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Old 18.01.2011, 00:13
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Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

Hi, I'll be moving to Zurich in September and will need to find somewhere to live before then. I can't, however, be sure that I will have found a job by then, and may therefore be unemployed at the time.

Is this generally a problem for the Swiss? Would proof of capital ok? (I'll have the equivilant of around 15000 francs in the bank by then)

Thanks
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Old 18.01.2011, 00:22
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

I think if you explained your situation and offered to pay 6 months rent in advance, it might not be a problem.
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Old 18.01.2011, 00:30
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

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Hi, I'll be moving to Zurich in September and will need to find somewhere to live before then. I can't, however, be sure that I will have found a job by then, and may therefore be unemployed at the time.

Is this generally a problem for the Swiss? Would proof of capital ok? (I'll have the equivilant of around 15000 francs in the bank by then)

Thanks
A short answer to the question would be "yes it could be a problem". With proof of capital this may help, but I don't have personal experience in having to demostrate proof of capital.

The reason for my answer is, as opposed to choosing where you want to live, applying and getting the rental property in the UK, here in Switzerland you get chosen by the landlord due to the shortage of supply in cities such as Zurich (which is where I am assuming you are hoping to move to based on your location given). Now if you were a landlord and had a choice of someone who was unemployed verses someone who was employed all other things being equal who would you invite to rent your property?. Not such a nice way of looking at things but i think it gives you your answer if you have possibly 20 people applying for your rental property as a landlord. I was turning up to places where people were queueing down the road to view the property (also 1 or 2 places I found with only a few people applying).

Of course it is not all black and white and if you are less picky you might stand a better chance but I am sure it won't be easy. Depends on a lot of other factors, budget, where exactly in Zurich or outside of Zurich you wish to live, what permit you have, your personality and ability to impress a perspective landlord if it is a private property you have visited to view, nationality etc etc.

I am sure if you can give a few more details on your situation, people will share their frustration on Swiss housing situation along with possibly telling you how much hope you have in finding a place.

Good luck! . With my experience in looking for a place in Zürich even with a job at the time I think you need it with the information you have written so far. But things you work hard for always feel better at the end for having done so - so it will all be worth it right!
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Old 18.01.2011, 01:05
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

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Hi, I'll be moving to Zurich in September and will need to find somewhere to live before then. I can't, however, be sure that I will have found a job by then, and may therefore be unemployed at the time.

Is this generally a problem for the Swiss? Would proof of capital ok? (I'll have the equivilant of around 15000 francs in the bank by then)

Thanks
if i was a landlord and you paid for a year in advance plus normal damage deposit, then yes. otherwise no.

given the shortage of housing, i don't fancy your chances. i recommend you find a flatshare.
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Old 18.01.2011, 08:28
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

Sorry to disapoint you but Chf 15k is very unlikely to impress a landlord or a Gerance.
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Old 18.01.2011, 09:04
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

Honestly, it depends on the landlord. I rented my apartment with nothing more than a verbal confirmation of my income - the landlord asked me how much I earned, I told him and that was that. A possibility might be to offer to pay double the deposit and several months in advance, if you have no employment contract.

Otherwise, perhaps try renting a serviced apartment. These are rented on a monthly basis & are a good stop-gap. The entry requirements are less stringent, as they're basically a cheaper alternative to a hotel for people who need somewhere to stay for several weeks or months. Try Vision AG (http://www.boutiqueapartments.eu/index.cfm?language=en) - I used them when I first arrived in Zürich and I was entirely happy with the service.
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Old 18.01.2011, 10:07
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

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Honestly, it depends on the landlord. I rented my apartment with nothing more than a verbal confirmation of my income - the landlord asked me how much I earned, I told him and that was that. A possibility might be to offer to pay double the deposit and several months in advance, if you have no employment contract.

Otherwise, perhaps try renting a serviced apartment. These are rented on a monthly basis & are a good stop-gap. The entry requirements are less stringent, as they're basically a cheaper alternative to a hotel for people who need somewhere to stay for several weeks or months. Try Vision AG (http://www.boutiqueapartments.eu/index.cfm?language=en) - I used them when I first arrived in Zürich and I was entirely happy with the service.
1) She only has 15k, so to pay double deposit and several months in advance in unlikely to be an option.

Serviced apartements are notoriously expensive and the OP want to have a cheaper option.

I would think finding a room or a flat share maybe the best option to start with, to rent an apartment with no jon and little capital i think is probably going to be a no starter unless she rents in some small village in the middel of no where, which then in turns limits the employment opportunities.
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Old 18.01.2011, 10:12
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

Hi, wish you luck both finding a place to live and a job
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Old 18.01.2011, 10:19
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

Look for a shared apartment and if you are looking for nanny work, employers often let you live in anyway.
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Old 18.01.2011, 10:58
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

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I am sure if you can give a few more details on your situation, people will share their frustration on Swiss housing situation along with possibly telling you how much hope you have in finding a place.
I'll be looking for a flat to share with my bf, so a flatshare really isn't an option. He won't have an income either- at least to start with! I'll only be 22 and will have just graduated hence the lack of capital. As a Student in England I've been asked to provide a letter from my parents in order to guarantee that If I can't afford the pay the rent then they will. Is this sort of thing common in Switzerland?
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Old 18.01.2011, 11:00
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

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Sorry to disapoint you but Chf 15k is very unlikely to impress a landlord or a Gerance.
How much would, in your opinion, impress a landlord and convince them that I can afford to pay rent? It wouldn't be a problem for my parents to transfer some of their money into my account, so it appears that I have more money than I actually do.
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Old 18.01.2011, 11:11
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

Get a guarantee with SwissCaution or equivalent - that might help a lot.

http://www.swisscaution.ch/en/home

Previous thread:

Security deposit insurance ... options?
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Old 18.01.2011, 11:43
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

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How much would, in your opinion, impress a landlord and convince them that I can afford to pay rent? It wouldn't be a problem for my parents to transfer some of their money into my account, so it appears that I have more money than I actually do.
I think it would be better to look for a job before you come to Zurich. Some Nanny roles have a seperate apartment. But you may need to get some experience and referance as soon as you finish your uni exams. (summer plans may need to be scraped) Also the best nanny agencies are in the UK, so you will need to interview with them before they would put you forward for a role in Zurich. In my experience it is seams much easier to get a job before you come to Zurich, when you are here it takes longer and you eat into your savings much quicker in Zurich as things cost more.
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Old 18.01.2011, 11:44
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

I have occasionally seen advertisements for limited period sub-lets which might be some sort of solution. However they seem usually to be for periods during the summer. In September you are starting to coincide with the student market which may make things more difficult.

I guess by now you must have realised that getting somewhere to live is not straightforward or cheap. I once met someone who spent his first months here on a campsite, having bought a cheap campervan. He said it was actually not too bad, until the weather got too cold for comfort.
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Old 18.01.2011, 11:56
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

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How much would, in your opinion, impress a landlord and convince them that I can afford to pay rent? It wouldn't be a problem for my parents to transfer some of their money into my account, so it appears that I have more money than I actually do.
You account will not impress anyone. You will need to transfer money into a closed deposit account as a safety. This is typically somewhere around two or three monthly rents, so if you rent an appartment for 1500 CHF a month, expect a deposit of 3000-4500. If you'd pay say six months in advance, that's another 9000 on top of that... all upfront. Even then I do not think you will actually find a place: As others said, apartments are in VERY short supply in Zurich, statistically even worse than in Manhattan. So landlords can typically pick a candidate out of a list.

Honestly: If you'd own a place you want to rent out and you have five candidates - four of which have stable jobs - would you give the one candidate without job a chance?

Probably not. So you will either only have a chance with the very few very undesireable places where a landlord is happy to find a renter (and I am sure you would be unhappy to rent it) - or go for a flatshare.
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Old 18.01.2011, 12:01
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

I'm starting to wonder why you are trying absolutely to come to Switzerland without having the more basic things sorted. Everything here is complicated, takes a lot of time and will not necessarily be in English. I think you may have to significantly lower your "must haves" for the first few months, like getting a flatshare that doesn't mind having you and your boyfriend sharing a room while you hunt for jobs and somewhere else to live. It's not unusual for flatshare rooms to have 40 to 50 applicants, affordable flats often have over a 100 people applying for them.

Like my mum says, Switzerland is a tiny pond with a lot of big fish in it.
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Old 18.01.2011, 12:49
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

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I'm starting to wonder why you are trying absolutely to come to Switzerland without having the more basic things sorted. I think you may have to significantly lower your "must haves" for the first few months, like getting a flatshare that doesn't mind having you and your boyfriend sharing a room
Getting a room in a flatshare would be ideal I just presumed that, as in England, it might be problematic to find a WG willing to rent a room out to a couple: I'm not adverse to scaling down my expectations at all! In fact, anything which saves me money to start with would be a bonus.

Not coming to Zurich isn't an option as my bf will be studying there, and he is German which means that things not being in English won't be a problem.

Thanks for the advice anyway
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Old 18.01.2011, 13:03
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

Then let him do the flathunting, if he is a student, he has access to more infrastructure for this sort of thing. Be absolutely honest about wanting to live together, we had a situation where the guy moved in and his girlfriend did too, without asking us. He was not popular. Also, quite a lot of mainly Swiss flatshares refuse to have Germans live with them, some due to bad experience, some because they are just prejudiced, so maybe he could ask his friends already living in Zurich (with 30'000 Germans in and around Zurich, he's bound to know SOMEONE) to keep an eye out for him.
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Old 18.01.2011, 13:09
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

For German speakers, try: http://www.hallo-schweiz.ch/

( in crude EN here )
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Old 18.01.2011, 13:43
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Re: Is it possible to rent a flat without being employed?

Rach, do a search on this forum - there are a few people offering flat shares. With these people, you are already off to a good start with the language, if you can convince them that you and the boyfriend are viable candidates.

I admire your courage in packing up and coming without a really concrete plan. Have a look at this thread, it might come in useful for you to gauge how far your 15 000CHF can really stretch - especially on the parts on health insurance, food costs, and public transport:

Cost of living - help needed to get it right
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