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.
You are strongly recommended to take out personal liability insurance, to cover you if someone else suffers a physical injury or damage to property.
The ECA (Cantonal Establishment of Insurance) is informed of your presence in the canton by the Residents’ Registration Office of your commune of residence, for the time of a visit, when you arrive in the commune or when you move out of the commune. The weeks following your registration to the commune, you will receive a letter from the ECA, in order that you insure your household contents and personal property (furniture, clothing, electronic devices, equipment etc.) against fire (fire, explosions, smoke, etc.) and natural disasters (flooding, hail, hurricanes : violent windstorms, etc.). This insurance is compulsory for all residents of the canton (article 27 of the law concerning building insurance and personal property insurance against fire and natural disasters - LAIEN).
Your regional agency is at your disposal for any information.
This insurance covers water damage, broken glass and theft (including theft occurring outside the home) in your apartment or a neighbour’s flat (for water damage only).
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 et Bureau des étrangers in the administrative district where you are living, in person, within 14 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.
Students staying temporarily in Switzerland for study purposes are subject to a residence tax of between CHF 30 and CHF 37 per month. Exemptions may be possible, but the conditions for exemption vary depending on the district in which you live.
You will find more information on residence taxes for international students on the international website.