Written by Julien Rassat, translated from French
If you are reading this article you are probably new to Paris and are desperately looking for help finding a decent house in the capital. It is true that Paris is one of the most complicated cities in the world to find an apartment but don't panic, we will unveil several good tricks to help you on your way!
Choose your target neighbourhoods
First of all, have an idea of the neighborhoods you want to look at so you don’t find yourself in the back end of the 16th arrondissement when you are a student, for example. We suggest four districts where it is good to live in Paris: they are emblematic of Paris, very well connected and secure.
If you are passionate about art, Montmartre has numerous galleries, reading bars and independent street orchestras. It is indeed THE artistic quarter of Paris, without a doubt. You will be able to visit many Music Halls, listen to Jazz or live exceptional moments of theater.
You will feel like you live in a small village inside Paris!
Here’s a sneak peak:The perfect Montmartre music from the sacred Charles Aznavour!
Recommended streets for living in Montmartre: Rue des Abbesses, Rue Lepic, Rues des Trois Frères, Avenue Junot
République is a place full of history as evidenced by the statue of the Marianne on the Place de la Bastille entitled "Les colonnes de Juillet".
Rue de Lappe, located a few minutes away, is an extraordinary place for party lovers. The place was even renamed "Rue de la Soif". Rue Oberkampf is also home to many fashion stores.
The Canal Saint Martin, which lies further east, is one of the most pleasant areas of Paris. The neighborhood is very lively and central and you will have many activities to choose from.
Recommended streets for living in République: Rue de Lancry, Rue Parmentier, Rue Oberkampf
This district has retained its authenticity and offers us a beautiful example of the Paris of Antan. Its central location will give you access to many typical Parisian places. A few minutes away is the Île de la Cité and the famous cathedral of Notre-Dame. You can also relax on the Place des Vosges classified as a historical monument.
With many exciting places, a rich festive ambience and plenty of little independent shops (also open on Sundays), you will inevitably be charmed by the neighborhood.
Recommended streets for living in Le Marais: Rue des Francs Bourgeois, Rue de Fourcy, Rue des Rosiers, Rue du Temple.
Latin Quarter/Odeon/Saint-Germain des Prés
This neighborhood is a veritable gold mine in Paris. For example, there is the Odeon Theater with its old-fashioned shops, the Saint-André Commerce Court and the Musée d'Orsay. The Jardin du Luxembourg also offers an extraordinary place to relax!
The district offers the best example of a Parisian life, with the culture and historical monuments making it the jewel of the capital.
Recommended streets for living in Rive Gauche: Rue Princesse, Rue des Ecoles, Rue Mouffetard
Prepare your Paperwork
To put it nicely: Competition is very difficult in Paris. The owners receive dozens of applications for each property. It is therefore very important to have all your documents ready to submit to increase your chances of being selected. Below is a list of supporting documents that the owners can ask you for.
The hardcore version: Do not be surprised if the owner asks for a kidney for security on your rental. It’s a hard task to find a flat and don’t be surprised to find 20 people queuing up to view a 15m2 apartment priced at €750! But don’t panic, we have the ideal solution for you. Via Spothame you select the apartment that matches your criteria through our site using filters, HD video tours and professional photos. Then we play the role of facilitator by contacting the owner to simplify the task. Take look at Spotahome :)
The main documents required from the tenant:
- A valid ID
- The last 3 rent receipts or a certificate of residence or a letter from the landlord or the last notice of property tax or title of ownership of your main residence
- An employment contract or a student card or a business card for an accredited professional
- Joint liability guarantee in the case of shared apartment
- A confirmation of award, if the tenant is a scholarship recipient
- Your last three payslips
- Your last or second last tax certificate
The main documents required from your guarantor
- A French or foreign ID
- The last rent receipt or proof of home insurance less than 3 months old or water, gas or electricity bill less than 3 months old
- An employment contract, a business card for an independent professional or a copy of the INSEE identification certificate or any document proving their professional activity
- The last three payslips or the last two balance sheets for non-employees or proof of payment of social, family or retirement benefits received during the last 3 months
- The last or second last tax notice
- Letter of commitment from the guarantor
Share your experience about Paris flat hunting in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this post, check out more of our France-related articles:
- 10 Things I Learned While Living in Paris as an Erasmus Student
- Housing in Paris: Best Places to Live in Paris for Expats
- 7 fancy things to do in Paris on a student’s budget
- Paris Tips from a Local: Secret Places, Top Spots and More
- 7 Books to Read Before Moving to France
- Which is Better, Paris or Lyon?