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Old 09.08.2011, 11:16
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Rent a flat in Basel - when should I start looking

Hi all,

I should start my nw job in Basel in November and I am trying to get an idea of how things work there. Of course the first thing I want to sort out is my accommodation and would like to have an idea of how long in advance I should/could start houshunting.
From what I understand, one cannot rent an accommodation until he's got a resident permit, so I assume letting agents are not really interested in showing me flats if they know my papers are not ready yet. Is this right?
I will have a month off in October, so I was thinking of using that period for my househunting, but I am worried one month could be too much of a short time to find a suitable place (especially because I will probably need to sort out some basic furniture).
Also, I have been offered a postdoc position and should get ca. 3600 CHF/month after taxes. How much do you think I should spend on the rent to have a decent place without starving? Probably. in order to save some money on food etc. I could easiy cross the border for my shopping, especially now that the CHF is so strong

Any comment would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

Gigi.
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Old 09.08.2011, 11:27
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Re: Rent a flat in Basel - when should I start looking

Keep in mind that you can usually only move in at month end/start or mid-month with some agencies. Add to this that Dec 31st/Jan 1st is a non-working day, you will only be able to move in end Nov or end Jan...

It is impossible to say how long it takes. We've had mixed luck, where we found somewhere within a month and another time it took several months. Plan for the worst, hope for the best as the saying goes...

If you have the time (i.e. you or OH is not working) then that will help. Try to move and starting a new job on your own is time consuming and harder. At least you've got that 1 month in October, but once you are working it'll become a little harder, as sometimes you need to drop everything to go visit properties.

If you are keen, try contacting some of the larger rental agencies - we were with CPV/CAP (COOP pension fund managers) for 6+ years and generally found them good and helpful - to see if they have any planned cancellations coming up.

Oh, and if you have a PhD - which as a postdoc, I assume you will - include your Dr title in all correspondance. It helps massively as for some strange reason people with Dr are more important... sad but true... I'm not bitter... much...

Good luck with the move & an advance welcome to Basel.
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Old 12.08.2011, 15:21
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Re: Rent a flat in Basel - when should I start looking

Thanks very much for your reply. I actually did not know that you could only move in at the end/start of the month and that might be a problem.
I will try to contact some letting agencies now, hoping that some of them will reply in English.
As for being a doctor, I have heard that Swiss, German and Austrian people give a lot of importance to that title, but I didn't imagine it would matter for house hunting... I will try to play that card anyway.
Thanks Carlos!
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Old 12.08.2011, 15:25
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Re: Rent a flat in Basel - when should I start looking

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Thanks very much for your reply. I actually did not know that you could only move in at the end/start of the month and that might be a problem.
I will try to contact some letting agencies now, hoping that some of them will reply in English.
As for being a doctor, I have heard that Swiss, German and Austrian people give a lot of importance to that title, but I didn't imagine it would matter for house hunting... I will try to play that card anyway.
Thanks Carlos!
This is not necessarily true. Sometimes people are ready to negotiate sharing a month's rent for example if there's a cross over. I have had double rent on a couple of occasions and would have welcomed a mid-month move to offset the financial obligation.

This is not a common occurence, however I have found myself in this situation twice in 6 years.
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