1. Introduction (+ good to know) & summary survey
It is becoming increasingly difficult for students to find an affordable apartment or shared room. This is more pronounced in certain cities than in others. The VSS (Association of Swiss Student Bodies) and the SoKo (Social Commission) are concerned about the housing situation of students. For this reason, the current situation was statistically surveyed. The results of this are briefly summarized below. In the linked PDF document, the exact data can also be viewed. Furthermore, this website is intended to provide help in the search for accommodation, with an overview of the different platforms in Swiss cities. Tips and tricks for finding a WG and living in a WG are shown. Finally, the legal aspects in a tenancy relationship will be addressed.
The SoKo is the social commission of the VSS. It takes up current topics in the social field and works on them intensively.
Summary of the evaluation of the "Housing situation" survey
A total of 576 people participated in the survey.
- 66.84% women, 31.42% men and 1.74% people who did not assign themselves to any gender participated in the survey.
- 70.31% of the respondents were between 18 and 24 years old, followed by 22.57% between 25 and 29 years old, 5.03% between 30 and 35 years old and only 1.91% over 35 years old.
- 15.5% of respondents were from the canton of Vaud, 14.1% from Basel-Stadt, 10.2% from Zurich, 6.8% from Basel-Land, 6.1% from Bern, and 5.2% from Lucerne. The cantons of Valais, St. Gallen, Geneva, Solothurn, Neuchâtel, Thurgau, Ticino, Fribourg and Grisons are each represented by between 4.5% and 1.2% of participants.
- 70.14% respondents speak German and 29.86% speak French.
- Most of the people with difficulties in finding accommodation are still in their bachelor’s studies and are in the 1st-3rd year of their studies.
- In the past two years, 54.17% of respondents have moved out. 32.81% have not moved out and 13% are looking for an apartment or room.
- 21.35% of respondents found it rather difficult and 14.24% rather not difficult to look for an apartment or room.
- 22% of the respondents are looking for housing between 1-2 months, 18.58% 3 or more months and 13.72% of the respondents less than 1 month.
- Most of the students used more than one method to search for an apartment.
- 41.1% of respondents earn less than CHF 1,000 and 39.2% earn between CHF 1,001 and 2,000.
- 36.28% of respondents spend over 35% of monthly income on rent. 33.33% of respondents are willing to spend 26-35% of monthly income on rent.
- 24.48% of respondents are willing to spend 16-25% of monthly income on rent.
- Most of the respondents earn less than 2,000 CHF, of which many are willing to spend up to 800 CHF (40%) of their income on rent.
- 66.15% of respondents answered yes to the question of whether they receive financial assistance, 31% no and 2.78% not yet.
- 58.85% of the respondents said that the support came from family members, 5.56% from scholarships and 3.99% Other.
The situation is worrying and it is our concern to improve this. For this reason, we are providing this Studiguide, which is intended to assist in the search for a suitable place to live. In the following, under “Good to know”, information is provided for the ideal start into WG life. Under “Caution! What do I have to bear in mind when entering into a tenancy?”, the rights and obligations in the tenancy are discussed. Finally, a list of platforms and addresses for different cities with universities in Switzerland is provided.
Good to know
What belongs in a study room?
A studio room should contain everything students need to live and study comfortably. Here are some important features that should not be missing in a studio apartment:
A comfortable bed for a restful night’s sleep
Storage space for clothes and books
A desk (height-adjustable to a standing desk, depending on preference)
Fast internet access and a desk chair for efficient work
Adequate lighting for a comfortable learning environment
A fully equipped kitchen for students who enjoy cooking
A pleasant learning and living atmosphere through appealing furnishings
These features should help you feel comfortable in your studio apartment and study efficiently.
What do I need to consider when choosing a studio apartment?
1. location: The location of the study room is an important factor that can affect daily routine and comfort. Students should consider whether they prefer to live near the university/college or in a quiet neighborhood. Proximity to public transportation, stores and restaurants can also be important.
2. equipment: The equipment of the study room is another important factor that can influence the comfort and functionality. Students should consider what features they need, such as a desk, bed, storage space, or a private bathroom.
3. rental costs: rental costs are a crucial factor when choosing a student room. Students should make sure the room is within their budget and that they can pay the rent on time. Hidden costs such as utilities or deposits should also be considered.
By keeping these points in mind, students can ensure they find the right study room for their needs.
Network for apartment hunting
Especially in cities, it often happens that good, affordable apartments or rooms are not even advertised, but are passed on through acquaintances. For out-of-towners, it can therefore be difficult at the beginning to get an affordable offer. This is another reason why it can be very valuable to quickly make connections at the university, preferably with people who have local roots. Sometimes you can find a better and/or cheaper place to live more quickly through your new network.
What belongs in a shared apartment room?
To move into your new shared apartment, you’ll mainly need furniture for your personal room. A WG room is usually unfurnished, which leaves you with the task of furnishing it yourself. In the case of a WG that has already existed for a long time, sometimes the possibility arises to take over furniture, which can make the move easier. Therefore, as a tip: Always ask the predecessor:inside, whether he or she would like to hand over something. The basic furniture recommended is a bed, a desk, a wardrobe and possibly a chest of drawers. In addition, carpets, lights and a night table can increase the comfort.
It is important to know that you often do not have your own bathroom or kitchen, but share them with your flatmates.
What do you need in a shared apartment?
Here is a short list of the most important things that every flat-sharing community needs:
- A few tools for assembling furniture or for small repairs.
- Light bulbs, in case they all fail at once.
- A schedule of chores, so that the apartment always stays nice and clean.
- Cleaning utensils for implementing the chore chart.
- Community games for the relaxed WG evening.
- A coffee maker to get through intense study phases.
- A microwave oven for when things have to go fast.
- And last but not least, a large baking tray and paper for frozen pizzas.
Advantages of a shared apartment
Living in a shared apartment has various advantages. Especially at the beginning of your studies, you get to know new people in a shared flat and thus quickly find a connection. In addition, the older students usually have helpful tips for the beginning of your studies.
In addition to the many social aspects, living in a shared apartment also has financial advantages. The costs for rent, furnishings and consumables are shared by the flatmates. Thus, shared apartment living is also suitable for students with a small budget.
Of course, the cost of living is also related to the region. For example, experience shows that WG rooms are significantly cheaper in Basel than in Zurich, for example. Nevertheless, a WG is generally one of the cheapest places to live in both Basel and Zurich.
Consumables can also be defined differently depending on the WG. Do you share only the absolute minimum, i.e. toilet paper, cleaning products, salt and olive oil? Or does the WG make dinner together four times a week? Depending on this, the costs for the common goods will also differ. It makes sense to draw up a budget in order to divide up the monthly expenses for food, for example, and to have a better overview.
Disadvantages of living in a shared apartment
Living in a shared apartment with different personalities is not always easy. Often the hygiene standards of the flatmates differ and disputes arise. Communication is key, so be sure to communicate early to resolve disagreements and find compromises. It is also important to agree on the costs and especially on the distribution of additional costs in advance. Otherwise, disagreements can quickly arise.
Furthermore, loneliness is rarely an issue in a shared apartment. However, little to no privacy is not desired by everyone. Especially when it comes to focusing on important exams, you need your peace and quiet. Your own room should serve as a retreat at all times.
2. Student housing survey
The presentation of the evaluation is only available in German.
3. Rights and obligations in the tenancy
An overview of the most important points to consider when entering into a tenancy! Since the information explains the legal basis as well as possible, the generic masculine has been adopted.
- Concluding a rental agreement
A lease agreement is to be concluded, and it may only be amended using the official form.
- Initial rent
The tenant may contest the initial rent within 30 days at the conciliation board.
- Security deposit account
It is advised to transfer the rent deposit to the deposit account only after the inspection and mutual signing of the lease agreement. In principle, the landlord has to open the deposit account at the bank.
Obligation to register with the residents’ registration office
Either contact the relevant municipalities or register directly via eUmzugCH. For moving in from abroad, you must clarify with the respective office which documents are required. Attention: For moving within Switzerland, the 14-day registration obligation must be observed. If you move into an apartment that is not in your main residence (often the case with a room in a shared apartment and/or with financial support from your parents), you should register as a weekly resident. Taxes and household taxes must be paid where you declare your main residence. To register as a weekly resident, you must go directly to the Residents’ Registration Office of your previous place of residence. The latter will issue a residence permit to the address of the study stay, which must be deposited at the Residents’ Registration Office at the place of study.
To register as a weekly resident, you must go directly to the Residents’ Registration Office of your previous place of residence. The latter will issue a residence permit for the address of the study stay, which is to be deposited at the Residents’ Registration Office at the place of study.
- In particular, it is important to report any defects within 14 days. In principle, the tenant has to pay for minor repairs (up to approx. 150 CHF) and the landlord for damage caused by normal wear and tear.
For questions regarding heating and utility costs, see: https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/mietrecht-beratung/ratgeber-mietrecht/top-themen/heiz-und-nebenkosten.html
- If the rent is increased during the rental period, this can be contested within 30 days. https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/mietrecht-beratung/ratgeber-mietrecht/top-themen/mietzinserhoehung.html
- If the reference interest rate is lowered, there may be a right to a rent reduction: https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/mietrecht-beratung/ratgeber-mietrecht/top-themen/mietzinssenkung.html
- When living together with neighbors, the house rules are basically decisive.
- The tenant may conclude a sublease agreement with a subtenant. In this, the tenant is then liable for the subtenant to the landlord. The landlord must be informed about the tenancy and is entitled to information about it. However, the landlord can in principle only refuse the subletting if it causes him disadvantages (excessive use, for example) or if a translated rent is demanded.
- Termination by the landlord
Notice of termination by the landlord must be given by means of an official form. This in turn can be contested by the tenant within 30 days of receipt at the arbitration authority.
- Termination by tenant
If the tenant wishes to terminate the contract within the contractually agreed date, the notice period of 3 months must be observed. The letter of termination must therefore reach the landlord 3 months before the termination date. Attention: The day on which the letter is received by the landlord or is ready for collection at the post office is decisive (not the postmark)!
- If one wishes to move out outside the contractually agreed termination dates, a subsequent tenant must be provided. This must be::
- reasonable (as reasonable as the previous tenant)
solvent (no debt collection and income at least three times the rent) and
Be willing to accept the lease on the same terms as the previous tenant.
If the landlord refuses a new tenant who meets these criteria, you are released from the contract as a tenant, and it is advisable to request written confirmation of this from the landlord within about 10 days.
- reasonable (as reasonable as the previous tenant)
- Apartment handover and protocol
When handing over the apartment, the landlord should keep a protocol with damages and defects of the apartment. If the tenant signs the protocol, he accepts the listed damages and must pay for them. If you do not want to sign the protocol directly, you should ask the landlord to confirm in writing that the handover of the keys has taken place.
- Deposit return
The deposit, which is in the blocked account, will be paid out by the bank to the tenant one year after moving out (unless the landlord has taken legal action against the tenant).
With the confirmation by the landlord (banks usually have a corresponding release form), the payout is made immediately after the termination of the tenancy.
4. Platforms and addresses for student housing in Switzerland
Finding the perfect accommodation while studying can be a real challenge, especially in a country like Switzerland. Fortunately, there are a variety of platforms and addresses specifically designed to help students find affordable and suitable housing.