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Old 10.10.2017, 23:38
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Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

Hello all,

We're looking for an apartment with at least one separate bedroom, either long term (furnished or unfurnished) or temporary (furnished).

Preferably not more than 40 minutes to ETH with public transportation. Our budget is around 1800 CHF per month.

We'd be moving in by the end of November or beginning of December. We're not in Switzerland yet, so I guess you all know how hard it is

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 11.10.2017, 01:25
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

From your other posts it is clear you have a 5 year old. A child of that age she have their own bedroom so why are you looking for a one bedroom apartment rather than a 2 bedroom?
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Old 11.10.2017, 02:55
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

Yes, you're right, that's why my post mentioned "at least one bedroom". If we can find a 2-bedroom apartment with that budget, then great!
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Old 11.10.2017, 08:32
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

Have you looked at the following websites?

www.immoscout24.ch
www.immostreet.ch
www.homegate.ch
www.home.ch
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Old 11.10.2017, 09:49
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

You could try https://www.ums.ch/ums-system/how-it-works/, which is for sub-letting apartments for a limited rental only. If you don't find a permanent home at first, such a temporary flat can be a good way to get started.

Also, on the websites Medea mentioned, you can use the search-word "befristet" (limited duration) and those flats typically have fewer applicants.
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Old 11.10.2017, 10:35
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

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You could try https://www.ums.ch/ums-system/how-it-works/, which is for sub-letting apartments for a limited rental only. If you don't find a permanent home at first, such a temporary flat can be a good way to get started.
I would second this. I used UMS when I first moved and I found it quite useful for the following reasons:
  • I didn't have to be physically present in the country;
  • All communication was in English;
  • The system is very efficient and prompt; and
  • I was able to move into a fully furnished place without having to worry about going to sort everything out on Day 1. I would assume this would be very handy particularly when you have a young child in tow.
However, you should also bear in mind the following:
  • Properties are typically a lot more expensive than renting through the normal routes and getting your own furniture. I paid a 25% premium;
  • UMS fees aren't cheap. It depends on the duration of stay, I paid 30%; and
  • Typically, the property is someone's home that you are renting fully furnished with everything in place: bedding, small appliances, utensils and cutlery etc. This can be a bit weird at first. You are someone's "guest" but your "host" isn't around and the host happens to be a complete stranger

Let me know if you have any questions
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Old 11.10.2017, 11:13
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

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Yes, you're right, that's why my post mentioned "at least one bedroom". If we can find a 2-bedroom apartment with that budget, then great!
Just as a heads up, you might find that a landlord won't rent a 1 bed apartment to a family of three.
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Old 11.10.2017, 12:10
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

Comparis.ch covers property on most of the major sites. For your search, you need a minimum of 3.5 rooms and 70m2.

These are the results for that search, using just some of the locations that are within easy commute of ETH.

https://en.comparis.ch/immobilien/re...null%7D&sort=3

You need to be clear what you need, have an idea of what you ideally want, and put the leg work in by putting each address into Google maps or SBB or ZVV and working out the commute to ETH. It's also a really great way to become accustomed to the geography and transport system of the city.
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Old 11.10.2017, 12:15
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

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Just as a heads up, you might find that a landlord won't rent a 1 bed apartment to a family of three.
Sandgrounder, you are probably right. Still, it angers me, at some level, that this particular cultural norm, based on the luxury of life in Switzerland, is made to be an obligatory yardstick when, in fact, in many, many countries and cultures having 2 whole rooms (a bedroom plus a lounge) for a mere 3 people would be considered more than adequate.

Here's canyow, now, hoping for those 3 rooms too - fair enough, the aspiration is understandable, and I'd also have it, were I in her/his shoes - yet canyow is willing to be modest, to have less, to do without at least to start with, so that their budget will work out. That's an admirable trait! Yet some regulation which is not about life essentials might well stand in their way of applications. Sad, really.
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Old 11.10.2017, 12:18
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

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Sandgrounder, you are probably right. Still, it angers me, at some level, that this particular cultural norm, based on the luxury of life in Switzerland, is made to be an obligatory yardstick when, in fact, in many, many countries and cultures having 2 whole rooms (a bedroom plus a lounge) for a mere 3 people would be considered more than adequate.

Here's canyow, now, hoping for those 3 rooms too - fair enough, the aspiration is understandable, and I'd also have it, were I in her/his shoes - yet canyow is willing to be modest, to have less, to do without at least to start with, so that their budget will work out. That's an admirable trait! Yet some regulation which is not about life essentials might well stand in their way of applications. Sad, really.
Well yes, but then that regulation is in place to make sure people do not crowd an apartment, living with (an exaggerated) 15 people in 3 rooms.
You may not like it, but them´s the rules.
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Old 11.10.2017, 12:28
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

We once (still) lived in a flat where the whole house had been sold to a building firm to house their seasonal workers. I don't know how many of them moved into the flat above ours before we moved out, but it sure wasn't fun living below them.
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Old 11.10.2017, 12:32
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

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Sandgrounder, you are probably right. Still, it angers me, at some level, that this particular cultural norm, based on the luxury of life in Switzerland, is made to be an obligatory yardstick when, in fact, in many, many countries and cultures having 2 whole rooms (a bedroom plus a lounge) for a mere 3 people would be considered more than adequate.

Here's canyow, now, hoping for those 3 rooms too - fair enough, the aspiration is understandable, and I'd also have it, were I in her/his shoes - yet canyow is willing to be modest, to have less, to do without at least to start with, so that their budget will work out. That's an admirable trait! Yet some regulation which is not about life essentials might well stand in their way of applications. Sad, really.
Basically protects both tenants and landords from people taking the piss. They should have the same in the UK where they are stacking four families in a 3 bed semi and charging them 300 quid each per week.
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Old 11.10.2017, 12:37
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

I keep plugging this STICKY thread but there is such a lot of useful stuff in it that I'll do it again. Sites for searching for accomodation, tips on finding somewhere, moving in, moving out...
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Old 11.10.2017, 12:39
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

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Basically protects both tenants and landords from people taking the piss. They should have the same in the UK where they are stacking four families in a 3 bed semi and charging them 300 quid each per week.
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Well yes, but then that regulation is in place to make sure people do not crowd an apartment, living with (an exaggerated) 15 people in 3 rooms. .
Yes, I get that. And what you described, Longbyt. Still, seems to me there's a different between a dozen people in 3 rooms, and the much more reasonable 3 people in 2 rooms.

But as you say...
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You may not like it, but them´s the rules.
Sigh.
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Old 11.10.2017, 12:39
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

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I keep plugging this STICKY thread ...
and I am glad that you do!
Thank you, Longbyt.
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Old 11.10.2017, 13:05
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

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They should have the same in the UK where they are stacking four families in a 3 bed semi and charging them 300 quid each per week.
There are strict rules on overcrowding, but it doesn't stop unscrupulous landlords from taking the piss and breaking the law.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga...f-overcrowding
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Old 12.10.2017, 16:32
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

Thanks all!

I checked the suggested website, but it wasn't easy to distinguish sublets (those that could be rented before the work/residence permit) from others.
I'll check the links you've posted again with "befristet" in the search.

We thought we found one that was perfect (too good to be true actually) and then it turned out it was a scam We were a bit skeptical about it, so we were taking it slow and then the advertising website sent us an email saying it's a scam...

About the number of rooms, I can see trying to protect people from overcrowding an apartment, but on the other hand 3 in a room is not like 30. I guess then the question becomes, how much is a reasonable number? If you have 3 kids, is it okay if they all sleep in the same room? or do you need 3 rooms?
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Old 12.10.2017, 16:34
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

The word for "sublet" is "Untermiete".

Other search words could be "Monate" (= months) because some write that they are subletting their flat for, say "4 Monate".
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Old 12.10.2017, 17:03
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

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Thanks all!

I checked the suggested website, but it wasn't easy to distinguish sublets (those that could be rented before the work/residence permit) from others.
I'll check the links you've posted again with "befristet" in the search.

We thought we found one that was perfect (too good to be true actually) and then it turned out it was a scam We were a bit skeptical about it, so we were taking it slow and then the advertising website sent us an email saying it's a scam...

About the number of rooms, I can see trying to protect people from overcrowding an apartment, but on the other hand 3 in a room is not like 30. I guess then the question becomes, how much is a reasonable number? If you have 3 kids, is it okay if they all sleep in the same room? or do you need 3 rooms?
Depends on the age of the kids. If baby up to around 5-6 I think they can share, but after that they're expected to have their own rooms.
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Old 12.10.2017, 17:20
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Re: Looking for an apartment in Zurich (or around) by end of November

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About the number of rooms, I can see trying to protect people from overcrowding an apartment, but on the other hand 3 in a room is not like 30. I guess then the question becomes, how much is a reasonable number? If you have 3 kids, is it okay if they all sleep in the same room? or do you need 3 rooms?
Many European countries have laws regarding residential overcrowding. It used to be the case that a child in the UK couldn't share a bedroom with a sibling of a different gender once they turned 7, but I believe this has now been extended to 10yrs old.

You'll find more information on such things here...

http://www.cagi.ch/en/housing/faq-ho...the-tenant.php

https://www.ch.ch/en/rent/

https://www.homegate.ch/rent/advisor/tenancy-law

I honestly think that, in your situation, it would be best to book a short stay, serviced apartment for the first month you'll be here, then you can get the home search underway in person. I think you're making it difficult for yourself trying to secure a place without anyone at this end able to act on your behalf.
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