The complete checklist to properly prepare your rental file

The rental market can be tight, depending on the region and the best accommodations rent out very quickly. In order to optimize your chances of landing the lease of your dreams, it is better to prepare your rental file prior to sending applications to save time and provide the required information to the agencies. 

When you have found your accommodation, management will generally ask you to complete a registration form. This form must be accompanied by a number of personal documents. 

What is the purpose of the rental file? 

Your file contains personal information about your financial and professional situation which allows management to select the appropriate tenant for the accommodation. 
To the landlord, one of the most important criteria is your financial capacity. The authorities check your creditworthiness to ensure that you will be able to pay your rent every month. They also verify that you have the legal authority to sign a rental lease. Finally, your way of life will also be taken into account (children, possession of animals, working hours) in order to assess whether you will be a good neighbor for the other tenants of the building or in the community neighborhood. 
Your rental application file is important and it must be complete. 
The documents requested may vary according to different agencies. Thus, it is useful to inquire directly with the landlord or manager as soon as you find an apartment that you like. 
In a good rental file, the following documents are generally requested: 

  • The registration or application form, which is usually found on the agency website that manages the accommodation.

  • Identity documents or residence permit 

    For the Swiss: a photocopy of your identity card or passport, front and back. For other nationalities: a photocopy of your residence permit (B, C, G or L) front and back 


  • Extract from the prosecution office of less than 6 months, and often 3 months. We advise you to request this document at the start of your search as it may take a few days to receive it. To obtain it, you must go to the prosecution office in the canton where you live. For example, if you have submitted your papers to the service of the inhabitants of Lausanne, you will have to make the request to the Lausanne Prosecution Office. Some offices allow you to apply online, in others you will need to come in person with your ID. 

  • Income certificates: In order to check your solvency, you must prove that you will be able to pay the rent. If you are an employee: the last three pay slips. If you are self-employed: the last two balance sheets. If you receive social benefits (unemployment, disability): a certificate of social benefits. 

  • A copy of your Civil Liability Insurance policy for your current home. Even if this document is not always mandatory, it is wise to keep a copy. The agencies will be reassured to know that you have coverage for accidents. 

  • A rental guarantee certificate to prove to the management that you will be able to pay a rental guarantee when signing the lease.

In the case of a joint tenancy, prepare all the documents mentioned for each of the  tenants. 

Our tips for securing the accommodation that interests you 

Be responsive. Do not wait to start the process when you like an apartment. With strong demand in certain regions, you should not hesitate too long when an apartment seems to suit you.


Complete the application form immediately. In some high demand areas, it is not uncommon for a single apartment to have dozens of rental candidates. The management will not wait to receive your application before choosing the new tenants. 


Prepare copies of your complete file in advance. This will allow you to send it more quickly to the management of the desired accommodation. Keep a copy on your computer and have it ready to send electronically. 


If you visit an accommodation in the evening after work, bring your rental file the next day or better, register online directly if possible.


To maximize your chances, ask the management to tell you the steps: Should you complete the form online or in writing, send the documents by post or email, or come in person? 

Do you have a rental guarantee? 

As mentioned above, you will need to provide a rental guarantee certificate. This certificate is particularly useful if the management has reason to doubt your solvency. For example if you are a student, a beneficiary of social benefits or if your extract from the prosecution office is not blank. 


Our partner, FirstCaution supports you in compiling your file, even in the event of a problematic situation. If necessary, they can provide you with a tailor-made rental guarantee when you sign a rental lease. The process is very quick and easy to do online. 


Receive information on our partner FirstCaution's flexible rental guarantee.



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