From ending utilities and insurance contracts, handling the end cleaning of your apartment, selling your vehicle, deregistering from schools and other authorities – leaving Switzerland is a race against time and a logistical roller coaster. Here is some wisdom from experienced relocation experts to help you manage the complexities of this endeavor.
Once you know you are leaving and by when, here is what you need to do:
Check your lease contracts and also the contracts of all services and subscriptions you own in order to find out the appropiate cancellation terms.
Make sure you respect the appropriate notice period as stated in your contracts.
If you have to leave earlier than stated in your lease contract, you will be responsible to find a new tenant, which means advertising the apartment and organizing viewings.
Start with your lease contract. The most important document you will need to prepare as a first step is a written notice signed by all tenants mentioned in the lease contract. This notice needs to be sent to your landlord by registered post and in due time, as per your lease contract.
Cancel all other contracts for services based on the info included in the contracts, as each supplier might have different notice periods and also different ways in which you can deregister.
Ensure that your third-party liability insurance extends until at least the end of your property rental - see point 10 for more.
You will need to coordinate the movers and the cleaning company, while also taking into account various repairs that might need to happen.
The main advantage is the guarantee you receive, based on a signed contract. So don't skimp.
Giving back your apartment does not simply mean returning the keys. It is in fact a thorough inspection of the apartment, for which you should allow plenty of time.
Even if damages to your property may be noted, know that normal depreciation has to be taken into account. Some damages can be claimed through your insurance.
This is a very important step and it should not take long.
Ask your local municipality about the procedure, as it can differ by location.
Generally it involves you visiting your local municipality to complete a form where you formally declare and confirm your exit from Switzerland. This formality impacts on a wide range of government services, including tax and social security.
Your household goods will probably be shipped before you leave. If you can’t stay with friends, then temporary accommodation is an excellent solution.
The return of the security deposit can take up to 1 year and some landlords or real estate agencies might be reluctant to transfer the money in a non-Swiss account.
Note that some of Switzerland's best-known banks are obliged to close your account immediately (practically on the spot) if you inform them that you are leaving Switzerland. Consider carefully when to inform your bank about your departure.
Keep your third-party liability insurance active until after the end of the lease contract, since you remain responsible for any damage occurring to the property up to that date.