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Old 05.02.2009, 11:16
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Information on Swiss cooperative housing

Hi,

We have discovered the world of swiss 'cooperative housing'...'baugenossenschaft' ?

Does anyone know if expats have problems registering for this sort of housing - we plan to be here long-term...

I know it costs usually a chunk of money to join, but then after that you have much cheaper (and predictable) rent...

We have three children, so it makes sense, and also seems to be where the 'big' apartments are...the newer developments tend to be smaller apartments ?

Anyway, anyone with insight - there are at least a dozen sites in Zurich that are co-op's...
Thanks!
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Old 05.02.2009, 11:28
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Re: cooperative housing

My colleague lives in a new build Baugenossenschaft somewhere in Zürich, towards Oerlikon. She rented it before it was built for a very good price. She has 2 kids and thought that she would always be on a good rent.

However, after the first year of living there they re-calculated the rents and raised them by a few hundred francs a month. She is now looking at moving.
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Old 05.02.2009, 11:46
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Re: cooperative housing

I saw one advertised recently in Dietikon.

http://www.homegate.ch
insert # 102930096


The ad says: "Junges Schweizer Ehepaar wird bevorzugt."

I really don't know if this is in the statutes of the cooperative or just a preference on their part.
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Old 16.12.2009, 07:53
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Re: cooperative housing

I am reviving this thread as I have had an offer of help to advocate for us (a three-child, two-parent family) to enter cooperative housing (Baugenossenschaft).

If anyone has any suggestions of which ones to apply to, or how to go about the application process, that would be great.

We are looking around Zurich, between Leimbach, Enge and across the lake on the Seefeld side.

All advice, offers of assistance, would be greatly appreciated...

Our current lease ends 1 October 2010 and at that point they are clearing the entire block to rebuild...so we have a pretty clear time-frame on this one!
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Old 16.12.2009, 12:58
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Re: Information on Swiss cooperative housing

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Hi,

We have discovered the world of swiss 'cooperative housing'...'baugenossenschaft' ?

Does anyone know if expats have problems registering for this sort of housing - we plan to be here long-term...

I know it costs usually a chunk of money to join, but then after that you have much cheaper (and predictable) rent...

We have three children, so it makes sense, and also seems to be where the 'big' apartments are...the newer developments tend to be smaller apartments ?

Anyway, anyone with insight - there are at least a dozen sites in Zurich that are co-op's...
Thanks!
I rent an appartment from Baugenossenschaft der Strassenbahner in Zürich.

The money I had to bring in was about 6000 Franks. My rent is below the average seeing the quality of the appartemnt and the location.

I don't think being a foreigner was a problem. At least I never felt it that way.

The Genossenschaft also provide an excellent service. I've lived in this appartment for 10 years now and during that time they've done countless improvements without raising the rent. Many of my friends who rent privately have either seen their rent go up went things were improved, or haven't seen any improvements at all. Improvements include a new kitchen, a new bathroom, renovation of the stairs, a new elevator and lost of smaller things. Whenever I have a complaint or try to contact them for whatever reason they get back to me within hours. The stars, entrance area, garden etc are maintained spotlessly. I really cannot complain about anything.
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Old 16.12.2009, 13:00
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Re: cooperative housing

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I saw one advertised recently in Dietikon.

http://www.homegate.ch
insert # 102930096

The ad says: "Junges Schweizer Ehepaar wird bevorzugt."

I really don't know if this is in the statutes of the cooperative or just a preference on their part.
Some of these Genossenschaften strive to get a reflective mix of the population. This means there are set quota for Swiss and set quota for foreigners. Ditto for singles, families, low earners, high earners etc etc.

This is well meant but the downside is that if a Swiss family with a left handed person and a salary of X and an allergy Y moves out for example, another Swiss family with a left-handed person and a salary of X and an allergy Y must move back in, and if they can't find one they leave the appartment empty.

(I'm exaggerating of course)
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Old 16.12.2009, 13:42
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Re: Information on Swiss cooperative housing

Yes, that's what I've heard - I shall add those to my list...
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Old 16.12.2009, 13:45
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Re: Information on Swiss cooperative housing

I'm also hoping that a genossenschaft keeps the 'nebenkosten' under control - we just got an *adjustment* bill of 1500chf for the first 9 months...for the period to may 09...nice christmas present
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Old 16.12.2009, 14:47
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Re: Information on Swiss cooperative housing

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I'm also hoping that a genossenschaft keeps the 'nebenkosten' under control - we just got an *adjustment* bill of 1500chf for the first 9 months...for the period to may 09...nice christmas present
As I mentioned earlier, I rent from Baugenossenschaft der Strassenbahner and in the 10 years I've been with them I've never seen anything of the sort happen.

They have annual meetings at which all members get to vote over questions of policy, new projects, renovations, etc. They also distribute a sort of mini newsletter on an irregular basis detailling their running costs and any current issues and problems etc and this gives some advance warning if some unexpected development is taking place.
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Old 25.03.2012, 22:12
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Re: Information on Swiss cooperative housing

I'm reviving this thread just to find out if more people have had experiences with cooperative housing since the last post in 2009.

We're currently on an apartment hunt and came across a new 'baugenossenschaft' that we would like to apply for. But I can't seem to find that much more information on them apart from this thread and the other one about the share certificates. Are there rules on how long you intend to stay in the apartment? How does one get out of the contract if we decided to leave Switzerland in a few years?

Does one simply fill in the application form and send all supporting documents just like you would with a private tenancy? Also, we're a young British couple (unmarried, no kids), have only just started learning German and only bf is employed at the minute as I look for work. With those in mind, what are our chances of getting into the cooperative?
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Old 25.03.2012, 22:33
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Re: Information on Swiss cooperative housing

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We're currently on an apartment hunt and came across a new 'baugenossenschaft' that we would like to apply for. But I can't seem to find that much more information on them apart from this thread and the other one about the share certificates. Are there rules on how long you intend to stay in the apartment? How does one get out of the contract if we decided to leave Switzerland in a few years?
Normally you can move out with 3 months notice after the first year.

What's different:
  • Instead of a deposit you have to buy shares in the cooperative. Sometimes you get paid interest on those, sometimes you don't. Unlike the deposit the amount is not limited by law. Sometimes it's in the range of a regular deposit (i.e. 2-3 times the monthly rent) but it can go much higher. I once saw an ad where a cooperative required CHF 24'000 for an apartment that cost about 2'000 a month.
  • The rules how the rent is calculated in case of rising or falling interest rates are different, but I'm not familiar with them.
  • Many (but not all) cooperatives require a minimum occupancy. It's usually the number of rooms in the apartment minus one, i.e. the minimum occupancy for 4-room-apartment is 3 people.
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Does one simply fill in the application form and send all supporting documents just like you would with a private tenancy?
Yes. Complete the form and send it along with the documentation they ask for.
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Old 26.03.2012, 10:44
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Re: Information on Swiss cooperative housing

I concurr with everything Mark75 says in the post above, but would like to add that in my own (limited) experience, one thing Baugenossenschafts love is enthusiasm. So don't just fill in the application form and post it, but call back after 2-3 days to express how interested you are. I was invited for an interview with the manager and again I used this opportunity to express how enthusiastic I was about becoming part of the Baugenossenschaft as well as all the reasons why this particular location was perfect for me. At least for me it worked and I got me that appartment, despite some 30 other parties having viewed it on the viewing date. I'm still living there today, more than 10 years on.
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