Thursday, July 1, 2010

Goodbye Apartment

As I write this there is likely a new family getting settled into our apartment. We had our inspection and handed over the keys yesterday, and I believe the new family was to move in today. It feels so strange!

The inspection went pretty well, with only one thing I feel we are being unfairly charged for (the paint on the ceiling above our shower is peeling). But even that is not a big deal, because apparently it's standard that insurance covers most damages to the apartment.

I do not know if it is like this in other European countries, but in Switzerland your apartment/house is supposed to be in pristine condition when you move out. We have heard horror stories of landlords going through with white gloves, counting dents in the floor, or even requiring that the entire apartment be refloored. With that in mind, most expats hire a cleaning service to get the job done. Do most Swiss as well? I don't know. I have been wondering if there's some sort of racket going on to take advantage of harried expats who don't have the energy to fight.

Anyway, It cost us 1,700 CHF ($1,600) to have our four bedroom apartment cleaned. This did not include the window blinds. They would have been an extra 200 CHF. I was not there when Pat got this quote and decided that cleaning the blinds would be easy, and we could do it ourselves, no problem. He bristled when I got angry at this, and insisted I wouldn't have to worry about it, he'd do it all by himself. In retrospect, I believe I can safely say he's learned
a) in regards to cleaning, one should listen to the person who does the majority of the cleaning in the family (AKA me)
b) ten hours of cleaning blinds in the midst of relocation madness is worth 200 CHF

From other families we have heard of quotes ranging from 1,500 CHF to 4,000 CHF, so I guess all in all it's not too bad, if you look at it as just another part of the exorbitant cost of living in Switzerland. And the apartment really was spotless when I went back to look at it one last time yesterday morning.


  1. Good thing I am not sitting here eating while reading this because I almost choked on the amount you spent to have the apartment cleaned. Thankfully, we didn't have to do this when we lived in Switzerland because I know my husband would have had a heart attack.

  2. This makes me nervous, and I am not even renting any more, or living in Switzerland!
    Our Swiss neighbor jokingly told me he had to leave his 'very clean' homeland because he was 'too messy.'
    We almost did move to Switzerland, when my husband had a job opportunity... I may have been sent back to the states though, like our sweet neighbor, I am too messy.

  3. ahhh...sad not to think of you there, but onward to new adventures. so glad i got to come visit.