The Parisian Apartment Market

Paris place

Quality long term rental apartments in Paris can be difficult to find and even more difficult to be accepted for. This page outlines the people you are likely to meet in the apartment rental market and what role they play in helping you to find the ideal apartment.

Finding Apartments
Unfortunately the market for renting apartments and houses in Paris and Ile de France is a highly complex, extremely competitive and often frustrating. For this reason specialised relocation companies are in high demand for executives and families moving to France for the long term.

France’s various laws governing inheritance tax, income tax and tenant’s rights, coupled with the more traditional property culture of France often makes the option for owners to rent their properties unattractive. As a result the demand for rental properties well exceeds the supply in the Paris region.

Owners that do rent out their apartments or houses will demand a great deal of information before letting their property and will often require what may seem to be exorbitant guarantees before accepting a tenant (see moving to Paris for details about the application dossier you will need to present).

The level of demand and the relatively low incomes gained from renting has created a market where sadly many properties are poorly maintained. Finding high quality rentals therefore is no mean task among the network of independent agents, websites, landlords, small ads, friends of friends and so on.

The Bright Side
The Paris region has been, and always will be, one of the most beautiful parts of Europe to live in. When you consider the centuries of influence that have created the city and its surrounding areas you will soon realise that the searching and administration was worth the all the effort.

The variety of long term apartments and houses in the area mean that there is something for everyone’s taste. Whether you are looking for a traditional ‘romantique’ Parisian apartment, a functional comfortable modern flat, a small quaint house in the country or something just a little bit special, if you know where to look you can find it!

Estate agents in Paris
Estate agents are as common as the boulangerie in the Paris region, the majority run independent operations, some work under an umbrella or register as part of an association, some operate as local or national franchises.

There is very little standardisation in the market regarding agency fees or modus operandi, and therefore the quality of service you can expect will greatly vary from one agent to another.

It is true that with the fierce demand for rental property many agents have become lazy as one rental will attract anything from 5-15 enquiries as soon as it is advertised. Often the agent has a list of tenants waiting in the wings and doesn’t need to advertise properties.

It is important when dealing with agents to be one step ahead of them in presenting information and following up in pushing your application to the top of the pile.

Nothing however beats a good relationship with your agent – regardless of how you might feel about them, the more they like you the more they will work on your behalf!

Intransit International has invested a great deal of time in cultivating relationships with the best long term agents in the area to stay ahead of the game.

Landlords in France
Landlords are the agents best friend and the agent undoubtedly works with his landlord in mind.

Landlords may be a company or an individual and generally suffer from a form of mass hysteria. Laws protecting tenants, media hype and urban myths have made landlords nervous and untrusting. They rarely see a tenant as their customer but more as an employee and you will be expected to go through a form of informal interview to be accepted for a property.

If when visiting you meet the landlord personally then this can work to your advantage, or totally against you depending on the ‘feeling’ you have for one another. It is a good opportunity to predict what future relationship you are likely to have – should any maintenance be required on the property, or problems arise.

Again the personal relationship is the key. Your application dossier may not be the most solid of those presented but if the landlord likes you, you will stand a better chance of being accepted!

Once you are accepted
Once you have been accepted for a property the procedure usually involves the following:

1) Organising and signing the lease
2) Paying your rent, deposit and agency fees
3) Organising the handover and receiving the keys
4) Moving in

The lease is normally drawn up and managed by the estate agent, if no agent was involved then the landlord will provide a standard lease agreement for signing.

You will then pay for the different elements in advance and provide proof of insurance cover for the property.

The hand over
The day of hand over you will be expected to complete and sign a walk through description of the state of the property (état des lieux). Occasionally the agent will act as an intermediary (although remember they always have their precious landlord in mind) but more often they will employ an independent solicitor (huissier) to describe the property in detail noting any faults before you move in.

It is important to walk through thoroughly with the huissier and make certain that EVERYTHING is noted. The solicitor is a professional and independent but it is essential that you know that everything is recorded.

It is the deposit that is in play here – when you eventually move out, should the landlord decide that a crack or scratch or broken lock is your fault he will hold your deposit for the cost of repairs.

For furnished rentals you will also need to check the inventory of furniture and equipment in the property.

So finally you have your keys!!!!! Congratulations!!!