life,  paris

How to find a flat in Paris

    Voici quelques conseils pour vous aider à trouver un appartement à Paris:

    1. Définir  les priorités
      de la recherche : l’emplacement, la surface et le prix. Ce n’est pas la
      peine de courir à travers Paris en visitant chaque l’appartement figurant dans
      les annonces.
    2. Etre prêt aux compromis. A certain moment, tu seras obligé à
      le faire. Moi, au bout d’un mois, j’ai abandonné l’idée d’avoir une machine à
      laver dans un appartement, ainsi que 
      augmenter mon budget.
    3. Don’t give up and
      keep calm!
      Même si tu as déjà visité 20 d’appartements. C’est pas
      grave, continu !
    4. Concernant le dossier que tu dois fournir, il faut
      absolument apporter beaucoup-BEAUCOUP de papier surtout concernant ta situation
      financière. Apres il faut juste espérer et continuer ta recherche !
    5. Lors des visites des appartements, il faut donner une
      impression d’être quelqu’un de très responsable et sérieux (si ce n’est pas tes
      trais naturelles, il faut prétendre).
    6. Les meilleurs sites de trouver un appartement via les
      particuliers ( ou et via les agences (

    Two years ago I searched for every
    little hint on what to do to find an apartment in Paris. I had never thought that it could be so difficult! 

    I can say that you are very lucky if you have a French garant
    or if your salary 3 times higher than a rent of a flat per month. But what
    if you are a foreign student without any relatives who can be
    for you and no salary… That was my case.

    I will talk about my experience of finding a flat in Paris, so it doesn’t mean
    that it is
    a unique rule for everyone. I
    wished to rent an apartment not far from my university which meant 16th or 8th
    (17th at least) where prices are relatively higher than in 10th or 11th
    arrondissements for example. Anyway, I counted on finding an apartment
    of 20
    m(at least)
    for 700
    max (very naive).

    Announcement #1
    “Jolie appartement dans un immeuble haussmannien”

    This must be the flat of my dream…- I thought

    I don’t know about you, but before
    coming to Paris I looked at beautiful pictures of Parisian buildings and
    thought that once I was in Paris, I would find a flat in such beaux batiments with a cute balcony.
    The thing is that these marvelous
    houses, the one we can see on the first line, are 100
    m2 apartments. So even
    if they are on rent, you can imagine that the offer isn’t really interesting
    for students. Behind these buildings, there is the second line of houses. These
    one are smaller and more modest. They are for rent!

    Disappointment #1

    The 7th floor without a lift is not the
    worst thing…

    It happens very often that in real
    estate announcements they forget to mention that there is no lift in the
    building. How come? In fact, buildings of the second line as well as upper
    floors of the houses from the first line used to be occupied by servants (chambre
    de bonne). That means a back door entry, small rooms, shabby stairs and walls,
    and sometimes no lift (hard to imagine nowadays, but there is simply not enough
    of space). The most shocking thing for me was that there might be no WC in the
    flat. Where are they? Sur le palier! In other words, in the common corridor. It
    s your private WC and you have a key…And
    last but not least: the rent is 650

    Announcement #2
    The 6th floor, lift, WC…

    Thanks God! 

    Disappointment #2

    Раньше подумала бы, что это очень забавная шутка
    The announcement was correct and the
    flat (12
    ) really had everything. But
    there was a small problem: WC, shower cabin were located in the kitchen. Just
    imagine how convenient it is: there is a cooker in front of you, a toilet on
    your left and a shower cabin on your right…

    Announcement #3
    The announcement seems to be fine,
    let’s visit apartment. 

    Disappointment #3

    I wasn’t mistaken. The apartment was good and
    that meant that there are a lot of candidates hunting for this apartment. As I
    have said earlier, I didn’t have any French garant and I didn
    t work. Nobody cares here how much money
    you and your parents have on your foreign bank accounts. Good news! You can
    make a caution bancaire, so called
    bank guarantee, and to freeze several thousands of euro for one year. If you
    are rich enough to pay for the rent aside, why not. To do that you have to have
    your French bank account open. Bad news! You can’t open your bank account
    without proving your address of residence in Paris. Virtual circle…

    Announcements #x, y, z = Disappointments #x, y, z

    After a month of disappointments, I managed to
    sign a contract through a real estate agency. Terms: 17
    m2, 800 per
    month and payment in advance for the whole year… C
    est la vie…

    My advice if you are currently looking for a
    flat in Paris

    Define what your top priorities
    are: location, surface, price. For me it was location and price (at first).
    There is no point in running around Paris visiting every single flat.
    Be ready to compromise. In a
    certain moment, you will be obliged to do that. I had to give up the idea of
    having a washing machine in my flat and the rent was higher than I planned.
    Don’t give up! Keep calm if you
    have already visited more than 20 apartments. It is fine, continue!
    As for the documents you need
    for your portfolio, the more you have, the better, especially concerning your
    financial situation. Then, all you have to do is to hope and keep on searching.
    During the visit, try to show
    that you are a serious person and that the landlord doesn’t have to worry about
    the flat.
    You can try to find apartments
    without agency via web sites like or But note, it’s quite difficult to
    sign the contract. Otherwise, contact agencies (I found my flat via
    but be ready to pay les honnoraires.

    Good luck!


    Please dont hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

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