Long-term accomodation

Understanding the real estate sector in France

To understand the basics, FNAK / EURAXESS France has drafted a housing guide for researchers and PhD students who come to France and wish to rent/buy.

Most landlords and real estate agencies require a guarantor to pay the rent if the tenant fails to meet their obligations. Without a guarantor, your application will not be given preference. If you are ≤30 years of age and have a French employment contract or are a PhD student registered at a French university, Visale can act as a guarantor in order to simplify the process of obtaining housing. It also proposes a State rental deposit. For more information do not hesitate to consult their website. Campus France has created a step by step guide and an online tutorial explaining the Visale application procedure.

A short guide to finding accommodation

Generally, landlords ask for a deposit at the beginning of the lease (calles "dépôt de garantie" or "caution locative"), which will be returned at the end of the lease if the premises have not been damaged. This allows the owner to be compensated for any damage caused if the tenant does not return the property in the same condition as it was at the start of the contract. Consider this for your budget. The deposit is due when you sign the lease. If you rent an empty apartment, the amount of the deposit cannot be more than one monthly rent without charges. For a furnished apartment the amount can be maxium twice the rent without charges. (more informations regarding the security deposit in a French lease).

You should ask what is included in any additional charges ("les charges"). Often, only cold water and maintenance of the building (for example, the elevator) are included. It is important to check before you have any nasty surprises!

When renting through a real estate agency, the agent usually charges an additional management fee. The amount varies depending on the property and the agency, and must be taken into account for your budget. It is possible to find accommodation without going through a real estate agency, but you must check the search criteria on the internet and select the "private" offers.

Finally, you must not forget to enroll in home insurance, which is compulsory in France to cover potential damage to the property. For more details, see our "Insurance" section.

Websites to help find an apartment

We can also suggest websites to help with your accommodation search; please do not hesitate to ask us.

Two websites, where landlords can propose various types of private apartments for students throughout the year:

  • Lokaviz (CROUS) - for students and doctoral candidates
  • Studapart in partnership with Université Côte d'Azur - secure platform for students, doctoral students and personnel UCA (post-docs, researchers and teachers)


Some offers may prove to be scams, so be aware and :

•  do not communicate all of your personal information or banking details before signing the lease
•  do not continue the process if the interviewee is currently abroad