Thursday 8 June 2017

The Ultimate Guide to Flat Hunting in Paris

Written by Lucia Casagranda, Master in Management 2015-2017

Welcome back for the second part of our blog post series, “Housing in Paris”. This post is targeted at ESSEC students that plan to live the true Parisian life in the heart of the city.

Living in central Paris has many advantages. You will be close to the main Parisian attractions such as the Louvre, Champs Élysées and the Tour Eiffel, but that’s not it! You will have the chance to dive directly into the French culture by discovering the different sides of the City of Lights.

Moreover, you will have the opportunity to run along the River Seine and to take an apéro with your friends in Le Marais, enjoy an art exhibition at the Grand Palais and try famous French pastries at the patisserie at the corner of the Rue.

STEP 1: What do you need?

First of all, you need to know that most of the time, you will need to provide the agency or the landlord with a series of documents that constitute your dossier (file). These documents are the following:
  • ID
  • Enrolment Certificate at your school
  • ID of your guarantor
  • Payrolls of your guarantor
  • Convention de Stage or last 3 payrolls

STEP 2: Which area?

The second step is starting to check out apartments online, based on your preferences. Here, you need to be aware that Paris has 20 districts (arrondissements) that are organized in a snail-like formation, the 1st arrondissement being the center of the city (near the Louvre) and the others are around it.

The very heart of Paris includes arrondissements 1 to 9 and arrondissements 10 to 20 form the second ring.
Rue Montorgueil, Paris 
Each arrondissement has its own personality: the Latin Quarter (5th) is a charming, lively arrondissement that is quite expensive. The 3rd arrondissement (Le Marais) is a trendy and touristy area, with excellent restaurants and shops. Bastille (11th) is a residential area, which is also popular for its nightlife. For more information about the different arrondissements, click here.

Arrondissements in Paris
Studying at ESSEC means taking the RER A to reach Cergy. The RER A can be taken at the following stations: La Defense, Charles de Gaulle Etoile (8th), Auber (9th), Chatelet Les Halles (1st), and Nation (11th). Click here to view the map of the RER A. It's a wise choice to find a flat near one of these stops, or at least near a subway stop that will allow you to reach one of these stations quickly.

STEP 3: Finding a room - List of Awesome Agencies! (Click on them for more info)
If you prefer sharing a flat with someone, you should check out these websites for house sharing. These solutions are good to avoid agency costs and to find new friends!
Facebook Groups are also a good idea!
  • Guarantors: Some landlords would prefer you having a French guarantor, that is a relative of yours that lives in France and that can guarantee your lease. Some agencies and landlord don’t require the guarantor to be French.
  • Housing Subsidy: If you are a student and below 26 years old, you are most likely entitled to have a housing subsidy from the French state (CAF - Caisse des Allocations Familiales). The amount you get depends on the location of your flat, the size and the rent. Normally, it’s between 100 to 220€ a month. More info here.
  • Apartment Visits: Visit before renting! Although Paris is not known for scammers, it is good practice to visit an apartment before signing a contract or paying a deposit. It will allow you to check that the room is decent and that the area is safe and nice!
Good luck with your search! :)

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