Finding an apartment in Switzerland for rent can be tough for expats mainly because of the tight competition for rental housing in the country. It is estimated that nearly 60% of the population in Switzerland rents their property as opposed to actually owning their homes. The larger cities, i.e. Geneva, Zurich, and Basel, are usually a nightmare for house hunters because of the sheer number of people who want to live in these cities.
In addition, the housing units available here are also very few, and fewer still are available at any one given time. This situation further adds to the clamour of apartments to rent in these areas and other parts of the country as well.
Even with all of these challenges, there are still a few things you could do to make the process of finding an apartment to rent much easier. These simple tips include:
Finding the right agent
There are several real estate agencies in the country and it is imperative that you hire the services of one when you embark on your apartment search. A real estate agent is crucial to your success of finding an apartment, mainly because they are usually the first to hear about available apartments. Apartment owners usually contact their estate agents in order to help them find a tenant as quickly as possible.
Applications for tenancy are usually approved on a come first basis, and owing to the stiff competition amongst house hunters, it is crucial to have an insider who can alert you immediately an apartment has been vacated. This way, you will most likely be at the front of the line, and this will increase your chances of success tremendously.
As mentioned above, there are numerous such agencies in the country, but you want one with a proven track record of getting their clients apartments, as well as one that has a professional rapport with as many apartment owners as possible. One such company is the Cosmos Values Real Estate.
Temporary housing is usually much easier to come by than apartments for rent. You can either choose to rent a sub-let space or a furnished home.
Sub-letting is often the easier choice for most people including expats. This is because sub-letting is so common in the country, and actually considered the norm. This type of temporary housing is perfect for single individuals who have no qualms with small accomodation, and those looking to stay in that area of the country for only a short time, and thus require only temporary shelter.
It can also be an excellent choice if you are looking for a temporary place to stay as you continue to hustle for an apartment to rent.
The best way to find sub-lets is through your network, or through expat message boards.
Furnished housing is also another form of temporary housing that is popular in Switzerland, albeit much more expensive than a sub-let. Some people opt to rent out their holiday homes as furnished apartments, and you can find the listings for such on popular message boards, and numerous online portals.
Reading the property description is not enough, you have to physically visit the property in order to see if it is a great fit for you. You should note that most apartments for rent in Switzerland come unfurnished. It would not even be a surprise to find that light fixtures are unavailable. During the site visit, be sure to check what is unavailable including kitchen appliances so that you can add the cost of purchasing these items to the amount of rent the owner wants you to pay. This will help you compare apartments by the total cost inclusive of purchasing fittings and appliances.