Accommodation costs depend on which area you are looking at, the age of the building etc… Unlike other countries, the area in square metres is often used to describe accommodation in France (e.g. 25 m2 for a studio, 100 m2 for a house).
Generally, the rent does not include service charges (which vary considerably depending on the service provided), the taxe d’habitation (council tax which approximately equals a month’s rent), heating, electricity or water. You will be asked for an employer’s certificate and your last 3 salary statements to justify your revenues. A rental agreement is generally signed for 3 years for an unfurnished lodging. Upon signature, you will have to pay a safety deposit equivalent to one month’s rent plus another month’s rent in advance.
Warning: you should not dedicate more than 30% of your salary to your rent (after deduction of income taxes).
Contact the Personnel Service of your Institute which may be able to give you offers of properties to rent and put you in touch with a relocation company which will help you with your search.
Classified and web ads
Look at the advertisements on the notice board at the various restaurants (ESRF, H2…) of the Polygone Scientifique.
You can also consult the web sites of local newspapers such as : Paru vendu , le Dauphiné, or specialized websites such as Abonim Immobilier , Se Loger, Particulier à Particulier , etc.
Estate agents offers: FNAIM 38
If you use the services of an estate agent, you will need to go through the same procedure as with the lease (as stated above), but you will also have to pay the estate agent’s fee which will be approximately one month’s rent.
Many landlords and some estate agencies will ask you to pay a deposit so as to reserve the accommodation. You should insist on having a lease drawn up and signed before you make any payment.
Most Estate Agents will insist for a French person to act as your guarantor for payment. The Institutes can usually not act as guarantors.
Flat sharing: look on the following websites: paruvendu, appartager.com, e-coloaction, recherchecolocation.com, annonceetudiant.com, etc
Beware of possible scams, never send money in advance from abroad!
INVENTORY (état des lieux)
An inventory (Etat des lieux) will generally be carried out before you move into your new accommodation and before you leave. Be very cautious: write down any problem or malfunctioning on the ingoing inventory, or else the fixing expenses may be deducted from your returnable security deposit. You may draw the agency’s attention to any malfunctions during the first two weeks after your arrival. Remember that this procedure will be in French, so if your ability to speak and understand French is limited, ask somebody to help you.
Should you wish to leave before the end of the lease, you must give your landlord or estate agency a notice of departure. This notice must be sent by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt (lettre recommandée avec accusé de réception) at least three months before leaving the accommodation. The notice period can be reduced for special circumstances such as becoming unemployed or if your work location changes (a certificate is then required).
Before leaving the accommodation, a reading of the water, gas and electricity meters must be performed. You should collect your security deposit (usually refunded within 2 months) and give your new address and telephone number to your landlord (this is a legal obligation).
SERVICE CHARGES (charges locatives)
They cover common expenses linked to the maintenance of the building and the gardens (if there are any around the building), the cleaning of the stairs, the garbage collection, the housekeeper (if there is one), etc.
They are to be paid every month with the rent. Heating and water are sometimes included in the service charges.
HOME INSURANCE POLICY (assurance habitation)
You will need to take out a home insurance policy, which must at least cover fire and water damages. Please see your employer for advise.