How to build a rental file? (Students)

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How to build a rental file? (Students)

If you are a student looking for a place to rent in Paris or anywhere else in France, you'll need to build a proper rental file “Dossier”. Not only is this a requirement in becoming a tenant, but it will also convince property owners/landlords to enter a lease with you even if you're still just studying. 

Nevertheless, it's also understandable that as a student, you're more focused on your studies than earning money at a job. In this situation, it's highly advisable to rely on financial support from those around you. They can be your parents, relatives, friends, or even sponsors. With their help, you can easily convince your future landlord to choose you as their tenant.

What are the documents to be provided?

The documents included in your rental file should prove that you do, in fact, study in France and that you have the necessary means to pay your rent every month. These include:
  • Your Valid ID (i.e. passport)
  • Proof of address (i.e. utility bills)
  • Proof of your studies in France (i.e. student card, internship contract, work-study program, student employment contract, etc.)
  • Certificate of resources (i.e. salaries if you receive them, housing benefits, scholarship, etc.)
  • The landlord can request the last tax notice, RIB, and the last rent receipts

What other aids are available?

Since you're still a student, you likely have no job to help you earn the money to pay rent. In this situation, you can always seek financial aid. These are what's available to you:
  • Mobili-Jeune Assistance (by Action Logement)
  • partial coverage of your rent ranging from €10.00 to €100.00 per month for one year; renewable. Your current salary must be less than 100% of the SMIC 
  • APL (by CAF)
  • The ALS (social housing allowance by the CAF)
  • The property must serve as your main residence in France. It must also offer a minimum surface area of 9 m² per person and 16 m² for two persons (i.e. married couples).  
  • The ALF (family housing allowance, by the CAF)
  • Intended for specific types of individuals including:
  • tenants of non-contracted housing
  • people who receive family benefits or education allowance for disabled children
  • people under 21 years of age and who do not receive the benefits mentioned
  • Single women who are at least 4 months pregnant
  • Couples who have no dependents

What documents are not required?

Under the Laws of 6 July 6, 1989, and January 17, 2002, the property owner/landlord has no right to ask for certain documents that are deemed too personal and/or confidential such as:
  • VITALE card
  • Photocopy of bank account
  • Certificate of proper maintenance of the bank account
  • Certificate of no credit, authorization of direct debit
  • Marriage contract or cohabitation certificate
  • Personal medical record
  • Criminal record extract
  • Extract from the family record book
  • Any financial proof intended to reserve or guarantee your accommodation

Is it mandatory to have a guarantor if you are a student?

Since a guarantor is someone who will take on a debt (in this case, unpaid rent) for those who can no longer afford to pay it, it's essential that a student tenant gets one. Having a guarantor strengthens a student tenant's case in that they can guarantee to pay rent every month regardless of their financial situation. But do take note that a guarantor is not required in building up a rental file. 

The guarantor must provide you with:
  • Their valid ID
  • Their proof of address 
  • Their employment contract
  • Their last 3 payslips
In the case that you can't find a guarantor, alternative solutions are still available. There’s Action Logement's Visale guarantee, for example, which is a rental deposit guaranteeing unpaid rent.  It's reserved for tenants under the age of 30, self-employed individuals, employees of private companies whose net salary is less than or equal to €1,500.00, private sector employees who have transferred to France on business, and tenants who have signed a mobility lease.  
If you still cannot benefit from the Visale guarantee, you can use an online guarantor (i.e. Garantme) which allows tenants to self-insure or have a certificate from a bank proving that they can consistently pay their rent. 
Ce qu’il faut retenir :
  • A student lease allows students to rent properties while staying in France
  • Know the different financial aids available to student tenants
  • Get a guarantor

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