Living in Zurich

In the Canton of Zurich, you will find a traditional housing market, but also non-profit housing options. Fees apply to internet, radio and TV access; household insurance and personal liability insurance is not required by law. Zurich has a comprehensive waste management and recycling system.

Find a house or an apartment

Available houses or apartments can usually be found online, in (local) newspapers or via housing agencies. In addition to the regular housing market, you will also find non-profit housing organisations offering affordable rents. Various organisations provide affordable housing to young people in training and to students. There are also special online platforms where rooms for rent are
advertised. If you are interested in renting an apartment, you will usually have to submit an application form and various documents such as a letter of application, a current extract from the debt enforcement register («Betreibungsregisterauszug»), references or salary statements. After moving in, you must register with your new community within 14 days.

Household insurance and personal liability insurance

In Switzerland, it is not a legal requirement but we strongly recommend you have household insurance («Hausratversicherung») and personal liability insurance («Haftpflichversicherung») cover. Household insurance will cover costs related to damage caused to your possessions due to fire, water, theft, or glass breakage. Personal liability insurance will cover the costs related to damage to property or persons caused by the person insured.

TV, internet and telephones

There are various service providers offering telephone, internet, and cable TV services. However, your choice may be limited depending on the community where you live and sometimes even on the service provided in a particular building. It is worthwhile comparing different internet providers as their services and prices can vary significantly.

If you have a device in your home that has access to electronic media (such as asmartphone, TV, computer, etc.), you must have a Swiss TV & Radio Licence. Serafe AG is the agency responsible for collecting the fees for this service.

Waste management

Plastic rubbish sacks are regularly collected from the residential areas. For household waste, you must use the official rubbish sacks or sacks with special rubbish collection stickers. The type of bag or sticker required depends on your local community or town. Bags and/or stickers can be bought at supermarkets. There are special collection points or special collection schedules for certain types of waste (e.g. paper, batteries, glass, cardboard, organic waste, aluminium, metal, textiles, oil, etc.). At almost all food stores, you can deposit plastic bottles (PET bottles) and other plastic packaging free of charge.

Special or hazardous waste (e.g. electrical goods, medicines, etc.) can usually be returned to where the original item was purchased. Each community or town has its own waste disposal schedule or waste collection calendar («Abfallkalender»), which you will receive at your new community office. These schedules tell you where and when you can dispose of your waste.


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