We’ve already revealed how you can leave a good impression at the flat viewing. After the viewing appointment, you’re absolutely sure that you want to move there. Very good, now to the next step. The good impression that you left has to be continued by a written application. We’ll give you some tips on how to write a successful apartment application.

Download apartment application

What Documents Belong in the Dossier for the Apartment Application?

The Cover Letter

As mentioned in the article with tips for apartment viewing, it’s important to be short and concise.  Don’t write any long stories. The cover letter should not be longer than one page. Introduce yourself – and other cohabitants – in a breezy manner. Describe your job, your family and also mention the reason for your move.

In this cover letter, you should also say why you’re interested in the apartment. Explain to the renter why you should get the flat. It’s also a good idea to explain why you’d fit with the other tenants. Maybe you have a special reason why it’s that flat that you want. Dare to write something personal. In this way, you’ll stand out from the other applicants and the renter will remember you. By the way, you don’t need to hand in a CV.

Application Form

Sometimes there’re application forms lying around at the viewing appointment. You should take a copy. These forms are different depending on the apartment company. If there aren’t any, then you should look for a copy on their homepage. If there aren’t any, then just find a sample on the internet. Now grab that application form and let’s move on!

The information on the application form refers to your personal data, such as contact information, occupation, and annual salary. There are also additional questions: Is it a smoking household? Are there any pets? Interestingly, you’re not obliged to answer the question of whether you smoke or not, but you need to state if you have a pet. They’ll also ask about your creditworthiness. This leads us to the next topic: The debt enforcement register.

Debt Enforcement Register

It’s understandable that your future landlord wants to know if you’re capable of paying your rent every month and on time. That’s why you need a copy of your debt enforcement register. Of course, you could refuse to provide a copy, but then you’ll have little chance to get the flat. It’s necessary to reveal some information for a flat application.

The debt enforcement register will show your ability to pay as a potential tenant. Additionally, the renter will be aware of enforcements. Is there something on the register that wasn’t your fault? Explain the unlucky situation openly to your renter. Sometimes offense is the best defense.

💡 By the way: the debt enforcement register can be obtained at the local collection agency and should not cost more than 20 francs. Don’t hand in a copy but the original.

Stay Permit

You’re not a Swiss resident? Then make sure to include your stay permit in your application dossier. A recommendation letter works wonders too.

Minimal Mission completed: Now to some Extra Stuff

You’ve now completed the minimum requirements for your successful application. That wasn’t difficult, was it? Breath in and out and think about what kind of impression you’re going to leave if you only fulfill the minimum requirements. It might be a good one but often it won’t suffice. Here is some extra stuff that you could include in your apartment application dossier to give it some spice.

Recommendation Letter and References

Do you have a good relationship with your current landlord? Or what about your employer? Maybe one of them is willing to write you a recommendation letter that states that you’re reliable and uncomplicated. Note that you don’t need to give too many references. Your future tenant doesn’t need a whole catalog of information.

Salary Statement and Employment Contract

It’s not necessary to show your salary statement or employment contract to the renter. In an apartment application, it’s all about the extra mile (or being the first) though, when there are many applicants. At some point, you have to make a difference. If you layout this information, you’re playing with open cards and you create trust.

Do’s and Don’ts: What you Should Avoid in your Application

  • Stains on your letter, typos in your references, illegible data in your application forms. These mistakes won’t present you in a positive light. Give some effort to make your documents look flawless.
  • You still haven’t handed in your application one week after the viewing? That’s a no-go. The apartment might already be gone. Being quick is everything. You should hand in your documents on the same day as the viewing day, or at least one day after that. Often, you’re competing against the applicants of the same day. It’s even faster if you compile everything as a PDF document and send it per email.
  • You’ve handed in your documents a week ago? Don’t leave your phone out of sight. You might get a positive call from the renter. You can also leave a good impression by calling one or two days later to make sure that he or she got your documents. In this way, you’re showing your interest for the flat. But don’t be intrusive.
  • You shouldn’t lie. This is also the case for apartment applications. Don’t state something that could be proven wrong. It’s illegal to state false data.

Be Individual: This Is how you Stand out

Of course, you need some luck to get the flat because the number of applicants is high. You can stand out by handing in a creative application. Invest some energy on the cover of your dossier. Include a picture of you of your last vacation, which tells them about your friendliness. Start your letter with a citation. That will stick in your renter’s memory. Or maybe you’ll think of a small anecdote from the viewing day. Or is there a funny detail that you saw? Put it in!

Don’t Forget…

… to be yourself. Don’t lay it on too thick and trust your luck. Then you’ll succeed with your application.

Download application letter template

To get an idea of what the application letter for the apartment might look like, we have attached a sample application. You can download the sample application as a Word document or as a PDF document and customize it to your liking.

Download template