Housing Tips For Expats Moving To Switzerland

As you probably know by now, finding an affordable apartment in Switzerland especially in the major cities is difficult. This is more so the case if you are a foreigner relocating to the country. The competition for affordable housing is so intense, and most foreigners are not prepared for the hard task at hand. House hunting is more like a job search in most parts of the country as you will be required to apply for an apartment just as you would a job.


However, this housing challenge should not dissuade you from moving to this lovely country. The situation is getting better as research indicates that the rate of successfully finding accommodation has increased significantly compared to a couple of years ago. Nearly 35% of all house hunters, both locals, and foreigners, are getting houses within the first month of searching. This statistic mostly applies to the German-speaking areas of the country. If you are looking for an apartment in the French-speaking areas, then you can expect to wait for at least 4 months.

Tip: Look for an apartment in the German-speaking areas of the country. You are more likely to get an apartment within a short time after application.

As mentioned above, you are going to have to send out applications to the various landlords in order to be eligible to rent an apartment within the country. On average, most house seekers send out three or four applications before they finally land on a suitable apartment.

Tip: You need to send out multiple house applications for the different apartments that you are viewing. The more applications you send out, the higher your chances of landing an apartment within a very short time.


In each application, you need to attach a couple of documents so that you are considered for the tenancy. These documents are used by the landlord to determine if you are well suited to occupy their apartment. Some of the documents you will need to attach to each application include the likes of the motivation letter, a copy of residence permit, a copy of your working contract, the betreibungsregister, a reference letter from current landlord, copy of passport, curriculum vitae, as well as a photo of you and your family. You should also attach a copy of the current rental contract, and proof of local registration from a local agency.

Please note that not every landlord will demand all of these documents. However, it is better to attach all of them to your application in order to be on the safe side and to improve your odds. Most importantly, ensure that you have a well-written motivation letter and a short curriculum vitae.

The motivation letter should detail why you need an apartment, what made you move to the country, for how long do you intend to stay in the country, details about your family, how you communicate with neighbors, as well as the reasons that make you the perfect fit for that apartment in that neighborhood.

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Tip: Merge all of the documents into a single PDF in order to make it easier for the landlord to peruse your application. Ensure that the CV and the motivation letter are well written as these are the most crucial documents you will present to the landlord.


Finally, visit as many properties as you can in a day. This should be done in an organized manner, so it is best that you have a list of all of the properties you want to look at beforehand. Once that is laid out, then immediately begin going for the rental viewings, which should be done on an almost daily basis.

With the above tips in mind, your Relocation to Switzerland can be easier and more manageable as you will not have to worry about getting proper housing for too long.

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