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Hopefully someone will be able to provide some useful information.

I am writing on behalf of my daughter who currently is sitting in Paris very discouraged. Her wifi, cell phone etc are not working otherwise she'd be writing herself. She is a 22 year old American who will be a teaching assistant (tapis) in Oct. She's been in Paris only a few days and is staying in a temporary apartment.

According to her, most plan to rent for up to 500 euro per month. She's in a little different situation because her budget is 1300 euro per month for Paris. In addition to her teaching position, she works from home for an American company. And all this is where the problems begin.

She's been told numerous times today by real estate offices that nobody in Paris would ever rent to her because her teaching position can't support the rent (even the 500 euro) / the American company doesn't pay French taxes so that income can't be considered. This is like a catch 22. She can't open a French bank account without an address, she can't get that address because nobody will rent to her.

Please, I know she should be writing here, but without wifi access I'm trying to help. IF anyone has any thoughts about where I can send her for an apartment rental I'd really appreciate it!
 

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Been there, done that, felt the pain. I was a teaching assistant in Paris a few years ago. Basically, for those of us who have neither French co-signers (a garant) nor sufficient income (hower recognized) to cover 3 times the rent, you basically have 2 choices.

1) Find the 5% of Parisian landlords that are willing to rent to someone without a French garant.
2) Sublet, which is technically illegal and can be a little tricky for things like receiving mail and proving your address if the real renter wants to be a pain about it.

For 1, the options of FUSAC.fr and visiting the bulletin board at the American Church of Paris (you have to go in person and it's best to go as soon as they're posted) are good because they target foreigners and the landlords are likely to be a little more flexible. The downside is because they target (anglophone) foreigners, they often are a little overpriced because they've got a captive audience. Also check out sites like PAP.fr, leboncoin.fr, and annonceetudiant.com, which target French people, but may just give you the critical mass of landlords necessary to find someone willing to accept you without a garant.

Also note that colocations (roommate situations) don't really solve the garant problem, because any "legit" colocation will require your name on the lease and thus will likely require the same hassle. That said, you are more likely to find colocations that are...

2) Sublets. You can also find studios, but colocs are more common because someone's roommate is abroad for a semester or something. The good thing about subletting is that no one will ask you for a garant or proof of income. The bad thing is that subletting is technically illegal, even though tons of people do it, so you may have some inconveniences, including: you will not be able to receive housing aid without your name on the lease, you may not be allowed to receive mail or get a proof of address, which makes setting up in France a real pain. Be sure that you can do these things before getting into a sublet (no housing aid though).

The third option, which is to rent a room in a foyer/dorm, is unfortunately rather hard to do at the last minute, since they all fill up quickly with students over the summer.

It's a huge pain and everyone I knew as an assistant struggled with it. Some people ended up in less than ideal living situations (renting a room in an old lady's house in the far suburbs), but most people ended up in quite decent apartments by Paris standards, and no one ended up sleeping under a bridge.
 

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In addition to her teaching position, she works from home for an American company.
I think you should advise her not to shout this from the rooftops. Being in France, working from home, not registering the business in France in any way, not paying cotisations not declaring your income to the French authorities and paying taxes, is not allowed, and it could get her company into trouble. Unless there are special dispensations for US citizens or for teaching assistants, which I've never heard of, it's what is called 'working on the black', and this is what people are politely telling her when they say it 'can't be considered' - i.e. keep quiet about it. People do it but they don't talk about it to strangers. :nono:
 

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I think you should advise her not to shout this from the rooftops. Being in France, working from home, not registering the business in France in any way, not paying cotisations not declaring your income to the French authorities and paying taxes, is not allowed, and it could get her company into trouble. Unless there are special dispensations for US citizens or for teaching assistants, which I've never heard of, it's what is called 'working on the black', and this is what people are politely telling her when they say it 'can't be considered' - i.e. keep quiet about it. People do it but they don't talk about it to strangers. :nono:
The working for an American company is a tricky situation. Some of the consulates actually look the other way if the person is applying for a time-limited visa - like the teaching assistant situation. Technically, it's illegal, but for a single year in France it seems to be tolerated as long as you don't go making it too obvious what you're doing. (Like many things here in France.)

That said, most McDonalds in France now have free wi-fi in the restaurants, as does the cafeteria chain Flunch. Generally, if you limit your heavy use of the wi-fi to non-peak hours, you can sit as long as you like for the cost of a cup of coffee or a soda.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I think you should advise her not to shout this from the rooftops. Being in France, working from home, not registering the business in France in any way, not paying cotisations not declaring your income to the French authorities and paying taxes, is not allowed, and it could get her company into trouble. Unless there are special dispensations for US citizens or for teaching assistants, which I've never heard of, it's what is called 'working on the black', and this is what people are politely telling her when they say it 'can't be considered' - i.e. keep quiet about it. People do it but they don't talk about it to strangers. :nono:
The rules for extra employment on the teaching assistant visa always seemed a bit confused. Officially, no you can't, but then assistants in the Paris area were getting exceptions due to the high cost of living... But not everyone (as always, it depended how the person at the prefecture was feeling that day). But I agree, better not to advertise the job in America too loudly.
 

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sorry but can I ask why she didnt sort out accommodation before going to France??
Because it is almost impossible to find accommodation in France before you arrive, given the dossier that French landlords require, particularly in Paris where the housing market is so competitive that a landlord can post an ad in the morning and rent the apartment in the afternoon. No one will talk to you unless you can meet with them that day, with your dossier prepared, ready to say whether or not you accept the apartment the moment you walk in the door. That is the reality of student-priced housing in Paris.
 

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I looked at that site, but I'm not sure any of those places are affordable for a student/assistant budget. Cheapest places I saw were over 1000€ a month...
 

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cocoamom says daughters budget is 1300 so within budget i hope?
Cocoamom said her daughter's income was 1300 a month (which is less than the French minimum wage - or SMIC) and that she was looking for a flat for 500 a month. That's actually pushing it, as the guidelines here have always been that a renter has to have 3 times the rent in income.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Where is your daughter teaching in Paris?
I have 2 nephews living there one is in coloc with a friend near St Germain and the other has an apartment in Puteaux, they may have friends who are looking for ,a room mate you never know ..
 

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I'm surprised this issue has arisen. In an assistant teaching programme, the organisers and/or individual schools help find accommodation for their assistants, in my experience. They are well aware of the associated problems, and do normally do their best to minimise them.

Yes, Bev, the monthly rate is under SMIC, but assistants are normally on a 12-hr/week contract from the relevant Rectorat either for 6 or 9 months, holidays paid.

---> OP
As an under-25, your daughter MAY be able to get accommodation in a Foyer des Jeunes or a Residence Universitaire; the CROUS should have details, and then the back payslips etc. won't come in to play, and they'll be furnished. She MAY also be eligible for APL (rent allowance) from the CAF, which would help the cash-flow, and she may be able to get help from Loca'Pass as well, for guarantor and deposit.

She should try to make an appointment at the Mission Locale in the area where the school is, and ask what she can do.

That said, there's precious little for the 18-25 yr-olds, as we're finding out with my 23 yr-old daughter who has just gone back to school. She can get APL, but can't get help for paying any other bills or putting food on her table - because she doesn't strictly qualify as a "student" and she's not a grant-receiving youngster for her professional studies. Yes, it doesn't make sense, but that's the way it is ... it's based on that the family is responsible for its ante- and de-scendants; the State hasn't quite caught up with emancipated youngsters, orphans, semi-orphans or low-income parents who CAN'T help financially.

But I hope I've suggested some avenues to explore. As per the advice above, she should keep stumm about her on-the-side work.

h
 

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Hils, the only reason I mentioned that the pay was less than the SMIC is because that's the "income" that any landlord would use to evaluate her "credit worthiness." And in Paris, it's darned difficult to get by on the SMIC in any event, particularly in the open market for flats.

A couple of posters here have indicated that there is a specialized market for students (and teaching assistants) and that's probably going to be her best bet.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hils, many of the assistants in rural areas often do have housing provided by the schools, and even in some of the other cities the school may help you find something. But in Paris and the surrounding areas you're pretty much on your own. I don't know a single assistant in the Paris area who got help from their school, unfortunately.
 

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Things have changed then ... in my day, 3 of my classmates were posted in Paris; 1 was in the Internat, the other 2 had accommodation found for them by the school - but, it is true, that's many years ago. A couple were in Lyon - they both went into Internats.

The only one I remember having to find her own gaff was in Annecy.

But isn't it a bit irresponsible of the programme to haul youngsters half across the world and offer no help ... ? Wouldn't be happy were it my daughter ... I mean this must happen EVERY year, you'd think they'd have some kind of infrastructure ...
 

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Things have changed then ... in my day, 3 of my classmates were posted in Paris; 1 was in the Internat, the other 2 had accommodation found for them by the school - but, it is true, that's many years ago. A couple were in Lyon - they both went into Internats.

The only one I remember having to find her own gaff was in Annecy.

But isn't it a bit irresponsible of the programme to haul youngsters half across the world and offer no help ... ? Wouldn't be happy were it my daughter ... I mean this must happen EVERY year, you'd think they'd have some kind of infrastructure ...
You would think so, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, the Paris area rectorates now seem to consider finding your own place to stay to be part of the "welcome to France" process, which is fair enough I guess, but they don't even warn students about the requirements for French dossiers or the need for a garant, so a lot of people don't even have an idea of how hard it will be until they show up.

I suppose it may be related to the expansion of the program; too many assistants now to bother trying to sort out housing. I remember the initial training session for Paris-area assistants in late September... There were a couple hundred assistants there and the dominant topic of conversation was housing panic. I didn't meet a single person who had housing organized by their school. But that said, I don't know anyone who ended up under a bridge in the end, so eventually it all works out (in more or less desirable circumstances).
 

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Housing has always been a problem in Paris, it was a problem for me back in the 60´s when there was a shortage of housing and now the prices are a problem, nothing new so I guess the rectorate goes on ignoring that problem figuring things will work themselves out .
I frankly cannot see how young people can afford to live in Paris and when they do, they do it in pretty bad condition as the deninition of small takes a new meaning in Paris.
They have to lived in very cramped situations sharing with others sometimes or move far away in the burbs and commute. Paris is only romantic for people who have the money to live there and from far away. the living conditions there have always been bad for people without uch money.
 

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I think expectations have also changed; as an assistante in the Jura at a College, we (3 of us) were accommodated in rooms above the cookery room within the school. We each had a washbasin somewhere in the room with a cold water tap only, heating, and a toilet in the hall. It was for free tho', and we were fed lunch at school (nominal price) & could buy tokens for dinner at the Lycee Internat down the road (similarly nominal price).

The 2 assistantes at the Lycee, in the Internat there, were living in height of luxury, as far as we were concerned; they had hot water at their washbasins and access to hot showers as well !

And, honestly, I'm not talking about the Dark Ages, but we came from a time when en-suite bathrooms in student residences were unheard-of, heating was a luxury ...

Maybe kids today have been too coddled and just need a reality check sometimes - such benefits COST, and if you don't make the dosh, you don't get ...
 
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