How to rent an apartment in Paris? Part 2 – Our guide in 5 Ws for beginners

Welcome to the second part of our guide. To read the first part, click the link here.

Are you ready to discover more pro tips about renting in Paris? Let’s go!

rent an apartment in Paris

In many cities, renting is nice, calm and can be negotiated over time to ensure everyone is happy.

Not. In. Paris.

As we mentioned before, the market moves fast! You might have to visit a flat with a big, fat check in your pocket ready to confirm the lease on the spot after a 4 minutes tour.

If this very idea makes you sweat, or you want to secure a nice place before you even land in France, book a call and let us do the visits for you!
No need to leave your desk, and you’ll have a full report from the professionals (we’ll spot the tiny problems you’d never think to look for).

Other tips:

  • Try to avoid searching in August. Frenchies are dead serious about the holidays, and if you’re planning visits for mid-summer, you might find only a chaise longue by the river for your sleepover.
  • Start planning well in advance, with a realistic budget, market research, and your criteria list.
  • Be ready to act fast! A good plan will help because good flats can be gone within 24 hours. Luckily for you, we have inside intel and can visit listings that aren’t even on the market yet.

A quick note on the commitment you’re getting yourself into. The standard, minimum period for renting an unfurnished flat is three years (six years if the landlord is a property company), and one year for a furnished one (reduced to 9 months if the tenant is a student). Typically, the rental contract automatically renews, unless either party gives written notice beforehand.

You can terminate the contract at any time and for any reason with a one to three months’ notice, depending on your situation.

rent an apartment in Paris

WHERE (Fishing for the perfect place and landing a whale)

Ask yourself: What do you like?

  • Fancy streets lined with large trees, calm with a stunning variety of museums? Go for the 7th.
  • Hipster, mixed, affordable area? The 20th.
  • Boho boutiques, vintage shops, trendy brunch places? That’ll be the 3rd.
  • Local vibe, great nightlife, with a forest on top? The 12th will do nicely.
  • Uncompromisingly posh, art galleries, beautiful gardens? The 6th is calling.

No, we’re not playing bingo: these are some of the 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods) of Paris.

Every one of them is like its own village, with its own vibe and of course, its own pros and cons. It might be love at first sight with a farmers’ market or a green landscape, that will make you decide to call it home. Or you might need a deeper analysis, based on public transport, leisure options, or schools. In any case, we can help you set the priorities – Paris’ map has no secrets from us.

rent an apartment in Paris
rent an apartment in Paris

Once you’ve spotted your “neighborhood to be”, the next step is finding the flat that matches the criteria (you’ve dutifully prepared).

A good start is either a local website, such as:

  • Seloger, one of the most complete ads selection
  • PAP, a network of private seller/landlords
  • Logic-immo, featuring a wide range of filters for your search

Or a specialised agency, such as:

  • Paris Attitude, specialised in short term and furnished rentals
  • Lodgis, with a multilingual staff
  • Luxury agencies such as Barnes or Vaneau, because dreaming is a right!

You might also want to look to some other listing sites such as:

  • Fusac
  • Leboncoin, the French gumtree
  • or Facebook marketplace, because maybe it’s your lucky day.

apartments in Paris

WHY (live in Paris, after all?)

Maybe you always dreamed of strolling in Montmartre like Amélie Poulain, but the spectacular view wasn’t worth the bazillion bucks per month rent. Or your favorite street was Rue Oberkampf (hello, nightlife!), but on second thought you need a tad more than 4 hours of silence per day. We get it: Paris isn’t easy, and its breathtaking, insolent beauty comes with a price. But… what if there was a way to combine more space, a relaxed lifestyle, and great international schools? To afford a house or a garden, and still can hop on a 30 minutes train ride to visit Louvre?

If commuting is an option, the ‘burbs could be the solution! This choice has become more and more popular, due to the expanding public transport network and the relocation of many businesses to industrial parks outside Paris.

Still in doubt? Have a look at our posts about living in Saint-Germain-en-Laye or Maison Laffitte, and you may change your mind!


What are some common challenges people encounter when trying to rent an apartment in Paris?

A huge problem people may have is getting real estate agent/companies to respond to them. Due to the huge demand for housing in Paris at the moment, most listings will receive enough visit requests within a few hours to guarantee that someone will apply. Your best solution for this will be timing, when you see something you like call and try to get a visit immediately. You should also be checking for new listings constantly.

Can I negotiate rent or other terms in my lease?

Yes, but keep in mind that with the current market the landlord likely has many options for tenants. If you ask for too much or go about it the wrong way they may decide not to give you the lease and choose someone else who is fine with the current terms. You may want to ask your real estate agent to conduct these negotiations with the landlord as they likely have a better rapport with them.

BONUS: and now?

You set the budget, wrote down the requirements, found not only the neighbourhood but also the flat, and you secured it with a spectacular dossier! But, now you’re exhausted and don’t want to even think about the next steps.

Since there are only 6 months before Christmas, here is a gift for you: a free 30 minute call to help guide you through what’s next.

If you must know, the long answer is you’ll need to sign the lease, set up payments, setup utilities, insurance, organise the move at both ends…..

The short answer is: we’ll do it for you. And you can finally try that cafe just around the corner. Easy, n’est-ce pas?

Elena Ferrari
Elena Ferrari
Legal and Administrative Associate

Born in Genova, Italy, and adopted by la Ville Lumière, I’ve been a corporate lawyer in London and Dubai, a burnt-out mum in Singapore, and an event manager in the fanciest art galleries and boutiques of Paris.

Now I’m here to help you avoid the cortisol-infused nightmares that my previous 9 relocations have been.

The sunrise over the Oman desert, the sunset in Bali, a pint in Notting Hill or a Martini on a New York rooftop: I wouldn’t trade a croissant in Latin Quarter for any of it!