Moving … in Switzerland

leaving Zurich

Moving in Switzerland can be a costly and exhausting business. However, a bit of planning goes a long way and can save you both money and time (as well as your sanity!). Giving notice in the correct way (it must be registered  – even if your landlord lives next-door!) and at the correct time (normally 90 days in advance and at particular time points), for example, is one of the features of Swiss life.

There are many issues to deal with but the top tip is to plan and start preparing as early as you can in advance. Some further tips below:

1. If you are living in rented accommodation before anything else you should read your contract. In the contract you will learn about special things you need to do for your property, the agreed notice period as well as any particular clauses or conditions (like equipment you may need to service).

2. Book reliable movers / packers as soon as you can. The best get booked up – so don’t delay!

3. Book a professional end of contract cleaner – cleaning in Switzerland is a specialist task and although it’s expensive it’s something you can’t afford to scrimp on! Make sure that they will be present at handover and will give you a guarantee. Don’t even think about doing it yourself – as “Swiss clean” is something else! We used John Shepherd from Diamond Cleaning when we moved and we can highly recommend him

4. Make sure you have Haftpflicht insurance to cover any incidental damage you may have incurred to the property during your stay. Contact your insurance broker for more information.

5. Join the Mieterverband or at least engage the services of one of their representatives for the handover.

6. Start clearing out as soon as possible – buy plenty of rubbish sacks / rubbish stickers so that you can clear out to your heart’s content – and get to know all the locations and opening hours of the recycling centres in your area.

7. Don’t forget the garden! Failure to keep your garden spic and span when you leave could result in a hefty fine or worse! Why not ask Select Garten and their excellent team to give you  a hand?

8. It’s often helpful to pack stuff you want to keep in cardboard boxes before the movers arrive. You can get hold of used cardboard boxes on many Yahoo expat sites for free and you can start stacking the boxes in your cellar, spare room or garage in advance. However, be aware that your official movers may insist on repacking these boxes into their own branded boxes and sealing them themselves when you do actually move for insurance purposes.

Whether your next move is within Switzerland, back home or to a new location entirely, this infographic, courtesy of HiFX, is full of topics that need to be considered. After reading it and the tips above, you may wish to make an “end back plan”, planning all the things you need to do to complete your move working from the end date backwards. Place it in the kitchen or somewhere central and check it regularly to keep yourself on track.

Below this infographic we have also included a handy check list.


At a Glance Check List

Cancellation lease house/garages By registered letter (EINSCHREIBEN) to arrive by last working day before cancellation period starts, signed by all on contract
Get quotes for packers Get 2 or 3 quotes
Get quotes for cleaners Get 2 or 3 quotes and make sure they give a ‘guarantee’
De-register at Gemeinde Get Abmeldebestätigung for adults. Take passport & Ausweis with you.
Cancel electricity Also water & gas if applicable
Cancel Telephone / TV / Internet & Mobile Phones Enclose Abmeldebestätigung
Cancel GA or yearly passes Enclose Abmeldebestätigung & get refund
Cancel Bank Account & bank cards In writing or in person . (Keep one open for deposit)
Cancel Billag Online at
Cancel Insurance Policies Except for Third Party insurance (until after Handover)
Cancel / Change address of any subscriptions In writing
Arrange handover date With Agent / Landlord
Organize Packers Keep your Passports & ‘luggage to travel with you’ separate from goods to be packed
Take photos of item you want to sell (inclu. Cars) & advertise online Market Place, Yahoo groups, expat websites,
Donate unwanted goods to charity, Brockies & take broken, unsaleable items to Recycling Centres Contact Brockies in your area & visit your local Recycling Centre or ‘Clothing Banks’ etc
Cancel Memberships of Gym, Golf, Tennis clubs In writing & in accordance with contract. Need to show Abmeldebestätigung for refunds
Cancel Coop Supercard In writing: Coop Supercard,Konsumentendienst, Postfach, 2501 Biel,
Cancel Migros Cumulus Card Tel. 0848 85 08 48 or online
Cancel any other store cards Most can be done online
Book hotel / accommodation for final nights Stay local & ask for recommendations
Organize Leaving Do Get kids involved to help you plan. Pin a copy of this list in the kitchen and tick off as you go along
Have all the keys ready Make sure all have been found or replacements ordered from Landlord
Forward Post at Post Office & Inform your friends & family of new address
Send Number plate back Strassenverkehrsamt or Main Post Offices e.g. Meilen & Uster. Car tax rebate Handout
Handover Be present or give Power of Attorney

With thanks to HiFX for the Infographic. Good luck with your move!

Cleaning Company Recommendation

Diamond Cleaning

Contact: John Shepherd

Tel: 07747 190 40  OR  04453 602 17

Visit Diamond Cleaning website here

Garden Company Recommendation

 Select Garten

Contact: David Santangelo

Tel: 044 400 92 16

Visit Select Garten website here

Movers – Do you know a good one?

We are unable to recommend the movers we used – but if you have  a moving company you could recommend please write in the comments box below! We’d love to hear from you!

NewInZurich runs talks on moving house in Zurich. Email here to request further information.


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