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Old 27.05.2019, 19:46
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Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

After completing a secondment with a big bank in Zurich for six months, I have signed a permanent contract and I am looking for long-term rental accommodation from the 1st of July (currently in serviced apartment). I am looking for 2.0 to 3.0 bedroom with a budget of CHF1,500 to CHF2,500. Not committed to being central but would like an easy enough commute to my job in Opfikon. I am a British expat and finding when I view places on Immoscout, Homegate, Flatfox there are also 30 other applicants, some of which are native Swiss and therefore have an advantage.

I am not having any luck with applications and this is starting to take up a lot of my time. Obviously I am asking internally at work also. I find the furniture system in Zurich very confusing (polite way of saying irrationally designed). I was close to agreeing a flat and the tenant suddenly decided she wanted CHF5,000 for old furniture that she claimed was 'vintage'. This is obviously material to a transaction of this scale and is a major difference to the UK system where the tenant has less power and is told to clean the flat when they leave i.e. they do not have anything to do with choosing the next tenant and therefore can not exploit the location of their flat (which is not theirs) by selling old furniture at an extortionate price. Can you tell I am frustrated....

Can anyone share any useful tips or know anyone who is moving out? Do you think it is worth paying an agent?
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Old 27.05.2019, 19:47
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

By 2.0 to 3.0 bedroom I mean, a minimum of a separate living room and one separate bedroom all the way up to a separate living room and two bedrooms.
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Old 27.05.2019, 19:55
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

Have a look just outside Zurich with good train connections. Often less taxes to pay and more choice.

That furniture thing is illegal here, although some people apparently try.
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Old 27.05.2019, 20:21
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

There is no "Furniture system" .. You can happily tell the tenant to stick it up their ass..

This is a simple con, they either don't want to pay to remove it or they are trying to make a quick buck from you.. The existing tenant has zero say in who next gets the property, only the owner does, usually on recommendation from the regie. The only hold over you is if it's a private advert and you can't apply direct to the regie.. In that case just ask the tenant, or ask to see the application form.. Don't discuss anything more, don't give the tenant a dossier, go direct to the regie.

Still no guarantee but at least you know the tenant didn't bin you dossier because you hated the furniture.
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Old 27.05.2019, 20:33
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

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By 2.0 to 3.0 bedroom I mean, a minimum of a separate living room and one separate bedroom all the way up to a separate living room and two bedrooms.

So, rooms then. Not bedrooms.
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Old 27.05.2019, 21:03
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

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There is no "Furniture system" .. You can happily tell the tenant to stick it up their ass..

This is a simple con, they either don't want to pay to remove it or they are trying to make a quick buck from you.. The existing tenant has zero say in who next gets the property, only the owner does, usually on recommendation from the regie. The only hold over you is if it's a private advert and you can't apply direct to the regie.. In that case just ask the tenant, or ask to see the application form.. Don't discuss anything more, don't give the tenant a dossier, go direct to the regie.

Still no guarantee but at least you know the tenant didn't bin you dossier because you hated the furniture.
Thanks for the heads up. Yes I think we have encountered a few private adverts. In these cases I am am guessing the existing tenant has not yet told their landlord they want to move out. They then line up as many viewings as possible via Homegate or Immoscout. During the viewing they will often say "i will have the say on who i put forward to the landlord and i would like to leave the following furniture for a price of [X]...Would that be something you are interested in". They then distribute a generic form at the time of the viewing and ask you to fill it out. They withhold the landlords information at this stage and once they receive the form, I imagine they bid-up the furniture across tenants. Whilst annoying, this is probably easy to do if the flat is in a good location, is in decent condition and the price they are paying per month. Once they are happy with the form and the agreed furniture price (probably offline via email) they will bring the landlord into the picture.

I will try and get access to the landlord immediately or i could just agree to the price of the furniture no matter how deluded the price is and then once I get access to the landlord and move through referencing and credit checks just tell the tenant i no longer need the furniture?
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Old 27.05.2019, 21:04
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

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So, rooms then. Not bedrooms.
yes sorry. just getting use to the terminology here
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Old 27.05.2019, 21:08
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

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yes sorry. just getting use to the terminology here
For example:

https://www.immoscout24.ch/de/wohnun...rt-wallisellen

https://www.immoscout24.ch/de/wohnun...endorf?nrf=2.5

https://www.immoscout24.ch/de/wohnun...en/ort-thalwil
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Old 27.05.2019, 21:13
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

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I will try and get access to the landlord immediately or i could just agree to the price of the furniture no matter how deluded the price is and then once I get access to the landlord and move through referencing and credit checks just tell the tenant i no longer need the furniture?
Sounds fair to me.. Just as fair as them trying to offload their junk on you.. It's a total scam but as you say, unless you get access to the regie you're kinda stuck.

Of course sometimes it works well for both parties, the new tenant for my place, next month is taking a load of stuff from me.. On their second visit (arranged by the regie) I told them all the stuff we were not taking, they wanted most of it! They are getting a pile of stuff for a couple of hundred francs.. Washing machine, trampoline, furniture, lights.. loads.. Saved me selling it, saved them buying it.

But it was totally outside of their deal with the regie / owner.
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Old 27.05.2019, 21:25
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

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I will try and get access to the landlord immediately or i could just agree to the price of the furniture no matter how deluded the price is and then once I get access to the landlord and move through referencing and credit checks just tell the tenant i no longer need the furniture?
Yeah I was also thinking about this situation and would have no qualms doing that if it was a place I wanted. Finding apartments is hard enough without letting people make it more difficult with dodgy deals and the look on someone's face would be priceless when the landlord tells them to get their furniture out asap, they say you agreed to take it and when questioned you give them your sweetest smile and claim you have no idea what they are talking about. Brutal, but fair.
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Old 27.05.2019, 21:29
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck


Thanks very much. I will check out Wallisellen and Dubendorf. Do you know if there is any bars/restaurants there? Being new to Zurich, whilst we do not need to be central but do not want to isolate ourselves.

At the start of the search i was thinking 1.5 to 2.0 rooms central but i'm no longer a spring chicken and advancing into my 30s. The wife and I are trying for kids and I do not want to go through this experience twice so I may look further out and shoot for 3.0 to 3.5 rooms. Whilst we are both on decent salaries, i do not like paying too much rent anyway (maybe i am tight but money up in smoke ).
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Old 27.05.2019, 22:21
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

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Finding apartments is hard enough without letting people make it more difficult with dodgy deals and the look on someone's face would be priceless when the landlord tells them to get their furniture out asap, they say you agreed to take it and when questioned you give them your sweetest smile and claim you have no idea what they are talking about.
It's quite silly form the previous tenants to rely on the verbal agreement. I thought it's more or less standard practice when the previous tenant sends e-mail to the new tenant with CC to the landlord asking to confirm the list of the agreed furniture to take. I heard some of the tenants even ask to sign the list on the paper to be on the safe side.
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Old 27.05.2019, 22:46
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

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...
Can anyone share any useful tips or know anyone who is moving out? Do you think it is worth paying an agent?
Try to open a topic in “Property wanted” section here on EF. It takes a few minutes and could help. We just found a very nice 2 room apartment in central Zurich through EF, after couple of months of unlucky searching in Immoscout etc.
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Old 28.05.2019, 06:57
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

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I thought it's more or less standard practice when the previous tenant sends e-mail to the new tenant with CC to the landlord asking to confirm the list of the agreed furniture to take. I heard some of the tenants even ask to sign the list on the paper to be on the safe side.
What, even though its not allowed to do so?
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Old 28.05.2019, 08:06
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

No need to buy furniture and paying agent is also useless here. Just keep trying. It takes some time here to get one.

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After completing a secondment with a big bank in Zurich for six months, I have signed a permanent contract and I am looking for long-term rental accommodation from the 1st of July (currently in serviced apartment). I am looking for 2.0 to 3.0 bedroom with a budget of CHF1,500 to CHF2,500. Not committed to being central but would like an easy enough commute to my job in Opfikon. I am a British expat and finding when I view places on Immoscout, Homegate, Flatfox there are also 30 other applicants, some of which are native Swiss and therefore have an advantage.

I am not having any luck with applications and this is starting to take up a lot of my time. Obviously I am asking internally at work also. I find the furniture system in Zurich very confusing (polite way of saying irrationally designed). I was close to agreeing a flat and the tenant suddenly decided she wanted CHF5,000 for old furniture that she claimed was 'vintage'. This is obviously material to a transaction of this scale and is a major difference to the UK system where the tenant has less power and is told to clean the flat when they leave i.e. they do not have anything to do with choosing the next tenant and therefore can not exploit the location of their flat (which is not theirs) by selling old furniture at an extortionate price. Can you tell I am frustrated....

Can anyone share any useful tips or know anyone who is moving out? Do you think it is worth paying an agent?
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Old 28.05.2019, 08:10
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

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After completing a secondment with a big bank in Zurich for six months, I have signed a permanent contract and I am looking for long-term rental accommodation from the 1st of July (currently in serviced apartment). I am looking for 2.0 to 3.0 bedroom with a budget of CHF1,500 to CHF2,500. Not committed to being central but would like an easy enough commute to my job in Opfikon. I am a British expat and finding when I view places on Immoscout, Homegate, Flatfox there are also 30 other applicants, some of which are native Swiss and therefore have an advantage.

I am not having any luck with applications and this is starting to take up a lot of my time. Obviously I am asking internally at work also. I find the furniture system in Zurich very confusing (polite way of saying irrationally designed). I was close to agreeing a flat and the tenant suddenly decided she wanted CHF5,000 for old furniture that she claimed was 'vintage'. This is obviously material to a transaction of this scale and is a major difference to the UK system where the tenant has less power and is told to clean the flat when they leave i.e. they do not have anything to do with choosing the next tenant and therefore can not exploit the location of their flat (which is not theirs) by selling old furniture at an extortionate price. Can you tell I am frustrated....

Can anyone share any useful tips or know anyone who is moving out? Do you think it is worth paying an agent?
Very much depends where you are looking for a place. In central Zürich its always a problem. Try these areas-Oerlikon, Affolten,Stettbach, Schwamendingen Not the nicest of areas. Thats why its easier to get a place. Its a sad situation in Zürich. They want to reserve the central areas just for the wealthy pushing the "undesirables" out to the outskirts
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Old 28.05.2019, 08:20
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

There’s a Facebook group which has a lot of information:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/8768...707/?ref=share

But watchout for scams.
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Old 28.05.2019, 08:22
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

Maybe look here. Its the biggest non private economical housing agent in Zürich.

https://www.abz.ch/
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Old 28.05.2019, 09:41
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

If you are not much of a metroploitan type of guy, ZVV/SBB line S9 stops at Glattbrugg, Opfikon as well as towns like Rumlang, Oberglatt, Niederglatt, Bulach, Eglisau, and Rafz, the longest distance being ~25 minutes direct train each half an hour. In most of these cities you can find a flat in walking distance to the train stations with virtually no queue or waiting list, and an extra bedroom for the same money.

The same applies to line S15 and towns like Niderhasli and Steinmaur.

Last edited by higgsboson; 28.05.2019 at 12:23.
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Old 28.05.2019, 15:29
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Re: Looking for Zurich flat and having no luck

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Yes I think we have encountered a few private adverts. In these cases I am am guessing the existing tenant has not yet told their landlord they want to move out.
Not necessarily. Tenants can withdraw from their contracts only in fixed moments of the year (usually September or March); if they want to leave in a different moment they have to either pay the missing months or find a new tenant. In the latter case it's up to them to find the new tenant, that's why you never see the landlord in the process.

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They then line up as many viewings as possible via Homegate or Immoscout. During the viewing they will often say "i will have the say on who i put forward to the landlord and i would like to leave the following furniture for a price of [X]...Would that be something you are interested in". They then distribute a generic form at the time of the viewing and ask you to fill it out.
That's common practice, yes.

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They withhold the landlords information at this stage
Landlord does not care at this stage; he/she will get money until the next withdrawal window anyways.

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and once they receive the form, I imagine they bid-up the furniture across tenants. Whilst annoying, this is probably easy to do if the flat is in a good location, is in decent condition and the price they are paying per month. Once they are happy with the form and the agreed furniture price (probably offline via email) they will bring the landlord into the picture.
You are NOT legally bound to take up any furniture, however you are right that as long as the tenants are doing the screening they can influence the process. If the landlord is smart he will ask for 10 forms or more and then he will decide ignoring the furniture topic and concentrating on income, pets or whatever else. If the landlord is lazy he wil ask for just a couple of forms and the tenant will have high selection power.
As you can see, it's a matter of the landlord delegating some powers (and time-consuming duties) to the tenant.

Usually there is no bidding, but prices of furniture are known in advance at the moment of visiting the property.

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I will try and get access to the landlord immediately
You can try to access the landlord, I don't think it's forbidden, but usually if the tenant is doing the screening it's because it's his duty and not the landlord's (see above) so the landlord will much likely forward you to the tenant.
When tenants move out within the withdrawal period they don't bother doing any screening at all because they don't have to... in that case you get ONLY access to the landlord (or the agency) and the property will be given to you without any item from the previous tenant.

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or i could just agree to the price of the furniture no matter how deluded the price is and then once I get access to the landlord and move through referencing and credit checks just tell the tenant i no longer need the furniture?
In principle I think it would work and you would have the law on your side because furniture is totally not part of the contract, but if I remember correctly to transfer a contract you need the signatures of the current tenants and they will likely finalize the furniture thing first.
So, in the end you might be looking for unnecessary friction and potentially lose a lot of time.
Think at your actual hourly salary and factor a couple of hours of discussion plus the risk of losing the property, it might actually be more convenient to pay, say, 300 CHF for unwanted furniture that you can later resell after you move in. I know, it's a bit silly, but remember: you are not renting an available property with a brand new contract, you are taking over an existing contract from a private person... some negotiation and compromises are inhevitable.
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