Paris Portraits

Trésors de Paris Box #2

    Life in Paris Tips to Getting Settled

    Apartment hunting in Paris: Everything you need to know

    Photo credit: @ososee
    Photo credit: @ososee

    People often ask for tips on how to find an apartment in Paris, so my friend Hanna and I recently filmed a video with one of my other projects Almost Parisienne to share 5 helpful tips on how to find an apartment in Paris. The whole process can be overwhelming, but it is not impossible if you know some of the insider tricks. Check out the video below, I also gathered some helpful resources for apartment hunting, as well as some ideas of places where you can shop to decorate your place once you find one.

    Apartment hunting vocabulary:

    • Dossier ( Application you will have to submit when you visit apartments to be considered to rent)
    • Nombre de pieces ( T1, T2, T3) – In France, an apartment is catergorized based on the number of rooms. For example a studio is a T1, one bedroom is T2, and a two bedroom is T3, essential you count the number of rooms excluding the living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
    • Etat de lieu– Is a check of the current state of the apartment that you will do when you move in and move out. Make sure to take this seriously and note every little thing down, so you aren’t held accountable when you move out. Taking photos also helps.
    • Garant– Co signer
    • Bail– Lease

    Where to look for an apartment:

    Here are some helpful links to look for your future apartment.


    CROUS ( student housing throughout Paris)

    Cité U ( American like university campus that has student housing)

    Immojeune ( student housing, roommates)

    Logement Intergénérationnelle

    If you’re interested in an housing option that has a social cause. There is the opportunity to live with seniors through Logement Intergénérationnelle programs. In exchange for minimal to no rent, you are able to live with a senior with the goal  to reduce the number of seniors living alone in Paris. It is a great chance to provide an opportunity for exchange, which is a rewarding to both the student and the senior.

    There are several sites where you can find offers to live with a senior such as:

    Ensemble 2 Generations

    Le Paris Solidaire


    Photo Credit: Walk in Paris

    CAF: Did you know you that you can receive free money every month when you’re a student towards your housing (even as a foreigner). CAF is a monthly government stipend for students to help offset the high cost of living in Paris. It takes a while to get, but once you do it is a great perk to take advantage of.

    NOTE: When you find an apartment, make sure to ask if the apartment accepts CAF/APL ( most student housing options accept it).

    General sites to look for an apartment:



    Ommi ( all you have to do is upload your “dossier” and apply directly to apartments. Then landords can accept your application or not before going to visit an apartment)


    FUASAC ( anglophone site for expats in Paris with housing ads)

    Loc Annonce ( low income housing, you can find great apartments for really affordable prices. You just have to sign up, upload an application, and apply to apartments of interest)

    Somhome ( no agency fees)

    American Church of Paris ( They have a bulletin board of apartment ads)

    Swedish Church ( Bulletin board of apartment ads)

    Roomlala ( Site to find roomates)

    La Carte Coloc ( Site to find roomates)

    Facebook Groups:

    Rentals in Paris

    Paris Student Housing: Find and Post a Room or Apartment in Paris


    How to prepare a dossier?:

    Your “dossier” (rental application ) will be your golden ticket to finding an apartment. Gather the following documents:

    • Last 3 pay stubs ( 3 dernier fiches de paie)
    • Last tax declaration ( Avis des impôts)
    • Work Contract or proof your enrolled in school
    • Bank Statements
    • Passport photo


    • Prepare all your documents in a neat, nice folder
    • Write a short letter about yourself ( landlords want to ensure you will be a good tenant)
    • Add any extra documents you think will help you get the apartment

    Photo Credit- Cakeboyparis
    Photo credit: Cakeboy Paris 

    Where to decorate your new apartment:

    On a Budget

    Ikea ( there are even free shuttles that take you to and from  IKEA different places in Paris like Bastille and Gare de l’est)

    HEMA ( decoration, storage, houseware) 

    Sostrene Grene ( decoration, houseware) 

    Tati ( decoration, houseware) 

    Croix Rouge ( 2nd hand shop) 

    Emmaüs ( Solidarity, Second hand shop)

    Plantes pour tous– Pop up plant sales at an affordable price (2-20€ max)


    Habitat ( furniture, decoration)

    MUJI ( decoration, storage) 

    Monoprix ( decoration) 

    H&M Home ( decoration) 

    Maison du Monde ( decoration, furniture) 

    Leroy Merlin ( Home improvement store)

    Castorama ( Home improvement store)

    BUT ( Furniture)

    La Redoute ( online shop with home goods) ( online shop decoration, furniture)

    Local Brands/ Stores

    Maison Nordik ( Vintage Scandinavian decor)

    Leaf – shop végétal( Plants & Ceramic goods)


    There you have it! Hope this helps. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have additional questions.

    Happy Apartment hunting!

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