A rent guarantee is a sum of money, generally equivalent to three times your monthly rent, which must be deposited and blocked in a bank account at the request of a landlord (property company). The money can only be released and returned when you leave your accommodation, after the final inventory and statement of state of repair (agreed by the tenant and landlord at the end of the tenancy) has been signed, provided that you have not caused any damage to the accommodation and you are not in arrears with your rent. Otherwise, the landlord can deduct the relevant amount from the sum deposited in the bank account to pay for the repairs or cover unpaid rent.
If you do not have sufficient funds for the initial deposit, there are companies that can provide a guarantee on your behalf; you will be required to pay an annual subscription (based on the amount of deposit required) to the company concerned. Most landlords are willing to use companies of this kind.
SwissCaution is one of the companies that provides this service.
Personal liability insurance will cover you in the event that you cause physical injury or damage to property to another person. Although in principle optional in Switzerland, it is strongly recommended that you take out such insurance.
The ECA (Cantonal Establishment of Insurance) insures your household contents and personal property against fire and natural disasters. This insurance is compulsory for all residents of the canton.
Household contents insurance covers damage to the items you have in your home, specifically personal belongings such as your furniture, TV, clothes and sports equipment. Personal liability insurance and household contents insurance are often confused because they generally come as a package. Unlike personal liability insurance, household insurance does not cover you for injury, damage or loss you cause to a third party.
For more information on these insurances, see the Insurances & Admin section.
In principle, all persons resident in Switzerland must pay the radio and television licence fee. The fee is payable per household. However, there are certain exemptions.
The licence fee is your financial contribution to the daily production of radio, TV and web programmes by all public service broadcasters in Switzerland. It is the annual bill you receive from SERAFE.
Upon your arrival in the canton of Vaud, you must report your arrival to the Contrôle des habitants in the administrative district where you are living, in person, within 8 days. You can submit an application for a residence permit at the same time, by bringing at least two passport-size photos and your passport or identity card with you.
There are fees for these procedures, of between CHF 15 and CHF 30, depending on the district, for the registration fee and CHF 65 for the residence permit fee.
For more information on the procedure, see the Insurances & Admin section.
For foreign students, please refer to the international website.