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Old 20.09.2011, 11:32
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Setting up a deposit account

Hello,

I've done a search on this and can't really find the answers I'm looking for...

After an apartment-hunting visit to Zurich, I was contacted around 5 days ago to be told one of my applications had been accepted

The rental contract is currently being sent overseas by the agency (Schaeppi), upon which I read, sign, and return. I was told by the agency that before I pick up the keys on the move-in date, I need to have deposited the caution in to an account.... I know there are special accounts for this in place, but my questions are;

1. I'm currently in the UK - what would be the best/easiest way of opening one of these accounts (and would anyone recommend any in particular). Can I pre-arrange over the telephone, do I need to book an appointment, can I just turn up with cash in hand..?

2. How long does it take to open an account, and what do I need to provide (given that I don't officially have a swiss address as yet)?

3. How long does it take the money to 'clear'?

4. What proof will I need to receive from the bank to prove I have deposited the money?

My move-in date is early October (3/10) - Could I feasible get the account setup and money transferred the same day, or would I need to do a visit prior to this?

Cheers!
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Old 20.09.2011, 11:53
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Re: Setting up a deposit account

It's quite simple. Our landlord wanted to open an account with a bank that charged a fee for deposit accounts. We pointed out that UBS do not charge for these accounts. We filled out the form available at the UBS website and sent them (physical mail) to the landlord, who did the rest - we had transferred the money to their account beforehand in a show of blind trust , and we did receive a statement from UBS that the money is now in the deposit account.

NB when it comes to rental deposits, this isn't the UK, esp. if your landlord is not a physical person but a Verwaltung. Most folks, even landlords, respect the law.
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Old 20.09.2011, 12:08
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Re: Setting up a deposit account

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1. I'm currently in the UK - what would be the best/easiest way of opening one of these accounts (and would anyone recommend any in particular). Can I pre-arrange over the telephone, do I need to book an appointment, can I just turn up with cash in hand..?

2. How long does it take to open an account, and what do I need to provide (given that I don't officially have a swiss address as yet)?

3. How long does it take the money to 'clear'?

4. What proof will I need to receive from the bank to prove I have deposited the money?
I can't answer the first point, but in our case we made an appointment at UBS and 30 minutes later walked out with the confirmation that the account was opened and funded, which we forwarded along to the landlord. All very straight-forward and everyone seems to know the process.
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Old 20.09.2011, 23:45
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Re: Setting up a deposit account

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I can't answer the first point, but in our case we made an appointment at UBS and 30 minutes later walked out with the confirmation that the account was opened and funded, which we forwarded along to the landlord. All very straight-forward and everyone seems to know the process.
This all sounds great so far - just one more question;

How do I transfer the full caution (~4000 chf) in to the account quickly? I'm assuming that if I do a wireless transfer from my UK HSBC account, it'll take some days to clear? I'm assuming that cash would be instantaneous, but I'm not exactly keen on taking out 4000 CHF in the days leading up to the 3rd, and then travelling to Zurich with it in my back pocket!

How early in advance should I be looking to open the account in order to allow time for an international transfer prior to the 3/10?
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Old 21.09.2011, 08:40
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Re: Setting up a deposit account

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This all sounds great so far - just one more question;

How do I transfer the full caution (~4000 chf) in to the account quickly? I'm assuming that if I do a wireless transfer from my UK HSBC account, it'll take some days to clear? I'm assuming that cash would be instantaneous, but I'm not exactly keen on taking out 4000 CHF in the days leading up to the 3rd, and then travelling to Zurich with it in my back pocket!

How early in advance should I be looking to open the account in order to allow time for an international transfer prior to the 3/10?
Transfer it as a SEPA transfer (in EUR). That will clear within 3 working days and be cheaper. The downside is that it has to be EUR denominated, but hey, aim for just below th sum you need and top up as necessary once in Switzerland. The landlord will not let the lease fall through because CHF 1.32 or so are missing.
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Old 21.09.2011, 09:17
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Re: Setting up a deposit account

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This all sounds great so far - just one more question;

How do I transfer the full caution (~4000 chf) in to the account quickly? I'm assuming that if I do a wireless transfer from my UK HSBC account, it'll take some days to clear? I'm assuming that cash would be instantaneous, but I'm not exactly keen on taking out 4000 CHF in the days leading up to the 3rd, and then travelling to Zurich with it in my back pocket!

How early in advance should I be looking to open the account in order to allow time for an international transfer prior to the 3/10?
And then posting here "My money was stolen from my back pocket, what should i do?"

Dont ever carry money in your back pocket here.

Ok on topic. I think transferring from your bank to a bank here wont take too long. Max three days. So open the appropriate account as soon as possible and you will be fine. Ive done the opposite (Swiss bank to UK bank) and the money was there in a matter of hours
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Old 21.09.2011, 00:59
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Re: Setting up a deposit account

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You have the rental contract signed by your landlord so there is nothing to worry about. You won't loose the apartment if your deposit is a few weeks late.

You can open the deposit account as soon as you get here, just take your rental contract along to the bank. None of them offer a lot of interest. Do not deposit your money in any account without your name on it: there are many Nigerian scammers about.

You could tell your HSBC that you need to transfer the money CHF 4'000 soon, and a normal transfer takes four days. Clearing cheques is very slow and expensive these days.

I'm not so much concerned over losing the apartment, more that I'm not sure whether I'll actually be able to get the keys to the apartment without having proof of the deposited caution money first... and without the keys, I'll have nowhere to live
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Old 21.09.2011, 01:12
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Re: Setting up a deposit account

If you wish I can open a UBS bank account in Bern in your name for you. I would need a scan of your rental contract and your passport. You can transfer the money and show the owner the deposit. PM me for my E-Mail address first.
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Old 21.09.2011, 08:19
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Re: Setting up a deposit account

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I'm not so much concerned over losing the apartment, more that I'm not sure whether I'll actually be able to get the keys to the apartment without having proof of the deposited caution money first... and without the keys, I'll have nowhere to live
If you do a bank transfer from your UK bank account, you have two options. You can print out a confirmation, showing both the sending and receiving accounts, to show that the money has been transferred, or you can pay a fee (£20-30) for an expedited transfer, which typically arrives at the recipient bank within 4 hours.

In general, Switzerland is a pretty trusting place. If you can demonstrate to the landlord that you've opened the deposit account and transferred the money, that's probably sufficient for him to hand over the keys.

Of course, the best thing to do discuss this with the landlord ahead of time, so there are no surprises at the last minute.
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