As a student or working professional looking to rent a place in France, you are required to produce certain documents before you can be approved for accommodation. These documents make up what is known as a ‘rental file’. This file proves to the owner of the property you’re looking to rent that you not only have a right to be in the country but also that you have the means to pay your rent on time every month. It’s a good idea to have your rental file prepared in advance, and it’s important to ensure that your file is good if you want to secure your dream home in the quickest and most convenient way possible. In this article, we take a look at some of the best practices to follow when building your rental file.
How to Build Your Rental File
When putting together your rental file, there are certain documents that absolutely have to be included, and some that you don’t have to include in the file, but that your potential landlord might ask you to produce. First, let’s take a look at the documents that should always be included in your file.
Which Documents Should You Include in Your File?
Depending on your specific situation, you will need to provide the following documents:
1. For Working Professionals
If you’re currently earning and income and make at least 3x the monthly rent (net), then you need to provide the documents listed below:
- Passport/ID (any type of valid identification will do, such as a driver’s license)
- Proof of your right to reside in France (this can be a letter from your school or employer)
- Proof of Income (This is typically your last three payslips)
- Proof of your current address (a utility bill or bank statement with your current address)
If you don’t earn at least three times the rent, then you will need a guarantor who earns at least 4 times (net) the rental price. You’ll need to include the guarantor’s details as well as their proof of income and letter of recommendation. Failing that, you will need to provide details of a guarantee from Garantme. Garantme is a company that you pay to act as your guarantor in order to be considered for accommodation in France.
2. For Students
If you’re not earning an income, as in the example of students or interns, these are the documents you will require:
- Proof of your right to reside in France
- Proof of income
- Guarantee letter from Garantme
- Or, alternatively, your guarantor’s details (listed below)
- Photocopy of guarantor’s identity document
- Attestation from their employer stating the type of contract (fixed-term or permanent), date when hired, remuneration, etc.
- Guarantor’s last three payslips
- Their last tax notice
- Property tax (if they own the property)
- Previous rent receipts (if they are renting)
- Their professional card and last balance sheet
With these documents in your rental file, you’re well on your way to snagging your ideal home. However, there are ways and means of strengthening your file even more, by providing additional information that will help you to stand out in a sea of other hungry house-hunters. Listed below are some of the documents that you can include to enhance your chances of your application being accepted.Additional Documents You Should Consider Including:
- One or two of your previous tax returns
- Three previous rental receipts from the property you currently occupy
- A reference from one of your previous landlords
- A cover letter containing details about you, such as reasons for living in the country, non-smoker, no pets, etc.)
Documents You Should Never Include in Your Rental File:
There’s some information that you shouldn’t include in your rental file. Owners are prohibited by law to ask for these documents, and you shouldn’t provide them under any circumstances. These documents are deemed discriminatory, and if your landlord demands any of them, the law of ‘social modernization’ states that you have the right to refuse. They include:
- Social insurance card
- Certificate of the absence of credit
- Certificate from your previous lessor
- Direct debit authorization
- Certificate of concubinage
- Check for accommodation before signing the lease
- Marriage contract
- Personal medical file
- Extract from your criminal record
- Identity photo
- Bank account statement
It is unlawful for a landlord to demand any of these documents, and if he does so, you should not hesitate to report such unlawful behavior.
Get Started Building Your File
Housing in France doesn’t always come cheap, but it’s possible to get an affordably priced place that you will love to call home - all you need are the right documents to back up your application. There is a lot of competition when it comes to finding the right accommodation to suit your needs and you need to be ready with your rental file when the time comes to apply for your next home.
For most students and adults finding great accommodation in France can prove to be a problem without a good rental file. If you want to avoid going through the same hassles and get housing that meets all your expectations, take the time right now to build your rental file using the tips and techniques outlined in this article.
In Paris Attitude we help you build your rental file tto maximize your chances of renting your dreams property.