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Old 02.05.2008, 14:31
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Landlord reference / moving to a different apartment after a year in Switzerland?

Being a newcomer to Switzerland, and not having anywhere to live there yet (beyond my month of company-provided temporary accommodation), I can at this point not be to choosy with my housing. I have last week been for a few days in Zürich and visited 14 apartments. 11 of them were considerable so I applied to them. Now I already have 5 "rejections". I trust I'll get an apartment, but it will probably not be the optimal one for me.

The thing is, at first I thought, what the heck, I get something now, when I really need some home when I'm there (I get up to a month of temporary accommodation, but must have something by then), and it's difficult to deal with things remotely (having so little time to visit, the complications with the paperwork, and proprietors not liking people coming from abroad), so I'll just take what I find. Then as soon as I live there, I can start looking for something better at my free time, without worrying that I won't have anywhere to sleep.

But then I think of it - proprietors really like to let apartments for a long term, and even after I'm there for a year, I'm still a foreigner. My question is, say I find something I can live with, but not my choice, and after about a year want to move to a better apartment - that is, closer to work and to the center - would it be a disadvantage to me that I've been only one year in my last place, as proprietors would see me as a frequent-mover?

Also, I saw in most application forms that proprietors want contact information for reference from your previous landlord in Switzerland. In my case it was not relevant because I just move in. But then after one year I'd have to give the contact of my landlord. I'm sure I'll be a good tenant (I'm not noisy, keep things clean, don't smoke, and would always pay on time, etc.), but would the landlord say something bad about me because I left after just one year?

Thanks for all the help of people here at the forums so far... It is difficult to get used to this complex process of getting an apartment in Switzerland, for me, coming from a place where apartments are let to the the first interested applicant who makes the impression of a good and peaceful tenant, and has no problem paying and providing a guarantee for payment.
Thanks, any advice appreciated,
-- Tom
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  #2  
Old 02.05.2008, 16:14
Gyro
 
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Re: Landlord reference / moving to a different apartment after a year in Switzerland?

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Being a newcomer to Switzerland, and not having anywhere to live there yet (beyond my month of company-provided temporary accommodation), I can at this point not be to choosy with my housing. I have last week been for a few days in Zürich and visited 14 apartments. 11 of them were considerable so I applied to them. Now I already have 5 "rejections". I trust I'll get an apartment, but it will probably not be the optimal one for me.

The thing is, at first I thought, what the heck, I get something now, when I really need some home when I'm there (I get up to a month of temporary accommodation, but must have something by then), and it's difficult to deal with things remotely (having so little time to visit, the complications with the paperwork, and proprietors not liking people coming from abroad), so I'll just take what I find. Then as soon as I live there, I can start looking for something better at my free time, without worrying that I won't have anywhere to sleep.

But then I think of it - proprietors really like to let apartments for a long term, and even after I'm there for a year, I'm still a foreigner. My question is, say I find something I can live with, but not my choice, and after about a year want to move to a better apartment - that is, closer to work and to the center - would it be a disadvantage to me that I've been only one year in my last place, as proprietors would see me as a frequent-mover?

Also, I saw in most application forms that proprietors want contact information for reference from your previous landlord in Switzerland. In my case it was not relevant because I just move in. But then after one year I'd have to give the contact of my landlord. I'm sure I'll be a good tenant (I'm not noisy, keep things clean, don't smoke, and would always pay on time, etc.), but would the landlord say something bad about me because I left after just one year?

Thanks for all the help of people here at the forums so far... It is difficult to get used to this complex process of getting an apartment in Switzerland, for me, coming from a place where apartments are let to the the first interested applicant who makes the impression of a good and peaceful tenant, and has no problem paying and providing a guarantee for payment.
Thanks, any advice appreciated,
-- Tom
Hi Tom,
You worry too much and think too far ahead. Get your first apartment, settle in, decide if it's for you before worrying about anything else.
Apartment renting here is extremely personal. If the owner likes you then you are in and if not keep searching.
Some apartment owners don't like foreigners, some don't want kids, some don't want unmarried couples. The list is long and endless so stop worrying and start looking forward to moving into your first place and let time sort the rest out.
You never know you might like the first place and not want to move out anyway.
My daughter lives in Oerlikon right next to the railway station and she is very happy, doesn't want to move. Her place is not flashy, but its comfortable, very convenient for getting to and from work and well situated for catching the train and visiting her long lost parents.
Ciao,
Gyro.
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  #3  
Old 02.05.2008, 23:15
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Re: Landlord reference / moving to a different apartment after a year in Switzerland?

Thanks for your encouragement, Gyro.

I really tend to concern about such things too long in advance. Overall I don't really feel worried, though - just want to be informed to make the best decision.

I know what I have seen though, and what I like best, and I won't get that. And it is not very likely that I will get one of the other places I really liked - not much of them left. The issue is mostly the location - distance and convenience.

I would still appreciate further opinions - would having lived in my first apartment in Zürich (and Switzerland overall) only one year be a disadvantage to me when trying to get another apartment later, and how much of a disadvantage?

Thanks,
-- Tom
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Old 03.05.2008, 10:11
Gyro
 
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Re: Landlord reference / moving to a different apartment after a year in Switzerland?

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Thanks for your encouragement, Gyro.

I really tend to concern about such things too long in advance. Overall I don't really feel worried, though - just want to be informed to make the best decision.

I know what I have seen though, and what I like best, and I won't get that. And it is not very likely that I will get one of the other places I really liked - not much of them left. The issue is mostly the location - distance and convenience.

I would still appreciate further opinions - would having lived in my first apartment in Zürich (and Switzerland overall) only one year be a disadvantage to me when trying to get another apartment later, and how much of a disadvantage?

Thanks,
-- Tom
Tom,
It was no problem for me. I had my first apartment in Kanton SG for only four months and then moved to Kanton Appenzell AR (without getting permission, which ruffled a few feathers).
My answer is no, but a lot depends on the contract you sign for the first apartment. Make sure you fully understand its contents. You will have to pay a Kaution (deposit) and this varies between landlords. I only had to pay one month, my daughter 2 months.
Some contracts do not allow you to move out at certain times of the year. In my contract it's December to February.
Some landlords will require you to take out a home contents insurance policy to cover breakages.
Quitting or notice time is also important. It's usually 3 months which usually means for a short time you are paying for two apartments as you move out of one into the other.
However, as I said the key issue is to read and understand the contract you are signing. Something that people rarely do in their own language let alone in a foreign language.
Don't forget to ask prospective landlords questions as well such as who is responsible for what? Hidden charges can sometimes catch you out.
Many landlords share all costs across the number of apartments in the building on top of the normal "extras charges." If you are in an apartment with a lift, use it, because you are going to be paying for its maintenance.
Ciao,
Gyro.
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Old 05.05.2008, 10:37
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Re: Landlord reference / moving to a different apartment after a year in Switzerland?

Hi,

Don't despair.

I came over here in September last year, saw 2 x apartments, wanted the first one. Met the landlord/owner, sorted and signed the contract within a few days. Paid him a deposit when I signed to prove my integrity (my idea, not his).

Arranged to move in the day the family arrived in mid December, we went from the airport direct to the apartment. My friends had gotten the keys a week earlier and filled the kitchen with food for us, and provided basic furniture as well so we could live from the day we arrived.

So not everyone's story is full of despair.

And if you decide you might like to live in Winterthur instead of Zürich, the building I am in has at least 1, maybe 2, apartments free.
From our door to Zürich Hauptbahnhof is about a 40 minute commute.

And we have a USA-friendly landlord that loves the USA, speaks English, is friendly and relaxed, and accommodating.

PM me if interested for a look. I can send photos etc if you want.
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Old 31.05.2008, 21:16
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Re: Landlord reference / moving to a different apartment after a year in Switzerland?

Thanks. Haven't got anything so far, so I'll continue looking after I move in (while living in my one-month of temporary accommodation). Winterthur is a bit too far for me - I really want to be conveniently mobile in the city, even somewhat reasonably at night when there's no public transport. With my current long commute (about an hour and fifteen minutes) to work from my suburb of Jerusalem here (not too far, but public transport in Israel sucks), and difficulties getting home at night, push me to be ever more urbanite.

If I don't find anything in Zürich in a month, I may as a last resort settle for some suburb that's no more than 20 minutes by public transport, and easily reachable by bike (and in the worst case with an hour and a half of walking, by foot) at night, like Adliswil.

But I'll surely be visiting Winthertur too - see you there once perhaps?

-- Tom
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Old 10.06.2008, 22:59
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Apartment too fancy for me right now, but thanks

Thanks for the offer, Aquayellow. Unfortunately that's rather over my planned budget (which would be top CHF 2,200 now, and rather not that much either). I'd settle for something smaller in a less expensive area.

What circumstances bring you back so unexpectedly to the US? Where there? Hope it's not an emergency or distressing situation. By your transport plan - you been working for Google in Zürich?
Cheers,
-- Tom
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