Immigration. Travel. Living.

France: rent apartment in Paris

The city attracts a lot of immigrants and tourists around the world, Paris can offer the best museums in the world, entertainment for everybody, and decent conditions for life. If you are going to Paris, we recommend renting an apartment rather than a hotel, to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of this beautiful town.

How to rent a flat in Paris?

First, you have to collect the necessary documents, without which the homeowners will not agree with you. Usually, this dossier consists of the following documents:

  • a copy of a foreign passport with a visa or a residence permit;
  • the last three pay stubs, something like 2-NDFL (bulletins de salaire);
  • copy of the work contract (сontrat de travail);
  • confirmation of payment of taxes for three months (avis d’imposition);
  • bank account number (un relevé d’identité bancaire – RIB);
  • the latest receipts for the housing in which you lived before.

If these documents are not available, you need to find a “guarantor” (surety) who will provide all the above documents and add a statement to them, where he promises to pay for you in case of any financial problems. If no one of your new acquaintances agrees to this, make an appointment with a banking agent (when opening an account, each client has his own agent).

The bank can vouch for you. Usually, all agents do not talk about this service, but they have no right to refuse you, unless, of course. Your account is topped up at least once a month. After the bank becomes your guarantor, the dossier will consist of a statement from the bank agent, bank account number (RIB), and confirmation of activity. Here either a work contract or a student card will come in handy.

high-rise buildings during daytime

Where can you look for an apartment in Paris?

You shouldn’t contact agencies. In 90% of cases, this is cheating. Agencies take money, in return they give a list of “suitable” apartments with the phone numbers of the owners who never answer.

The most popular sites for finding private classifieds are and, but there are many more sites that specialize in finding housing. Try also to contact the residence, it is safer and more convenient – everything you need for a pleasant and happy life (laundries, canteens, shops) is usually located in the residence building.

Final step

When, finally, the apartment is found, ask for an etat de lieu (inspection of the home with a description of all breakdowns, scratches, broken sockets, and so on), even if the owner of the apartment does not insist on it. Do not neglect this advice if you do not want to part with money in the end. Some landlords will withhold money for even small scratches on the wall if you cannot prove they were there before you moved in. And with etat de lieu, which is signed by both parties, there is no need to argue about anything – saving nerves and money.

When the lease is signed, head over to this site. It is a government social security site that issues housing benefits. It is difficult to say in advance who can qualify for this benefit, it all depends on income, housing cost, tenant status (student, working), and so on.

After you fill out the questionnaire on the website, you need to print it out and send it by mail to the address indicated on the last page of the questionnaire, along with bank details and a copy of the contract. The decision is made within a month. Social assistance in France is very developed and affordable. Many deputies demand its abolition, as it causes great damage to the budget, but while there is an opportunity – use it.

Several important points

  1. The owner of a flat can ask about deposits for about 1-2 months annuities.
  2. French law requires compulsory home insurance for all tenants.

You will need multi-risk insurance – a comprehensive policy covering flooding, fire, theft, and natural disasters. You can buy it in a private insurance company and in most banks.

  1. Sometimes the owner can ask about the guarantor (if you are a student, for example) . This can be a problem, as some homeowners want only a Frenchman to be the guarantor.
  2. The tenant of the apartment must pay an annual housing tax (taxe d’habitation), the amount of which depends on the location of the property and its size. Often the landlord will use the deposit they receive to pay.

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