Looking for an apartment in Paris... is a hassle. A lot of demand, too little supply. Not to mention you always - well, almost - need rent guarantors.
First of all, where to look for apartments?
My three favorite ones:
Pro tip: enable the alert emails so that you get an email as soon as one ad is posted, or digest emails.
Here is the message I used to send to landlords:
Je suis tout juste diplômé de l'école d'ingénieur de Compiègne, l'UTC. Pour mon premier emploi à Paris (qui commence le XX septembre), je recherche un appartement et je suis très intéressé par votre offre sur leboncoin. Quand serait-il possible de venir le visiter ? Vous faut-il des papiers particuliers ?
Je paierai moi-même le loyer, ayant un salaire de XXXX euros brut. Mes parents seront garants. Vous pouvez me joindre de préférence par email à me@domain ou par téléphone au 06 XX XX XX XX.
Once you've arranged a viewing, you should prepare the documents you are going to have to hand in along with the questions you want to ask.
In Paris, landlords usually expect people to know what documents are required. However, this might drastically vary from one to another. Here is a list of must and optional ones. If you are extremelly well paid you might not need rent guarantors:
- Copies of your ID and your rent guarantors' IDs
- You last three payslips (and those or your guarantors)
- Last tax notice (avis d'impôts)
- Your contract of employment (or student certificate if still a student)
Optional but often required
- Guarantors' land tax (taxe foncière). More on this here
- Guarantors' residence tax (taxe d'habitation). More on this here.
- Sworn statement from your guarantors stating they are your guarantors (attestation sur l'honneur)
- Your guarantors' work contracts or some proof from their employer
- Proof of residency for your guarantors
However, never hand in your bank details before officially signing the apartment lease.
Here is the kind of document I hand in alongside all the other documents.
Questions to ask during the viewing
Here are a few questions I used to ask:
- Are there connections for a washing machine?
- Are windows double glazed?
- Is the neighborhood quiet and safe?
- How much is the brokerage fee? (if not renting directly from the landlord)
- How much is the deposit, if any?
- What is included in the utilities? Water, electricity, gas, heat, trash removal, Internet access, ...?
- When is the apartment available?
- Is the apartment eligible for APL (Aide personnalisée au logement)?
Keeping track of the apartments you've found and the viewings you've done
I recommend that you create an Excel file to do that. Here is an extract of mine:
- Title of the ad
- Price per month
- Address (if known)
- Floor (lift?)
- Square meters
- Washing machine or connections?
- Double bed?
- Availability (date)
- Last email sent date (and replies and outcome)
- Last phone call date (and outcome)
- Phone number of the broker/landlord
- Viewing date
- Additional information
That's it! Hope this helps.