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Old 23.12.2018, 00:55
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Moving to Geneva from UK

Hi Everyone,

I have checked the previous thread, but could not find the definite answer and I wonder if someone can kindly help me.

I am moving from UK to Geneva in January and looking for a new flat. I was told that I will need to prepare below documents for rental application.

- Work permit
- Passport
- Last three months pay slip
- Criminal record check

1. Are there any other documents I will need to prepare? (I read other thread and it said that you need CV, passport photo etc... in Zurich. Is this the case in Geneva too?

2. I have lived in UK for the recent 6 years and earned British citizenship. Before that, I had lived in Japan and had Japanese citizenship over 20+ years. In such a case, what organisation should I request my criminal record check? Also, what kind of criminal record check is adequate for renting a flat?

Your kind help is much appreciated!
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Old 23.12.2018, 03:20
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

You don't need any criminal record check; you have been probably told that you need an 'attestation non poursuite', i.e. that there is no outstanding (financial) liability/claim against you. As you don't live in the Canton, you don't have one but nonetheless you will need to get it in order to submit your dossier to the regie.

It can be requested online (but you need to create an account). More info here:

https://www.ge.ch/poursuites-faillit...tre-poursuites

Given that you are a new to Switzerland, while three payslips from abroad are welcome, the regie will almost certainly ask for your work contract. A small advice is that you try to find sublet first, and once you have a temporary solution go for regular rent through a regie. I don't want to discourage you, but demand is high and you having no history in Switzerland are not a first priority of a regie to rent you an apartment.
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Old 23.12.2018, 19:04
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

Hi mikedragos,

Thank you for your explanation about 'attestation non poursuite'.
I am now clear what exact document I am likely to be requested by landlord.

Thank you also for describe the reality of renting a flat in Geneva.
I see, I will look for a sub let or maybe even flat share to start with.

Thank you again for your useful tips!!

CS Ninja
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Old 23.12.2018, 20:17
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

A copy of your employment contract will help, especially if the salary is reassuring to the owner/agent. Also if you've been renting, and your landlord is inclined to help, then a brief letter saying "CSNinja always paid the rent on time, left the property tidy" worked. I think both helped swing things for me a while back.

You'll soon learn what a "shortage of property" looks like. They talk about it London but walk out of any tube or train station and there's plenty of agents with lots of property to sell or rent. In Geneva a far smaller proportion of the housing stock is on the market at any one time. It's not uncommon to visit a flat for rent en masse with, say, 30 potential renters all coming along for the viewing. You will be in direct competition with them, so having your dossier compiled and ready is helpful.
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Old 23.12.2018, 20:40
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

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A copy of your employment contract will help, especially if the salary is reassuring to the owner/agent. Also if you've been renting, and your landlord is inclined to help, then a brief letter saying "CSNinja always paid the rent on time, left the property tidy" worked. I think both helped swing things for me a while back.

You'll soon learn what a "shortage of property" looks like. They talk about it London but walk out of any tube or train station and there's plenty of agents with lots of property to sell or rent. In Geneva a far smaller proportion of the housing stock is on the market at any one time. It's not uncommon to visit a flat for rent en masse with, say, 30 potential renters all coming along for the viewing. You will be in direct competition with them, so having your dossier compiled and ready is helpful.
In lausanne it's worse, if it's a good flat with a good price can easy have 100 dossiers. it's depressing and then political parties argue against building more housing.
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Old 24.12.2018, 15:46
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

Hi Neko,

Thank you for the additional tips. Technically speaking, I have not finished renting my flat in London, but I will definitely ask my current landlord, if he is happy to write a reference letter for me.
30 applicants per flat? This is surely worse than in London...
Would it be any better in France? If so, I am happy to live outside of Geneva, as long as public transportation running.

Thanks.

CSNinja
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Old 24.12.2018, 15:51
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

Hi BLP,

Seriously? 100 competitors per flat in Lausanne?!
I was going to look for a flat in Nyon or Lausanne, if I can't find it in Geneva, but sounds like this is not a good idea...
Yeah, the local government should take an action urgently! I am worrying about being a homeless while having a decent job...

Well, thank you for your real voice!

CSNinja
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Old 24.12.2018, 16:15
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

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Seriously? 100 competitors per flat in Lausanne?!
I was going to look for a flat in Nyon or Lausanne, if I can't find it in Geneva, but sounds like this is not a good idea...
Yeah, the local government should take an action urgently! I am worrying about being a homeless while having a decent job...
There is always France - something like 100,000 people live in France and work in Geneva, myself included. Obviously there are trade-offs - too numerous to list here - and it won't be an option for if your employment is with the majority of banks. As an EU citizen you can get a Permis G (frontalier/Grenzgänger) work permit as a formality. YMMV after Brexit...
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Old 24.12.2018, 16:17
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

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Hi BLP,

Seriously? 100 competitors per flat in Lausanne?!
I was going to look for a flat in Nyon or Lausanne, if I can't find it in Geneva, but sounds like this is not a good idea...
Yeah, the local government should take an action urgently! I am worrying about being a homeless while having a decent job...

Well, thank you for your real voice!

CSNinja
that is for a flat i a good state at a good price. There are always not so good flats or ones that are overpriced with less applications.

They don't want to build in most towns, so not sure how to fix the issue. Can be hard to find a place, even for locals. But you should get support from your employer or can do short term housing while you look.
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Old 24.12.2018, 21:10
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Hi Hairlybudger,

Thank you for your tips!
No I'm not working for a bank. Is there different rule for them?
I am looking for a flat in France too.
Do you have any recommend area? I don't drive a car, so looking for somewhere commutative by train.
I really hope that UK remain EU...

CSNinja

Hi BLP,

Yes, my new employer booked a temporary accommodation for the first 2 months.
It is far over budget for me to pay it muself, but it is renewable, so it will be my last resort until I find a flat.
Fingers crossed...!

CSNinja

Last edited by 3Wishes; 21.01.2019 at 22:40. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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  #11  
Old 25.12.2018, 11:21
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

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Hi Hairlybudger,

Thank you for your tips!
No I'm not working for a bank. Is there different rule for them?
I am looking for a flat in France too.
Do you have any recommend area? I don't drive a car, so looking for somewhere commutative by train.
I really hope that UK remain EU...

CSNinja
where to live in France will largely depend where your workplace is in Geneva. If it is on the right side (rive droite) you can look at anything from Gex to Ferney, Prevessin, Saint Genis Pouilly or Thoiry. However, in all these places you will need a car, except Ferney which has a bus that runs to Geneva train station (Cornavin) every 20-30 min I guess... honestly don't think it is an option of being carless in France, and also don't think that renting there is significantly cheaper, just that may be easier to get then in Geneva, but that's it.

If you are on the left side, places can be Annemasse, Ville-la-Grand, Thonon or even Evian in some cases... but again, don't really think bus commuting is an option. CEVA (train link between Annemasse and Cornavin) is in the making but it will take at least another couple of years to be operational.

In my opinion - if you don't want to use a car, stay in Geneva downtown.
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Old 25.12.2018, 17:50
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

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where to live in France will largely depend where your workplace is in Geneva. If it is on the right side (rive droite) you can look at anything from Gex to Ferney, Prevessin, Saint Genis Pouilly or Thoiry. However, in all these places you will need a car, except Ferney which has a bus that runs to Geneva train station (Cornavin) every 20-30 min I guess... honestly don't think it is an option of being carless in France, and also don't think that renting there is significantly cheaper, just that may be easier to get then in Geneva, but that's it.

If you are on the left side, places can be Annemasse, Ville-la-Grand, Thonon or even Evian in some cases... but again, don't really think bus commuting is an option. CEVA (train link between Annemasse and Cornavin) is in the making but it will take at least another couple of years to be operational.

In my opinion - if you don't want to use a car, stay in Geneva downtown.
You've forgotten Saint Julien, Vulbens, Vaillery. All are on the D bus route straight-through into central Geneva. But only really practicable if you're working left-bank of the lake. Otherwise you'd need to factor in changing onto a tram or bus at Bel-Aire. Geneva doesn't really have a 'downtown', but rather a lot of urban sprawl (Meyrin, Chêne-Bourg, for example). All of which is well-served with public transport.
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Old 25.12.2018, 19:15
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where to live in France will largely depend where your workplace is in Geneva. If it is on the right side (rive droite) you can look at anything from Gex to Ferney, Prevessin, Saint Genis Pouilly or Thoiry. However, in all these places you will need a car, except Ferney which has a bus that runs to Geneva train station (Cornavin) every 20-30 min I guess... honestly don't think it is an option of being carless in France, and also don't think that renting there is significantly cheaper, just that may be easier to get then in Geneva, but that's it.

If you are on the left side, places can be Annemasse, Ville-la-Grand, Thonon or even Evian in some cases... but again, don't really think bus commuting is an option. CEVA (train link between Annemasse and Cornavin) is in the making but it will take at least another couple of years to be operational.

In my opinion - if you don't want to use a car, stay in Geneva downtown.
I see...my work place is near UN, so it is rive droite.
Thank you for listing up the areas to live in France.
Yeah, you are right. I have checked a commuting route and nothing looks doable, apart from "maybe" for Ferney.

I have UK driving licence, but I'm scared to drive 'right side of roads and as you said, doesn't sound practical to live in France...

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You've forgotten Saint Julien, Vulbens, Vaillery. All are on the D bus route straight-through into central Geneva. But only really practicable if you're working left-bank of the lake. Otherwise you'd need to factor in changing onto a tram or bus at Bel-Aire. Geneva doesn't really have a 'downtown', but rather a lot of urban sprawl (Meyrin, Chêne-Bourg, for example). All of which is well-served with public transport.
Thanks for another tips. Unfortunately, my work place is rive droite, so other side of France are not convenient for me.
Meyrin might be an option, if it is not too noisy.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 21.01.2019 at 22:41. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 25.12.2018, 20:18
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

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Thanks for another tips. Unfortunately, my work place is rive droite, so other side of France are not convenient for me.
Meyrin might be an option, if it is not too noisy.
Meyrin is a sprawling estate of fairly low-rise appartment buildings (10-12storeys or so mostly I think), and they're quite widely spaced. Near the aeroport though, which might bother you. Not sure about other noise levels as I've only ever visited friends there rather than lived in the area, but it certainly wouldn't compare to living in a large city. The TPG has just upped the bus services to some towns across the border in France (Ferney-Voltaire, Saint Genis for example) so it might be worth checking with your HR department about where might be feasible..... which really does depend on where your place of work is, work hours (my OH often had to go in to his lab in the early hours to check on experiments for example, so a car was vital), family conditions, plus what type of permit you have.
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Old 26.12.2018, 16:29
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

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Meyrin is a sprawling estate of fairly low-rise appartment buildings (10-12storeys or so mostly I think), and they're quite widely spaced. Near the aeroport though, which might bother you. Not sure about other noise levels as I've only ever visited friends there rather than lived in the area, but it certainly wouldn't compare to living in a large city. The TPG has just upped the bus services to some towns across the border in France (Ferney-Voltaire, Saint Genis for example) so it might be worth checking with your HR department about where might be feasible..... which really does depend on where your place of work is, work hours (my OH often had to go in to his lab in the early hours to check on experiments for example, so a car was vital), family conditions, plus what type of permit you have.
Thank you for the description of Meyrin. If I can be picky and this place is not for me...
I preder to live in calm, residential area.
Yes, you are right. I wanted to collect information about where to live in advance of starting the job, but I will definitely consult with HR after joining the new employer.
My role is finance manager and normal working hour will be 8 to 18 (I hope!), so I think somewhere with public transport is sufficient for me. It is going to be just me relocating to Geneva also.
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Old 03.01.2019, 16:07
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

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No I'm not working for a bank. Is there different rule for them?
Quite often (always?) they require residency in Switzerland.

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I am looking for a flat in France too.
Do you have any recommend area? I don't drive a car, so looking for somewhere commutative by train.
You've said you'll be working on the Rive Droite so I guess Ferney or somewhere similar. You'd have to check on your travel times, though.

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I really hope that UK remain EU...
That ship has sailed, unfortunately. However:


https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/dea/en/...-Brexit_en.pdf
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On 19 December, the Federal Council adopted an agreement with the UK on migration-related matters. If the free movement of persons ceases to apply to the UK, this new agreement will protect the rights of Swiss nationals in the UK – which they acquired under the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) – such as residency and social security rights and the recognition of professional qualifications. Reciprocal conditions will apply to UK nationals in Switzerland. This new agreement will not apply to people who immigrate after the AFMP is no longer valid.
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Old 04.01.2019, 14:48
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

I am greatfull with that experienced EU national expat like you gave me some insight about the life in Switzerland.

Regarding finding a flat I started with looking for Eaux Vives, Carouge area and see how it goes.

That is interesting to know about the post-Brexit agreement.
Actually, that makes me hesitate to live in France as I might need to move again depends on the Brexit deal...
I envy your Irish nationality!
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Old 07.01.2019, 10:42
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Re: Moving to Geneva from UK

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That is interesting to know about the post-Brexit agreement.
Actually, that makes me hesitate to live in France as I might need to move again depends on the Brexit deal...
I envy your Irish nationality!
I haven't been legally Irish for that long. My mother was born in Northern Ireland - I got my first Irish passport when the Conservatives started promising a Brexit referendum should they win the 2015 election....
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