Moving House in Zürich

Make sure you carry out these essential tasks when moving house in Zürich...

There are some essential things that need to be done when moving house in Switzerland. Here are some tips and points on all that must be done and when.

The first thing when moving house is to notify the local Cantonal Resident Registration Office (Einwhonerkontrolle) in the place of residence. This must be done within one month of the move.

You will need to provide:

  • Residence permit
  • A passport photo of each person moving
  • A completed change of address form, filled in with the name and birth date of all concerned, the former and new address and the date it changed

When changing cantons or leaving Switzerland, the local Tax Office (Steuramt) located in the above mentioned will automatically be informed of the move.

Services

Electricity, gas and water

When moving it is important to check that the electricity, gas and water is turned off at the old address and that it works at the new one.

Ten days before a change of residence, contact the local electricity, gas and water supplier or complete the forms (in German) provided online for this purpose.

Alternately, it is also possible to make an appointment with the relevant utilities supplier to take a final reading and close the meters. The appointment should be made by telephone at least three days in advance.

Note: When moving in, a deposit may be required when registering for electricity, gas and water for the first time.

Telephone and Internet

To establish landline telephone service, contact Swisscom, the national provider of fixed line/land line telephones. Swisscom will send a contract by post which should be signed and returned.

Swisscom will require a copy of the residence permit and a one-off payment for the line connection fee. Foreigners who do not have a C-type permit will also have to pay a deposit.

The line should be connected within two or three days.

  • To request a line Tel: 0800 800 800
  • To end a contract and recuperate the deposit Tel: 0800 800 113
  • To register a change of address: Click here
  • To register as a new customer: Click here

The Swisscom website has comprehensive information in English on all the products available for private use (fixed line connections, ADSL Internet) and online ordering options.

Post

Post can be forwarded to a new Swiss address for a period of up to one year. This service can be requested at the local post office, or it can be arranged online. Contact Swisspost at least one week before the move.

  • To find the address of the nearest post office: Click here

The Swisspost Customer Service line has an English-speaking service available.

  • Swisspost English-language Customer Service
    Tel
    : 0848 888 888
    Hours: Monday to Friday 07:00 to 19:00 and Saturday 08:00 to 16:00

Radio and TV connection

TV and radio licence fees are payable in Switzerland, therefore when moving it is necessary to contact Billag in order to ensure correct billing. It is possible to register a change of address on the Billag website or it can be done on the telephone.

  • Billag
    Tel
    : 0844 834 834
    Online change of address form: Click here

Driving and vehicle registration

If moving to Switzerland for the first time, new residents have one year to exchange their driving licence for a Swiss one or take a Swiss driving test in order to obtain one. If moving from one canton to another contact the local Road Traffic Licensing Office so they may register the information.

  • For Road Traffic Licensing Office contact details and information: Click here

Taxes

Tax authorities are automatically notified of a change of address by the resident's registration office. There is no need to contact them with details.

Insurance

Insurance companies must be notified of a change of address. Home insurance can be transferred to a new property, but if the new home is dramatically different in size it may be necessary to have a reassessment.

Children

Teaching staff and school authorities will need to prepare and transmit a child's school records. They should be notified well in advance.

Bank and Subscriptions

Notify the bank of change of address and remember to cancel or supply change of address details for any subscriptions services.

Moving From Rented Accommodation

In Switzerland, the legal minimum notice tenants must give for an open-ended rental contract is three months but in some contracts this can be up to six months. A rental agreement must be terminated by letter sent by registered mail (Einschreiben) and must be signed by all the tenants named on the contract. It is vital that the notice of termination reaches the landlord in good time (at least one day before the beginning of the notice period). If the tenant wishes to leave before the end of the contract he must find three potential tenants interested in the apartment, and if one of these acquires the apartment the tenant may leave early.

The vacated property must be left completely clean, or the landlord may retain some of the deposit to pay for cleaning services. There are cleaning companies specialising in a service for people moving and it is recommended to use this service.

A rental contract will state whether the property must be redecorated before the tenant moves out.

Redecoration can include the following:

  • Filling in holes
  • Repainting
  • Repairing damages to tiles or wooden floors

When moving into a rental property, it is suggested to inspect the property with the landlord for any defects and write down any damage noticed, otherwise the tenant will be charged for repairs and may not recuperate all of the deposit.

The Tenants' Association (Mieterschutzverband) can advise tenants having problems.

Keys

Rental contracts list the keys given to a tenant. If any of the keys have been lost, the tenant must pay for the locks to be changed. It is not permitted (without the landlord's permission) to simply have copies cut as the keys are numbered and recorded.