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Old 28.02.2019, 19:20
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Housing and schools in Lausanne area

Hello,

We are moving to Lausanne this summer and I am trying to understand how the housing market works and how public schools are assigned. I read many posts here and in other sites and I am still confused:

Housing:

1. What is the recommended way to find an apartment?
We are a family with two young children who already moved between continents before, so I prefer to make it easy for them and find a permanent place before they arrive at Lausanne. I don't want the children to move between temp places.

2. I understand that there are rental agents (regie?), but I am not sure how they work. Will they look for places for me? What do they charge?

3. How long in advance can I find an apartment? Where we currently live in the US it is no more than a month or two. I wonder if it is different in Lausanne.

4. Should I plan a preliminary visit? Will it help? How long should I expect to stay?

5. Should I have a permit to sign a lease? If so, it would mean I can only sign after we relocate. Any way around that?

Schools:

5. I understand that school is assigned based on residence address. My older son will go into Swiss first grade (pre-K). Is it guaranteed he will be assigned the closest school to whatever home we find? Or any school within walking distance?

6. Is it true that a permit is required to register to school?
If so, whose permit is required? Mine, or my son's?
If my son's, must he enter Switzerland to get his permit? Or can I enter before him and get it for him?

7. Is there any quantitative evaluation of schools in the area so we can compare schools and choose ones over the others? Is there any significant differences between public schools in this area?

Thank you very much!
Yotam
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Old 28.02.2019, 20:11
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Re: Housing and schools in Lausanne area

It will be much more difficult to secure permanent housing before you arrive, possible yes, likely no.

1. Look all the usual places, homegate, anibis, etc.; word of mouth of future colleagues; and if you have the offer of relocation agent or want to pay for it, it could help. Lausanne still has a very tight housing market, probably much less than 1% vacancy rate, so it can be brutal. Depends also on budget, the higher the budget the less competition. I think the average time to secure housing is about 6 months.

2, No, regies rent out the places on behalf of the owners. Relocation agent, if offered by employer or paid by you could help in finding an apartment, but it won't be cheap.

3. Could easily take 6 months or more. You need to have all the paperwork prepared, permit, bank account, work contract, etc. to apply for nearly all places, thus the difficulty to secure in advance.

4. Could help but still not guarantee you will get a place. You would need to set up viewings and have all the paperwork to apply for places.

5. Generally yes most landlords request.

5. Not guaranteed. Generally that is how its designed but for various reasons may be assigned another one, e.g. no space, language integration courses, design of the school district, etc.

7. Quantative assessment for kindergarten, I doubt it. There is no academic learning at HarmoS 1, so no tests, only organized play.
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Old 28.02.2019, 20:47
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Re: Housing and schools in Lausanne area

Thank you!
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Old 01.03.2019, 02:03
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Re: Housing and schools in Lausanne area

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Is it true that a permit is required to register to school?

Here is the Lausanne page for new arrivals registering in school. You will need to present your permit, presumably both for you and your children.



As to how to get one, if you are an EU citizen with a contract for work, you need to do an annonce d'arrivée in your commune's contrôle des habitants, taking along all your documents including work contract.



If you are from outside the EU and being given a B permit, the right to bring your family is not automatic (although I think in practice granted) and you should talk to the federal/cantonal authorities to make sure you can bring them. I believe permits are sorted out either before Switzerland (because of the Schengen rules to acquire biometric information) or shortly on arrival (at least, the collection is done), but this wasn't my case.



However you do this, in either case your child will end up with a permit once you do the annonce d'arrivée. Permits may take some time to appear so, you will likely be given an attestation de domicile, which is a letter signed by your commune indicating you have the legal right to live there - this is good enough to open a bank account and get health insurance and will be good enough to register your child for school.


You will use your permit, or an attestation, for most of your interactions with the cantonal/commune authorities.
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Old 01.03.2019, 06:24
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Re: Housing and schools in Lausanne area

Thank you!
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