A Renter’s Guide to Zurich

Renting in Switzerland can be a complicated affair for those coming into the country. We’ll quickly look at the basics to help get you started in your search for rented accommodation in Zürich.

Zürich is one of the hot spots for working expats in Switzerland. The city also happens to be one of the most expensive in the world! The average monthly rent for a one-bedroomed apartment in the city centre is a budget-busting ,770CHF per month! Rent in neighboring towns and cities is somewhat lower. In Winterthur the average one-bedroom apartment drops to ,525CHF per month.

The contract is King. Study it thoroughly before signing. It will contain everything about the apartment and the agreement between the landlord and tenant – right down to the rules of the block or house you’re sharing with your neighbours.

Remember that the Swiss are detail-orientated and they will expect the contract to be followed to the letter. A landlord, as well as your neighbours, may well get very agitated if you do not. This particularly applies to specifications about noise!

Although it can be costly, it may well be a good idea for an expat to join the local tenant’s association (Mieterverband), who may be able to offer advice and representation in case of a dispute with your landlord. Most towns and cities have one.

When you’ve agreed to rent an apartment or house, you’ll be asked to put down a deposit. This is usually equal to three months of rent, and it is sequestered in a special account that can’t be accessed by you or the landlord until you move out. At this point, you’ll be refunded the Kaution, plus interest but minus any funds the landlord requires for repairs.


Saskia Petz

Tanja Traut

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