Accommodation in the canton of Vaud

In the canton of Vaud, finding accommodation can take time and prove difficult due to the tense situation of the real estate market. It should also be noted that rents are often more expensive in cities than in outlying areas, which is why it is also possible to look for accommodation located more on the outskirts. The outskirts are areas that are generally very well served by public transport.

The most common is to rent an apartment or a house through a real estate agency (also called “régie” or “gérance”). You will find advertisements for accommodation available online or on the agencies’ websites.

If you are interested in an accommodation, you have the possibility to visit it. If it suits you, you can then submit your application file to the real estate agency. You will find in the online advertisement the contact of the tenant or the real estate agent who will show you around the apartment. It should be noted, however, that visiting an accommodation does not guarantee that it will be obtained.


Talk to those around you and use social networks.


Apartment rental scams are common. Beware of an offer that seems too attractive or conditions for filing an application that seem abnormal to you. For more information on apartment rental scams, visit the Vaud cantonal police website.

Submission of a file to a real estate agency

If, after the visit, you liked the accommodation, you can go to the real estate agency and submit your file containing the following elements:

  • Agency information form.
  • Copy of an identity document and/or residence permit.
  • Copy of payslips for the last 3 months.
  • Recent extract from the Office des Poursuites.

Offices des poursuites

  • Certificate of household insurance and civil liability (not compulsory but requested).

Accommodation-related insurances

  • If you do not meet all these conditions, you can ask someone you know to act as guarantor for you.

If you have any questions, you can contact the real estate agency directly.

Lease contract and rental guarantee

You have two options depending on your financial means:

  • Go to a bank with the lease contract, an identity document and open a “rental guarantee” bank account in your name. You can deposit the requested amount there, which will be blocked until the lease is handed over.
  • Use an acquaintance or a surety company to act as guarantor for you. The amount of your rental guarantee will be paid for by the surety company you have chosen. In return, you will have to pay annual premiums, i.e. approximately 5% of an amount equivalent to three times the monthly rent.

Inventory, rent and charges

When you enter the apartment, during the inventory, make sure that all the damage committed by the former tenant is noted and to request any maintenance work to be carried out if necessary. The rent for the accommodation is paid at the end of the month for the following month. On the rent bill, you will also find additional costs which represent rental charges (heating, maintenance) as well as utility charges (electricity, water). Some rents include service charges. You then pay an advance fee. The owner is required to draw up a detailed statement, at least once a year and, depending on your expenses, you will be reimbursed or you will be asked for a supplement at the end of the year. Like all invoices, the statement of charges must be carefully checked.

Customs’ formalities

In order to be able to bring your belongings from abroad (furniture, car, etc.), you must transfer your residence to Switzerland. Then, during the move, you must present to the customs office:

  • A rental lease or employment contract as proof.
  • Customs form 18.44 “Customs processing of household effects”. The costs related to these procedures can be deducted from your taxes.

Federal Office for Customs and Border Security FOCBS

Registration with the controle des habitants office of your municipality

Within 8 days of moving in, you must register with the Controle des Habitants office of your municipality.

Association vaudoise des contrôles des habitants et bureaux des étrangers

The staff at the counter will welcome you and will be happy to answer your questions in connection with your installation in the municipality (residence permit, school, childcare, waste collection centre, etc.). Do not hesitate to ask them any questions you may have.

End your housing contract

The rental contract can be ended by the tenant and by the landlord. The deadlines to be observed are set out in the contract. Tenants wishing to leave their accommodation must terminate their lease within the agreed deadlines in writing and ideally by registered mail.

If you are married or in a registered partnership, the termination is only valid if both people living in the accommodation have signed it.

In general, the notice for accommodation is 3 months. The termination must imperatively reach the lessor before the expiry date (at the latest one day before the start of the termination period). The notice period is usually indicated in the lease contract; if this is not the case, the legal deadlines in force in the canton must be observed.

If you intend to leave your accommodation outside the time limits provided for in the contract without having to pay your rent until the end of the lease, you must propose another tenant that the lessor cannot reasonably refuse: this tenant must be solvent and willing to take over your lease under the same conditions. The lessor has 30 days to examine whether the proposed tenant meets the conditions of the lease contract and has the capability to pay the rent.


Housing assistance

If, for financial or social reasons, you have difficulty finding and/or keeping stable accommodation, you can call on the Le Relais Foundation and the Rel’og structures to benefit from their assistance. All their services are completely free and open to all people in need.

Fondation Le Relais
Permanences Morges
Grand-Rue 82
1110 Morges
021 804 88 11
Ouest lausannois
Avenue de la Poste 3
1020 Renens
021 923 35 38
Rue de Lausanne 17
1800 Vevey
021 923 09 20
Avenue Haldimand 8
1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
021 923 35 30
Tenants’ defence association (ASLOCA)
In the event of a problem with your landlord or your real estate agency, the Association Suisse des Locataires (Swiss Tenants Association - ASLOCA) offers legal aid and advice for a fee of CHF 70 per year. You can benefit from it by joining the association. This membership will give you the right to information on tenancy law by telephone, legal consultations by appointment and support in your housing-related procedures. Please note that some services are not included in the annual fee and may incur additional costs.

Practical information

Tenants have rights. They can for example contest the amount of their rent. The Association Suisse des Locataires (ASLOCA) is there to advise tenants in this process.
More information

Broye Vaudoise
Avenue de la Gare 9
Case postale 16 | 1522 Lucens
021 906 60 45
La Côte
Chemin des Plantaz 13a
1260 Nyon
022 361 32 42
Rue Jean-Jacques-Cart 8
Case postale 56 | 1006 Lausanne
084 017 10 07
Montreux - Est-Vaudois
Avenue des Alpes 5
Case postale 1024 | 1820 Montreux
021 963 34 87
Rue de la Gare 3
Case postale 24 | 1110 Morges 1
084 017 10 07
Nord Vaudois
Avenue des Sports 28
Case postale 92 | 1401 Yverdon-les-Bains
084 017 10 07
Rue de Lausanne 31b
1020 Renens
084 017 10 07
Rue du Simplon 40
Case postale 38 | 1800 Vevey
021 922 79 62

Emergency accommodation

If you find yourself in a difficult situation, emergency accommodation exists and is offered by various services and associations.

Le Portail Caritas
It offers emergency accommodation and transitional apartments

More information
Le Hublot
La Riviera emergency accomodation centre
Rue du Clos 13,
1800 Vevey
021 921 49 00
La Lucarne
North Vaud emergency accomodation centre
Curtil-Maillet 23,
1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
024 420 33 84
Association Sleep-In
Lausanne emergency accomodation centre
Chemin de l’Usine-à-Gaz 10
1020 Renens
021 625 66 77
Étape Saint-Martin
Lausanne emergency accomodation centre
Rue Saint-Martin 16
1003 Lausanne 
021 315 72 69
La Marmotte
Lausanne emergency accomodation centre
Rue du Vallon 17
1005 Lausanne
021 311 79 12
Poste de l’Arc Lémanique
Rue de la Louve 10
1003 Lausanne
021 312 73 52

Subsidised housing

Some municipalities in the canton of Vaud offer subsidised housing intended for tenants of modest financial means.

Indeed, to be able to benefit from subsidised housing, tenants must meet conditions of income, wealth and occupancy rate (number of occupants in relation to the number of rooms in the dwelling) . All these criteria will be assessed when applying for subsidised housing in order to judge whether or not you are able to benefit from this type of housing.

The list of subsidised housing in the canton of Vaud is updated regularly. If you need advice and information on this subject, contact the Direction du Logement (Housing Department - DIL).

Direction générale du territoire et du logement (DGTL) 
Rue Caroline 11 bis
1014 Lausanne
021 316 64 00

Individual housing assistance (AIL)

Individual housing assistance (AIL) is granted in certain municipalities of the canton. It provides direct financial support to families who:

  • Have sufficient means to meet their needs.
  • Have to bear a rental charge that is too high in relation to their income.
  • Receive neither integration income (Vaud social assistance) nor supplementary AVS/AI benefits.

The AIL is calculated according to the family situation, household income and rent. The criteria for granting AIL are defined at the cantonal level. Some municipalities have supplemented these legal bases with specific conditions. AIL is granted for 12 months renewable.
List of municipalities and links to AIL applications

Waste sorting

Switzerland is one of the European countries with the highest per capita waste production. For this reason, it is essential that the waste management system is effective. This avoids polluting the environment and all the other inconveniences associated with “wild” waste disposal.

In Switzerland, approximately two thirds of waste consists of materials that can be recycled. This is particularly the case for glass, cardboard, aluminium, certain plastics and organic waste. The latter contain more than half their weight in water and it is therefore preferable not to burn them. Sorting your waste saves money and protects the environment. For this reason, it is essential to observe the information that follows in this chapter. Most municipalities practice the “bag tax”. Residents must buy taxed bin bags in shops and are invited to sort their waste in order to preserve the environment. In some municipalities, the tax is not on the bin bag but it is a tax by weight.
Taxed bin bags must be used for household waste (non-recyclable) and placed in the containers located in the neighbourhood. Recyclable, bulky or dangerous waste is disposed of free of charge if you go to the recycling centre closest to your home.
To have access to it, in some municipalities, you have to ask (either at the Contrôle des Habitants office or on the municipality’s internet portal) for a form to receive a personal card giving access to the recycling centre.
Some municipalities organize a monthly collection of bulky waste and distribute a calendar with the collection dates in question.
Most buildings/districts have containers for disposing of glass, paper and plant waste. Shopping centres generally collect aluminium, PET and used batteries.
Electronic devices can be returned free of charge and without obligation to purchase at any point of sale of these devices (computers, mobile phones, TVs, household appliances, hi-fi, etc.).
More information
Practical information
Some municipalities offer exemption from the bin bag tax under certain conditions (for example for families or low-income households).

Guidelines for good neighbourhood relations

Especially in rental buildings with several apartments, it is important to maintain good relations with the neighbours. In particular, it is necessary:

  • To respect the neighbours by avoiding, for example, making noise on Sundays and in the evening from 10 p.m. and also respecting their private property as well as common areas.
  • Not to park in places marked for “Visitors”.
  • To respect the schedule established for users of the laundry room and ensure that it is tidy and clean after use.
  • To put your waste in the place provided for this purpose and participate in selective sorting.
  • To make sure that your pets do not disturb the neighbourhood by making noise and that they do not foul common areas.

The role of the concierge

The concierge or caretaker of the building plays an essential role in the proper functioning of a condominium. They ensure that the regulations and safety rules of the condominium building are respected. At the same time, they take care of the maintenance of the common areas of the building. They also serve as a contact person and intermediary between the residents and the co-owners and you can contact them without hesitation for any question related to your place of residence.

If your building does not have a concierge, you can contact your real estate agency.
Neighbours’ Day is organised on the last Tuesday of May in certain neighbourhoods
of some Vaud municipalities. This is an opportunity to get to know the inhabitants of your neighbourhood.

Leisure and social life