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Hi everyone. I am a new poster on this forum. I'm a single retiree (American) who recently moved to Montpellier with the intent of staying for at least several years. I'm searching for a two bedroom furnished apartment in a safe neighborhood close to the historical center. The housing market here seems very tight, perhaps due to the high growth rate and low income housing, which I do not qualify for. I have a dossier that includes a French bank account and a regular pension income. If anyone has suggestions for me that will help me with my search, I would appreciate receiving them. Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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If you don't have a French guarantor in your dossier, you may well need one. Or you could use a service such as garantme, though even so you may not be able to get what you are looking for. At this time of year it is very difficult to find a permanent rental without a guarantor because the trêve hivernale is almost upon, though most landlords require it at any time of year, especially for their own landlord's insurance cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you don't have a French guarantor in your dossier, you may well need one. Or you could use a service such as garantme, though even so you may not be able to get what you are looking for. At this time of year it is very difficult to find a permanent rental without a guarantor because the trêve hivernale is almost upon, though most landlords require it at any time of year, especially for their own landlord's insurance cover.
Thanks for your reply BackinFrance. I hadn't considered the trêve hivernale on top of everything else. I will look into those options.
 

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If you want to enlist an agent on your behalf to help you look, there is an agency specializing in helping anglophones with relocation and property searches that's located in Montpellier. We used them to find our place in Nîmes. Of course, we were looking from the US so they were a big help. You're already there, so maybe you wouldn't need them as much. In any case, check out renestance.com.
 

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Thanks jweihl. I am aware of Renestance. It's good to know about your positive experience with them. I may contact them if my luck doesn't change soon.
 

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Hi everyone. I am a new poster on this forum. I'm a single retiree (American) who recently moved to Montpellier with the intent of staying for at least several years. I'm searching for a two bedroom furnished apartment in a safe neighborhood close to the historical center. The housing market here seems very tight, perhaps due to the high growth rate and low income housing, which I do not qualify for. I have a dossier that includes a French bank account and a regular pension income. If anyone has suggestions for me that will help me with my search, I would appreciate receiving them. Thanks in advance for your help.
As newbies ourselves in France, and Montpellier specifically, I may not be in position to give any advice, but at least from our own experience (conducting a similar search in the area, but for unfurnished apartment), all sites we have been working with (with fairly responsive agents, when engaged for details) allow for filtering on "meuble", and - at least from a cursory look I did just now (with no other filters, as I have no idea how many pieces or what budget you have) - they return quite a large number of results, e.g. seloger ~100, leboncoin > 250, bienici ~90, etc... HTH
 

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Thanks for responding papaia. Fortunately, earlier today, I received word that my dossier was accepted by the landlord of an apartment I was interested in, and I expect to be signing a contract soon. I'll pass this information along to a friend who is in the midst of her own search for an apartment.

A woman with dual French/British citizenship who has a service similar to Renestance assisted me in my search. If anyone on the forum is interested in her contact information, I would be happy to provide it.
 

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Wow, had never seen this before. It appears to be a new innovation from the government in its never-ending effort to "dematerialize" so many of the little bureaucracies of life here in France. A couple caveats I would mention:

This is probably a standardized electronic file system so not all landlords are going to go for it, particularly older folks with limited online experience or confidence.

And, in that same vein, there may not be much flexibility for the newly-arrived foreigner who won't have precisely the standard documents that are demanded.

It does seem to be a really interesting new program and if it catches on, then it should be really useful to all concerned. And, hey, you'll never know if it works until you (and a few other folks) try it out.
 

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It does seem to be a really interesting new program and if it catches on, then it should be really useful to all concerned. And, hey, you'll never know if it works until you (and a few other folks) try it out.
I did - indeed - try it. Not much else we could do at this stage.

As we filed for conjoint tenancy, my wife and I both had to fill out the info. My wife got a positive response in two days (they seem to process each applicant independently, even if the file is common), while mine is still pending. We'll see what comes out of it, and will report back here. Just thought of asking, if any others had this opportunity...
 

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I did - indeed - try it. Not much else we could do at this stage.

As we filed for conjoint tenancy, my wife and I both had to fill out the info. My wife got a positive response in two days (they seem to process each applicant independently, even if the file is common), while mine is still pending. We'll see what comes out of it, and will report back here. Just thought of asking, if any others had this opportunity...
Yes, please report back, as I will be going through this ordeal in a few months. It does seem that there is some flexibility in documents for foreigners (I asked- haven't done it yet). I am curious how accepted this will be in the rental world, too.

Garantme also provides this kind of thing. When you are issued a certificate to pass along, you also have the option of sending along your entire Garantme dossier to prospective landlords. I don't think Garant does much in the way of verification- not sure if the government one does either in a short period of time.
 

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A woman with dual French/British citizenship who has a service similar to Renestance assisted me in my search. If anyone on the forum is interested in her contact information, I would be happy to provide it.
Please share the contact info (of course assuming the person wouldn't mind more business). Many would appreciate 'word of "e-"mouth' 😉 from forum members, vs. regular browsing search results
 

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Yes, here it is:

View attachment 100452
Best of luck to those who are searching!
]

Hi all,

We have used Lulu to relocate to Montpellier 3 years ago (we are from the US, but moved from the UK). She found us a great apartment, and also helped with all the other formalities that we needed (bank, insurance, broadband/tv, etc.). All in all, we are very satisfied with her services and would use her again, although I hope we can stay in our apartment for a long time to come.

good luck.

Pieter
 

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If you want to enlist an agent on your behalf to help you look, there is an agency specializing in helping anglophones with relocation and property searches that's located in Montpellier. We used them to find our place in Nîmes. Of course, we were looking from the US so they were a big help. You're already there, so maybe you wouldn't need them as much. In any case, check out renestance.com.
yes I have been talking to them also and they seem very knowledgeable so far.
 

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My wife got a positive response in two days (they seem to process each applicant independently, even if the file is common), while mine is still pending. We'll see what comes out of it, and will report back here. Just thought of asking, if any others had this opportunity...
Follow-up to the dossierfacile.fr process, if anyone thinking about taking that route: hit a roadblock. In spite of the seamless approval for my wife, my side of the file was rejected, because I am missing carte de séjour. I did send the long term visa proof of registration (done as soon as I sobbed in France) and associated invite to the local OFII, for a week from now, but this does not appear to suffice. I have no idea how long the cart de séjour would take, once I get to meet with the OFII people, if that is even the process to initiate it...
 

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Follow-up to the dossierfacile.fr process, if anyone thinking about taking that route: hit a roadblock. In spite of the seamless approval for my wife, my side of the file was rejected, because I am missing carte de séjour. I did send the long term visa proof of registration (done as soon as I sobbed in France) and associated invite to the local OFII, for a week from now, but this does not appear to suffice. I have no idea how long the cart de séjour would take, once I get to meet with the OFII people, if that is even the process to initiate it...
your verified visa is your titre de sejour for the first year, you should have your OFII medical certificate when you do the visit, then you put this with all your other documents and then you see the process with your prefecture (either need an appointment or send by mail or online...etc.) but you initiate this process 2 months before your visa expires.. then you should get a receipt followed by the carte de sejour itself few weeks/months later ... so in any case, you will not have your carte except after your first renewal ...
 

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your verified visa is your titre de sejour for the first year, you should have your OFII medical certificate when you do the visit, then you put this with all your other documents and then you see the process with your prefecture (either need an appointment or send by mail or online...etc.) but you initiate this process 2 months before your visa expires.. then you should get a receipt followed by the carte de sejour itself few weeks/months later ... so in any case, you will not have your carte except after your first renewal ...
Thank you! This makes sense, so it looks like the dossierfacile program is still in its infancy, with not enough knowledge on the exact details at their end, on this type of temp residency, which you clarified just now (i.e. VLS = "sort of" carte de séjour, until the renewal, which could then make it pluriannuel).
 

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Thank you! This makes sense, so it looks like the dossierfacile program is still in its infancy, with not enough knowledge on the exact details at their end, on this type of temp residency, which you clarified just now (i.e. VLS = "sort of" carte de séjour, until the renewal, which could then make it pluriannuel).
not only this program, if you try to subscribe in any automated doc review service (an online bank for example) .. without the carte it is impossible .. even if you talk to someone, probably software is taking the decision and people have no authority to override
 
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