but try to produce the essential ones.

1. your passport

2. your residence permit ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung")

3. your "Ausländerausweis" (foreigner's identity card - with which you will be issues once you are actually registered here)

4. your work permit

5. your contract of employment (if this is not yet available, then a letter from your future employer testifying that you will be given a job from a certain date, at a certain salary)

6. your registration to study

7. the same documents for anyone you will be living/ sharing with

8. a formal document indicating your income/ ability to pay the rent (besides your contract of employment, other indications can be, for example, your last tax statement, or a copy of your bank statements)

9. perhaps a garantor (formal letter from someone else - maybe your parents, brother or sister - stating that they will pay your rent if you ever fail to pay)

10. a copy of your last rental contract, showing how long you lived there and how much rent you paid (especially good if you can put this in relation to your income there with, say, documents from your country like those in 8. above)

11. a letter from your last landlord declaring that you paid your rent punctually and caused no trouble and were a nice tenant to have

12. two or three or four short testimonials (references) from solid, serious people (e.g. your former employer, your professor, your doctor, long-standing friends, former neighbours, former work colleagues) who have known you for some years and now declare that they would recommend you as a tenant becuase you are reliable, honest, polite, clean, and pleasant in your manner of communication, etc. - but they should write only what they believe to be true - and that they would happily answer any questions about you

13. in Switzerland, we have a document called, in German, a "Auszug aus dem Betreibungsregister" (extract from the register of debt collection). It is the ultimate door-opener.
It certifies that you have not been in debt (such that anyone laid a formal debtor's charge against you, or such that an official state debt-collector had to come round to your place to try to get the money) within the past two years.
If you already live in Switzerland and are trying to move home, you can - and should - obtain this. In Zurich, it costs Fr17, and to obtain it you should take your documents 1., 2., and 3., above to the government office. Usually it is in the same local government office where you registered yourself when you came to live here and if not, they will be able to tell you where to go: the "Betreibungsamt".

14. If you have any equivalent to 13. in your country, then obtain it before you come here. If it is not in the language of the place you are going to live in (in Zurich, German), then have it translated.

15. if you are already registered as living in Switzerland, you will have a government document stating your name and address and since when you have been registered. This has various names, of which "Schriftenempfangsschein" is one... ask at the office where you need to register yourself as living in Switzerland. it is the document which proves that you live here and, next to 13. above, also very important.

16. a passport photo of yourself. on it, you should not look zany or wild, but should also not look miserable and ill (the way it is often required when you apply for a passport). a friendly shot showing you as the nice-young-person-from-next-door will do nicely. tip: photos showing you in a shirt with a collar or with a scarf look smarter than ones in a T-shirt.
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