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  #21  
Old 14.08.2007, 12:11
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

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A quick question - we want an apartment in Zurich for 1st October - how long before then should we be looking at places?

At least 3 months ago.

You will probably not manage to find your ideal place by 1 October and have to do some temporary deal until you get to know the place.

I would refuse to accept a job without getting a temporary flat thrown in for at least 2 months, to give you time to check out whats out there.

H
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  #22  
Old 14.08.2007, 12:19
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

You put things into perspective... and you are right...!! I never really thought of putting myself into a landlord shoes...!!

Furthermore, people that are complaining are the one normally looking for the best address/lowest price....tough! If they would compromise the convenience of living right in the heart of the city (but maybe just 15 minutes by train)...chances will be much higher...

I live in the boonies (sometime I complain about it) but hey...I have a great flat and I am only 15 minutes from the city by car/train...and...I got the apartment even before I moved in to Zurich...!

Cheers and good luck to the guys still looking for a flat...



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For me, I found it easier if I put myself in the Landlord´s shoes. I want to be comfortable that I will have the apartment let for a good time, with the minimum chances of any hassle in the contract term.

This is why I believe Landlords can come across as racist etc as usually they are Swiss, and I would think they can empathise (and judge) Swiss people from their own experience and find it easier to judge, communicate with and decide on a Swiss person. When an applicant is from further away, and certainly from another culture thi is a risk they would rather not take if they have 50 applicants for their prized asset.

I therefore wrote a two page CV cum biography, statsing how I understand I may not be the first choice candidate on paper (English with not great German skills) and basically answered what would be my concerns if I were them. And as advised above, evidence is helpful too such as unlimited contract, and a good reference.

I also think Landlords are fair and try and fit the best apartment to the most needy rather than giving a large apartment away to a single ´rich´ guy. For this reason, I applied to 4 room apartment in my block, which they gave to a family from the area, but then offered me a 2.5 room place in the same block.

As with all things in Switzerland my advice as a foreigner is to understand you have to go the extra mile, as you are an outsider and all efforts to bridge the gap are very much appreciated. They will open up and you will find Switzerland your oyster.

Good luck.
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  #23  
Old 14.08.2007, 12:27
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

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Thanks for the truly terrifying help guys!
Well sorry for that, but just would like to share the experience. And so maybe others can be more prepared if they want to move to the city.

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is there usually a notice period before you move in or is it pretty much immediate?
Normally, the landlord or the tenant could end the contract at end of March, June and Sept with a 3 months in advance notice. So in general, the time you could move in is Apr, May and Oct... but you better ask to confirm.

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Also, my husband is EU and a doctor, he is coming to work at a hospital in Zurich, I'm a Swiss citizen - well I've been Swiss abroad in London all my life - do I need anything to prove my Swiss-ness apart from my ID card? I don't speak a word of Swiss German. Not very good for a lifelong citizen of Zurich.
As you being a Swiss and together with your husband being a doctor... it sounds pretty good reputation. Maybe you don't hv to worry that much. What about asking your husband hospital to write you an reference letter?

It also depends how central in the city you're looking for and how much you could afford. Some of the areas are pretty nice around the city at reasonable price.

Last edited by Mavis; 14.08.2007 at 12:32. Reason: more details
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  #24  
Old 14.08.2007, 12:34
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

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Thanks for the truly terrifying help guys!

A quick question - we want an apartment in Zurich for 1st October - how long before then should we be looking at places? We're still in London. emailed some agents from Homegate last week and they wanted us there that day looking at them - is there usually a notice period before you move in or is it pretty much immediate?

Also, my husband is EU and a doctor, he is coming to work at a hospital in Zurich, I'm a Swiss citizen - well I've been Swiss abroad in London all my life - do I need anything to prove my Swiss-ness apart from my ID card? I don't speak a word of Swiss German. Not very good for a lifelong citizen of Zurich.

When you say we need guarantees from landlords - we actually own in London and we are renting it out whilst in Zurich - what kind of guarantee should we bring with us?

Thanks!
So your husband is a Dr.. If that is the case you need to think carefully about where you will live as he will be on a very high salary. Why not go on homegate and do some tax calculations. The low tax places are usually very nice and a "convenient" distance away from Zurich maybe 20 mins - 30 mins. Places such as Zollikon, Neerach and Herrliberg in Kanton Zürich and Pfäffikon or Bäch in Kanton Schwyz are where you should be looking.

For your landlord given that you are Swiss, you will need a deposit of three months rent paid into a locked account. More than this you will not need.

Notice period - the Swiss actually plan moves 18 months ahead, but will jump today at a flat that is in the right area and vacant - in fact there will be queues of takers at silly money ie SFr. 5K per month... I would extremely very strongly recommend organising a few visits for a weekend and fly over Friday night stay in a hotel rent a car and visit flats on the Saturday. In places such as Zollikon it is very hard to find anything, whereas in Neerach for example they are really building plenty of new appartments so demand in certain areas outstrips supply and in other areas more or less matches it - you need to look around yourself to find out what you prefer.
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  #25  
Old 14.08.2007, 12:41
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

thanks very much for the advice everyone - we have got a room from the hospital (trimli) but it's a single room with shared bathroom - like student dorm - so it will be OK-ish until we find a proper apartment. Whilst I like the idea of living out of town, because we're only coming for a short period of time we really want to be in town so we can make the most of it.

Whoever siad he will be on a high salary has got to be joking! It's an academic research fellowship and is much much less than London.

some of the apartments shown on homegate say they are available from September or Octoer - is that because thye are no good? We are coming in a couple of weeknds time to look for places.
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  #26  
Old 14.08.2007, 13:21
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

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At least 3 months ago.

You will probably not manage to find your ideal place by 1 October and have to do some temporary deal until you get to know the place.

I would refuse to accept a job without getting a temporary flat thrown in for at least 2 months, to give you time to check out whats out there.

H
very good suggestion...at least 2 months temporary flat is needed.
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  #27  
Old 14.08.2007, 13:34
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

Hi All...
one important information I would like to share with you...
There is a way of not "paying" the caution to the Landlord.
You can go online an apply at http://www.swisscaution.ch/
Basically you will have to pay an early premium (normally around CHF 300)
depending on location/amount of the caution etc.
They will deal with the landlord directly and you won't have to advance so much money...



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So your husband is a Dr.. If that is the case you need to think carefully about where you will live as he will be on a very high salary. Why not go on homegate and do some tax calculations. The low tax places are usually very nice and a "convenient" distance away from Zurich maybe 20 mins - 30 mins. Places such as Zollikon, Neerach and Herrliberg in Kanton Zürich and Pfäffikon or Bäch in Kanton Schwyz are where you should be looking.

For your landlord given that you are Swiss, you will need a deposit of three months rent paid into a locked account. More than this you will not need.

Notice period - the Swiss actually plan moves 18 months ahead, but will jump today at a flat that is in the right area and vacant - in fact there will be queues of takers at silly money ie SFr. 5K per month... I would extremely very strongly recommend organising a few visits for a weekend and fly over Friday night stay in a hotel rent a car and visit flats on the Saturday. In places such as Zollikon it is very hard to find anything, whereas in Neerach for example they are really building plenty of new appartments so demand in certain areas outstrips supply and in other areas more or less matches it - you need to look around yourself to find out what you prefer.
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  #28  
Old 14.08.2007, 13:41
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

the reason so many places state "available September/October" is because there is an *official* moving date at the end of September.

Possibly the most annoying and daft rule invented, ever. Twice a year you can move for the more uptight places.

I used to live just down from Triemli - on this page today is an advert for an apartment in that complex: http://www.plazza-immobilien.ch/miet...gen/index.html
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  #29  
Old 19.02.2011, 13:37
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

Hi,
can you help me, how to organise?
What do you mean bye organised 6?
I really need tips now. I am blank and almost give up. I am very demoted by the agency's respond. sincerely,
Yoke

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It's not that bad. I was in a corporate apartment for 4 months. Within the first two I had seen about 4 places within 2 weeks. I was offered one and I took it.

I have subsequently seen a few more and have come pretty close to either getting them, or I knew I could get them but then decided not to.

I would say if you're organised 6.

As Uncle Max says, get in there early and give it some.
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  #30  
Old 19.02.2011, 14:29
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

I'd heard the horror stories. A counter-point.

I made the decision to move in the second week of Jan. In the first week I viewed three places via Homegate, and sent inquiries about viewing via the website.

I saw the place I'm now moving to on 21/1 (4.5 rooms, centre of Zurich, the third one that I saw in that first week), applied on 23/1, was accepted on 26/1, had a tenant to take over my current apartment signed up by 11/2, and a moving/cleaning co. arranged by 16/2 (after getting quotes from 3).

I move on 23/2, new tenant takes over the lease on 26/2.

So, just over a month from making the decision to move to having an actual move day. The place I'm moving to is the only place I applied for, and there were three other people interested (well, who saw it on the same day I did anyway).

Total cost was CHF 6,100 for the move and clean, and a couple of weeks overlap on the rental periods -- that's why there's a 3 day gap between applying and being approved, the landlord wanted the contract to start on 1/2, I negotiated that to 16/2.

Oh, and I spent 7 days in New York and 3 days in London during this process. I could probably have got things done a bit faster if I'd been in the country. Or if I spoke more than two words of German (whole thing's been conducted in English so far).

I'm prepared to believe I've just been incredibly lucky, but then finding accommodation the first time I moved here was pretty trivial too (second place I saw, first place I applied for) so I'm two for two at the moment.
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  #31  
Old 19.02.2011, 15:23
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

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Its like really, really, really, dead, dead, dead difficult.

Really.
We started looking for an apartment Monday (last week) for the 1st of March. It look us three days to find a 3bedroom flat in Zurich, right in the city centre (Selnau area),we got a call two days later saying that we've been given the flat. (Moving in 23rd of february)
The house is amazing and our budget was quiet reasonable.
While searching we've been told by many people, that 'it is almost impossible if you are not Swiss', blah..blah..blah.. (my partner has a B permit).
So, dont be discouraged! it is possible, you just have to be patient and positive!
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  #32  
Old 20.02.2011, 12:07
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

As this old Thread has been revived, it might be an idea to have the link, for those still searching, with tips to help them find accomodation. How do rental agencies select tenants?
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  #33  
Old 20.02.2011, 13:00
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

Is all this difficulty with getting a flat a Zurich specific thing? Or is it countrywide? My colleagues and I seemed to get everything we applied for in Zug, no issues with where we were from and all that.
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  #34  
Old 20.02.2011, 13:05
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

Zürich and Geneva region are probably areas where demand most exceeds supply. Also depends on how much money you can afford to spend and, in the end, whether the person making the final decision likes the look (or the sound) of you. See link in previous post in this Thread.
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  #35  
Old 21.02.2011, 09:02
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

Biggest issue I have faced related to references... For a foreigner just coming in, the hardest thing is competition from the Swiss (for the same flats) that are generally preferred...

Otherwise, a salary minimum also exists (usually 3 times the cost of rent)..

Hope this helps,

F
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  #36  
Old 21.02.2011, 14:03
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

I think if you have a somewhere to live without a time limit you can conduct a much better search for a permanent home.
Searching under the pressure of having to move out at a certain point in the not-so-distant future means you may end up going for something you wouldn't normally consider, instead of waiting for the right flat...so it will probably be easier now that you have somewhere temporary to live.

A friend told me the secret is writing a really good letter that explains why you're here, how much you want to be part of the community, that you want to settle here and have a permanent home and describing the efforts you're making to integrate and learn the language and so on. Get someone who speaks the language to help you write it if you can't do it yourself.

I looked at 20 flats over the course of a month (all of which were communal viewings), applied for 10, got rejected from two and offered one...and it took up all my free time and probably laid the way for a stomach ulcer at some point in the future...

I think (hope) that when you've done it once it won't be so stressful the next time.
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  #37  
Old 21.02.2011, 14:30
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

i find these threads quite useful when i am tempted to move flats...
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  #38  
Old 21.02.2011, 14:30
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Re: How difficult is it REALLY to rent an apartment in Zurich?

We found it really easy to get an apartment - we made only 2 days of viewings about a week apart, applied for a couple of them (I think it helps not being too fussy we were offered 2 within the next 3-4 days. 2 weeks later we were in, even with our printed letterbox names

We did not need a permit, or a letter saying how nice we were, or a letter showing we have no debt ...... very Swiss they just wanted 3 months deposit up front. Once we said we had paid that they were not interested in any paperwork . They just wanted the money!

We are in Adliswil maybe it is alot easier / cheaper here than the city ctr. We are only 15 mins from HB.
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