General Housing Information Neuchâtel Living space in Switzerland

Living space in Switzerland is smaller than in many other countries and neighbours live close together. Privacy, respect for others and peace and quiet times are important to the Swiss, who uphold a set of rules to ensure that these are observed.

A few facts about living in Switzerland

Switzerland has a high population density and land is scarce, so living space is smaller than in many countries. Most people rent housing in Switzerland, and there are not many houses available. Washing rooms are often shared with neighbours. Because of their close proximity, it is important to maintain good relations with neighbours. Garbage disposal laws require strict separation of items. If attending a state school, children either walk to school or take public transport.

 

House rules

The Swiss are generally strict about house rules. A copy is sent with the contract and is often posted at the entrance. House rules can include:

  • A requirement to inform neighbours if you are planning a party
  • A noise curfew after 10pm and no loud noises on Sundays or public holidays
  • Use of communal space ie. garden, play areas, storage, bike racks etc.
  • No pets without permission
  • Conditions for laundry use

 

What is included?

Older apartment buildings have communal washing machines and driers in the basement area and washing is organised according to a roster. Newer buildings generally have private facilities. There is usually extra storage space in the basement. Freestanding houses have more available space. Unfurnished accommodation includes light fittings in the bathroom and kitchen only, and built in wardrobes are rare. Curtain rails are usually built in and use the Swiss runners. Cold water is included in the rent. Other utilities are extras, such as hot water, heating, and electricity, and are usually payable above the monthly rent. Utilities usually amount to around 10% of the rent. Parking space will cost extra.

Description of housing

Apartments in Canton Neuchâtel are classified as follows:

 

1 pièce              =   studio

2 pièces             =   1 living room and 1 kitchen

2.5 pièces          =   1 big living room and 1 kitchen

3 pièces             =   1 living room, 1 bedroom and 1 kitchen

4 pièces             =   1 living room, 2 bedrooms and 1 kitchen

Things to consider before choosing accommodation:

Location

Type

  • Size
  • Outdoor areas, whether suitable for pets, musical instruments, etc.
  • Dimensions: if you intend bringing your own furniture, take the smaller spaces into account
  • Amenities: does it have its own washing machine?  Is there a lift or only stairs for deliveries?
Author: François Enzler

After more than 10 years’ experience in relocation in Switzerland, François is now heading the Packimpex Academy which provides over 30 different training courses specific to the needs of the relocation industry. His experience of the daily challenges faced by relocation consultants flows directly into the training courses designed and led by the Packimpex Academy.

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