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Living in Switzerland For Members

Checklist: What you need to do if you move house in Switzerland

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Checklist: What you need to do if you move house in Switzerland
You must leave your old apartment in tip-top condition. Photo by Phil on Unsplash

Moving from one house or apartment in Switzerland to another is not as simple as just packing up your furniture. Instead, the process involves quite a few administrative tasks.

Looking to move? Find your next rental apartment here.

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Anyone who has ever moved, whether in Switzerland or elsewhere, knows it is not just a matter of simple logistics.

In fact, whether you are relocating to another town or canton, or just to another neighbourhood, moving is a big, expensive, time-consuming, and stressful experience.

These are various tasks you will have to cross off your list, one by one.

Getting your old apartment in order

It goes without saying that before you move out, you must make sure to leave the place clean and in order. Most people hire a cleaning company to do so, though you can, of course, do this yourself.

If, for instance, you broke or damaged anything while living in the apartment, you must repair it before you leave.

The condition of the apartment will be assessed during the final inspection process, when the landlord or the management company will write down all damages which you are responsible for either repairing yourself or paying someone else to do it for you.

You are not officially off the hook with your previous landlord until this process is completed.

De-register your old address and register the new one

Whether you are moving across the country or just across the street, this is an obligatory step.

You must let your ‘old’ commune’s population office (Einwohnerkontrolle / Contrôle des habitants/ Controllo abitanti) know you are leaving, and from which date.

You can do so either in person or (if available) online.

Then, when you settle in a new home, you have 14 days to announce your arrival in your new municipality, though in some places the deadline may be longer.

You will need the following documents:

  • A passport or ID card for each member of the family, in addition to a passport-sized photo for everyone
  • Documents relating to your family status — whether you are single, married, and with children
  • Your work or residency permit 
  • Your lease contract or proof of home ownership
  • Your health insurance card or proof of your current health insurance policy.

The rules are the same regardless of where you arrive from, that is, if you are Swiss, an EU citizen or from a third country, however the supporting documentation may vary. 

Some cantons may require other or additional documents, which you can find out ahead of time on your commune or canton's website.

READ ALSO: Why you need to tell Swiss authorities where you live 

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Inform the post office about your change of address

To ensure that your mail arrives at your new home, fill out the ‘change of address’ form online at least four days before your move. 

Four days is a minimum required time for the post office to process the address change and register it in the electronic database.

If you wait longer, your mail will continue to be delivered to  the old address.

You also should notify these companies of your move and new address:

  • Your mobile telephone / internet provider (if you still have a fixed phone, you should have it switched off at the old address and re-activated at the new one)
  • Your bank
  • Your insurance companies (health, car, and any other ones you have, both mandatory and optional)
  • Your doctor / dentist

If you forget to inform anyone of your new address, no worries — the post office will automatically forward the letters to you, provided your notified them of the change (see above).

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What about the tax office?

You don’t have to do a thing.

Your local commune will automatically inform tax authorities of your move, so there is no chance whatsoever that they won’t find you.

Rental versus owned property

If you move into a rental property, you don’t need to, in most cases, notify utility providers like the electric company of your move.

But if you are going to live in your own house, then you must let the local power company know to switch on your electricity supply.
 

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