Renting an apartment in France

Last time, I told you about our new apartment. Now, I’ll tell you a bit about what the requirements for renting in France are.

I know, I know. This has been done plenty of times before, but I thought I’d share with you just in case. There were also some changes this summer to agency fees, so I wanted to share that with you as well in case an agency is trying to make you pay more than is allowed by law.

almost bilingue - renting an apartment in france

You can rent either directly though an owner (look at ads on sites such as or through an agency (which of course has fees associated with it). I’ve done a combination of both in my time here in France, and we looked at both options when searching for our new place, but we fell in love with a place through an agency. The owners don’t live anywhere around here, so it makes sense why they’d offer the place through an agency. Continue reading


Nouvel appart

As many of you know, we’ve been having many problems where we live in Lille Fives and impulsively gave notice to break our lease.

Originally, we were going to wait to move until we could afford a two bedroom place, but we just couldn’t take it here anymore, so we decided to find an apartment similar to what we have now but in a better neighborhood.

We currently live in a one bedroom that is about 46m2 (about 495 ft2) with a balcony and a private garage. So ideally, we wanted something about the same size, at least a parking space, and a balcony or terrace would be a huge plus.

One criteria that turned out to be troublesome was the fact that we wanted an unequipped kitchen. Surprisingly, most places were already equipped (usually with sad burners and a tiny fridge). Since we just bought a brand new stove in January and have a huge fridge, we didn’t want to give them up.

We threw ourselves head on into the search, spending countless hours on Leboncoin (think Craig’s List for those who don’t know this site) and other sites, making phone calls, visiting agencies, and finally, visiting places. Continue reading

Time for some changements

We made a bit of an impulsive decision this weekend and carried through with it on Monday. We’ve been casually looking at apartments for rent for awhile now as we HATE our neighborhood. I mean dealers, squatters, public urination, drunken fights, the police not responding to calls, and most recently, houses collapsing, that’s not exactly a place you want to be living.

But we didn’t want to move unless we could find a two bedroom apartment as we’d prefer to be keeping it for the long term and would like to have an office/extra room. However, finding this in our budget in a nice neighborhood is fairly difficult. Until I’m working (thank you, Prefecture for making me wait), we only have one real salary.

This weekend we decide to hell with that, let’s just give notice and look for a similar one bedroom in a nicer neighborhood (and maybe even more central) – something that’s not hard to come by at all. It’ll be fine for a few years (and we’ll be happier). We’ll take that time to save up to buy or just bide our time until we can afford to rent a super awesome larger apartment (depending on our long term goals and the housing market). Continue reading