Genève pratique

Practical Geneva


Housing & Insurance

Welcome to Geneva, your new home away from home.

Whether it’s for a short-term mission, or a longer-term posting, we’re here to help you settle in and enjoy your time in the beautiful City of Peace.

Demand for housing is strong and affordability is a consideration. Finding the right place to live, at the right price, in the right location, is always one of the biggest challenges when arriving in a new city.

Geneva is no different. You’ll find a range of options, from student accommodation, rooms for rent, short-term serviced apartments, longer-term flats and family homes, right through to upmarket residences.

Refer to the  Housing & Information Service for a complete overview of all the steps to undertake your moving with complete peace of mind!

 Key points:

Housing search

First is our ‘bourse du logement’ service on the CAGI website.

If you’re looking for a place to rent or have a housing offer, be sure to register.

It’s a great place to start, as you’ll receive offers matching your criteria, as well as some other exclusive offers.

Search online classifieds like:

Régie’s Checklist

  1. The application form: stating your name and contact details, date of birth, nationality, occupation and salary.
  2. A valid copy of your ID or passport, together with a copy of your official Swiss work permit or ‘légitimation’ card.
  3. Your last 3 salary slips or a copy of your work contract, stating your income.
  4. A copy of an ‘attestation de non-poursuite’ - which is a document showing that you are not the subject of legal debt-collection proceedings. See Geneva ‘Offices des poursuites’ website for more.

Ensure your application contains all required documents, or it won’t be considered.

Lease Agreement

Before signing the lease agreement, make sure to check some of the following key points:

  1. A ‘caution’ or deposit not exceeding 3 months’ rent will be payable by bank guarantee. This can also be covered by a no-deposit guarantee.
  2. Make sure an entry inspection is carried out and has your acceptance. If defects aren’t noted, you might be liable for repair costs at the end of your lease.
  3. Be aware of termination periods. Generally, the notice period for termination is at least 3 months.
  4. If you need to leave before the end of the agreement, you’ll have to find a suitable new tenant. You can also use our ‘bourse du logement’ for this.

Once you take up residence at your new address, you are required to announce your arrival at the local commune and with the ‘Office cantonal de la population’ (OCP) if you have a Swiss work permit; or through your employer with the Swiss Mission to the UN, if you hold a ‘légitimation’ card.

Be sure to notify the utilities provider, ‘Services industriels de Genève’ (SIG), to have the water, electricity and gas turned on and registered in your name.

The same notifications need to be made when you move or leave, to avoid ongoing charges.

For Canton of Vaud utilities, check with the municipality.


Private liability insurance is required in the contract. It can cover damage or injury to third parties, both as a tenant and also in public.

Household contents insurance is highly recommended. Most leading insurers will offer policies and documentation in English.

Cost will depend on the value of the insured items.

More information on liability, household and legal protection insurance.

Broadcasting Fees

(TV & Radio and other medias)

A fee is charged for radio reception & TV whatever the device used. More information in our Media & Telecom section.




Your housing could accommodate a future international newcomer, like you were.

To help you find a new tenant, before the contract finishes, propose your house/apartment, it's simple and free!




Liability, houshold insurance and legal protection




CAGI's partner hotels
Useful guidelines and checklists
from the Confederation, cantons and communes
Geneva Association of Moving Companies (AGED)

Notaries in Geneva
A guide for foreign residents in Geneva
pdf doc)



Checklist for Moving
of the Swiss Tenants' Association (ASLOCA) in French