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  #21  
Old 11.02.2015, 18:57
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Re: Giving up..

what the other said.

Also, have you tried at any Genossenschaften?

They are not for profit and often socially inclined and being a single mother with a young daughter may tick the right boxes. Some don't advertise appartments but work purely from waiting lists. You don't need to be poor or anything to live in a Genossenschaft. On the contrary, some have very nice appartments.
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Old 11.02.2015, 19:24
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Re: Giving up..

congratulations on the decision to give up! now you have much more free time and less stress to deal with. plus you can probably save money by not moving into a bigger place!

but maybe some better opportunities will anyway come to you when you are not looking...
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Old 11.02.2015, 20:25
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Re: Giving up..

Cascabel, I really feel for you! Doing the rounds of looking for an appartment can be totally gruelling!

Others have suggested putting a photo of yourself on the application. I agree. And choose a plain passport-size photo but not necessarily as strict/serious as a passport photo. On that, I'd suggest you wear a shirt or blouse with a collar (rather than a T-shirt) but no jacket or blazer, no cleavage, nothing flashy, no "big" hair, not too much make-up. The "ideal" tenant could be one who causes no trouble, looks reasonable and sane, and who is approachable. Therefore, I recommend looking straight at the camera, a friendly smile but no laugh, with the kind of interested expression in your eyes that shows you can listen and would gladly help. That may sound over-the-top, but I think a good photo can positively influence people's decisions about you.

I also agree about not being passive, and phoning the person up the next day, to say you've considered the flat, and the journey to school and work, and you know they probably have many applicants, but you would like to confirm that you're very, very interested. Before making the call, check the date (rental start) they've advertised, and then say that date would work well for you. To be able to do this, when you are in the flat viewing, try to get the landlord/decision-maker's direct telephone number and email address, if possible, but at least be sure of his/her name.

Another aspect: When you are talking to the person showing the flat, and to the agents, are you speaking German? If so, good! If not, then it might be worth your while practicing this kind of conversation with a Swiss person. You know, even if you speak only a little German in general, with a weekend's worth of determination it might be possible to memorise the vocabulary and phrases for this specific interaction. Include some sentences about your learning German. If your daughter is attending a local Swiss government school, then it's a plus to mention that her German is fluent. If you speak no German at all, then at least practice being able to say these sentences in German: "Excuse me, do you speak English, please?" and: "I'm sorry, I don't speak German, but I'm learning."
Some landlords favour not so much Swiss people but people who can speak the local language, so that the neighbours can peacefully make arrangements with one another about sharing the laundry, parking the bicycles, etc., and so the tenants will understand letters from the landlord.

Another thought about your daughter: she is young, and unless she has a particular disability or inhibition, she will probably adapt to a change. Most children do.

You say you are unwilling to take her out of her school to move to a flat a bit further away, and yet you are also considering leaving Switzerland altogether. To my ears, this kind of discrepancy from an educated person as you are, sounds like you are totally exhausted and terribly, terribly disappointed. Yes, I think you must be feeling really disheartened. Once, when I reached that point during a flat-hunt, I gave up (the name of your thread) the search for a flat for a few months. I just decided to accept where I was living and not even to look at the ads, not to apply for anything, just to give my poor weary mind a break from it all. I promised myself it would be like a holiday from that topic, and I would go back and look again, later, (I set a date for myself) when I had more energy. Of course, I don't know your situation, and maybe doing that wouldn't be appropriate for you, but for me, taking that break probably saved my sanity at the time.

I wish you courage!
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  #24  
Old 11.02.2015, 21:06
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Re: Giving up..

I really do not know how to thank you all for your comments..

And Doropfiz, you have just described my actual feelings.. i stopped looking in November, and started again this month, 3 aplications rejected in 10 days, a call made and no opportunity to even visit the flat.. I am exhausted.. I had to leave work today because i could not focus on my job during he morning. This call and the way this person, that knows me and saw me handing to her for three times all my dossier, told me that the flat was gone... completely destroyed me today. It was like she was telling me "i already told you three times no, what makes you think that you will have a yes this time?"

I started crying at my desk and i needed to leave because i needed to be able to compound myself again before taking my daughter this afternoon to get some "marronis" as i promised her this morning.

I thank you for all the tips, all positive and focused on the objective, but as per today i do not see myself checking any add or visiting an appartment again.

I am not a quiter, i have never had all the problems i am encountering here and i do not know what i will do the next weeks but I have already printed and signed my resignation letter as of February 27. I only hope to be a bit better tomorrow..
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Old 11.02.2015, 21:37
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Re: Giving up..

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The add appeared around 18.00PM, i called at 08.40AM today.. and the flat is already gone..
It normally helps to be the first person to see the flat and first person to reply. A good flat shown at 6pm in the evening will be gone by 6.15pm - unless you are lucky, you have no chance the next day.

If you are serious, be the first to view and the first to provide fully completed package of forms, debt extract, employer confirmation, etc.
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:00
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Re: Giving up..

Agree with another poster about his comment "don't be passive"
I was 7 months pregnant and living in a 1 room apartment with my husband and I was getting so despressed and desperate to find something, ANYTHING, bigger than 10sq.m... It got the point where I would search 2-3 times a day any and all new listing on compairs, local supermarket boards, newspapers, etc. I made a spreadsheet on my computer and immediately called every single new place that opened up. It went from visiting and being rejected a few times a week... to a few times a day. And after about 40 visits in 1 week, we finally got a new place together (before the baby arrived ) Very difficult being new in a foreign land and very pregnant. Lots of places really prefer the money come in and the new neighbours never be heard. Good luck and chin up! *high5*
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:01
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Re: Giving up..

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I am not a quiter, i have never had all the problems i am encountering here and i do not know what i will do the next weeks but I have already printed and signed my resignation letter as of February 27. I only hope to be a bit better tomorrow..
I have managed relocations in Luzern and this is not an easy place to find a flat, particularly if you want to live in central Luzern, as many do.

The minimum flat size you should be applying for is 3 rooms. Given the way rooms are counted, that means there are at least 2 bedrooms. Anything smaller and you are going to be rejected. In Luzern there are a lot of older buildings with apartments with strange layouts. These are sometimes on the top floor of buildings with no lift. There might be a loft area which can be used for a sleeping room and this could also be considered a bedroom if there is some privacy from the living area.

Is the ratio of rent to income you are comfortable paying far less than landlords usually work with? If so, then you need to examine this.

I cannot tell you how many times I have met clients in your shoes, desperately seeking housing, very frustrated, asking themselves why they came here and ready to head home. I understand how you feel. My advice to you is to hire a relocation firm to find you a flat. It is not that they are magicians, but it is about knowing how to present clients and their applications and get them approved. Landlords treat relocation professionals completely differently than individuals.

There are several firms covering the Luzern area. Perhaps your employer has used the services of such a firm? It cannot hurt to ask HR. Whatever you do, negotiate a fee payable only on a successful search.

I wish you all the very best of luck and while I am not in a position to help you, if you send me a PM with your email I will stay in touch. I have a lot of contacts in the Luzern region.
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:01
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Re: Giving up..

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I really do not know how to thank you all for your comments..

And Doropfiz, you have just described my actual feelings.. i stopped looking in November, and started again this month, 3 aplications rejected in 10 days, a call made and no opportunity to even visit the flat.. I am exhausted.. I had to leave work today because i could not focus on my job during he morning. This call and the way this person, that knows me and saw me handing to her for three times all my dossier, told me that the flat was gone... completely destroyed me today. It was like she was telling me "i already told you three times no, what makes you think that you will have a yes this time?"

I started crying at my desk and i needed to leave because i needed to be able to compound myself again before taking my daughter this afternoon to get some "marronis" as i promised her this morning.

I thank you for all the tips, all positive and focused on the objective, but as per today i do not see myself checking any add or visiting an appartment again.

I am not a quiter, i have never had all the problems i am encountering here and i do not know what i will do the next weeks but I have already printed and signed my resignation letter as of February 27. I only hope to be a bit better tomorrow..
I know it's easier said than done, but good on you for not being a quitter!!!

An idea for future applications:

Scan all your documents (Betreibungsregisterauszug, permit etc.) as single documents and write a template motivation letter for an apartment in such a way that when an ad comes up, all you have to do is fill in the info which is specific to the apartment (e.g. number of rooms, apartment location, special things about the apartment like balcony etc.)

E.g.

"Application for [number]-room apartment in [location]

Dear [name of agent]

I am applying for the [number of rooms]-room apartment in [location] because my daughter [name] and I ([age, profession, non-smoker, type of permit]) are looking for an apartment due to [reason].
The viewing today [date of viewing] with [name of tenant/agent present at viewing] convinced me that your apartment suits us perfectly because [school district, nice balcony, nice view, suitable public transport stops etc.].

I am a [insert positive thing about you] person and my daughter is a [insert positive thing about her] child. You are welcome to contact [your employer] and [your last landlord] for references under [phone number/e-mail].
I am confident I and my daughter would be a good fit for your flat in [location].

Therefore I would be ever so glad if you were to consider us for your flat. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely
[your name]"

When an ad comes up, call agencies (if late in the evening, e-mail immediately) and ask for a viewing at the next possible date.
Go to the viewing in nice clothes and in a good mood. Take notes of what you like best in the apartment (e.g. floor in living room, sunny balcony, pet-friendliness etc.), ask some questions (e.g. how many months deposit does the landlord require, are there kids in the building etc.) get the present tenant's/agent's name (make sure you get the correct spelling, business card if possible) and contact details and the Anmeldeformular (form which agencies supply to find out more about prospective tenants), and head home.

Now you have to be quick because whoever is quicker and makes the better impression gets the apartment.
Go straight to your motivation letter and enter the info corresponding to the flat in question in the motivation letter [nice balcony, number of rooms etc.]. Make several copies of the blank (!) Anmeldeformular (you won't want crossings-out/errors on it) and fill in the requested information. Scan the nicest written form. Save all documents (Motivation letter first, agency's form second, Betreibungsauszug third and so forth) as a single PDF document.

E-mail the lot to the agency immediately.

If you'd like a translation of the motivation letter drafted above in German, I'm sure someone on EF can help you or I can do it for you and send you a PM.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 11.02.2015 at 23:50. Reason: added info
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  #29  
Old 11.02.2015, 22:35
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Re: Giving up..

Wow, glowjupiter, I gotta love your generosity! Thank you, it's good for the soul!
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:38
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Re: Giving up..

There is a will, there is a way! Fight for you and your daughter for a better life!

I myself experienced a similar situation. Before our move to Zug, we had applied many flats for over a year. We started as soon as we knew that I was pregnant and we lived in a 2.5 rooms flat so there was a need for a bigger flat. We had a dog n a few cats and we only applied for flats that allowed pets.

Although they said all pets friendly but it turned out every single flat we applied, they rejected us, it is hard not to think that the rejection was due to our dog. So I had to make a decision between my 10yo dog which I raised since puppy and my unborn baby. Sadly I was forced to make such hard decision and as soon as we declared on the application that we don't have a dog, we got a flat!!!! I was happy but also mad! And the most ironic thing is, there are many dogs in my building!!!! I can't tell you how bad I feel when I had to give up my dog for my baby and I always feel some sort of regrets towards him. And I know I won't have a dog again after this.

So don't give up, I thought it was personal too and felt hopeless after over of a year on trying, but sometimes it is just unlucky as well. Look for family /kids friendly area, it might be easier for you to get the flat! Good luck!
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:39
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Re: Giving up..

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I thought that they gave preferance to people with children.
In my limited experience (trying to get a bigger flat) they seem to give preference to couples with children. Problem with us single mums is that we are only two people looking for a 3.5 or 4 zimmer, we always lose out to three people, even though both need the same number of bedrooms. I have even see adverts that specify married with children will be given preference.
Good luck OP, I know what it's like to feel embarrised to invite your kid's friends over because of the lack of space. But spring is comming which means picnics etc,
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:51
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Re: Giving up..

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I am not a quiter, i have never had all the problems i am encountering here and i do not know what i will do the next weeks but I have already printed and signed my resignation letter as of February 27. I only hope to be a bit better tomorrow..


Please Cascabel, what does this mean? Do you mean you've given notice on your current FLAT, or do you mean you've resigned from your JOB (maybe intending to leave Switzerland)?


Please, please, please, if you haven't already sent off that letter, don't!
If you have already sent it off, my feeling is that you should immediately take whatever steps you can to withdraw it.


Why?
Because everything you write tells me that you're exhausted, desperate, frustrated, weepy, a bit angry, probably on a general down trip about being foreign in Switzerland. That happens. And I guess the whole tedious flat-search, as a single mother, is probably making you feel something along the lines of lonely and unwanted.


Of course I don't know you, and can't possibly know if what I'm presuming here is accurate. But since you affirm that what I wrote before is in the general direction of understanding you, I dare to write this: My guess is that you are simply FAR TOO WEARY for taking any serious decision today.


I don't know if it is the job or the flat you mean in your letter as of the 27th February.
  • If you don't have another FLAT to go to, you should not be giving notice on the one you've got.
  • Even if you do have another JOB to go to, you should probably not be resigning the one you have until you've at least had a few nights' sleep.
You're not a quitter, and major changes should be done only when more rested than you feel this evening. Please, try to get some sleep.

Then tomorrow or the next day, you could re-read this thread and pick out any suggestions you haven't yet implemented (e.g. looking on the notice-boards at Coop and Migros, or paying an agent) and whether these could work for you. You might also adapt glowjupiter's draft letter as it applies to you, and if you need something along the lines she suggests, take her up on her very kind offer.


For tonight, though, please try to sleep, (maybe with a hot-waterbottle, or a cuddly blanket) so you can be clearer to take better decisions.


In spite of the fact you've had a really horrible day, I wish you, in as much as possible, a good night.
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  #33  
Old 11.02.2015, 23:48
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Re: Giving up..

Are you registered in any Wohnungsgenossenschaft yet?
I know that in zürich it is possible to be in a genossenschaft even if you're not living in one of their flats but you also get the ads which are often not out in public.
If there is a genossenschaft with appartments in your area, it might be worth becoming a member if that's possible.

In a genossenschaft you also have better chances if you have a child.
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Old 12.02.2015, 10:03
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Re: Giving up..

What others have said about language.

Remember that the landlord may not be good at English. Even if you think he's understanding you perfectly, that feeling may not be mutual. Many Swiss underestimate their own ability to communicate in English and feel vulnerable when they have to speak it. Maybe he's not letting the flat to you because he's concerned misunderstandings and difficulties in communication may arise.

I don't know how good your German is, but if it is at all usable, use it and be confident in it. Don't worry about making mistakes. Most Swiss are extremely tolerant when it comes to that. But what matters is that the landlord sees he can communicate with you if need be and there won't be misunderstandings.
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Old 12.02.2015, 11:41
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Re: Giving up..

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There is a will, there is a way! Fight for you and your daughter for a better life!

I myself experienced a similar situation. Before our move to Zug, we had applied many flats for over a year. We started as soon as we knew that I was pregnant and we lived in a 2.5 rooms flat so there was a need for a bigger flat. We had a dog n a few cats and we only applied for flats that allowed pets.

Although they said all pets friendly but it turned out every single flat we applied, they rejected us, it is hard not to think that the rejection was due to our dog. So I had to make a decision between my 10yo dog which I raised since puppy and my unborn baby. Sadly I was forced to make such hard decision and as soon as we declared on the application that we don't have a dog, we got a flat!!!! I was happy but also mad! And the most ironic thing is, there are many dogs in my building!!!! I can't tell you how bad I feel when I had to give up my dog for my baby and I always feel some sort of regrets towards him. And I know I won't have a dog again after this.

So don't give up, I thought it was personal too and felt hopeless after over of a year on trying, but sometimes it is just unlucky as well. Look for family /kids friendly area, it might be easier for you to get the flat! Good luck!
Not sure you are in a position to be giving advice. Just as you looked for "pet friendly", you found it was not. So you gave up your dog but it sounds as though you kept your cats. I know plenty of landlords who will not allow cats but a 10 year old dog would be fine. Sometimes it is not about what pet but how many pets.

So if the OP looks for child-friendly, what if it really isn't? What is she going to do then?

I don't think your situation is similar at all to that of the OP. Considering there are dogs in your building, you really let the landlord intimidate you.
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Old 12.02.2015, 12:02
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Re: Giving up..

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There is a will, there is a way! Fight for you and your daughter for a better life!

I myself experienced a similar situation. Before our move to Zug, we had applied many flats for over a year. We started as soon as we knew that I was pregnant and we lived in a 2.5 rooms flat so there was a need for a bigger flat. We had a dog n a few cats and we only applied for flats that allowed pets.

Although they said all pets friendly but it turned out every single flat we applied, they rejected us, it is hard not to think that the rejection was due to our dog. So I had to make a decision between my 10yo dog which I raised since puppy and my unborn baby. Sadly I was forced to make such hard decision and as soon as we declared on the application that we don't have a dog, we got a flat!!!! I was happy but also mad! And the most ironic thing is, there are many dogs in my building!!!! I can't tell you how bad I feel when I had to give up my dog for my baby and I always feel some sort of regrets towards him. And I know I won't have a dog again after this.

So don't give up, I thought it was personal too and felt hopeless after over of a year on trying, but sometimes it is just unlucky as well. Look for family /kids friendly area, it might be easier for you to get the flat! Good luck!
I'm not sure how you make a comparison, but I can tell you that finding and apartment with a dog is not a prohibiting factor ... if you look in the right places. Do we live back in Zug again YES, do we have a dog No we have 3. We have applied for 4 apartment in total in 6 years (can't count the company apartment) and we and our dogs have been happy in 3 of them. So a poor dog get the dunt because of him (you say), not maybe the "few cats" contributed, or the area you were looking and the suitability for your menagerie. We looked at an apartment in Baar that accepted pets, but would not take anymore dogs as they felt that there were enough in the building, so we jogged on, dumping the dogs never crossed our minds.
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Old 12.02.2015, 12:59
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Re: Giving up..

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There is a will, there is a way! Fight for you and your daughter for a better life!

I myself experienced a similar situation. Before our move to Zug, we had applied many flats for over a year. We started as soon as we knew that I was pregnant and we lived in a 2.5 rooms flat so there was a need for a bigger flat. We had a dog n a few cats and we only applied for flats that allowed pets.

Although they said all pets friendly but it turned out every single flat we applied, they rejected us, it is hard not to think that the rejection was due to our dog. So I had to make a decision between my 10yo dog which I raised since puppy and my unborn baby. Sadly I was forced to make such hard decision and as soon as we declared on the application that we don't have a dog, we got a flat!!!! I was happy but also mad! And the most ironic thing is, there are many dogs in my building!!!! I can't tell you how bad I feel when I had to give up my dog for my baby and I always feel some sort of regrets towards him. And I know I won't have a dog again after this.

So don't give up, I thought it was personal too and felt hopeless after over of a year on trying, but sometimes it is just unlucky as well. Look for family /kids friendly area, it might be easier for you to get the flat! Good luck!
If one wants to take their pets into a new apartment, I'd recommend calling (not e-mailing, that's too impersonal) the agency as soon as you see the ad and mentioning which animals you plan to keep in the new apartment while you ask for a date for the viewing. That way you can get info regarding the viewing and get to know if prospective agencies/landlords are appreciative of your pets.

E.g. say "I saw your ad for apartment so and so in so and so, I'm very interested in viewing it. As I have [number of] [type of pet] and they are [positive attribute about your pet], I also wanted to inquire if you'd permit them in your flat."
Once you get the answer, you can then decide if you're still interested in the flat and if you would even bother going to a viewing. That way you won't waste your time on a viewing/get your hopes up about getting a flat only to find out later that the landlord/agency don't want your pet in their flat.

It can also be very helpful to mention that you are willing to sign something like the appendix to rental contracts for residential properties regarding pets from IEMT if the agency/landlord requests it.

Of course, not mentioning pets until you receive the application form is also an option, but if you want less hassle it is better to mention pets from the get-go.

Also know that this (mentioning pets) is only necessary for those pets which can't be kept without the landlord's/agency's permission. I.e. you don't need to mention guinea pigs, hamsters, ornamental fish, birds etc. See the list of these pets in the link I posted above under no. 1.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 12.02.2015 at 13:53.
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Old 12.02.2015, 15:46
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Re: Giving up..

Just to clear a few things. My dog was rehome to a nice lady. So I know he is in good hands. It's not like we just abandoned him to some animal shelter to die.

We could wait I duno for how long till we get the flat that's big enough for us n the baby n the dog n cat or if we ever get one. but my baby was growing fast , we were still in the 2.5rms flat when he was 6mo but we can't always share the bed with him! He needed his own bed n room so I had to give up my dog.

We sent out many applications and yet all rejected when we declared we had a dog. And the first time we applied n said no dog we got time flat. P. S. We always went to see the flats first then applied it n declared we have dog n cats on the application, we never do emails. I duno how others find it in Zug but getting a flat that is in good size for a family as well as affordable n yet not too remote as I can't drive. It is just slightly less difficult than wining a lottery .

And I don't need others to tell me what is right or wrong, we simply did what we thought was the best for us at the time, we have regrets n we are the ones to live with it. People should not assume and judge if they don't know anything and they were not in our situation.

Besides, I do not mean to compare her situation to mine, I simply said that I understand how frustrating it is being rejected all the time just becos we are not the perfect ideal applicants in their eyes n hope she won't give up too easily n wish her all the best. Not giving her any advice from my point. Just a bit of encouragement n sympathy. People should focus on her post, not mine.

Last edited by Flaui; 12.02.2015 at 16:17.
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Old 12.02.2015, 16:25
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Re: Giving up..

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Just to clear a few things. My dog was rehome to a nice lady. So I know he is in good hands. It's not like we just abandoned him to some animal shelter to die.

We could wait I duno for how long till we get the flat that's big enough for us n the baby n the dog n cat or if we ever get one. but my baby was growing fast , we were still in the 2.5rms flat when he was 6mo but we can't always share the bed with him! He needed his own bed n room so I had to give up my dog.

We sent out many applications and yet all rejected when we declared we had a dog. And the first time we applied n said no dog we got time flat. P. S. We always went to see the flats first then applied it n declared we have dog n cats on the application, we never do emails. I duno how others find it in Zug but getting a flat that is in good size for a family as well as affordable n yet not too remote as I can't drive. It is just slightly less difficult than wining a lottery .

And I don't need others to tell me what is right or wrong, we simply did what we thought was the best for us at the time, we have regrets n we are the ones to live with it. People should not assume and judge if they don't know anything and they were not in our situation.

Besides, I do not mean to compare her situation to mine, I simply said that I understand how frustrating it is being rejected all the time just becos we are not the perfect ideal applicants in their eyes n hope she won't give up too easily n wish her all the best. Not giving her any advice from my point. Just a bit of encouragement n sympathy. People should focus on her post, not mine.
Jeepers, I think someone got off on the wrong foot here.
I don't think anyone was trying to imply that you abandoned your dog, just that you possibly could've kept him if you'd searched in a slightly different manner/for longer. It is understandable that you want to be supportive of OP by saying that you understand her situation and wish her luck. But the thing is, posters cannot direct where threads head off to, so our replying to the aspect of you not keeping your dog in your post instead of your support of the OP is something you'll have to get used to here. I've had some posts and threads of mine derail too, it's normal.

By the way, using proper English instead of txtspk would really help legibility of your post.


OP, has anything new happened yet? Would you like a translation of the motivation letter?

Last edited by glowjupiter; 12.02.2015 at 16:37.
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Old 12.02.2015, 16:48
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Re: Giving up..

In none of the larger cities is it easy to find an apartment, which is why I honestly don't get why people keep insisting on living in the center of pretty much any city in this country. It's not like the places are massive, it would often be SO much easier to just look into one of the suburbs, which really, in Lucerne, are basically right there anway and you don't even realize you're leaving the city. And in no place is the commute from a suburb into the city substantial, often even less. I used to live outside of Zurich and my commute was shorter than that of a colleague who lived in the city, but in another part of town far away from where we worked.

I also think people take a rejection WAY too personal. It's not a job application or job interview (and even there, it's often not personal). I have no idea what an 'ideal tenant' would look like. Affordable apartments in the city center receive 50, 100, 150 and more applications. I'd bet my head it's just a pure coincidence as to who is chosen - those that are absolutely not an option will probably be discarded right away, and then it's a random choice.

Why are people taking this so personal? I don't get it. I would never assume it's because of me as a person if I don't get an apartment in the center of e.g. Zurich. Chances I get it are likely close to zero to begin with, even as a supposedly 'ideal' candidate (whatever that means). So keep trying, something will turn up, and by all means, there's a world outside the center of Lucerne - expand your scope. Or if that's not an option, be fine with what you have, and take the occasional look on what's available out there.
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