House hunting is a nightmare for many, no matter the place – and Paris is no exception. In fact, Paris is among the most complicated cities in the world, which means the process can be extremely time-consuming. Luckily, with a bit of preparedness, finding your dream home in Paris doesn’t have to be stressful at all.
Check out the following five tips to save money and stress.
Choose your neighborhood.
Paris is organized in arrondissements, or districts, from the 1st to the 20th. If you want to live in traditional Paris, it’s best to stay in the 1st to 11th where you’ll find cobblestoned streets, ancient churches, famous monuments and museums, boutique shops and quaint corner cafes. Besides, you’ll be within walking distance of the Seine River, which flows through the heart of “Sweet Paree.”
You can save money by looking for an apartment in one of the outer arrondissements, but that means you may spend more time traveling back and forth to your place. If you are looking for a well-connected and secure place, we suggest Montmartre, Republique, Le Marais and Saint-Germain des Pres.
Prepare your paperwork
Competition for both unfurnished and furnished apartments in Paris is high, meaning owners receive dozens of applications from prospective tenants. For this reason, you need to have all the crucial documents ready to boost your chances of getting selected. You also need to have a guarantor or a person who will promise to settle your rental arrears should you be unable to pay.
The main documents needed from the tenant include:
- A valid ID
- An employment contract, a business card, or a student card
- The last three rent receipts or a letter from your previous landlord
- Joint liability guaranteed for those who share apartments
- Your last three pay slips
- Your last tax certificate
On the other hand, your guarantor will be required to provide the following documents:
- A French ID / Foreign ID
- Proof of the last rent or home insurance
- Proof of employment, a business card for accredited professionals, or any document that shows evidence of their professional activity
- The last 3 pay slips, the last two balance sheets for non-employees, or proof of family or retirement benefits in the last 3 months
- The last or second last tax notice
- Letter of commitment
Don’t forget to add any document you think might help you get the apartment.
List your apartment must-haves
Just because Paris is a big city doesn’t mean that the apartments there are outfitted like a typical American rental. Here are some things to look for:
Many apartments in Paris only have a tub and a handheld shower attachment. Be sure to ask how the bathroom is outfitted.
Washer and dryer
If a potential apartment lists a washing machine, it does not mean there’s a washer and dryer. It’s rare to have a dryer in Paris, due to the city’s limited electrical capacity.
If you love cooking, the kitchen appliances you get matter a lot. Be sure to ask what kind of kitchen appliances are in an apartment.
If you’re moving to Paris in the summer, ensure that the apartment has air conditioning.
This applies to apartments on high floors. Look for those with a functional elevator.
Understand rental agencies
There are 3 types of websites renting Paris apartments:
- Rental agencies who are paid commissions
- Property management companies
- Individual owners who rent to tourists
It’s much cheaper to negotiate directly with owners, but most owners will likely need you to pay the rent in cash (Euros). Most property management companies charge more, but offer reliable customer service and a wide range of payment options. Large rental agencies provide the greatest selection and unbiased advice on apartments.
Evaluate the apartments
There’s a chance that you’ll narrow your search down to three or four apartments. To decide which one to take, check out the following:
- Search for the apartment name or address on Google or Bing to see all the rental websites where the house is listed.
- Jot down the rates and terms on each website. At times, rates vary from site to site.
- Look at the apartment photos across the websites to see if the room differs at different angles.
- Read comments from previous renters to learn about the features, benefits, and drawbacks of the apartment.
You’ve worked so hard to find the ideal apartment, so make sure you don’t lose it. To be the dream tenant, ensure you keep communal areas clean, avoid noise and take care of the apartment’s furniture. Enjoy your stay in Paris.