Renting a property in Zurich

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Renting property in Zurich can be tricky thanks to short supply and high demand, and finding accommodation can be a lengthy process.

Finding a property to rent in Zurich

Rental property in Zurich
Many people are likely to express interest in a particular property, since the market doesn't operate on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis.

Interested parties supply more information about themselves than many expats will be used to in the hope that the landlord decides they are the most appropriate tenant. This can include their present address, occupation and salary, whether they have children or pets, and references are often requested too.

Other ways to secure a rental property are finding sub-lets or someone who is moving out before the end of their lease and needs someone to take over their place. In both cases, tenants still need the landlord's approval.

Good resources include online property portals, estate agents and property listings in newspapers.

Leases in Zurich

When someone successfully secures a property, they have to pay a month’s worth of rent upfront, and up to three months' deposit which is returned once their lease expires. The landlord will inspect the property for damages at the end of the lease, and if there are any, the costs will be deducted from the initial deposit.
Tenants wanting to terminate their lease have to do so on dates stipulated in their contract, usually in March or September, and give three months' notice. Potential applicants may come to view the property during that time. Expats will also have to leave the accommodation spotlessly clean. The expected standard of cleanliness is high, and if the landlord is dissatisfied, they can hire a cleaning company to do the job and deduct the cost from the deposit money.
Finally, renting in Zurich comes with a whole set of rules. Landlords are strict when it comes to implementing them, and neighbours will voice their complaints if rules are broken. Most of these are common sense and show respect to neighbours, like not making noise after 8 pm (including not using washing machines) or having barbecues on balconies.

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