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How can I find a cooperative apartment in Zurich?

A room in a cooperative flat in Zurich

Getting a cooperative apartment in Zurich is a dream for many – affordable rent, friendly community, and a sense of belonging – what more could one want? In Zurich, about 20% of the housing is cooperative, which is quite significant. Despite this, many believe that snagging such an apartment is impossible. We disagree and show you four ways to your dream cooperative flat.


Listings on Websites and Portals

Many cooperatives advertise available apartments on their websites. Some also list on well-known portals (Homegate, Flatfox, etc.). Anyone can apply. The cooperative then invites some of the applicants for a viewing and an interview. The selection process varies – sometimes it's even random. When it comes to listings, it's crucial to respond as quickly as possible. Therefore, one should have all their documents ready in advance. Our checklist can help with this. You can also draft an application letter beforehand and then modify it as needed. Many listings for cooperative apartments are only online for a very short time (often less than 24 hours). If you're not constantly checking all the websites, you'll miss many listings. With the subscription service GenossenSchaffen, you'll receive an email when a new apartment is listed, allowing you to react immediately. This way, you're always ahead of the game, guaranteed!



Some cooperatives maintain waiting lists (you can find the list of these cooperatives here). You can sign up and then... wait. Often, it can take years before you're contacted. However, if you're not under time pressure, it's definitely worth a try! Note: at most cooperatives, you must re-register every 6-12 months to stay on the waitlist.


New Construction Projects

In a recent vote, the population of Zurich decided that the city should continue to promote the construction of non-profit housing. Thus, cooperative housing is also being built. For example, a high-rise building by ABZ is being constructed on the Koch-Areal, to be completed by 2026. It's worth checking the websites of cooperatives for new construction projects. Often, you can put your name on a list of interested parties and possibly be considered for initial occupancy!


Vitamin B (Networking)

This method can also lead to success. Vitamin B refers to recommendations from friends or family members who already live in a cooperative. If an apartment becomes available in the cooperative, you may be given preference. It certainly doesn't hurt to ask acquaintances for such a recommendation!


Getting a cooperative apartment in Zurich is not impossible. It just requires the right methodology. Subscribe now to GenossenSchaffen and receive email notifications about cooperative housing advertisements. That way you're among the first to apply - guaranteed!

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