Rental market in Paris
In the Paris rental market, the demand is consistently greater than the supply. Thus,landlords will receive multiple applications for the same flat. In my experience, I have found landlordswill almost always select the candidate with the best guarantee or the strongest application.
The rental laws in France favour the tenant. It can be very difficult for a landlord to evict a tenant who does not pay their rent or who is causing damage to the flat. If a dispute arises it maybe several months before a landlord can regain control of their flat.
So, to avoid these problems landlords have become very selective in who they will accept as tenants.French landlords will often require a Frenchguarantor, Frenchincome tax returns, and/or the last three pay slips. They do not accept foreignincomes and new tool such as unpaid rentinsurance does not make things any easier.
So, if you do not have perfect profile, you will needto be more patient and develop a network to help you locate a place to rent. You will also need aspecific strategy to find a place to rent as most ofthe flats proposed by a real estate agent will not beavailable to you and will be rented to people with astronger application or profile.
Examples of difficult profile to get accepted:
- Nomad freelance worker with no French incomes
- You have got the famous CDI ( French unlimitted work contracat) but you are sill on probation
- You have no professionnal activity in France but you have enough financial resources to live one or two years in France (ex retirees- sabatical leave etc)
Airbnb and other platforms offer short term flat rentals, and the only condition of rental is financial. However, if you plan on staying in Paris for more than six months these short-term rentals will be become very expensive for you. The short and medium-term rental market has shrunk considerably. This is largely due to new regulations introduced by Paris City Hall to curb the multiplication of this type of rental on the market to the detriment of long-term rentals. As a result, prices have risen sharply, and vary according to season and demand. There are periods when prices are simply exorbitant, such as fashion week, sports events, etc.
While furnished flats are always more expensive than unfurnished flat rentals, the rental costs are really not that large.
- Here are three reasons why renting a furnished flat is easier:
1) The tax system for unfurnished flats is less advantageous for the landlord.
2) Since COVID there are more furnished flats on the long terms market as the tourism market essentially collapsed for many months afterSeptember 2020. Thus, many flats that were short term flats rented to tourists have become long term furnished rentals.
3) The laws coming out of the Paris City Hall make it impossible for landlords to rent their flats on short term leases for more than 120 days a year. This anti airbnb regulations have pushed former short term lease flats into the furnished long term lease market.
The real estate agents in France may not provide the same services you are used to.
For example, there is no such thing as a multi listing service or MLS.
There are two players in the rental of flats in France. You can either rent directly from the owner of the property or you can use a real estate agency.
If you do use a real estate agency you have to pay fees roughly equivalent to one month’s rent. Keep in mind this is in addition to the deposit and a month’s rent in advance of moving in.
In some cases, the real estate agency will only take care of the initial rental of the apartment. After that you will be in direct contact with the owner of property. In other cases, for example where the owner is a firm or an institution, the real estate agency will be your point of contact for payment or the rent and any problems that arise with the flat.
No matter with whom you rent the flat, you must prepare a file, or dossier, to apply for renting.
My tips and advice to give you the best chance to get your rental application file accepted
The FIRST thing to know is that in France to rent a flat your monthly income must be 3 times the amount of the rent. For employees this means your net monthly income must be 3 times the amount of the rent. The net income, sometimes called “takedhome pay” is the amount stated at the bottom of your pay slip. For example, if the rent for the flat is €1000 you net income (after tax deductions, etc) should be at least €3000. The charges/utilities are normally included such as the maintenance and cleaning of the building and provision of cold water. Sometimes even the heat and hot water are included but this depends on if the building is equipped with central heating system.
Beyond the utilities you will have to pay for housing insurance, electricity, gas, and internet.
The dossier: rental file
I recommend that you very carefully prepare an application file before scheduling visits to see flats. To increase your chances of being able to rent any given flat, take care of the presentation of your dossier which will be sent electronically.
On the front page of your dossier summarize the main information and a table of contents of the attachments. Every detail counts as, in the end, this is the ONLY chance you have to separate your application from other applicants. Be sure that you have included all the requested paperworks and if you missing one documents wirte a note to say why..
some years ago a physical guarantor was required but now there are new players in the market. guarantors, that are accepted by landlords and real estate agents., such as Garantme, Smartgarant, and Visale (the visale guarantee is free, but you must meet certain eligibility criteria)
They act as an insurance policy for the landlord. They will pay your landlord in the event of non-payment. This is a paying service for a rent of 1000€/month, which costs around 540€ per year with garantme. Smartgarant may be a bit less expensive.
Unfortunately, these new professi
onal guarantors are not accepted by all agencies and landlords. But more and more often, they can make the difference in choosing a tenant.
There is no miracle recipe to finding a flat! You will need to be organized and be prepared to dedicate a fair amount of time to your search. The best way to start your search will be on-line using websites such as SeLoger.
Sorry to all the non-French speaking candidates, but the next step will be difficult for you. You will need to call the agency or the landlord for each ad you like, as that is the only way to proceed even if SeLoger gives you the opportunity to send an email. Calling again and again is the only to have a chance to get it and see a flat that is being rented. Leaving a voice message is often not enough. It is best that you speak to someone (in French) and to keep track of with whom you spoke and when.
If you already know that your file is not perfect and not matching all criteria I could recommend to check with the agency before making the visit if there is an insurance for unpaid rent (Garantie loyer impayé/ GLI) applying for this flat as you will loose time otherwise as there is no negotiation possible with this kind of insurance.
You will not have much time for a second thought. It is very common for a flat to be rented after the first day of visits.
So, when you are scheduling visits try to make them all on the same day or at a minimum during the same week.
Prepare all of your questions ahead of time, make sure you have a checklist of the non-negotiable criteria.
Depending one when you start your flat hunt, the competition maybe very fierce and some agencies will offer for a group visit than individual visits. These group visits are not very encouraging and not the best way to increase your chances of renting the flat, but it is always important to make a good impression on the agent. Do not hesitate to be ‘extra’ polite and ask questions in a nice way. Try to make small talk, even if it is about the weather or traffic, etc. The goal is that when the agent sits down to go over the files s/he will remember you and have a positive feeling about your application.
Today, it’s very rare to be asked to su
bmit a paper version of your application. It’s much more common to send your file by e-mail.Many agencies also will ask you for more paperwork beyond your file and they may even ask you to fill out their own forms.
So if you’re really interested in the apartment before you leave, don’t forget to ask the agent how and where to send your application. Try to find out if there have already been many other files and ask when you’ll hear back.
Why to use a relocation agency ?
As I’m sure you’ve already realised, looking for an apartment in Paris can be a very complex and tedious process, especially if, as mentioned above, your file doesn’t conform to the standard file: confirmed CDI (unlimmited workcontract)- income more than three times the rent – physical guarantor – no French income or tax form, etc…
Working with a relocation agency like MyParisTouch will save you an enormous amount of time and energy.
My experience – I’ve already found more than thirty homes in an average of two weeks – will enable me to present your file in the best possib
le light, increasing your chances of being accepted.
In fact, many real estate agents prefer to work with relocation agencies because their files are often complete and clear, and communication more fluid.
Of course, I can also give you the benefit of my network of contacts with agencies, which sometimes give me access to preview apartments.
Don’t hesitate to contact me for a free 20-minute initial consultation.