English Forum Switzerland

English Forum Switzerland (https://www.englishforum.ch/forum.php)
-   Housing in general (https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-general/)
-   -   Tips for the first month (https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-general/294222-tips-first-month.html)

ErwinvanB 21.09.2019 15:32

Tips for the first month
Hi everyone,

I'm a dutch guy currently living in Barcelona. I have received a job offer for Project Manager in Schaffhausen to start on 14th October and I plan to move over there a week before so I can get settled before starting to work. I'm getting a little anxious and have doubts on how to approach this, so I hope that someone here can help me with advice and experiences.

My idea is to try to rent something for the first 2/3 months so during that time I can look for a bigger apartment for my family(wife and 2 kids) before they join me. At the moment I've arranged a viewing for a room in a shared flat and also to see a 1 room flat next week Tuesday 24th Sep as I'm taking the day to fly to Switzerland. Ideally I'd like to have a flat just for myself however I'm not sure if in such a short time, I'd be able to get something or I'd have to stick with the room in a shared flat. What do you think?

I've spoken over the phone with one of those relocation companies that offers support for looking and applying for flat and I'm debating myself whether it would be worth to pay for it or not. I get the impression that housing market is more than complex and since my German isn't that great yet, I worry I won't be able to do everything by myself.

Thank you all in advance for reading me. Any kind of advice is greatly appreciated.


doropfiz 21.09.2019 18:13

Re: Tips for the first month
Here's a website specifically for limited-duration rental contracts.

On other sites, such as homegate or alle-immobilien you can enter "befristet" (of limited duration) as a search-criterion. There are fewer people who want short-term rental contracts, so you'll have less competition.

Mrs. Doolittle 21.09.2019 20:37

Re: Tips for the first month
Can your employer offer you some support?

If you would like your family to join you sooner then locking yourself into any fixed term rental doesn't make any sense, unless you want to wait out your probationary period.

Whether you choose a flat share or a room on your own is a personal choice. Personally I think your best option is a furnished room with a short notice period.

ErwinvanB 22.09.2019 16:15

Re: Tips for the first month
Thanks Doropfiz

I already checked UMS, but they did not have anything in Schaffhausen at the moment.
I am now checking with Homegate and several others as well.

ErwinvanB 22.09.2019 16:22

Re: Tips for the first month
Thanks for the feedback Mrs Doolittle,

Unfortunately the employer is new to Switzerland as well, hence they can support only a little bit.
As they asked me to start in 1 months time, it is a bit of a tight schedule for me, and the family as well.
That is why the idea is that I will go ahead, and then try to search an accommodation for the whole family.

But are you saying that it will acctually be "easier" to look for a bigger apartment ( where we will stay for at least 1 year ), rather than me looking for something smaller (for a max time of 3 months) ?

Again many thanks for your input.

Best regards,


doropfiz 22.09.2019 17:06

Re: Tips for the first month
By "support" from the employer, I think Mrs Doolittle might have meant not only organisational advice and help, but also financial support, for example
  • to pay for a relocation agent, so that money does not come out of your pocket
  • to pay for a furnished appartment, such as Swiss Star or similar, for the first month for you alone, and at some point later for your family, too, for a pre-agreed number of months
  • to pay for the moving expenses when your family, and all your possessions, move to Switzerland.

An alternative is that the company provides you with a flat budget amount, for the whole move, for you to spend as you choose. If you know whether that's even an option, and how much, it will give you a better basis for planning.

I agree with Mrs Doolittle: first get yourself a furnished room with a short notice period.

Then, travel up and down all the public transport routes in the city, or cycle, to get a feel for the way things work. There are no really, really bad areas.

Do not be discouraged if you apply for apartments and don't even hear back from them. Other than in the top, luxury segment, there are many, many applicants for each flat, and the offices which receive them simply cannot reply to each person they turn down.

Try to get your application bundle together, so you an apply online. Include the following two:
  • One of the central documents needed, here, is called a "Betreibungsauszug" which, of course, you cannot have, as you come from abroad. If, where you are now, there is any official government paper which certifies that you do not have any debt, then definitely get that, and have it translated. If your current country does not have such a document, then ask your bank manager to certify that your accounts are correctly run, that you have not been in bad debt (by "bad" meaning you have defaulted on a repayment).
  • If you are tenant where you live now, ask your landlord for a letter stating how long you lived in his/her building, that you always paid punctually (hope that's true) and that you were a good tenant who caused no trouble (ditto, true).

When you apply for a flat, if there is space in the application, briefly mention all of the following, if they are true:
  • I am an EU-citizen employed in Schaffhausen
  • my finances are in proper order
  • we are respectful of the building and neighbours
  • no-one in my family smokes.

Write in German.
When you get a contract, before you sign make sure you understand it, especially the notice period, just in case you think it is a fine place to live, but it later turns out not to be suitable for your wife and children.

roegner 22.09.2019 17:09

Re: Tips for the first month

Originally Posted by doropfiz (Post 3102662)
Then, travel up and down all the tram and bus routes in the city, or cycle, to get a feel for the way things work. There are no really, really bad areas. The red-light district is along Langstrasse, but even a block or two away from there, there are many family flats, and a two lovely parks (Bäckeranlage and Josefswiese).

Why Zurich? Plenty of housing in Schaffhausen or Neuhausen, Flurlingen, all near to his new work.

doropfiz 22.09.2019 17:11

Re: Tips for the first month

Originally Posted by roegner (Post 3102663)
Why Zurich? Plenty of housing in Schaffhausen or Neuhausen, Flurlingen, all near to his new work.

Thank you. Before I saw your post, I'd already re-read OP's post, and edited mine to take out Zurich.

roegner 22.09.2019 17:20

Re: Tips for the first month
For renting check this out:


I rented from them for a couple of years and was really happy.

For short term stays you can also consider a Gasthof:


Was there for the first 3 months when I came to CH again.



All times are GMT +2. The time now is 06:43.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0