When in the process of renting an apartment in Paris, and France in general, one of the main rules of thumb is to have patience. Another is to provide the proper guarantees to the landlord. France reserves additional rights for tenants, and so landlords are more stringent in this respect. Here is a breakdown of all the types of guarantees and documents that may be required:
1. Proof of employment:
This usually requires copies of the tenant’s last three pay slips (fiches de paie). S/he will need to prove that his or her monthly income is at least 3 times the monthly rent, and s/he must also provide a copy of his or her employment contract to show that s/he is not employed in a temporary position or still on a trial basis (période d’essai).
2. Guarantee from an employer:
Many of our clients are covered by a guarantee of rent payment from their employer (who often in this case also pays their rent). AND/OR:
3. Caution Solidaire:
A personal guarantee from a third party (usually a European Union resident), also known as the guarantor (garant). Just like the tenant, the guarantor must be able to prove monthly earnings of at least 3 times the monthly rent, and is legally obligated to pay any rent the tenant fails to pay.
4. A bank guarantee (letter of credit):
A bank guarantee from a French bank is usually equivalent to the duration of the lease agreement, and may be renewable if the tenant extends his or her stay. For this service, most French banks charge between 0.5% and 3% of the frozen amount, as well as a flat administrative fee, between €100 and €200 (these charges are sometimes negotiable). The frozen money is then invested, and can earn interest as usual. Please note that this amount is independent of paying rent each month.
5. Tax return:
You may also be asked to provide your tax return slip(s) from the previous year. When the rental dossier has been officially accepted by the landlord, you will need to provide a security deposit (dépôt de garantie), which covers any outstanding expenses and/or damages to the property during your stay. The deposit is related to the cost of the rent and is usually equal to one or two month’s rent. Once you have moved out of the apartment, the owner is obligated to refund the security deposit (minus any necessary deductions: cleaning and/or repairs) within two months (French law allows a period of two months maximum to return the deposit), along with any justifications. To learn more about the security deposit, consult the article here.
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