Accommodation

ESTIMATION OF PRICE

Studio/Apartment for one: €550 to €1100+/month
Shared Apartment: €500 to €850/month
Living with a Family: €350-€700/month

 

FINANCIAL AID

If you are a student you should be able to claim a benefit which amounts to 20-30% of your rent. This benefit is called ALS (Allocation de Logement Sociale) and is accessible to those whose monthly rent exceeds their net monthly allowance. This can only be claimed if you have an official rental agreement from a landlord. This is normally given by landlords but sometimes the landlords do not want to declare the lease as they will incur taxes. When living with a family you are less likely to be able to receive the benefit.
It can take up to 6 months to receive the benefit but they will back date it to the day that you arrive in Paris. For this reason it is essential to go to the CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales) office as soon as you get to Paris. You can visit the CAF website www.caf.fr.

Suppose for example:
You go to the local CAF on 1st September 2013. You do not have all the required documents so they tell you to go and come back with said documents. The French system is very bureaucratic so be prepared to be sent away numerous times.
You finally manage to have all the required documents by 1st October 2013 and it is agreed that you will receive the benefit.
You receive the benefit 6 months after it has been agreed you will get it, 1st April 2014. However the payments are back dated to the first time you made contact with the local CAF (which was 1st September 2013) and so you will receive a rebate that amounts to 20-30% of your monthly rent times seven (September, October, November… April).

It is important to note that it does not normally take 6 months, which is a maximum.

 

WHERE TO LIVE

GOBELINS, l’école de l’image is situated on Boulevard St Marcel, on the boundary between the 5th and 13th arrondissement. It is located on line 7 of the Metro (Les Gobelins) but is also a ten minute walk from Place d’Italie meaning that lines 6 and 5 can also be used.
For an estimation of how long it may take you to arrive in Paris, allow the time it takes for you to get to the metro nearest your home, two minutes per metro stop, 5 minutes for any time you change metro lines, 5 minutes for the walk between Les Gobelins Metro and GOBELINS, l’école de l’image (10 minutes from Place d’Italie) and 10 extra minutes for delays.
For example if you live 5 minutes away from the metro stop “Michel Ange Molitor” (line 10) it will take:
5 mins to walk to Michel Ange Molitor
+ 34 mins on the Metro (lines 10 and 6 to Place D’Italie)
+ 5 mins for changing from line 10 to line 6
+ 10 mins walk from Place D’Italie
+ 10 mins for delays
= 1 hour 4 mins total

You can take line 10 until Jussieu and change to line 7 until Les Gobelins too (less walking).
Properties may be advertised with a postcode such as 75003. The 75 is the code for Paris, and the 003 represents the arrondissement. Therefore, 75003 is in the 3rd arrondissement.

 

TYPES OF ACCOMODATION

There are many different types of accommodation in Paris suited to different people:

  • Studio Apartment
  • Multi-Bedroom Apartment/ Colocation
  • Chambre de Bonne - One room apartment with kitchenette and shower, often a shared toilet
  • Room with a Family (Homestay)
  • Foyers (Halls of Residence)

 

WHERE/HOW TO FIND ACCOMMODATION

As shown above there are various different types of housing options and depending on which one you wish to choose, there are a number of places to look for accommodation.

  • Student Accommodation Offices
    Centre d’Entraide Etudiants, 5 rue de l’Abbaye 75006
    Tel : 01 55 42 81 23
    This office is closed over the summer holiday and reopens 1st September.
    To gain access to this facility, you must present your student card, your passport, a photograph and €18.

    CROUS (Centre Régional des Oeuvres Universitaires et Scolaires)
    This is a student welfare organisation for staying in Halls of Residence and priority is given to those from less privileged backgrounds. There are around 400 places available so the process is very competitive and there is a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed. However, this may be the cheapest option in Paris, with rent around €200 to €450 per month.
    www.crous-paris.fr
    Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris 75014
    www.cite-u.com
    www.ciup.fr
     

  • Notice  boards

    The American Church, 65 Quai d’Orsay, 75007 Paris
    Tel: 01 40 62 05 00
    The American Church is a very useful resource for finding accommodation. There is a notice board that is updated daily with new advertisements. There is no charge to look at this notice board but that means it is very popular and so it is important to get there early (ads are posted around 10am) and call landlords as soon as possible to arrange visits.

    The American Cathedral, 23 av George-V, 75008 Paris
    Tel 01 53 23 84 00

    St Michael’s Church, 5 rue d’Aguesseau, 75008 Paris
    Tel 01 47 42 70 88
     

  • Publications
    FUSAC (France USA Contacts) This is a very useful magazine particularly for English speakers as most of the landlords speak English which makes telephone conversations a little easier. It is released every fortnight, free and available at a bookshop ‘Le Canon De La Presse,’ 25 Avenue des Gobelins 75013 (Just outside Les Gobelins Metro Station). You may find ads for accommodation against baby-sitting or English tutoring although they also publish standard accommodation types. If you have access to the internet, the best thing to do is to go onto their website as the listings are put on the website BEFORE the magazine.
    www.fusac.fr
     
  • Foyers
    Foyers are the Parisian equivalent to Halls of Residence. They are aimed at students and you must provide documents to prove this. They are some of the cheapest solutions to living in central Paris. By using these, however, you may find yourself under quite strict regulation including night curfews and not being able to have people staying overnight. You will be able to claim APL if you choose this option and hence will find rent very cheap. There tends to be a good international atmosphere to foyers although it should be noted that they do not share the party atmosphere of their British and American equivalents. Instead, many of the residents are very focused on their studies.
    The Tourist Office at Pyramides metro station has an up to date list of foyers in the Paris areas.
     
  • Accommodation Agencies
    As with anywhere, there are accommodation agencies that will help you find accommodation. This may be a useful way of finding somewhere in a short period of time but be aware that you will have to pay agency fees that are fairly expensive, which is normally a month’s rent and as well as this you will normally have to put down a deposit (caution) of two month’s rent. Therefore, assuming the rent is €500 per month, you must pay €2000 up front (€500 agency fee, €1000 deposit to landlord, €500 for first month’s rent). It is therefore one of the most expensive ways to find accommodation
     
  • Flatshare/Colocation
    If you would like not only to find a property but also find people to live with, there are a few methods that can be used. Firstly, there is a colocation evening every Thursday evening in Paris. This is a great place to meet people face to face and find people you would like to live with. These meetings take place in different places around the city-centre, you can find out more on the website: www.colocation.fr
    There are also websites that you can do this on such as www.appartager.fr  where people often post pictures of their apartments and a brief summary of themselves. It is free to look through the listings however it is advised that you pay for premium membership (which costs around €30/month to be able to gain access to their contact details).
    Another popular site for finding both apartments and colocations is ‘De Particulier à Particulier’ or www.pap.fr which is free to use. It is similar to the appartager site and there are many listings available. This site is available in English.
     
  • Facebook
    There is a facebook page which can be very useful for finding all types of accommodation, it is free to access and regularly updated.
     
  • Craigslist
    Another option is Craigslist. Be careful; while this can be a good, free resource to use, this is where a lot of scams are posted.
    Other useful websites for accommodation:
    www.leboncoin.fr
    www.seloger.com
    www.lodgis.com
    www.parisattitude.com

 

TAX

In France, taxe d’habitation is due from every individual who on 1st January is officially renting a flat or living in a property that they own.
The amount of the tax is based on the rental value of the property, if you pay a higher rent, your tax will amount to more. You should discuss it with your landlord and, if possible, visit the Mairie of your arrondissement.
The tax can become a problem because the French government can be very slow to bill you, usually in October.  This may mean that you finish with your studies at GOBELINS in June and are billed for the tax after you have left France. You will be given a deadline to pay this tax, normally 15th November. If you miss this deadline, you will have to pay an additional 10% in interest. Refusing to pay the bill can lead to court action and to you ending up on an international credit blacklist.
Additionally, the tax is only addressed to one person and if that is you then it is you who is legally obliged to pay it, not your landlord nor your flat mates.
If you are in such a situation, whereby you are planning to leave France, it is recommended that you visit the Mairie of your arrondissement and settle the account before you leave; this will also allow you to discuss the tax with your flat mates and ensure they pay their share.

 

SCAMS

One issue that you may be faced with while looking for accommodation is scams. Generally, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is: if there is a two bedroom apartment in the 7th arrondissment with the view of the Eiffel tower advertised at €400 per month all inclusive, you can be pretty sure that this is a scam.
Do not, in any circumstance, transfer money to a landlord without having seen them and the property. If you are asked to pay somebody without visiting, this is another indicator of fraudulent behavior.

 

USEFUL VOCABULARY

Charges comprises = all inclusive (bills included in rent)
Caution/ Depôt de grantie = deposit
Garant = guarantor (Somebody who will be able to pay your rent if you are unable to)
L’état des lieux = Inventory (Taken at the beginning of the tenancy)
F1, F2, T1, T2 = F stands for houses, T stands for apartments. The number is the living room plus the number of bedrooms (kitchen and bathrooms are counted). For example T2 would be a single bedroom apartment.
Paticulier= for rent by owner
Propriétaire = Owner
Locataire = Renter
Honoraires d’agence = Agency fees
Logement vide = Unfurnished
Logement meublé = Furnished
Rez-de-chausée = Ground Floor
1er étage = First Floor
2eme étage = Second Floor

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