How to find an accomodation in France
Whether you are leaving your parents' house, moving for your studies or job, or coming from aborad, here are some tips that will help you find a room, a flat or a house.
If you are a student, there are a lot of possibilities of student accomodations in France. So, feel free to consider that option and if you are interested, you should start the administrative procedures as soon as you can because these opportunities are very popular and their number is limited.
Renting a room
Rent a room in a host family
You have just arrived in a city and you are looking for a place to stay at a reasonable price ? Then, renting a room in a host family may be a good solution. You will have your own furnished room, within the landlords' flat or house and you will share the bathroom, kitchen and sometimes the living-room with the landlord. Of course, it is important that you take your time to get to know the landlord before you sign the contract, in order to avoid an unpleasant surprise. A homestay in Paris costs about 400€ per month, whereas it costs between 250 and 300€ in smaller cities.
The principle is simple: senior homeshare match-up programs bring together older landlords with potential tenants. In exchange for providing a private room in their home, seniors receive household assistance or rent from their housemate, or a combination of the two. In Paris a room in a senior homesharing costs between 400 and 450€ per month whereas it costs between 250 and 300€ in other cities.
You may decide sharing a house or an apartment to save money and avoid loneliness. By sharing, everyone has his/her own bedroom but the bathroom, the kitchen and the living-room are common. In Paris, the rent can vary between 350 and 500€ for a 2-room flat. Get to know your housemates to see if you get on well and from the beginning make the rules clear for cleaning, food, insurance, the possibility to invite some friends or not.
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Renting a flat or a house
Are you looking for calm and independence? In this case, you may consider getting your own place: a studio, a flat or a house. It would obviously depend on your budget and the place where you wish to settle. In Paris for example, considering that the smaller is your flat, the more expensive it is, many people prefer to share their flat in order to get a higher quality of life. But if you have made up your mind and choose to gain greater independence, then it is very important that you know your search criteria (area, price, etc) to be reactive when an offer is published!
Rental by owner
The main advantage to deal with an owner is that it avoids you to pay estate agencies costs. They are also more flexible to organise a visit and show you their property.
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Rental by estate agency
Using an estate agency can be a good option when you don't have a lot of time to dedicate to your house-hunting. It is also quicker if you want to negotiate the rent. Be aware that estate agencies take a commission which generally equals to a month rent.
Through your network
It is often by word of mouth that you will find the best offers. In some big cities, like in Paris, it is the best solution to find a place to stay at at a reasonnable price. Giving the lack of places to rent, the best bargains are not easy to find but are recommended by word of mouth. So, tell your friends, classmates, colleages, etc, that you are looking for a place to live. The more you will inform them, the more opportunities you will have!
Your house hunt can take longer that planned. If you don't want it to turn into a nightmare, remember: be precise on your search criteria and be the most reactive possible.