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Hi all,
I am currently looking for an apartment to rent in Paris, and many of the advertisments speak of a 'caution solidaire' (guarantor). I've done research on this and I understand the concept - the problem is that since I am here with my girlfriend (we're both Australians - I'm here for a post-doc of one year) we don't know anyone local who could act as a caution / guarantor.

Does anyone know a way around this problem?

Even better, has anyone here dealt with this particular situation? How did you proceed?

Merci d'avance
Daniel
 

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People who can help ...

Hi all,
I am currently looking for an apartment to rent in Paris, and many of the advertisments speak of a 'caution solidaire' (guarantor). I've done research on this and I understand the concept - the problem is that since I am here with my girlfriend (we're both Australians - I'm here for a post-doc of one year) we don't know anyone local who could act as a caution / guarantor.

Does anyone know a way around this problem?

Even better, has anyone here dealt with this particular situation? How did you proceed?

Merci d'avance
Daniel
Having a guarantor will prove indispensable when letting or renting in France.
As you're recent arrivals to France, you should be able to enlist help from your estate agent, the mayor of your town or your bank manager to be your guarantor. You might even try to ask someone working in the students' accommodation at your university for help. Good luck.
 

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I was wondering if the original poster (or anyone for that matter) was able to figure this one out. I am in a similar situation currently.

I am studying abroad for the semester in France, and was told by the residence universitaire that I had to get an acte de caution solidaire filled out through a bank. They assured me that the bank just had to fill out some papers, but it wouldn't cost me any money, or at least a very small fee. I opened up an account at LCL, but the bank has been telling me that they won't fill it out unless I have all of the rent money upfront, which is impossible. My parents deposit money into my account as an allowance.

Personally, I don't understand why I even have to do the acte de caution solidaire. To even get my long term student visa, I had to show bank statements showing that I would be able to have access to $820 per month, so I don't get why I have to prove that all over again with a person/business in France.

The whole thing is very frustrating, and I hope someone can help me out! :)
 

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Check out Loca'Pass to see if you can get help that way.
 

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Showing proof of resources to the consulate to apply for a visa is one thing. Proving your credit-worthyness to a French landlord is a completely separate transaction. It's as if someone came to the US, having proven that they have "adequate" financial resources, and then in the process of applying for an apartment were found to have no credit history in the US. Happens all the time. The Immigration service doesn't share its records with the credit rating agencies, nor with the banks, or anyone else.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I keep reading about the topic of guarantors on this board. Is this something that's required of everyone regardless of income? Assuming I don't want to pre-pay the rent, if I can show tax documents that prove I earn 6-7x the rent, would I still need a guarantor?
 

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Simple answer? Yes - unless you can on a 1:1 basis persuade someone that you don't need a guarantor - & I wouldn't hold out much hope of that.
 

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Just to add a bit to Hils reply - there is no central credit rating agency in France, so credit worthiness is assessed individually by each landlord or rental agency. The standard is 3 months' proof of receipt of adequate income in your French bank account. Usually, this means pay slips, but if you're having funds transferred regularly (like a pension) you may be able to use that.

But the fact remains that housing in France is in short supply and most landlords with decent properties can pick and choose among multiple potential tenants. They're going to pick someone who is a sure thing to pay the rent and who offers proof that is familiar to them.

If you can figure out some other way to convince the landlord that you are good for the rent - in French - you're welcome to try. (Renting from a fellow countryman sometimes works.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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got it, thanks. i will try my best. in your opinion, would a landlord prefer (i) an american tenant who makes 3x the rent, who is backed by a french guarantor that makes 3x the rent, or (ii) an american tenant who makes 7x the rent backed by nobody.
 

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The problem is that tax documents prove what you HAVE earned in the past. Landlords want to be sure about what you are GOING to earn while you are their tenant - which usually means a CDI contract. Otherwise, how do they know that your employment contract doesn't finish tomorrow.

In fact, it's normally the landlord's insurers that insist on a CDI because professional landlords normally take out insurance against non-paying tenants, and insurers tend to only accept tenants who can produce a French CDI. That's business.
 

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Option (i).

The thing is that the Law here is heavily in favour of a tenant rather than a landlord, so the landlord has to protect his own interests. If you decide to abscond owing x number of months' rent, irrespective of how much you have been earning, the landlord is at a loss as to how to recover his money. If, however, there's a French guarantor - whose details will have been lodged, including Avis d'Imposition - the landlord stands some chance of clobbering someone for the outstanding monies.

Put yourself in their place and you might understand a little more.

h
 

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The problem is that tax documents prove what you HAVE earned in the past. Landlords want to be sure about what you are GOING to earn while you are their tenant - which usually means a CDI contract. Otherwise, how do they know that your employment contract doesn't finish tomorrow.

In fact, it's normally the landlord's insurers that insist on a CDI because professional landlords normally take out insurance against non-paying tenants, and insurers tend to only accept tenants who can produce a French CDI. That's business.
That too :) Quite correct.

h
 

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ok. correct me if i'm wrong, but it sounds like what the american tenant makes is irrelevant, and all that matters is what the french guarantor makes? said differently, it's the guarantor that must prove he makes 3x the rent regardless of the american's salary? so if i'm some expat fat cat who wants to rent a 5K euro per month apartment, then i need to find a similar french fat cat to back me up?
 

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ok. correct me if i'm wrong, but it sounds like what the american tenant makes is irrelevant, and all that matters is what the french guarantor makes? said differently, it's the guarantor that must prove he makes 3x the rent regardless of the american's salary? so if i'm some expat fat cat who wants to rent a 5K euro per month apartment, then i need to find a similar french fat cat to back me up?
Well not exactly - it's not that much of a simple equation. The landlord might be prepared to wait a year or more to recover all the monies he's owed, or force sale of assets of the guarantor. It's simply that the landlord wants to be sure that he will get paid from SOMEwhere that he can pin down if necessary.

NB the rules are different if you're renting furnished.

h
 

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hold on -- i'm sorry, i had no idea this applied to only unfurnished places. i do intend to rent furnished! would you be so kind as to explain the rules for renting furnished apartments?
 

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got it, thanks. i will try my best. in your opinion, would a landlord prefer (i) an american tenant who makes 3x the rent, who is backed by a french guarantor that makes 3x the rent, or (ii) an american tenant who makes 7x the rent backed by nobody.
IMHO it would be a no brainer for most landords, they would take (i).
 

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OK: furnished rentals are normally shorter-term - holiday rentals or serviced apartments and the like - or occasionally a what-would-normally-be-a-holiday let, but which is available outside the holiday season (at a rent roughly per month of what is charged weekly during the season). You don't normally have to take out insurance, don't normally have to get the services in your name and don't have the hassle of a 3-year standard rental agreement ("bail").

The actual terms of rental are negotiated between you and the landlord - how you pay for utilities, for example, and you'd normally pay a - probably substantial - refundable deposit against breakages, losses etc., and pay at least one month's rent up-front. The landlord - theoretically - can evict you at any time, and you have no recourse to Law (eg for unfurnished, a landlord can't thrown a tenant out during the winter months even if they pay no rent at all during that time, and also can't cut short a 3-yr lease unless there are certain prevailing conditions).

That's not the whole story, but you get the idea ...
 

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IMHO it would be a no brainer for most landords, they would take (i).
I'd put a "Like" on this if there were a "Like" button to use ..... for some reason it's not on your post.

oh - it's there now :) x
 

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Looks lovely - am jealous :D (chuffin' expensive tho'!)

Yeah, you hash it out with the owner, but at least he says it includes at least some of the utilities. You should pin down whether it includes all the maintenance of the utilities (boiler servicing for example), and things like house linen, laundry, cleaning, etc etc - and what, if any insurances you need to put in place apart from the legal requirement for Vie Civile. ie Establish what isn't covered, and don't be afraid of asking the obvious - what the French consider "normal" isn't necessarily the same as the view of an Anglophone.

Hope that helps a bit.

h
 
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