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Old 10.09.2011, 11:59
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Housing in Basel - Help

Hello

I am quite new to this forum and absolutely unfamiliar with the whole house-hunting experience in Switzerland. Before I explain my situation though, I would like to thank EF for all the useful tips and informations I found.
Unfortunately, after looking at previous threads I am still quite confused about the process of renting a flat and the documents needed.

Here is the situation: I have been offered a job in Basel starting on 1st November and my employer applied for a B-permit for me and my wife. The B-permit will start on 15th October in order to give us two weeks to sort out things before I start working full time. In addition, we are in England until the end of September when my current contract will expire.

Our plan is to go to Basel for a few days at the beginning of October to do our house-hunting hoping to secure a flat where we can move to by the end (or ideally the 15th) of the month. We will live in Italy in October, so don't need temporary accommodation fo that month - we can just travel to Basel a few times and we have friends in Lorrach that can put us up for a few days.
My questions are:

1) I read that nearly all letting agents/landlords require a "Betreibungsauskunft" (extract of execution for debt) (here) as a crucial document to consider an application for a flat. Therefore, how can I get one if I am new to the country? Can I ask for a similar document here in England and use that?

In other words, do we have to find a temporary accommodation first and then (when we have a Swiss address), sort out the Betreibungsauskunft and apply for a more stable solution?

2) I had a look at the list of websites indicated in this forum for house-hunting and they are very useful, but I was wondering what your experience was with the Swiss. Basically I speak no German yet and would like to know whether you found that letting agents are usually happy to speak some English. I am asking this because when I try to send emails to people asking info on a flat, I usually get an automated reply in German saying that I should contact some person by phone... and this would be problematic if they don't speak English (or Italian).

3) Most of the posts in this forum are about house-hunting in Zurich (not surprisingly). I would like to ask whether the market is so though is Basel as well.

Thanks a lot in advance for your help. Hope I will be able to contribute to this forum with some answers and not only questions once I get to Switzerland

Cheers,

Gigi
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Old 10.09.2011, 12:12
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Re: Housing in Basel - Help

Hi, It is pretty difficult to find something suitable very quickly. My husband was searching for a flat for 1.5 months and was staying in hotels, this was very stressful time for him.
We found this website while Internet surfing and he found his flat there. Not sure how it is in Basel, but searching for a flat in Zurich is so diffrent than searching for a flat in UK. Hope this helps. Karolina

http://www.max-immo.ch/
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Old 10.09.2011, 12:30
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Re: Housing in Basel - Help

Search through www.homegate.ch

Basel seems to have far more apartments available, than Zurich. I was able to rent my place before any of the paperwork was in place. If you send me a pm with details of what you are looking for, ( how many bedrooms, etc , I am happy to ask my landlord if he has something available that would suit you. He speaks English and is very relaxed and good humoured about we foreigners who do not have all the paperwork in place.
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Old 10.09.2011, 12:38
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Re: Housing in Basel - Help

Can't really help too much, just share - I was lucky enough to have a relocation agent assigned as part of my package; they helped with searching for accommodation and set up all the viewings and accompanied me - even though I could speak a little German, and some of the people showing us round could speak English, mostly it was done in Swiss-German which the agent could speak and I didn't understand at all. The agent also knew what to look for, in terms of all the differences between renting in the UK and renting here, e.g. maintenance costs, house rules/washing plans, whether there was the possibility to plumb in a mini washing machine in the bathroom, knowledge about each area, etc. It took a good month or so to find somewhere, even with this assistance. The best website I found was homegate.ch

I've never heard of the credit document you refer to and don't recall being asked to supply it - could be that my contract (with a big corporate) was sufficient, or that there was some kind of guarantee supplied by them via the agent in the background, I really don't know.

I know many people have moved here and done the whole process themselves - they are braver than me! I would contact your new employer and ask if they can provide any help with accommodation hunting. At least take one of your German-speaking friends with you to viewings if not, it's not far from Lorrach.

Best of luck!
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Old 10.09.2011, 12:40
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Re: Housing in Basel - Help

Quote:
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Search through www.homegate.ch

Basel seems to have far more apartments available, than Zurich. I was able to rent my place before any of the paperwork was in place. If you send me a pm with details of what you are looking for, ( how many bedrooms, etc , I am happy to ask my landlord if he has something available that would suit you. He speaks English and is very relaxed and good humoured about we foreigners who do not have all the paperwork in place.
Beat me to it, and your post is much more helpful
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Old 10.09.2011, 13:55
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Re: Housing in Basel - Help

Don't be concerned about the Betreibungsauskunft. There's nothing you can do about it. A very few landlords won't let to you on the basis you're a foreigner, but most will. Especially if your employer is one of the big ones around here.
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Old 14.09.2011, 20:47
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Re: Housing in Basel - Help

Thanks very much for your replies guys. Hope I will be able to find something even without a "Betreibungsauskunft".
In all the agencies I contacted they aske for it (original copy), but hopefully tat is just something agents always ask for and they will understand my situation when I'll explain that I will be moving to Switzerland for the first time.
Cheers,
Gigi.
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Old 18.09.2011, 23:29
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Re: Housing in Basel - Help

these apartments are quite nice, and located in a family friendly setting:

http://www.e.privera.ch/platform/app...&Menu=2&Item=9
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Old 19.09.2011, 00:10
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Re: Housing in Basel - Help

I don't know why people never do it, but if you don't speak the language why not hire someone who does to go with you? You don't have to hire a relocation agent. But made a bilingual high school/college student who needs some cash. I bet there are some bi-lingual off-spring of some EF members who might fit the bill. Then can call the ones you are interested in & make the appointments. Then they can help you fill out the paper work, ask questions and submit your application to the management company. Sometime to think about.

As for the "no debts" letter. You should get one anyway, even if you've never lived in Switzerland before. They will give it to you.
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Old 23.09.2011, 17:17
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Re: Housing in Basel - Help

Check the "bread and breakfast" offer in switzerland, which you can stay for one or two month normally. These offers are more expensive than long term lease contract but still cheaper than hotels.
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