Every year, all students undertake a real quest: the search for accommodation. This is not a relaxing adventure. All the more reason to know some tips before you start, as well as the pitfalls to avoid.
The trouble with student rentals
There are many difficulties in finding student accommodation. There are fewer and fewer homes, especially in large cities. Thus, the premises proposed by public bodies are quickly occupied. Competition between candidates is fierce, to the point that some high school students book apartments long before the start of the baccalaureate exams. Many turn to the private sector, even if it means taking the risk of falling into expensive rents or owners who are reluctant to rent to students, especially in the absence of a guarantor.
Student rental: pitfalls to avoid
Unless you have a well-stocked portfolio, do not turn to real estate agencies as a first resort. Avoid falling into the hands of list merchants. They present lists of addresses for which they claim to have an exclusive mandate, to request advance payments from you when making a reservation. Do not pay anything until you have signed your lease agreement, and do not sign until you have visited the apartment. Check the safety of the electrical installations, the energy performance of the building, and if possible, consult former tenants to prevent unpleasant surprises. Sign the contract in your name and check the length of the notice of departure.
The questions to ask yourself
First of all, what is the budget available for hosting?
Generally, the average monthly rental budget is about 500€; but in large cities like Paris, it can be as high as 900€.
Then, it is necessary to check the distance from the campus, in order to avoid the exhaustion due to long journeys on public transport.
In addition, it is useful to determine the comfort criteria of your student apartment, for fear of being in an environment that is not conducive to concentration.
Roommates: a good idea?
Some students have a phobia about living alone in their apartment, and choose to share a flat. Apart from the friendly atmosphere and camaraderie, this allows them to save 20 to 50% of their accommodation budget. Others, on the other hand, prefer to assume responsibility alone to avoid all the likely inconveniences and misunderstandings associated with cohabitation.
The right plan: student residences
As a first resort, go to the Regional Centre for University and School Works (CROUS), the Youth Information and Documentation Centre (CIDJ), or student associations. This allows, when you start in time, to find a place in the university residences. You will be able to get the student apartment of your dreams, generally furnished, and whose prices are advantageous (from 200€ per month). In addition, it is possible in this case to benefit from public housing assistance.
Student housing assistance
To access student housing subsidies, submit a housing file paid by the Caisse d’Allocations Familiales (CAF). These include, among others, personalised housing assistance (APL), social housing allowance (ALS) paid by the State.
Finding a comfortable and affordable student apartment is sometimes a real battleground. So start the search early, visit the websites or visit the organizations featured in this article to easily find yours.