Handy tips to find student accommodation [fr]
The end of the year is near... You may have just finished your Baccalaureate exam or completed your year at university – anyhow, you need to find your own housing by September / October. Searching for accommodation is not easy. But no worries, here are some handy tips that will help you find a place to live, and provide you an overview of the housing benefits available. Just follow the steps!
Classified advertisement websites or real estate websites are a gold mine! They contain thousands of announcements for houses, studios, apartments and rooms for rent as well as useful tools of research that allow you to sort through the available accommodation according to your preferences. Most websites can also send you l new announcement per day via email that correspond to your criteria: an ideal solution if you cannot devote 100% of your time researching.
Flipping through the french daily newspapers is also a good way to find available accommodation. Nevertheless, specialized press would be better, such as “Particulier to particulier” or “A vendre, à louer”. This allows you to contact the lessor directly and avoid having to pay agency fees.
Although “bad payers” only represent 3% of the lessees today, landlords are becoming increasingly suspicious. A lot of them prefer hiring real estate agencies. Agencies will show you a larger rental stock, take care of the visits and be the middleman between you and the landlord – but they come at a high price. Agency fees generally encompass the price of one month fee, a deposit (generally worth the price of one month rent) and the first month rent that must be paid beforehand. You therefore must be prepared to pay a significant amount of money before being even being able to move in.
The CROUS is otherwise an excellent option for they are offered exclusively by independent owners – and so come without any agency fees. As a plus: in order to obtain “Label Crous”, owners must sign a charter against discrimination. Availabilities regularly appear on announcements in newspapers or online, such as on the following website where 220 000 housing options in Crous residences or / and with landlords can be found: http://www.lokaviz.fr/.
Generally cheaper than studios (about 300 Euros in province, and 750 Euros in Paris), residence halls tend to be reserved for a target audience, such as girls. They often hold comforting family-like atmospheres allowing you to integrate quickly within a community.
They cost between 250 and 500 Euros per month. Reservations are effectuated directly with the residence halls, at least a year in advance. Available spots are rare. However, residence halls are not all specifically reserved to students. They can also host young workers, between the ages of 16 and 25.
For more information, please refer to the following website: UNME (Union nationale des maisons de l’étudiant)
Living with others
If you do not want to live alone, you have two solutions: you can either choose to live in an intergenerational accommodation or to room with someone. In both cases, there will be rules to follow and you will have to respect the people that you will be sharing your new home with!
Students living in an intergenerational accept to share their daily life with pensioners but pay less rent. Dozens of associations exist today connecting pensioners and students.
For more information, please the following website: mapiaule.com .
Once you have found your apartment, you must constitute a dossier to obtain housing aid. To make a request for such benefit, please see the “Caisse d’Allocations Familiales (CAF)” of your residing city. It provides two different types of aid:
- The APL (Aide Personnalisée au Logement [Personalized Aid for Accommodation]), which represents 200 to 250 Euros per month. Only the State chooses and authorizes which individuals can benefit from APL.
- The ALS (Allocation de Logement à Caractère Social [Social Accommodation Aid]) It is the aid that is the most often received by students. To obtain an ALS, you must meet certain criteria. For example, the apartment must measure a minimum of 9m² if you are living alone (16m² for a couple, 7m² for any supplementary tenants). To get an idea of what you can benefit from, check out the following website: www.caf.fr
The city of Paris as well as the whole Parisian region also provide a number of aids to be obtained by its students:
- L’AILE: (Aide à l’Installation dans un Logement pour les Etudiants [Aid to Move In in Student Accommodation]) has recently been put in place and is solely reserved to students searching for private accommodation. This benefit represents about 900 Euros and is given out only once during your studies.
- L’aide Paris logement: To be entitled to such aid, you must have lived in Paris for three years already. Your income must not exceed 1 100 Euros per month, 30% of which must be used to pay for accommodation. Finally, you must be on scholarship.
N.B: If you are renting your accommodation from a family member (parents, grand-parents, children, grand-children), you cannot benefit from any housing aid.
- Websites of advertisements of independent landlords:
www.mapiaule.com, www.paruvendu.fr, www.aidologement.com, www.pap.fr, www.entreparticuliers.com.
- Real estate agencies websites:
www.foncia.fr, www.immostreet.com, www.123immo.com, www.avendrealouer.fr,www.fnaim.fr, www.cnab.net, www.seloger.com, www.explorimmo.com.]
Photo credit : etudiant.aujourdhui.fr