Any landlords in here? How do you screen tenants?

Will have to for the first time pick tenants for my recently (and expensively) renovated place.

I am asking them:

  • IDs
  • Betreibungsauszug
  • References (employer and current landlord)
  • Income (declared)

What am I forgetting? Should I ask them to send proof of their income, like payslips or tax declarations?

I’ll call the current landlords and employers, but I am not 100% sure what to ask them. What did you normally ask?


I usually don’t call previous landlord or tenant as it can be friend telling you stories.

I usually pick tenant that can express themselves, write without typos, have document properly scanned, do not pressure you because they are in a critical situation.
I’ll also try to pick tenant that look stable and plan to stay (friends, family in the area…).


I’m not on the renting market, but I would consider being asked for an ID, references and declared (as in tax declaration?) income in the application a red flag.

A written confirmation from the employer including gross salary should be enough. Larger employers have these standardized.
From a data privacy perspective, I understand you can ask for the ID or references to double-check statements made in the application, but that’s about it.

Here’s a German summary of questions from the renter’s association. Maybe the landlord associations have something similar, but their documents are often for paying members, only.


I don’t know where exactly you live, but in many places in Switzerland people would automatically provide all these documents without being asked, plus a motivation letter describing why they want to rent this property.

Providing three last salary slips is a standard practice that I know of.

I am not a landlord, but I would also do my own research like googling, checking social networks etc. I also think that checking with references is a rather useless activity.


I only called the employer to check that he was actually working there

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I have rented both in and around Zurich city.

Asking every applicant for an ID upfront just seems intrusive. The document from the Mieterverband confirms that it’s also legally questionable. Obviously, their advice is biased towards the renter. Same goes for checking references beyond questions like “does she actually work there” or other questions covered in the application form.

For me, providing a written statement from the employer along the with the Betreibungsauszug used to be sufficient. Along with the properly filled questionnaire, of course.
For what to include, see for example the attached link (number of people, pets etc.)


I would not ask for a ID Copy. As tennant I would also not like to give you that copy. You can Check the ID if you feel for it in person.

References fron Landlord ans employer are pretty standard . Also a self declaration of monthly income. I once was ask for proof of income, I simply made a copy of my work contract, covering almost all information exept duration and salary. This worked for the landlord.
Anyway, this documents are for me only kinf if the minimal requirements. I wont decide only on the heigh of the income etc. Instead I ll talk to the people, trying to finde somebidy I might like

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Did you look at forms made available by property management companies ? it could be a good source of information.

Two examples below

Most of the time, they will ask (in Romandie) for:

  • A dedicated form
  • ID and residence permit if applicable
  • last 3 payslips
  • debt enforcement certificate

But surely when signing the contract, right?

That’s the practice I’m used to. Once you picked an applicant, you can make a copy for your documentation and to confirm the information provided in your questionnaire before finalizing the contract.


Marital status, current rent or number of rooms should really be none of their business :roll_eyes:
And then charging a processing fee on top of it? :rage:
Guess the market situations allows them to get through with it, sadly.

  • Job history
  • Social media
  • Gut feeling - important one. I once ‘gave someone a chance’ and it was the worst/most expensive mistake I made

With getting a tenant, no tenant is better than a bad tenant. Take your time to find the perfect tenant. Favour long term tenants who want to make it a home.


Tat’s a tricky one. I wouldn’t share much publicly on social media and would prefer people who have a similar mindset, but on the other hand if they do share lots of information available for anyone to see, then I can get peek into their lives…

Totally agree with you.
Also think that sometimes to set an upper rental it could attract only the wrong people.