HOW TO: Find an apartment in Paris

So you’re relocating to Paris, France, for one or an other reason and need a flat to rent. Welcome, your not alone, I’m going through the process of finding a flat as of writing this. The past week I’ve gained some really helpful tips I would like to share. First, mind that English is not commonly spoken amongst the real estate agents which obviously makes the whole task slightly more difficult if you don’t know the language. You just have to get by using Google translate and kind friends.

Some tips:

  • Get a French sim-card to your mobile. You need to make many phone calls.
  • Buy the PAP magazine on Thursday’s and be quick on the phone
  • Register on Seloger.com and pay the €9 extra that allows you early access to new released flats, that’s a must. Get on the phone and call to setup a meeting. don’t bother sending them e-mails, they won’r reply.
  • Depending on your budget, have a look at http://www.book-a-flat.com/ – Prices start at €1,200 but the flats are furnished and very nice.
  • http://www.parisattitude.com seems to have very modern flats as well
  • Real estate agents seem only to work within the sector. As a newbie in Paris it’s hard to have an understanding of where you want to stay. My plan is to get out of the busy city center so I’ve been travelling to Issy-les-Moulineaux, Levallois-Perret and Maison Lafitte. Unfortunately I’ve been unlucky finding a furnished studio available at any of these places.
  • When on the road use your phone’s GPS and search for “Immobiliere Consultants, Paris, France”

List of things you need to prepare:

  • You need a French bank account. Making a payment of your rent from an account abroad is not accepted. Don’t ask why.
  • You need to show proof that you have worked and paid tax 3 months in France before you can rent. The obvious question is then, where do you live the first 3 months in Paris? Try with tax documents from your home country, earlier pay slips might do?
  • You need to show proof of 3 pay slips from France. How do you do this? See above. Try with payslips from your home country.
  • Other easier documents to arrange with includes; copy of your passport, work contract.
  • It’s normal to pay 1 month worth of rent in agency fee and the same in a deposit.
  • You must give 3 months notice prior to leaving your flat
  • You must have arrange with a comprehensive insurance for the flat. apperently it’s only around €150/year.

Prepare as much as you can in advance, if you can setup meetings with real estate agents to view flats in fore hand do so. Because when you find something you like, you’ve to act fast.

This is what you can expect to get for around €1,000/month, small studio I visited yesterday in the 7th district. 22sqm studio with bed sofa and a small cooker.

About Joakim Nilsson

I've this thing that I'm obsessed with helping brands and organisations to make better use of their social media data... so in 2013 I launched the SCRM Cloud, now a Paris based Social CRM agency providing some of the biggest names and brands with technology and professional services for social media monitoring, analytics and engagement. My +10 years experience in various online marketing & communications roles have provided me with a solid grounding in both operations and strategy, most notably as Head of social for one of Europe's largest iGaming groups. Having an entrepreneurial mindset and genuine passion for Internet applications spending part of my time as a small seed investor with various Internet start-ups such as; Curious Hat (500startups), Casumo, Casino Saga, FundedByMe, Nordic Design Collective, Kyoogi, AvalanShare, Unified Inbox, Åre Water, Virtuous Vodka and NOA Potions.
  • Update: 2 week into my search I have the tip for you. If you know you’re relocating from abroad and can plan ahead, go to http://parisattitude.com or http://book-a-flat.com – these two are sites specializing in renting out to foreigners. They do speak English, the flats are generally very good, they are well furnished (something you cannot expect generally) and they are most often modern. What you do is that you submit the flat your interested in and then go ahead and book it for the desired time period. If you don’t know for how long your staying you can always cancel the contract with a months notice.

    This is what I would have done if I knew about it before. You would need to book 1-2 months in advance to get the nice flats. You get a studio around €1,000 and this is what you can expect to pay with any other agency as well.