Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ten things to do before moving out of your Swiss Apartment (part 1)

I am not sure if you are aware or not, but the Top 10 Things to do Before Moving into Your Apartment in Switzerland is the most read article on this blog. So I figured, it is only right if I let everyone know the 10 things to do when leaving your apartment in Switzerland as well... here goes:
10 - Give notice regarding your apartment
This is VERY IMPORTANT - as I mentioned before the notice periods are WAY in advance in Switzerland. We had to give four months notice, and you cannot give notice to leave in December... the whole December thing is tricky to me, so if you plan to move out in December, contact your agency FAR FAR in advance to ensure this is possible - as most tenants want to stay put in the holiday months.

You also have to give notice IN WRITING. I had someone assist me here to ensure the German was appropriate. You should also send the letter via registered mail. The way you do this is you write 'EINSCHREIBEN' above the to address on your letter, and when you take it to the post, the post person will know that you want to send it registered. This costs CHF 5 to ensure a signature is received. This is a requirement as far as I know. So just do it!

9 - Give notice to the EKZ and Cablecom
These two need the most notice, as EKZ (electricity company) needs to set up a time to do the final meter reading - usually the day after you move our and you do not need to be on site. Cablecom requires a 3 month notice for cancellation of accounts, or you can do it at any time if you have a letter from the Gemeide notifying them that you are leaving. See number 8.

8 - Deregister from the Gemeide
I wrote all about this already, it was an ordeal. What is important to know here is that you MUST do it before you leave the country. Do not leave this important, important step out or you may not be able to return to Switzerland again. If you want a confirmation of your deregistration, and I recommend this as we needed it for several service cancellations and our retirement money transfer, it costs CHF 30 per person for the confirmation letter and any additional original copies you want/need. Make sure that you keep your now de-registered permit - our has holes in it now so that officials know it is no longer valid - and the confirmation letter in a safe place, especially to show officials if required when leaving at the airport.

7 - Get quotes from Movers
We contacted two moving companies to get quotes - Crown Relocations, who moved us to Switzerland in the first place, and Interdean. In the end we went with Crown because they were cheaper for our move and we were very happy with their professionalism in moving us to Switzerland. We went back and forth between moving our stuff and selling our stuff. It is a personal choice, definitely dependent on your finances. We saved up so we could take our stuff back with us to have something to start with in Australia. Make sure you also look into any insurance options, storage, additional charges for stairs or delivery, etc. They always seem to get you with those extra charges - and also check if the charges for moving some and/or all your stuff differ much. The difference in cost to move all our stuff compared to just some was so small that in the end we decided to take it all. I guess once you get above a certain volume, you get a container and the cost is pretty flat after that. So check all options... then decide what stays and what goes. I will let you know after we get our stuff back in Australia whether it was worth it or not! ;)

6 - Get quotes from cleaners
Have you heard? The Swiss are pretty anal when it comes to cleanliness... so you can either clean the apartment yourself, or you can hire someone. Just know, that if you do clean it yourself, you really need to be thorough. The list of things they are going to clean in our apartment, as we decided to hire someone to clean, is HUGE. And as we need an empty apartment to clean it and we will have no supplies, we thought it worth the effort and cost to get someone to assist here. Also, on handover, it something is not cleaned to scratch you either clean it again or it comes out of your bond to have a professional clean it. By hiring the professionals from the start, the handover is included and someone will be there on the handover day as well from the cleaning company, so that if something is not clean enough - they will do it again. It really saves us the hassle and allows us to hopefully keep our entire bond/deposit. Here's hoping. Again, get multiple quotes, as the differences here were great for us - the second quote was about CHF 500 cheaper! And they were doing more! Shop around. But I would advise you go with the professionals if you can as I can only imagine the troubles if your cleaning is not up to snuff.

That is part 1. Part 2 next week! Stay tuned. ;)

Tomorrow, Guest Post from Chantal!
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mrsmac said...

No one is allowed to move in December because everyone is on holiday. The inspectors, the cleaners, and the management people don't want to deal with a change over then so they jsut don't allow it! Meant we were stuck with an extra month of double rent. :(

Chantal said...

"No one is allowed to move in December." Made me laugh. Only the Swiss would have rules like this.

Great post. Any chance you could share who you went for to do your cleaning if you're happy with the results? I've heard how expensive it can be and would love to know which company is the most reasonable.


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