Useful information

Hereunder, you'll find the answers to the frequently asked questions.

How can I create my account and create an ad ?

You can place your ad on the UNIL-EPFL housing portal. You only need to create an account which will allow you to modify or cancel your ad whenever you wish so. Your offer will be accessible to all UNIL and EPFL students. Do not hesitate to contact us would you have any trouble placing the ad.

What criteria are used to moderate announcements ?

Because posting an announcement on our database is open to everyone, we are obliged to refuse to post announcements that state or imply the following:  
  • Preference for students of a certain race, nationality or religion (or a refusal to offer housing to students of certain races, nationalities or religions).
  • Rent that is considerably higher than current housing market prices.
  • Announcements that are biased or with sexual connotations.
  • Housing offers not allowing the students to enjoy a totally private area to sleep and work.
We reserve the right to refuse announcements of rooms whose rent is considered too high. We evaluate each object based on the following:

  • The size of ​​the room (sqm)
  • The location of the property in relation to the UNIL-EPFL campus (or to the EPFL branches)  
  • Furniture included or not
  • Access to a private bathroom or not
  • Other services that may be included (Internet, cleaning, meals, etc.) or not  
These criteria are evaluated by our services at the time of moderation and only concern announcements for rooms and not for apartments. If you have any doubts about the rents you can offer or have any questions, our services are of course at your disposal.

How to recognize a scam?

  • It is usually an ad a little too good to be true: accommodation in a great location, beautiful pictures and a cheap rent.
  • When you write the so-called owner or tenant, he answers very kindly that he is abroad for a professional purpose (usually in the UK) and he wants to find a trustworthy person who will take care of his accommodation during his absence.
  • He will send you a form to fill in looking like this:

    FULL NAME__________?
    DATE OF BIRTH:_________?
    MARITAL STATUS__________?
    PRESENT ADDRESS:_____________________
    HOW LONG?___________IF RENTING
    WHY ARE YOU LEAVING your place of Rent__________?
    PASSPORT COPY______________?
    WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN?______________?
    IF YOU HAVE A PET,______________?
    KIND OF PETS:_____________?
  • He may also mention the name of a third person, a business agent or a rental company that will manage all the formalities in his absence.
  • Generally, the email address and/or the name of the person writing to you are different from those mentioned in the ad.
  • After several email exchanges, he will tell you he has a last minute problem and that ultimately will not come to make you visit the apartment.
  • He asks you a payment (usually by Western Union) after which he says he will send you the keys of the apartment via express delivery services.
So be carful!
It seems that fraudsters are becoming more inventive and subtle.
So far fraud attempts were mainly apartments but lately more and more scams are for rented rooms.
Beware of offers that seem too interesting and if possible, visit the accommodation before booking or pay a deposit.
If the 1st rental or security deposit is asked, do not pay in Cash and do not send money via Western Union, MoneyGram, etc... and prefer payment through a Swiss bank.
If in doubt, do not hesitate to send us your email exchanges to logement@epfl.ch and we will give our opinion and advice. 
More info:
Website for Swiss prevention of crime
Swiss TV documentary on scams: www.rts.ch/emissions/abe/4732656-arnaques-au-logement-gros-comme-une-maison.html
Website listing scams http://www.arnaques-internet.info/
Advices of a real estate ads' website http://www.immoscout24.ch/IS24Web/Content/Article.aspx?lng=fr&wl=1&cmsaid=3615

Do you have any samples of sublet leases?

What do I need to know about the residence tax?

Students whose residence is outside Switzerland and who are living in Lausanne in order to study must pay a tourist tax of CHF 37.- per month.It is possible to request and exemption from the tourist tax if you receive a scholarship, either Swiss or foreign, or if you have a job on the side for which your taxes are withheld.For landlords, please be aware that you are responsible for collecting and paying the tourist tax to the appropriate fee collecting agency.For more information, please consult the legislation in effect in your commune of residence.

Are students required to register in the commune/village?

YES: When a foreigner arrives in a Swiss commune, he/she is required to register with a residential address. He/She must go to the community administrative office, present your lease or a community administration form, signed by your landlord, that serves as proof of residence in the commune.
This is mandatory and is required in order to apply for a residence permit.It is also mandatory for you to announce your departure from the commune, whether you are moving to another commune in Switzerland (change of address) or leaving Switzerland definitively (departure announcement).

Conditions générales d'utilisation

The term “user” in the remainder of this document refers to both male and female users.

The purpose of these General Terms and Conditions of Use for the Housing Portal is to inform the user of the terms and conditions under which they may use the Housing Portal and how their personal data will be processed.

These General Terms and Conditions of Use may be amended at any time by UNIL and EPFL. The user’s consent to such amendments will be implied by their continued use of the Housing Portal, whether or not they have expressly accepted the new General Terms and Conditions of Use.

1.   Description of the Housing Portal

The Housing Portal is accessible online at unil-epfl-logement.ch. It is operated jointly by the University of Lausanne (UNIL), based in Lausanne, and the École polytechnique fédérale (EPFL), also based in Lausanne. For data protection purposes, UNIL and EPFL are considered joint controllers.

The purpose of the Housing Portal is to allow those who are offering accommodation and those who are seeking accommodation to get in contact with each other. The Housing Portal is not a means for entering into a tenancy agreement.

2.   Registration

Use of the Housing Portal requires the creation of a personal account. The information processed for this purpose is subject to the data protection rules set out in these General Terms and Conditions of Use.

The user is responsible for ensuring that the personal information provided during the registration process is correct, complete, up to date and in accordance with these General Terms and Conditions of Use.

The user may access their profile data and amend it any time, by logging into their account with the credentials sent to them by email.

3.   Terms and conditions of use

Users may only make lawful and appropriate use of the Housing Portal.

In particular, users agree not to do any of the following in connection with the use of the Housing Portal:
  • use or attempt to use another person’s account or create a false or misleading identity;
  • publish a fake advertisement, offer accommodation that has not been authorised for letting or seek accommodation without any genuine interest;
  • distribute or post spam, unsolicited or mass electronic communications, chain letters or pyramid schemes;
  • upload, post, forward, distribute or otherwise make accessible any material containing viruses or any other computer code, documents, Trojan horses or programmes intended to disrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer programme or computer equipment or any telecommunications equipment or any other technology that could harm the website or interests or property of other users and UNIL or EPFL;
  • copy, change or distribute the website’s rights or content, in any way whatsoever;
  • sell any code, information or software associated with the website;
  • upload, post, forward, distribute, store or otherwise make publicly available on the website, any personal data relating to users or third parties, without the express consent of the person concerned in advance;
  • use the website in any way which, in the sole view of UNIL and EPFL, is undesirable, unlawful or inappropriate, or which restricts or limits the ability of any other person to use the website, or which may harm UNIL or EPFL or other users or render them liable, including any pornographic, threatening, abusive or discriminatory content;
  • by-pass the security measures implemented on the website;
  • facilitate or assist another person to carry out one of the actions listed above.

4.   Agreement between users

The Housing Portal allows users to offer or post a request for accommodation and get in touch with each other. They can then enter into an agreement based on their own decision, outside the portal. No obligation whatsoever to enter into an agreement with another user can be claimed on the basis of the website, in particular the use of the site or existence of an account.

UNIL and EPFL’s sole involvement is making the Housing Portal available to users; as a consequence, neither has any contractual role whatsoever in any relationship that may be formed between users. Any tenancy agreement is binding solely on the users. In particular, UNIL and EPFL cannot be held liable for any breach of contract, breach of the law or any other potential source of liability in the relationship between users.

UNIL and EPFL simply give users the option to get in touch with each other and cannot be considered intermediaries or parties of any kind.

5. Disclaimer of liability

The Housing Portal is provided as seen and free of charge. In accordance with the applicable law, UNIL and EPFL disclaim any liability in association with the Housing Portal, in particular in the event of any harm or malfunctions of any kind.

Although measures have been implemented to detect fraud, UNIL and EPFL cannot give any specific guarantee concerning the accuracy of data, the financial solvency of users seeking accommodation, or the existence and availability of accommodation offered by users, insofar as the purpose of the Housing Portal is solely to put users in contact with each other.

Users visit the Portal and use the information published on it at their own risk. The use of electronic media, such as the internet, email, etc. carries a risk (of viruses and other forms of hacking). In order to reduce these risks, you are advised to use an up-to-date version (the latest update released by the developer) of your browser, and install anti-virus software and keep it up to date. Do not open emails from an unknown address or attachments with an ".EXE" or ".ZIP" extension, for example.

6.   Compensation

Users will hold UNIL and EPFL (including their managers, directors, employees and staff) harmless from any third-party claims and will compensate UNIL and EPFL for any harm, claims, indemnities and costs (including legal fees and court costs), either direct or indirect, incurred by UNIL and EPFL in this context and will be held solely liable for such harm, claims or indemnities and costs.

7.   Links to other websites

Some links shown on our website provide access to third-party websites over which UNIL and EPFL have no control. As soon as the user clicks on these links, they leave the sphere of control of UNIL and EPFL. The latter cannot be held liable for the completeness, exhaustiveness or legality of the content and links to other sites shown there or for any products, offers or services presented on them. The terms and conditions of use and data protection provisions of the third-party sites concerned will apply.

8.   Intellectual property

All the content of this website is protected by copyright and intellectual property rights, which, unless otherwise stated, are the sole and exclusive property of UNIL and EPFL. Opening pages on a screen, downloading or copying them does not grant any rights (such as rights of use, intellectual property rights, etc.). Unless authorised in writing in advance, any reproduction, forwarding (electronically or by other means), modification, linking to or use of our website for public or commercial purposes, either fully or in part, is strictly prohibited. Similarly, any use of the content and our website for unlawful purposes will result in legal action being taken against the perpetrators.

9.   Termination

UNIL and EPFL may block, suspend or close any account or any ability to use or access the website, fully or in part, or shut down the website at any time, at their sole discretion, without justification or advance notice.   The user may close their account at any time by contacting UNIL or EPFL.

10.      Data protection

10.1. Controller

UNIL and EPFL are the joint controllers. Each is responsible for the actions of their own employees.

The controllers may be contacted via the housing teams at UNIL and EPFL, using the email addresses logement@unil.ch or logement@epfl.ch.

Since the Housing Portal is administered jointly by UNIL and EPFL, data are visible to and can be administered by both organisations.

10.2. Data collected

The following data are recorded on the system:

Users seeking accommodation:
  • Personal data (last name, first name, email address, postal address, phone number)
  • User name
  • Password (encrypted)
  • Search criteria
  • Log-ins to the portal
  • Matches produced by the system (according to search criteria)
  • Emails sent
  • Visits to details of objects on the portal
  • Contact requests
  • Personal data (last name, first name, email address, postal address, phone number)
  • User name
  • Password (encrypted)
  • Log-ins to the portal
  • Validation dates by email and SMS
  • Emails sent
  • Logs / Actions in the software (saving an object, etc.)
  • Visit contact data (may be someone other than the advertiser)
  • Object data
Data subjects are not required to provide all the information above. Mandatory information is indicated when the data are collected. However, if the user refuses to provide certain data, access to the Housing Portal may be limited or impossible.

10.3. Purpose and lawful basis of processing

Data are processed for the purpose of providing the agreed service, i.e. to enable users who are looking for accommodation and users who are offering accommodation to be put in contact with each other. Processing these data is necessary for the performance of the contract.

Technical data are processed for statistical purposes, which is justified by UNIL and EPFL's legitimate interest in the smooth running and optimisation of the Housing Portal. UNIL and EPFL also have a legitimate interest in processing the data for fraud detection purposes.

10.4. Use of the data collected

UNIL and EPFL process personal data for the purposes described above. UNIL and EPFL may also use these data to communicate with users.

10.5. Place of processing

Data are processed exclusively in Switzerland.

10.6. Your rights

Users may unsubscribe at any time from email or other alerts to which they have subscribed, by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the end of each email, via their account or by contacting the housing teams at UNIL and EPFL.

In accordance with data protection legislation (GDPR), users have a right of access to, rectification and erasure of their data. They also have a right to restriction of processing, a right of objection and a right to portability. Users also have the right to make a complaint to the competent authority.

However, the controller reserves the right to refuse any request that it considers excessive, or contrary to the applicable legislation. Please send your request to logement@unil.ch or logement@epfl.ch.

10.7. Data communication

Users’ data are processed by the housing teams at UNIL and EPFL.

Data are communicated to the processor to provide the service, and in particular Immomig SA at 1763 Granges-Paccot.

Accommodation providers’ contact details will be sent to people who are interested in a particular property.

Accommodation providers will receive the contact details of users who have indicated their interest in a property.

10.8. Data retention period

Personal data are retained for as long as users use the Housing Portal. Furthermore, the personal data of users seeking or offering accommodation may be retained for up to five years after they last logged in.

Subject to any applicable statutory provisions requiring a longer retention period (including but not limited to federal and cantonal archiving laws), data will be automatically deleted at the end of the periods indicated. Data will be deleted immediately in response to a request for erasure by the data subject.

10.9. Security

UNIL and EPFL ensure the security of personal data by implementing both physical and logical measures. Accordingly, appropriate technical and organisational measures are implemented, in particular to prevent any accidental or intentional data handling, loss, destruction or communication and any unauthorised access. These measures are in line with current practices in accordance with the risks incurred, in order to protect users’ data.

10.10. Cookies and audience analysis

Users have the option to view our website without creating an account. Usage data, such as the IP address of their device, pages viewed, browser used, date, time, etc., which are recorded using cookies, are collected when they do so. Session cookies are collected to ensure the correct operation of certain parts of the website (mainly the “my account” section and the criteria selected in the search filter(s)).

It is possible that the Housing Portal may use Google Analytics, a website analytics service provided by Google LLC (“Google”). Google Analytics mainly uses cookies that are used to generate reports on user interactions. Users may deactivate cookies or delete an individual cookie and also have the option to deactivate Google Analytics measurements using the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/. Google Analytics collects an ID (application instance ID, IP address, etc.). IDs are used to measure users’ interactions with the Portal and to ensure the security of the service, indicate which region users come from and produce general statistics.

For more information, see the Google Ads Processor Terms, available at the following link: https://privacy.google.com/intl/fr_fr/businesses/processorterms/.

11. Applicable law and jurisdiction

This agreement is governed by Swiss material law. Its place of performance and applicable jurisdiction are Lausanne.

In the event of a dispute, the French version of these General Terms and Conditions of Use shall prevail.