Thursday, July 14, 2011

how to rent a paris apartment - conclusion

The market for renting apartments and houses in Paris is complex, extremely competitive and often frustrating.

You'll find that most of the rentals are contracted for a term of three years. French landlords are extra careful to make sure the rent is paid.   The rental agreement basically protects the tenant from changes in ownership or the owner’s own desire to re-occupy the property within the contract time. The agreement is called a bail, which is renewable at the end of the contract. The three-year contract is known as un bail de trois ans. Be careful if the owner offers you a bail of less than three years.

Apartments and houses are described by the total number of rooms (or pièces), minus the kitchen and bathroom. Most rental apartments are between two and four rooms. These listings would read: deux-pièces and quatre-pièces. Make sure to inquire about the apartment’s exact square meters (mètres carrés), as the number of rooms listed can often be misleading. Also often no kitchen appliances are included and sometimes no cabinets as well.

There are complicated rules and regulations regarding eviction (the majority of the regulations will be in your favor as the tenant). The tenant’s stay cannot be terminated unless the tenant chooses to leave in which case you will be able to get out of the lease with 3 months notice (or one month in certain circumstances) The landlord cannot evict you during the winter months and there is a very complicated eviction procedure that includes your right to appeal.

Don't be surprised if you find yourself drowning in a sea  of paperwork!

  • Bring pay slips from at least the previous three months--a monthly income of at least three times the month’s rent is required; it can be as much as four.
  • Proof of employment
  • For the self-employed: provide the previous year’s tax payments
  • A letter from one or two people who will guarantee the sum of the rent if you fail to pay it. These persons will also have to show a pay-slip demonstrating a monthly income that’s three times the monthly rent.
  • Proof of identity, a residence permit (perhaps a passport)
  • Proof of your current address in the form of a telephone or electricity bill. It’s highly unlikely that this will work if you’ve just moved to France—you probably won’t have bill of this sort. In this case you may be saved if you can provide a bank guarantee.
  • Proof of a home insurance policy
  • A check to the owner, which will likely be for two or three times the rent--basically a security deposit, known as un chèque de caution. You’ll receive the exact amount of this sum at the end of your stay, providing there is no damage done to the property--so make sure to document any imperfections that are present on your arrival. Fill out an état des lieu, a document that both the tenant and the owner sign. It is an evaluation of the property in its condition upon the new tenant’s arrival. Bring your camera!

Where to go for help:
some suggestions from the France Expat Forum:

For an anglophone, the best source to start looking for a Paris rental is the FUSAC site FUSAC - Petites annonces pour anglophones de Paris
FUSAC is a free want-ad magazine that is available at most expat hangouts in and around Paris.

Enlist the aid of a French speaking friend. Leases and most other legalities in France have to be in French by law, and translations are expensive.

The paper carries both agency ads and individual ads - check the "small ads" section of the website for those that may avoid the agency fee. 


Jerusalem Vacation Rentals said...

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