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Old 03.11.2010, 21:15
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Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

I recently visited 3 apartments which I really liked. I applied for all three (different companies) and according to the current tenants I was the first one that saw them and the first one to apply for the apartments.
Unfortunately I got 3 rejections.
Why is this? Both me and my wife have good jobs and salaries (>250k per year) plus we were the first ones to see the apartments (in Binningen and Allschwil).
Why are we getting rejected? Do I have to be a Swiss in order to be accepted?
I am really disapointed as i really liked the apartments (own garden and washing machine) and i was hoping i will get accepted
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Old 03.11.2010, 21:27
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

Over here, the tenants gets chosen by the landlord ( or by their agents ). There might be various factors at play, which has been discussed many times over under this sub forum.

There is a dated post here that presumes a pecking order, however, I cannot vouch for it.

Better luck next time!
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Old 03.11.2010, 21:44
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

To answer your question you have to be Swiss (or very lucky) to rent a nice appartment here. Doesnt help if you're Asian with a great salary or both expats. We (me Indian, hubby European) were told once that the landlord only wanted to rent to Swiss. Doesnt help either having a great salary. Best of luck with your flat hunt
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Old 03.11.2010, 21:45
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

Can your employers not help? Mine have a dept dedicated to helping newly arrived expats settle in and find their first home.
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Old 03.11.2010, 21:47
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

I agree with Castro, get your employer to help you rent a flat, its the only way you'll get the flat you want
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Old 03.11.2010, 21:55
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

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I recently visited 3 apartments which I really liked. I applied for all three (different companies) and according to the current tenants I was the first one that saw them and the first one to apply for the apartments.
Unfortunately I got 3 rejections.
Why is this? Both me and my wife have good jobs and salaries (>250k per year) plus we were the first ones to see the apartments (in Binningen and Allschwil).
Why are we getting rejected? Do I have to be a Swiss in order to be accepted?
I am really disapointed as i really liked the apartments (own garden and washing machine) and i was hoping i will get accepted
No success after just three apartments isn't such a failure. Most people I know who are looking for a new place go and see at least 8 or 10 and more often than not more than that before they are successful. That goes for both Swiss and expat friends and colleagues.

Most expats on this forum are probably sitting in their own apartment right now so obviously it's not impossible and apartments are obviously let to any and all nationalities and races. I know you are in Basel so I don't know the situation but here in Zurich it's a lottery - there are sometimes 100 or 200 people going for the same apartment. Just keep at it and use any means you have open to you, including, as others have mentioned, your employer.
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Old 03.11.2010, 22:11
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

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Unfortunately I got 3 rejections.
Why is this? Both me and my wife have good jobs and salaries (>250k per year)
Now this might be shocking to hear but you can also be rejected for earning too much money..!

Other reasons can include having no children or not enough children to fill all the bedrooms. A landlord might also look to fill his vacancies with renters who would fit in socially with the other neighbors.

Don't give up, there's a place out there somewhere with your name on it just waiting.
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Old 03.11.2010, 22:27
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

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Doesnt help if you're Asian with a great salary or both expats. We (me Indian, hubby European) were told once that the landlord only wanted to rent to Swiss. Doesnt help either having a great salary. Best of luck with your flat hunt
Ok, I must be doing something completely differently: I have an Asian wife as well and I am currently moving for the second time within Switzerland, so into the third apartment. We never searched at all - we literally looked at one place, asked if we could have it and got it. Not once, but three times. Each was a newly build place that was in demand. The first two times did we not earn as much as today by far, so I cannot say that it is the salary or the skin color.
Landlords are humans and humans do have stereotypes. So yes, you can meet some idiot. But the biggest problem I have seen for foreigners was the "Betreibungsauszug" - a landlord wants to see your credit record - ideally back for many years. The Swiss love to minimize the risk of not getting paid and you as a new arrival cannot proof in the Swiss system that you paid all your bills for a decade... all the other stuff belongs in the "are Swiss racist" thread.
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Old 04.11.2010, 00:00
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

no, you do not have to be Swiss to rent a nice apartment.

Based on my experience (Basel and now Zurich), there is no one valid rule. My place in Basel is great and I was not the only one candidate. I doubt it is all luck.

I guess I have to agree with vwild1 that there is something weird with the landlords' thinking about rent/income ratio (based on most recent Zurich experience). I was approved for the most expensive places I applied for (which I liked and wanted most) and rejected for the cheaper ones (which were pretty good)... go figure!
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Old 04.11.2010, 00:16
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

No. You just have to be patient and humble.
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Old 04.11.2010, 00:24
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

Isnt "nice" really subjective? To some people, its the top floor with a stunning view. To others, its right smack in the middle of Niederdorf, and some, it has to have a garden and to others, its the convenience of being close to shops. The list goes on. No apartment is perfect to everyone. There's always something it can do better in another department, be it the floors (which are important to some people, like me), the sound proofing, and even a washer-dryer.

Having said that, with all due respect, the link to the post about a pecking order that jrspet shared is utter bollocks. Either that, I've been extremely lucky in my apartment applications. According to that list, I am second from bottom (non-white from affluent country) - but I've only been rejected once (and we made 3 applications) when we first arrived. The L permit I believe was the killer, as well as the price which made it immensely popular. It was a 1800CHF apartment just about 5 minutes from Sihlquai tram stop (near Zurich HB).

I got my current apartment (also was still on an L permit) two days after I viewed it and applied. Was a new building and filled up pretty quickly, due to its location, proximity to the lake, supermarket and sBahn that gets you into town in 10 minutes. So I think I snagged a pretty nice one. Nothing to do with a pecking order (and I even had other things against my favour - like a dog and a musical instrument) but I think a recommendation from my previous landlord helped.

If possible, try pushing up your budget over the usual price bracket where other foreigners and Swissies are applying for (usually between 1000 - 2000 CHF are the most popular).

Your odds are definitely much better if you go above that bracket. If you cant, which is fine, ask your employers, previous landlords for help with references. Be prompt with your documents and persistent. There are loads of tips on this forum that fellow members have shared for landing apartments that they are really happy with.

Good luck.
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Old 04.11.2010, 00:30
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

Reminds me of the days a few years back when we (my then Swiss student girlfriend now, wife and I) were looking for a flat in Basel/Kleinbasel. 20 or so viewing and always rejected.

In the end we just asked outright before we turned up to view a place - do you accept students and/or foreigners.....

We ended up taking/being accepted for the (admittedly nice) place that said, why do you think that should matter

So no, in answer to the original question, Being Swiss does not automatically get you a nice flat - there can be other deciding factors.
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Old 04.11.2010, 00:49
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

It's strange reading your stories... I guess there are extremes to everything.
Where I live, if I were to turn down a tenant without a just cause (ie. credit check turned out bad, criminal record...), I can be in trouble!
And the tenant is always favored over the landlord. He can get away with living on your property without paying for months before getting evited... Talk about free living.

Anyway, enough rambling. Sounds like you're in a sticky situation.
Good luck finding 'the one' perfect apartment!
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Old 04.11.2010, 05:28
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

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Other reasons can include having no children or not enough children to fill all the bedrooms. A landlord might also look to fill his vacancies with renters who would fit in socially with the other neighbors.
Funny, according to this my landlord saw me, a pot bellied Belgian guy and said " you would fit in nice with 2 hot looking Swiss girls, 4 Indians and an old biddy that lives upstairs" What was my landlord thinking..i can follow him with the 2 hot looking Swiss girls but how the other ones fit in..

But yes, Vwild1 is correct, on our house hunting landlords always asked why we needed 3 rooms since we had no kids etc..yet explaning them we had 2 bunnies and the occasional visitors from abroad never put anyone off.

At the end, the landlord/place we prefered was fine with us, had some pre-set boxes to be ticked ( at least one must have a job etc) but other then that, he was fine with us moving in.

We had a bidding war with a Swiss guy who didn't agree with the 1 year minimum lease, standing order payment and the deposit.
We came in with cash deposit , and said we were willing to sign 1.5 years of a minimum contract, and pay by standing order every month, on the same date.
Swiss guy backed up and said he wasn't willing todo so.. we got the place and love it since.

So maybe try to bargain a bit? offer more then they want. Be it standing orders, 1 month extra deposit or double your length of the lease. If money is not an issue and you love the place , make it work for you.
At least he or she is sure of money for a while, who would refuse that?

All the best of luck with house hunting and keep us posted
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Old 04.11.2010, 09:01
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

I guess it really does depend on many things... everyone has different experiences.

I got the first apartment I applied for. I saw a bunch of really ugly outdated apartments, and this one was quite nice and newly renovated. So I immediately applied, and got it! Thank goodness.
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Old 04.11.2010, 09:11
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

I received my apartment from a co-worker, who handled all the handover stuff. I've never seen or heard from my landlord, who also has no idea who I am, so I'm assuming he/she/it does not really care.

However, I am looking to move to Kreis 1 so if you can help me find a place there, you can have this flat
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Old 04.11.2010, 09:18
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

Around 2 years ago I posted an ad for a nice, large, new flat we were renting out here on the EF and also on Homegate. I would really have loved to have rented it out to non-Swiss, but nobody was even remotely interested. So, we now have a Swiss family with 2 kids and a dog enjoying the views!
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Old 04.11.2010, 09:25
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

Sorry, just saw you are in Basel. She is Zurich.

Try using help. This lady was offered to expats at my company. She is great, Swiss, very wry sense of humor and knows the landlords so can help.

Viscaria Leemann & Partner
BL Immobilien
Untere Heslibachstrasse 39
8700 Küsnacht
www.viscaria.ch
www.blimmo.ch
Tel: 0041 44 790 30 89
Fax: 0041 44 790 30 88
Mobile: 0041 79 402 63 61
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Old 04.11.2010, 23:54
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

As mentioned above, 3 rejections is not that many. I've known plenty of locals who have spent several months looking for a place. What has worked well for me and a few people I know is looking for cases where people are trying to move at short notice. Even if you are paying double rent for a month or two, it might be worth it.
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Old 05.11.2010, 01:20
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Re: Do you have to be a Swiss in order to rent a nice apartment?

hi
Just wanted to add

I spent six months searching for the current apartment

and had seen many apartments

I really wanted this one so i had a friend of mine who knows how to talk

( MBA and negotiator by trade) and got the place

I think staying is also half the battle as since then the mad wife of the

landlord came out of the woodworks and began sendiing me

registered letters for barking dog etc

so dont give up

who knows what the reason was but three is really not enough

to go by a rule

in science i recall it takes at least 20 samples

and in switzerland double that

I dont know if swiss have priority, it all depends if the landlord

is grun liberal or SVP

but seriously

keep trying

and if you earn that much, consider buying
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