An Attestation de Poursuite in Reinforced Concrete

Did a rental agency ask you for an ‘Attestation de Poursuite’? This article provides you with 7 tips regarding this document – how to obtain it, how it looks like, and how to increase your chances towards the régies. It should help you having a more solid case for obtaining a rental in Switzerland.

1) Avoid these Legal Proceedings (‘Poursuites’ in French) as much as possible

– Agencies are telling it to us, anyone can go through a tough patch which makes the payment of bills more tricky – being fired, a divorce, etc. For obtaining a rental, it is therefore not the end of the world to have had some proceedings. Yet, if you are in competition with 20 other candidates for a 1 bedroom (3 pièces), it will be a significant disadvantage. Better to avoid them and pay your bills on time.
– Paying your bills is not always enough. In Switzerland, any individual or company can indeed assign these ‘poursuites’ to someone – no proof is necessary at that stage! If you are not familiar with the Swiss system for these ‘poursuites’, you may like this article on Proceedings in Switzerland.
– If you are currently having some proceedings, even minor, it is probably not the best moment to search for a place to rent as agencies will rarely accept you. Traces of your old poursuites will remain for 5 years but will not be shown as current ones. From there you will be able to convince agencies that it was a temporary situation.

2) Obtain the Original of the ‘Attestation de Non Poursuite’

– Almost all agencies tell us of cases of fraud. So do not under-estimate the importance of this official document from the ‘Office des Poursuites’. Few are the agencies that will not ask you for the original. In your profile of candidate on immodating, you are asked on your honour whether you had any such proceedings in the last 2 years, but attaching the original remains absolutely mandatory later on.
– In practice, agencies will make a copy of your document and in most cases will return it to you for the rest of your search for a rental.

Please see below an example of a scanned document. For security reasons it was modified – will you find the 7 errors? 🙂

Attestation_PoursuiteExemple d’Attestation de Non Poursuite sur le Canton de Genève

3) Inform yourself before going to the Cantonal Office of Poursuites

Each canton has their instructions for obtaining the document. Some cantons now allow you to obtain it via electronic order or even at the nearby post office. So inform yourself before going there! The document will cost you around 20 chf and will require some form of ID (identity card, passeport, permit, etc.). Please find below the instructions to the cantonal offices for obtaining the document.













Website Attestation de Poursuite Genève  Attestation de Poursuite Vaud Attestation de Poursuite Valais Attestation de Poursuite Neuchâtel Attestation de Poursuite Jura Attestation de Poursuite Fribourg
Means mentionned to obtain it Office, Mail, Online, Post office Office Office, Mail Office Office Office, Mail, Online

5) Obtain a similar document for your previous cantons. 

By obtaining an Attestation from your previous residences, you can make a huge difference in the quality of your application for the agency. Indeed, you will not have left some issues in your previous cantons this way. So think to go get this document from the cantons of your last 5 years of residence.

6) Ask your town office for an Attestation of Residence.

The ‘Attestation de résidence’ can be obtained with your city council. It will prove exactly when  you arrived in the canton and at which address your reside. This will avoid any uncertainty on the validity of the Attestation de Poursuite you just submitted (impossible to have changed canton the day before…). On a tight market, it is really worth it as agencies are worried of fraud. This document will therefore increase the trust in your application considerably. We will come back to this.

7) Ensure yourself that the ‘Attestation de Non Poursuite’ is still valid.

Real estate agencies generally ask that the Attestation de Poursuite is 3 months old at the maximum for a rental. Considering how hard it can be to find an apartment around the Leman lake these days (and therefore long…), remember to check the date and to obtain a new one after 3 months. It will avoid you missing a great place to rent because your folder is not complete.
That’s it for the tips regarding the Attestation. Building a strong application for a rental can seem complex and feel free to consult our article on the basics of the the Basics of Rental Application. Whatever you do, we wish you to obtain your dream appartement to rent!

Which of these advices was the most helpful for you? React in the comments below! And if you liked this article, please remember to share it.

By | 2017-09-17T04:17:27+00:00 25/09/2013|Blog @en|7 Comments

About the Author:

Ancien manager chez Procter & Gamble, Jim Hershkowitz est co-fondateur et administrateur d'Immodating SA. Il vit à Genève avec sa femme, ses 2 enfants, et son bouledogue français. Suivez-le sur Twitter.


  1. Kalina 11 November 2019 at 16:19 - Reply

    Hi Jim,

    I am a relocation agent and my clients (from UK) got a house in Geneva Canton. They haven’t moved yet to Switzerland and the owners of the property require the equivalent of “Attestation de non poursuites” from the UK.
    Do you know if such a documents can be procured in the UK and what would be the equivalent ?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. The tips described in your article give a clear understanding of what is worth doing and how if a person is in such an unpleasant situation for him.

  3. Thank you for your help! I think I will need to work it out for myself, in order to obtain ‘Attestation de résidence’.

  4. Matias 7 November 2016 at 12:23 - Reply


    I currently live in the Saint Genis (France) and planning to move to Geneva. Is it possible to get the ‘attestation de Non Poursuite’ ? Which paper should I present instead?


    • Jim Hershkowitz 12 November 2016 at 15:39 - Reply

      Hi Matias,

      THanks for your note.

      It’s a good question. To my knowledge it’s not possible to get an Attestation de Non Poursuites if you don’t reside in Geneva, BUT why not call the Office des Poursuites & ask? Maybe it will just show up blank – if you are not resident which is what you actually want (and is better than not showing anything).

      Kind regards.
      Jim Hershkowitz

  5. Isabella 6 April 2016 at 23:22 - Reply

    Hi there,

    I was wondering what document you need when moving from the UK to Geneva? Do you still need an attestation?

    Thank you!!

    • Jim Hershkowitz 26 August 2016 at 22:36 - Reply

      Hi Isabella, a very large question you ask. There hasn’t been a true Brexit yet so as part of the EU, you have free access to Switzerland. To obtain a flat to rent is another story through and I recommend our other article here . Hope it helps and good luck! Kind regards. Jim Hershkowitz (for Immodating LTD)

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