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If the present tenant does not give you the registration form, ask the agency for it immediately. Then sign it. Add very clear copies of the following documents:

1. Applications to rent flats or villas

  • Identification: for Swiss citizens: identity card or passport or residence permit; for foreigners: resident permit and passport
  • Proof of income: confirmation of salary, unemployment benefits, pension benefits, insurance benefits. If you are self-employed: a copy of your last statement of accounts or your last income tax return.
  • Recent confirmation of freedom from legal proceedings. Contact the department of your place of residence (office de poursuite = Swiss department responsible for conducting executions against persons not engaged in trade). For the Canton of Geneva: Office des Poursuites, rue du Stand 46, case postale (P.O. Box No) 208, 1211 Geneva 8, tel. 022 388.90.90. The declaration/certificate will be supplied directly if you apply personally at the counter with identification.

2. Applications to rent commercial premises

a. You are a salaried person

  • The same documents as for an application to rent a flat or villa

b. You have an active company

  • An extract from the Trade Register
  • An affidavit of freedom from legal proceedings
  • Your last three balance sheets and profit and loss accounts
  • A copy of an identification document of a director

c. You are in process of founding a new company

  • Additional guarantees are required, e.g. signed by one or more directors confirming that they are associated with the company and that they act jointly and severally. In this case, the director or directors responsible provide the same documents as persons who are looking for a flat.

Submitting your file

Submit your registration form and all the requisite documents to the agency. Only such files are taken into consideration. Your registration has no contractual value, and the choice of tenant does not depend on the order in which files are received by the agency. In principle, the amount of rent and charges to be paid should not be more than 25 to 30 % of gross income.

The reply from the agency

Most agencies will answer your application within 3 to 7 days, depending on the complexity of the file. The agency and landlord often have to face a situation in which they receive several files with comparable data, and have to decide between them. A negative reply is not necessarily due to your file.


More information that may be of interest to you:

Rent deposit (rent guarantee) in Geneva and in Switzerland
Rent a furnished apartment in Geneva
Find a property for rent in Geneva Switzerland
Rental process - information for tenants


 © Esther Lauber, Real Estate Trustee with Advanced Federal Diploma of Professional Education and Training, property manager

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