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? 🙂
Exemple 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!