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Renting in Switzerland

Renting in Switzerland isn’t just for temporary housing or for those on lower incomes, it’s the norm. Switzerland has a renting culture, nearly 60% of the population rent their homes. The market for rentals is wide. Singles, couples, the elderly and large families. As such, the range of properties available is also wide. From small city apartments to large farmhouses in the country. There can be a shortage of rent apartments in Zurich, for example, so there is fierce competition when they become available. Landlords have the luxury of deciding who they rent to, you might feel like you’re being interviewed when you apply to rent in Zurich. Prices are high, but the market is shifting slightly and there are more vacant properties available. 30% of people find a rent apartment in Zurich within 1 month. Search smart have your documents in order and be ready to schmooze that potential landlord!

Where to live?

As an expat, you’re probably restricted to living close to the major city where you work. Switzerland apartments for rent in big cities tend to be smaller and more expensive. They are also likely to be modern, well-kept and include outside space and communal parking. The advantage of living in town is that you’re living in a more international environment, which can be comforting to help you settle in. Outside of town, there are villages and suburbs where you can find houses for rent in Switzerland at marginally cheaper prices. However, what you save in rent, you will pay for in commute times. Many people choose to live as a frontelier, a cross border worker. Living in Germany and working in Switzerland. If your residency permit allows, this can be a great way of saving money on rent apartments in Zurich.

The Search

There are various online portals where rent apartments Zurich are advertised. Try sites such as and Houses for rent in Switzerland are also advertised in the newspaper and free property guides. However, the demand is so high that many never hit the papers. Word of mouth is vital, social media is a great way to hear about rent apartments Zurich before they appear on online portals. A local estate agent can help find houses for rent in Switzerland. Often, they have advance knowledge of places that will become available soon. Rent apartments Zurich are advertised by the total number of rooms, not including the bathroom, and will also state the total m².  They are typically unfurnished, even excluding light fittings, so check what is included. Outside space is important to the Swiss, so there will likely be a balcony or a communal garden.

The Costs

The national average for renting houses in Switzerland is CH1284 (€1000) per month. In major cities, prices are considerably higher. Zurich apartments for rent long term cost between CH1500 and CH3000. Utilities are usually not included and there is probably a service charge to cover building maintenance. A security deposit of up to 3 months’ rent is normal to cover any damages. The landlord holds this in a separate account and refunds it when you vacate the apartment. The landlord and the estate agent also charge fees to cover the cost of advertising the property. Typically, this is 1 months’ rent. Subletting is common practice. You can often find a furnished apartment with everything included for a short period. This gives you the opportunity to look around at all the options in your area and find Zurich apartments for rent long term.

The Contract

Houses for rent in Switzerland are usually rented for an initial 12-month period. Zurich apartments for rent long term are common. People often stay in the same apartment for 25 years, creating a suburban community atmosphere. Your contract includes the house rules. Quiet hours are usually between 10 pm and 6 am, 12 pm and 1 pm and all-day Sunday. You are cannot make any noise that might disturb your neighbours, such as lawnmowing, vacuuming, music etc. In most cases, both parties must give 3 months’ notice if they want to terminate the contract. Traditionally, contracts can only be terminated on the 25th March, June, September or December. Tenants’ rights are very strong. Landlords are not allowed to put up your rent unfairly or force you to leave against your will. If you have any issues, you can contact the Swiss Government Housing Arbitration Agency for help.

Renting in Switzerland – Mundialz

Moving to Switzerland is a major life challenge and finding somewhere to live is one of the most vital and time-consuming stages. Mundialz is here to help. Read our advice pages on living in Switzerland and living in Zurich for more useful information. Once you’re here, we can connect you with a local Mundialz in your area who can offer you further support from a real personal perspective.

Find your international dream job in Switzerland here!

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