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Old 19.03.2015, 15:35
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Not so obvious living costs...?

Hello,

I understand that the "Netto Miete" is the rent, the "Nebenkosten" can cover water/heating/tv/internet etc.

However, I was wondering if there are any "hidden" costs in living/renting a Flat/House. Do I have to pay some fees like for instance: garbage collection or other payments to the Gemeinde?

When yes, what other costs are there besides those that you optionaly choose for yourself like Internet, TV, etc.
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Old 19.03.2015, 15:46
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

We lived in Canton Zurich and garbage was paid per use. You purchased the garbage bags (generally CHF 18 for 10 35L bags).

TV license is required - regardless of whether you actually have a TV or not and that runs around CHF 425-450 annually.

Internet, in our case, was paid outside of the lease - optional and it ran CHF 129 per month (TV and Internet - Swisscom).

Cell phone expenses - depends on your plan/carrier.

We also had a water/electric bill as the heat/hausmeister was part of that extra per month in the lease and that ran approx. CHF 125 per quarter.
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Old 19.03.2015, 15:46
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

Electricity is probably the most important one.
Garbage: yes, I think there in no place in Switzerland where this is free.
Parking place, if you need one.
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Old 19.03.2015, 15:47
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

You need to buy special garbage bags to throw your garbage.

In Zug they cost 35chf for 10 bags, 35L each. So the more you squeeze in the cheaper it gets eventually.

Electricity usually isn't covered by Nebenkosten, heating is if you have underfloor heating for example. Not sure what happens with traditional radiators.

And then every now and then you have some small random fees to the Gemeinde. I recently paid 100chf because I wouldn't volunteer to the local fire department. And of course only citizens can do that so even if I wanted to I can't but still pay the fine! Go figure!

But rent+nebenkosten are the usual big costs. Get home insurance and liability insurance to cover any catastrophes if you don't already have them. They are cheap and worth their money if something happens.
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Old 19.03.2015, 15:50
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

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TV license is required - regardless of whether you actually have a TV or not and that runs around CHF 425-450 annually.
Whatever makes you think that?

To the OP: It's not true. There's enough info on this forum that explains it in simple terms.
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Old 19.03.2015, 15:52
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

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Whatever makes you think that?
I was told by our relocation personnel that it was "compulsory". So was I duped?
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Old 19.03.2015, 15:52
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

We live in an apartment and our Nebenkosten does not include tv, internet, electricity. However, our cable connection is included in the NK, and those who have Swisscom do not get charged a fee.

Costs which are included: water, waste water, heating, cleaning (inside the block and garden), maintenance of lifts, snow-clearing .

Re garbage costs, I guess it will depend on your gemeinde. For us, like most people, we pay through the purchase of the official garbage bags.

Oh, and don't forget to add home insurance!
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Old 19.03.2015, 15:54
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

Parking was also a good mention, usually costs from 50-150 chf depending if it's outdoor or underground. But of course you are not obligated to rent parking if you don't have a car no matter what the landlord says. Some are scumbags and present it as mandatory but by law it is not.
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Old 19.03.2015, 15:57
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

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Whatever makes you think that?

To the OP: It's not true. There's enough info on this forum that explains it in simple terms.
You mean the information on the Billag is not correct?
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Old 19.03.2015, 16:08
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

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You mean the information on the Billag is not correct?
This is Tom's personal bee-in-the-bonnet.
Technically, you can watch internet TV, if you use a service that doesn't require registration or subscription, without paying the TV part of Billag (plus have no other means of viewing).
Almost impossible to opt out of the radio part, though.

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If you can watch television on your computer, tablet or mobile phone, you must register for television reception if you have an account (including a free one) with an internet television (IP-TV) provider.
See FAQ #3, from first heading (Receiving Devices ....) here: https://www.billag.ch/private/faq/
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Old 19.03.2015, 16:16
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

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You mean the information on the Billag is not correct?
It is correct, but your interpretation is wrong.

It clearly states: "Anyone who has a device via which they can listen to the radio or watch television programmes is obliged to register it and pay the fee."

"televisions, mobile phones with television reception and computers (including tablets) with internet access, if you have an account (including free accounts) with an internet television provider"

"radios (including car radios), mobile phones with radio reception and computers (including tablets) with internet access"

Note: There is a TV license which is for TV only and there is a Radio license which is for Radio only.

It is possible that you do not need the TV license, but it is very unlikely that you will not need a radio license. But still possible.
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Old 19.03.2015, 16:20
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

Garbage collection varies hugely from area to area- some areas you pay per bag and only official pre-paid bags can be used- but here we pay per weight- we can use any bag- but when we take it (NO collection) to the larbe bins provided, it get weighed and put towards our account automatically. If you avoid as much packaging as poss, and recycle as much as poss- it is quite cheap. If you have a baby and a toddler in disposable nappies- the cost would jump hugely (the reason re-usable washable nappies have become quite popular here).
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Old 19.03.2015, 16:22
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

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It is correct, but your interpretation is wrong.
Ah bon! Which interpretation?
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Old 19.03.2015, 16:26
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

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Ah bon! Which interpretation?
The fact that the information on Billag IS correct, but it tells you what you need to view and still have to pay - not how to opt out.

For instance you can watch online using Swisscom TV (either app. or online) which doesn't need an account or registration.
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Old 19.03.2015, 16:29
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

Rubbish Bags = Expensive

Our Electricity & TV/Internet are not included in the Nebenkosten.

Insurance… that cover damage to contents or the property.
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Old 19.03.2015, 16:29
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

Ah so much for asking a sarcastic question!
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Old 19.03.2015, 16:32
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

Refuse collection, apart from directly paying for sacks (for those who do) is also included in the local taxation - a double-edged sword, which cuts twice.
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Old 19.03.2015, 16:34
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

FYI Stupid paying bin bag system has not arrived in Geneva yet.
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Old 19.03.2015, 16:41
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

Nebenkosten: This is only a pre-payment. Actual Nebenkosten, based on actutual energy consumption and energy price is billed once per year. Normalyy around June-August.

If it was warm winter and oil prices were low, you will get money back. If it was a cold winter, you took a full bath each day, and oil is super expensive, or your Nebenkosten is stupidly low, you will end up with a huge bill.

Plan accordingly. Ask about the last years Nebenkosten bill to get a feel.
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Old 19.03.2015, 16:51
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Re: Not so obvious living costs...?

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Plan accordingly. Ask about the last years Nebenkosten bill to get a feel.
I second asking for the previous NK to get an idea of what the bill will look like. And also when you do get the statement, talk to your neighbours. I enquired with my neighbours about the amount, and it turned out that the gardening services had increased by 30% from the previous bill. And that our monthly NK is higher than what the others are paying .

Good luck with your planning!
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