Apr 24th, 2018, 11:05 PM

Tips on finding your dream apartment

By Mimi Camara
Image Credit: Unsplashed/Celvin Purnama
Apartment hunting in Paris can be stressful, but with a little help and a few tips on how to find the right apartment it will be a breeze.

Summer is around the corner and you may be looking for a new place for  next semester. While apartment hunting in Paris may be a bit stressful, here’s a few ways to find your dream apartment without spending too much cash.

Image Credit: Unsplash/ Anthony Delanoi

Where to start first?

Make a list of “must haves”

Before diving into the web to find your next home, organize your search. Making your search and requirements as organized as possible is crucial to not getting lost while searching for a new place.

Define your needs over wants, and set up a maximum budget and other requirements such as (number of bedrooms, location, size..etc). Keep in mind that some of the amenities that you may want such as (washing machine, gourmet kitchen, balcony..etc.) may not fit within your budget and/or will be harder to find in Parisian apartments.

Make the list of needs small and keep an open mind during your search.

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What website do I use?

With the internet at our disposal, there are endless sites to help find you the perfect home. Be wary of sites that run through agencies such as Selodger.com (which have high agencies fees).

Browse through specialties websites such as:

Students:

CROUS ( student housing throughout Paris)

Cité U ( American like university campus that has student housing)

Immojeune ( student housing, roommates)

Leboncoin ( like a French Craiglist but only for apartment listings.)

Ommi ( all you do is upload your “dossier” and apply directly to apartments. Then landlords can accept your application or not before going to visit an apartment)

Craigslist  ( sound’s sketchy but you can find great apartments for a good price, just keep an eye out for apartments that look too good to be true, because they just might be.)

FUASAC ( anglophone site for expats in Paris with housing ads)

Loc Service (you can find affordable prices. You have to sign up, upload an application, and apply for apartments. A one-time payment of 19 euros if you sign up as a student, no agency fees.)

Spotahome (English site, low agency fees, great apartment for affordable prices, 20% off using AUP20)

Somhome ( no agency fees)

American Church of Paris ( They have a bulletin board of apartment ads)

Swedish Church ( Bulletin board of apartment ads)

Roomlala ( Site to find roommates)

La Carte Coloc ( Site to find roommates)

Facebook Groups:

Rentals in Paris

Paris Student Housing: Find and Post a Room or Apartment in Paris

Image Credit: Unsplash/Pedro Lastra

What documents do I need?

Once you’ve found a few apartments that you like you’ll need to prepare a dossier. Most landords and every agency will ask you to provide them with several documents prior to or after the apartment visit. Without these documents, your application for the apartment will not be considered.

Your dossier should include:

  • Last 3 pay stubs ( 3 dernier fiches de paie)
  • Last tax declaration ( Avis des impôts)
  • Work Contract, or proof of school enrollment
  • Bank Statements
  • Passport photo
  • Bonus: a letter of recommendation from your previous landlord, or even your bank.

*some landords will ask for a guarantor, which is a person who is a financial co-signer. His/her information should also be in your dossier. In some cases, landlords may require your guarantor to be living in France as well.

Things to keep in mind

CAF: You can receive free money every month when you’re a student towards your housing (even as a foreigner). CAF is a monthly government stipend for students to help offset the high cost of living in Paris. It takes a while to get, but once you do it is a great perk to take advantage of.

*Not all tenants will accept the CAF. When you find an apartment, make sure to ask if the apartment accepts CAF/APL ( most student housing options accept it).

Image Credit: Unsplash/Huy Phan

Other housing option:

If you’re interested in a housing option that has a social cause, then there is the opportunity to live with seniors through Logement Intergénérationnelle programs. In exchange for minimal to no rent, you can secure a home and will share your space with a senior in hopes of reducing the number of seniors living alone in Paris.

There are several sites where you can find offers to live with a senior such as:

Ensemble 2 Generations

Le Paris Solidaire

Cosi

For more information on housing check out Aup’s Housing Resources for more on which agencies are discounted for AUP students. Happy apartment hunting!