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Old 07.04.2021, 11:08
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What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Hi everyone,

I'm just curious if anyone has started renting an apartment in Basel recently, to see what the situation is like in terms of volume of people / competitiveness?

I understand the general situation in all of Switzerland is that it's extremely difficult to find rentals, and when I move across in June I will have temporary accommodation (AirBnB) for the first 3 months - I'm hoping that will allow sufficient time to find a permanent home for myself and the pup. I also know having a dog might be off-putting to potential landlords, so I'm just a bit anxious about precisely how difficult this process is going to be.

Anyone who has been through this recently, specifically in Basel, I'd love to hear your experiences, timeframes, and any challenges you faced (whether a normal problem or perhaps one exacerbated by the Covid situation).

Thanks!
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Old 07.04.2021, 11:18
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

To me it seems to be plenty on offer for decent "normal" prices.
I am looking occasionally without any serious plans.

Pets will probably limit you somewhat.
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Old 07.04.2021, 11:35
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Basel is much easier compared to Zurich. Plus there were huge numbers of recent layoff which eased the market further.

EDIT: missed the bit about the dog. yes, that makes it much more difficult.

Last edited by Phil_MCR; 07.04.2021 at 12:45.
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Old 07.04.2021, 12:21
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Dear Itsjess,
The answer is... it depends. Since you have a dog, it will be a bit more difficult. In addition, many ads do not specify that pets are welcome. So unless the ad specifically says no pets, you should ask. (Then make sure it is written into the lease)
I would recommend getting a head start searching on line. Comparis.ch is an aggregator for most sites. I also like immoscout24.ch It took me two months to find a place and move in. There are a lot of good posts about the shedding light on the process of looking for, applying for an apartment and moving in to your new place.
Best of luck! Basel is a great place to live and socialize.
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Old 07.04.2021, 12:41
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Different canton, different circumstances, but I visited 5 houses and flats in Wallis, applied for two and was offered both (and pretty sure I would have been offered the others too had I applied, as we got follow-up emails from them), so I'm not so sure about it being incredibly hard everywhere in Switzerland. Now Basel is a very different place of course. I didn't have to search for a flat since 2017 here, but I know several people who have in the last year or so and they really haven't had that much trouble. I suspect the whole covid situation has slowed down the market a bit and made it somewhat less of a sellers market.

Keep in mind that Basel has a lot of students, which means many people reaching the end of their studies and moving out of Basel are vacating flats in July and August, and most new students aren't arriving until end of August or September, which means that searching in May, June, July is the right time (slightly fewer people looking in proportion of available flats).
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Old 07.04.2021, 13:38
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Basel is a breeze compared to most Swiss cities ... good luck! If you expand your options to Basel Land ... i.e. Binnigen, Oberwil etc. you will have more options, especially with a dog.
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Old 07.04.2021, 17:41
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Thanks for the input, everyone sounds like it's mostly a positive situation, particularly with the student calendar rolling over in the summer.

I'd love to move a little further out into Basel Land, but unfortunately it's just me and the dog; although I know everyone is working-from-home at the moment, my thinking was that when we return to the office, I want somewhere close enough that I can pop home to visit the pup on my lunch breaks (on days when I don't have other dog walking / doggy daycare arrangements).

Haha is it obvious that my life revolves around my dog??
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Old 07.04.2021, 18:31
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

I moved to Basel around November last year and found my place around January this year. The search was not to bad, and I seemed to have lucked out a bit considering I took the first offer. The rent for its size was pretty good compared to New York City (1400 CHF for 75 sqm).

In short it was a breeze compared to New York City and my time during college in USA.

One thing to note, maybe very specific to me, is that I did not know I was living on the street where all the abulances that come and go from Universitätsspital ran by my street...It gets kind of annoying when im in my living room. My tip would be try and see if youre facing a main road or if there are tram tracks near your apartment. The sound could become a problem.
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Old 07.04.2021, 18:53
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

If you are looking for relocating to a new city , google maps is really helpful,
you can use the images to have a look around what is in your street.
On the map you can find anything/from public Transport to shops).

I would not sign a rental contract without seen the flat and the building/area.
The problem with basel is that most buildings are old and do not offer "luxury" like a washing machine/tumbler or a fiber connection in your room.
The taxes in Basel Stadt are really high compared to zurich aswell the cost for health insurance(premiums).
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Old 07.04.2021, 18:55
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

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I moved to Basel around November last year and found my place around January this year. The search was not to bad, and I seemed to have lucked out a bit considering I took the first offer. The rent for its size was pretty good compared to New York City (1400 CHF for 75 sqm).

In short it was a breeze compared to New York City and my time during college in USA.

One thing to note, maybe very specific to me, is that I did not know I was living on the street where all the abulances that come and go from Universitätsspital ran by my street...It gets kind of annoying when im in my living room. My tip would be try and see if youre facing a main road or if there are tram tracks near your apartment. The sound could become a problem.
This is excellent advice, thanks so much for sharing Kumabear!

Can I ask, how'd you go with all the paperwork requirements? It seems like you need an entire dossier of documentation to even apply! I was thinking I'd have to ask someone from my company to translate a cover letter into German for me, then I'd need to provide a credit report from my home country as I won't have anything for the debt collection thingie that you need... and did you just find your place on one of the big websites (immoscout / comparis / homegate) or did you register with local real estate agents?

Sorry for all the questions!
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Old 07.04.2021, 23:39
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

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This is excellent advice, thanks so much for sharing Kumabear!

Can I ask, how'd you go with all the paperwork requirements? It seems like you need an entire dossier of documentation to even apply! I was thinking I'd have to ask someone from my company to translate a cover letter into German for me, then I'd need to provide a credit report from my home country as I won't have anything for the debt collection thingie that you need... and did you just find your place on one of the big websites (immoscout / comparis / homegate) or did you register with local real estate agents?

Sorry for all the questions!
The paperwork was quite heavy and it is in German. I was about cautious at first so I made sure to google translate it and read it through. (I found my place on one of the big websites by the way.) He did also request a character assessment and my employee contract as verification.
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Old 08.04.2021, 10:48
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Hi Jess,

Congrats on your move and (a somewhat early) welcome to Basel! My wife and I moved to Basel in October with our dog and cat so I feel like some of your questions are very fresh for me. Also, maybe I'm weird but I really enjoy looking for apartments haha! I probably browsed the real estate aggregator sites that everyone recommends (comparis, immoscout, alle-immobilien, etc) everyday for 6 months before we moved.

First, I will say that in general the rental market in Basel seems like it has a high floor, not a lot of variation, and relatively low competition. What I mean by that is that most of the apartments I saw were pretty good and fairly similar. All of the neighborhoods are quite safe, living space is mostly in a narrow range, the build quality is high, even the layout of many apartments is strikingly similar. And it is all expensive but not outrageous. In terms of competitiveness, I have lived in places (California) where you had to be prepared to sign a rental contract and put down a deposit on the day you visited an apartment because the landlord might find someone else. That was not the case here and the whole process was actually frustratingly slow. I think a lot of what you read online about Switzerland is actually about Zurich and Geneva and Basel is a little different.

Obviously, this is entirely dependent on the places you've lived before and what your expectations are.

There are some things that I found once we were actually here looking for a place that were a little different from some of the internet research I had done. One thing that was something I read but didn't click until we were here is how small and well connected Basel is. I was very concerned about being close to a tram stop that had a direct connection to work, but everything is way more walkable than I expected. The trams and busses are fantastic and very easy to use if you have a U-Abo.

Another thing that was different was that I found much better prices for apartments looking on Facebook than I did on real estate sites like immoscout24. I got the sense that landlords post empty apartments to real estate sites but when tenets are trying to get out of a lease without providing as much notice they post on Facebook. Maybe this results in lower listing prices? Many of the places we visited were tenets trying to find a suitable replacement for the landlord and we had very little interaction with the building owners/managers. Rent my Space Basel was one of the most active Facebook groups for apartment listings.

Once we did interact with the building management company it seemed like they were more concerned with our employment than our rental history. In fact they didn't ask for rental history at all. The debt register was more like a checkbox thing for them. It is a piece of paper that costs about CHF18 and lets them know you don't have any debt collections against you in Switzerland. However, they will ask you for your employment contract, salary information and residency permit. Also, I would echo what someone said about pets being allowed: it is often not specified so don't filter your results by whether pets are allowed. Just ask. You may even find out there are other dog-owners in the building.

Finding a location that was good for the dog was something that I found it difficult to research before coming to Basel. There are a lot of dogs in the city so obviously many people find a way to give them what they need here. Many people have smaller dogs and I don't see Labs or Goldens as often as in the US.

There are a few notable parks and areas where dogs are not allowed and these places are well marked with signs. Schützmattpark and Kannenfeldpark are large parks in west Basel that unfortunately do not allow dogs. Some parks like St Johanns-park and Birskopfli allow dogs only on the paths, not on the grass. Some places that are great for dogs are Lange Erlen and along the Birs river. Technically I believe dogs are always supposed to be on leash but we always see people with their dogs off leash in these places. There is also a fenced off-leash dog park in Kleinbasel near Messeplatz. No matter where you are there are an abundance of doggy bag stations in the city. Also all of the iconic basilisk fountains have a little dog bowl at the bottom!

I hope this was helpful and not too long!
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Old 08.04.2021, 14:54
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

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Technically I believe dogs are always supposed to be on leash but we always see people with their dogs off leash in these places.
I think this could depend on the canton?
I've seen that dog training is a must (in some? in all?), so if you have a dog that is trained and passed the exam, maybe they don't need a leash anymore?


OP, check here for more information, it's different canton, but terms could help for more digging?
https://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corn...no-ticino.html
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Old 08.04.2021, 16:13
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

You guys are the absolute best!! thank you so much for all your thoughtful replies, and particularly @winchester, I can't thank you enough, your post is hugely helpful and a big comfort.

I'd 'thank' you with the forum buttons but I don't have enough EF-cred yet

I have requested to join the facebook group as suggested, I'd never have thought to ask there for real estate but I guess facebook is the system du jour these days.
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Old 08.04.2021, 17:57
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Since you're on FB, check out "Basel Folk" as well. There is some good conversation there about Basel-specific things, and another good place for you to ask questions.

Regarding Kleinbasel: some people are a little negative towards this area, some of it warranted, some of it not. This is where Basel's red light district is (near Kaserne) and where the majority of "police action" takes place. Mind you, *most* things that involve the police are also well after midnight, so if you're home at a reasonable time, you'd probably never even notice

The Kleinbasel area is much more diverse and has a thriving restaurant culture (for when restaurants are open again). It is also a lot "grittier" and industrial than Grossbasel, and the housing doesn't look as nice as other areas. I don't have any first-hand knowledge, but it also seems like it would be a noisy place to live.

I only point this out for your information for when you're "shopping" online and are curious about the neighborhoods.
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Old 08.04.2021, 20:17
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Kleinbasel seems to get a really negative rep on this forum which has always seemed to me undeserved, and I‘ve now lived in 4058 for more than 5 years. I completely agree there‘s an issue on Rebgasse north of Claraplatz and I would no way live around there. We looked at an apartment there when we first moved and it was to me a very obvious immediate „no“ from the people hanging about, at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. It might not be so obvious during the pandemic now. I‘d avoid the area around immediately Claramatte Park too. BUT... this is a tiny part of Kleinbasel and not representative of the area as a whole. I originally lived on the Erlenmatt which is very modern nice apartments and convenient but a bit expat-ghetto and I didn‘t find it very friendly and generally felt a bit isolated. I now live in Wettstein which though a short distance away is a different world. I‘m a few minutes walk from the Rhine and the buzz of restaurants and bars around Clarastrasse, yet on a quiet street with no through traffic, trams, or other noise. The neighbours are a mix of Swiss and foreigners, but all very chilled out and friendly. There‘s a Migros a couple of minutes walk away, and all the shops, restaurants and cafes of Clarastrasse less than 10 minutes walk. I like that there is life to the area and that the streets aren‘t devoid of people after 7pm or on a Sunday, and I‘ve never felt unsafe here (female, 30s).

EDIT: I agree that there are much better flats advertised on Facebook. A lot of the homegate/comparis adverts seem to get recycled and I‘m never sure if it‘s because they just leave the ads up most of the time or there is something fundamentally wrong with the places so that whoever moves in immediately gives notice!

Last edited by gaemsbock; 08.04.2021 at 20:19. Reason: additon.
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Old 09.04.2021, 12:38
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Yes, also had more luck when I arrived looking on Facebook than on the immo websites. Didn't have to give most of the documents that agencies usually make mandatory, either.

I also agree that there are lovely areas in Kleinbasel and it doesn't deserve the bad rep it sometimes gets. Yes there are slightly sketchy bits (proportionally more than Grossbasel maybe), but also great places. And Grossbasel has sketchy areas too.
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Old 10.04.2021, 00:10
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Thanks everyone, the neighbourhood chat is extremely helpful - it's so hard to know before I get there.

The good news is, I have arranged my temporary accommodation for the first three months, so at least I have a base to start from. It's a very new looking apartment in Erlenmatt - mainly chosen because they were happy for me to have my dog with me

In terms of Kleinbasel, all feedback is good to hear. It's certainly the area I was looking at originally, because my new office is quite near Basel Bad train station, so I was hoping to find an apartment quite close. I guess it's my Aussie blood that always makes me want to be near the water, so whenever I'm looking at the map I've thought the Clara area would be good - halfway between work and the water. I'll hold off until I get over there and can do a decent neighbourhood wander before making any decisions.
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Old 10.04.2021, 08:47
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

It is good that you'll have the three months to look around, but be aware that you may need those three months! Or, at least we did when we moved here 8 years ago...

Even though we were told this as well, keep in mind that Basel is *small*. When a relocation agent showed us places in Allschwil we thought "omg, we'd never want to live so far from "the city" - when in reality, it is only a 10 minute bicycle ride and a 15 minute tram ride. Not saying that Allschwil is "the place" to look, but that you should not be afraid of expanding your search horizons

Anyway, I'm sure that once you're here you'll have a good time getting to know the place!
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Old 10.04.2021, 09:02
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Re: What's the rental situation like in Basel at the mo?

Where is "the mo"?

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