The golden rules for renting a place in Paris

Photo: Max Pixel

Finding a rental property in Paris can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

But imagine there are hundreds of other people looking for that needle too. And now imagine that when you find the needle, the needle’s owner is very likely to ask you for a large amount of money and many, many documents before you’ll be allowed to have it.

So with this in mind, I’ve talked to property consultant Adrian Leeds (from House Hunters International) to get the golden rules for renting in Paris.

Here’s what she said.

  1. Understand what you can afford to pay for rent: no more than one-third of your disposable income.
  2. Understand that the quality of the landlord is more important than the quality of the apartment.
  3. Work with professionals to find your perfect apartment: the landlords will respect you more if you are well represented.
  4. Do whatever you can to prove to a potential landlord that you can afford to pay the rent and will: put together a strong financial dossier and make a good impression when visiting the apartment.
  5. Be aware of what you can’t change vs what you can change in every respect.
  6. Be willing to make “trade-offs” for what you can live without vs what you can’t.
  7. Remember that the laws are in your favour: 30-day cancellation clause on all leases in the City of Light, for example.
  8. Be prepared to pay first month, last month and one month security deposit…at least! Also be prepared to put one year’s worth of rent in escrow, or negotiate to pay a lot of the rent upfront.
Photo: Pxhere/Creative Commons
Photo: Pxhere/Creative Commons

Yes, it’s best to be prepared when renting in Paris. Adrian has written more about renting apartments in Paris here.

But sometimes, even when you’re prepared, finding a rental can still be a time-consuming and gruelling affair.

For this week’s Earful Tower podcast episode, you’ll hear about the struggle from the perspective of a man who had his own tricky journey, Australian entrepreneur Mitch Pascoe. He sent in 150 applications and was once asked for three years’ rent up front before he secured a home.

Have a listen below and be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Some important house-hunting sites mentioned in the show were,, and

And lastly, if you’re a step ahead of the renting game and you’re ready to buy, here’s some info for you too from the last time Adrian was in the studio.

Not a supporter of the Earful on Patreon? Now’s the time to join! Here’s the link – plenty of bonus content out there.

6 thoughts on “The golden rules for renting a place in Paris

  1. This podcast was so great! It definitely left me with a little feeling of “agita” haha! My family and I are embarking on an adventure and moving to Paris in July. We have an Airbnb for 1 month. Crossing our fingers we can find something in that time. I heard August is good because there is less competition (with people being away). We’ll start our dossiers ASAP! Merci Oliver!

    1. That’s the way, Carla! Good work being so organized. Good luck with the move and thanks for listening!

  2. Interesting! But as you said, it’s hard everywhere and trust me, renting a place as a foreigner in Sydney is novice of cake either! Real estate agencies also ask for all sorts of documents (the more, the more “points” you get) but when an agent actually consult your online application, you are already lucky because most of the times, they don’t even bother. The real estate market in Australia is a real nightmare, agents look at you as if they were kings of the world, even when they make you visit absolute slums stinking cat’s piss. And obviously coming such a long way from France, you have no guarantor onsite…

    It’s a battle really. Glad you found a new place of your own!


  3. Another thing to be aware of is the 3-6-9 lease. So usually the minimum lease is for three years. If, after three years and one month you decide to move, you’re on the hook for 35 more months! I found a new renter to take over my lease, but (1) if I hadn’t I would have had to pay the rent for three more years and (2) there are no upgrades to the property during the lease, so forget about having the place painted in less than 9 years.

    1. This is good to know, thank you! Right now my biggest concern is the dossier. My husband has a job which is paid by a US company. I will not have a job because I am a freelancer, so I my worry is that if we want to get a place to our liking how will we be able to do it if my husband does not make 3 times as much of the rent? He would be short just by a little bit. Would I need to get a job ASAP or would a guarantor in the US work as well?

      1. I am no expert, whatsoever, but I would look for a guarantor only if you’re asked for one. Good luck

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