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Old 28.11.2010, 15:31
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Can we find a flat in a week?

Hi everyone,

we are moving to Lausanne for the first time at the end of March. We are coming at the beginning of February to sign the job contract, get this mythical "we don't have any debts" permit (where do we get it from in Lausanne??) and find a flat! Do you think it is do-able? Any tips? Can we set up viewings in advance? Do estate agents work on a Saturday? Is homegate.ch the best way of finding a flat? Has anyone gotten any help from UNIL to move? And can we get a multi-zone public transport pass for 5 days or are we better off buying single tickets as we go? As you can tell, we are very unprepared for this so any help is very appreciated!

Thank you, Lidia
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Old 28.11.2010, 15:36
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

A week might be too ambitious, judging by this post. You might need temporary lodging to get by for a couple of weeks.
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Old 28.11.2010, 15:55
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

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Hi everyone,

we are moving to Lausanne for the first time at the end of March. We are coming at the beginning of February to sign the job contract, get this mythical "we don't have any debts" permit (where do we get it from in Lausanne??)
Welcome to Lausanne.

You're getting this statement from the office des poursuites. But you have to be registered here to get one.


Quote:
and find a flat! Do you think it is do-able? Any tips? Can we set up viewings in advance? Do estate agents work on a Saturday? Is homegate.ch the best way of finding a flat?
Finding a flat isn't easy, especially when you're moving here from abroad. It can be done in a couple of days but it depends on how picky you are. In my experience it was easier to find a place on the private market - no gerance involved. Because they ask for a papers that you can't provide in the beginning - especially the permit and the statement from the office des poursuites.
Homegate is one option, www.anibis.ch another. I read about people here that successfully used a housing agent.

Quote:
Has anyone gotten any help from UNIL to move?
I didn't get any moving help from the university (but you could ask!). They can assist you with the house hunt though. In my department they help with getting a temporary room for 1-2 months which gives you time to find something bigger. The secretaries doing calls for you if your french is bad. You could ask them to send emails through the department asking if people know about a soon-to-be-free flat.

Quote:
And can we get a multi-zone public transport pass for 5 days or are we better off buying single tickets as we go? As you can tell, we are very unprepared for this so any help is very appreciated!

Thank you, Lidia
Check this link: http://www.mobilis-vaud.ch/ You can buy day passes or week passes for the zones you need.
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Old 28.11.2010, 15:59
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

it will be difficult to find a flat in a week's time.
maybe its easier in feburary-march, but it was torrid during september onwards
good luck in your search
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Old 28.11.2010, 16:19
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

you can bring the "we have no debts certifcate" from your origin
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Old 28.11.2010, 16:22
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

Hi there

1 one to finalise and apartment is probably impossible unless the gods are on your side.

In the mean time, I can recommend these guys for temporary accomodation.

http://arc-lemanique-immobilier.ch/en/index.php

Good luck
Nats
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Old 28.11.2010, 23:48
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

Hi there

I would love to tell you yes.

Unfortunately, there are about 20-30 people for one flat. We have been looking for full 2 months and hopefully we now will be moving but till we signed I won't have a peace. I was intensively looking for 2 months and t it was really frustrating coming from UK where the market is very different. I didn't do anything else apart of flat hunting for 2 months. You would have to be very lucky to get something this quickly. The agents have very little or no info about properties apart of the address & phone number for tenants or landlords. You have to call them and arrange a viewing yourself. You have to visit flat and if you like it you need to fill out and post/ email your application. Then, you may not hear back for another 2-3 weeks, and when you will find out that somebody else got the flat. It is really different market. I would strongly recommend you to arrange a temp accommodation for a month prior to your arrival. Once you there you will be able to look around and hunt for flat. Otherwise you may end up paying crazy money for hotel or B&B as we did. Have a look also:
www.ums.ch
www.visionag.ch

Good luck.
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Old 29.11.2010, 11:57
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

Thank you for your helpful replies! A clarification about the no debt permit: can it only be gotten if you already live in Switzerland? Someone mention you can also get it from your country of origin? Any experience of doing this from the UK?

And what is a gerance and how do I find a place on the private market? Still through homegate.ch or similar?

Thank you! Lidia
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Old 29.11.2010, 12:23
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

To find an apartment in one week is exceptionally ambitious, especially in Lausanne. I've heard of it once, but it was through connections (i.e. someone in their department was leaving). Most stories describe several months or looking. People are envious that it only took me a few weeks.

If you have a huge budget you will have better luck as expensive flats are easier to rent (from what I've heard). I'm talking 3000CHF/month or more.

Even if you find a wonderful place and say you can pay right away, the agency will still take several weeks to reach a decision.

You could get a record of debt from your country of origin, but you are only saving one day. Plus for Swiss landlords - they can try and figure out the weird debt sheet from a different country, or they can just throw out the application and select from any of the 20-30 other applications with the familiar Swiss paperwork.

Also, check out:
http://www.anibis.ch/
http://www.wg-gesucht.de/en/wg-zimme...151.0.1.0.html
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Old 29.11.2010, 12:24
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

Both private and "estate agent" apartments are advertised on Homegate. When you click on each advert it will be obvious from the contact details if it as an agent or a private one.

Anibis.ch is another option, but be very careful for scammers. Anything looking too good to be true very probably is. They are normally looking for you to wire them money up front before you get a chance to view the flat, so never do this.

I would agree that unless you are lucky, one week is optimistic although as you still have some time before the move to prepare that will increase your odds a bit... Good luck!
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Old 29.11.2010, 16:44
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

It might be worth looking at the 'black boards' of local supermarkets, bakeries or at the CHUV, sometimes people advertise for rooms and flats there. That's how I found my studio (which I'll be leaving by the end of January if you're interested, but it's outside of Lausanne).
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Old 29.11.2010, 17:19
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

That's a good tip zymogen. And thank you for the offer, unfortunately there is 3 of us (myself, my husband and our toddler) so a studio might be a bit crammed and we'd like to be close to UNIL. Can I ask what is a CHUV (complete novice here!)
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Old 29.11.2010, 17:21
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

Even if your French isn't perfect, Googling CHUV will tell you.
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Old 29.11.2010, 17:21
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

Thank you everyone else for your replies, it is really helping create a clearer picture of what we should expect.

Still not clear where in Lausanne we can get this no debt certificate and if we can get one if we don't have a permanent address in Switerzland? Can we put down a friend's address (we would probably stay there anyways for a short period).

Thanks again!
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Old 29.11.2010, 18:05
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

Get a friend with a mailbox and put your name on the outside of it (piece of tape is fine)

On your very first day go to Contrôle des habitants in Lausanne Flon.
Rue du Port-Franc 18
There is a machine there for taking your picture.
They now ask for your birth certificate (although not all people at the counter do).
Plus whatever other ID they want.
Pay.

Controle is upstairs, downstairs you can ask where the no debt place is, they gave me a sheet of paper with the address and the bus stop.

Remember what part of town your friends apartment is because you have to go to the correct door at the debt place. Do this on the second day (they won't accept you on the first).
Pay.

If you can, immediately apply for your residence permit (I'm assuming it's through school, talk to the secretary or something - maybe day 1?). Go immediately to Control again and pay for a letter saying you have an in progress application for a residence permit.

Get a letter from your boss saying you are wonderful and you will make so much salary/month etc etc.

Make photocopies of everything.

These all go into your application package.

Show up to apartment showings early, sign the list, immediately go to the agency and apply. Repeat.
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Old 30.11.2010, 08:05
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

Ace cereus! I am going to print this out and take it with us. My husband is going to be employed by UNIL, although so far they have been pretty useless at helping us understand the system. I think we now have a much better idea from this forum though, so thank you!
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Old 30.11.2010, 10:23
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

We had the same situation back in August. We came here for 7 days we extended to 10 days and found an apartment. We didn't have a statement of no debt as we were coming from Munich and we were only asked by one apartment for this.

We saw a lot of rubbish places but in the end saw 30 places in 10 days. The apartment we actually took was found on day 8 so we are glad we extended. Our big top tip is if you like an apartment, even a little fill out the form there and then, don't take it away. Also, take a copy of letter from the employer confirming employment. This is all we had with us and it worked. We were offered 7 apartments (we didn't apply for all of them).

Good luck!
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Old 30.11.2010, 10:28
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

Hi Dotty, it is nice to hear some positive experiences too! My husband will be in Lausanne next week so maybe I will ask him to try and sort out as much paperwork as possible so when we do go flat hunting in February we can spend as much time as possible visiting apartments. 30, that's a lot! Did you have to pay fines for turning down offers?

Thank you, Lidia
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Old 30.11.2010, 10:59
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

I could seriously suggest getting a business apartment flat, and then you have a base to search out what you desire for accomodation, location, price, etc.. Might have to look for some companies offering this. Here is one possible that might have something available.

http://www.boutiqueapartments.eu/index.cfm?language=en
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Old 05.12.2010, 04:37
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Re: Can we find a flat in a week?

Good luck! I just returned from a week long apartment hunting trip. We applied to 2.. one we LOVE and the other is just OK. Of course the OK place got back to us in 2 days approving us and wanting us to sign papers... the place we love said they would let us know within the week. We stalled on the OK place to get us through till we heard back from the place we love and.... nothing. No call and no answering the phone when we tried to call. So right now we are in kind of a pickel. Come Monday the "ok" place will drop us if we don't sign. Hopefully we can get the place we love on the phone and get an answer.

When you see a new place show up on homegate call and try to get an appointment rather soon. While some places don't get back to you soon others can rent in a day or two so if you have a visit scheduled a few days out you may even not get a chance.

Seemed to us if you could go up to 3500+chf a month suddenly there were all kinds of places (too bad there is no way we could afford that), if you looked about 3000 there were places but they would be gone within a week. Anything in the 2500 to 2700 range we originally hoped to get was gone in a matter of hours or days unless it was a dump.
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