Categorized | Housing / Accomodation

Seeking an Apartment

Posted on 29 January 2007 by Homeless

I moved to Geneva from Manchester in December for an I.T. job at a biotech company.  I’m still living out of a hotel.  They call them ‘residences.’  They are hotel-like structures of room-size apartments for people like me who haven’t found real apartments yet.   I live at a residence in the Acacias area, just by the bridge, and it’s very expensive — as expensive as a pricey one bedroom apartment, except only slightly larger than university digs.  

The process of looking for lodgings is very time-consuming: there are very few apartments available and you have to visit them at appointed times — often in the middle of the workday, which is not possible if you have a job.  If you don’t have a job, you can easily visit whatever apartments are available but the building managers  (‘regies’ as they are called here)  will not rent to you.

The last apartment I applied for had 25 people on the list (there were more but the Regie stopped taking down names).  They never tell you what number you are, unless you are number one — in which case, you are pending approval from the owner, which is often an insurance company or a bank or the city government. 

My colleague Yuri tells me that the situation is very much reminiscent to him of the Soviet Union, except that the quality of the apartment, if you actually find one, is much better.

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