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I will be studying in Paris for the next 6 months. I am trying to find a nice apartment, but the rental agencies ask me to pay 1 to 2 months of rent in advance for their services, then there is also the guarantee landlords asks. So I think this is all very expensive. I tried a free site pap.fr where you can directly discuss with the owners. They asked my payslips of the last 3 months, which is fine, but then most say that they already rented the place to someone else. I earned quite a good salary. So is it because I am foreigner, I also do not speak very well French, so maybe they prefer local people. Does anyone know an agency that does not charge huge fees and can find a long term home for a foreigner in Paris?

  • Related: Renting a flat in Lille for a few months - Some bits will be different for Paris but much will be the same – Gagravarr Sep 9 '14 at 11:39
  • Yup basically ... travel.stackexchange.com/a/35159/19233 ... note points (2) and (3). Regarding payslips etc that's all horrible, just use one of the holiday-rentals places. Regarding french, 80% of gite owners in france speak great english and usually another language too. Indeed, I'd say for better or worse 10%-15% of gite owners in france are indeed from the UK! Don't forget to NEGOTIATE HARD ON PRICES – Fattie Sep 9 '14 at 11:50
  • When you say "an agency", really not possible. Paris remains, I believe, the most popular tourist destination. Regarding gites (holiday rentals), sometimes it seems that maybe half the entire economy of Europe, is based on, holiday rentals! :) Your question would almost be like "an agent to buy a can of cola!" you know! So just start clicking and from the 10s of thousands, choose then negotiate a very low price for long term. Bon chance!!! An "agency" is only involved in "normal" leases, which would be irrelevant/impossible for you. You want a holiday rental, like 10,000s of others. – Fattie Sep 9 '14 at 11:55
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    Does it have to be a whole apartment? Only you might have more luck finding a flat share (colocation) – Gagravarr Sep 9 '14 at 15:15
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    6 month rental is not "long term" – Ghaag Sep 12 '14 at 8:54
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Students in France usually rent for one year so if you go to an agency for only 6 month they simply won't be interested nor would landlords. There are however many solutions for students and temporary accommodations.

I would recommend that you contact students in your own country who have been in Paris. They might have contacts. Alternatively look on your embassy website or get in touch with expatriate from your country in Paris who can to be very helpful with their compatriots.

On a side note, there are countries where the practice is to ask for a year rental in advance.

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AirBNB.com is aimed at short-term stays, but most listings also state weekly and monthly rates. They've got some wonky Javascript making the first page not work well with any browser (crashes some of them). Ignore the drop-down suggestions--if you select one, it will continue to beg you to make an entry. Select dates and number of people first, then clear the destination, type in the full place, and hit return.

Once you get past the first page, you can modify your search by panning/zooming the map. Paris, France showed thousands of listings. Limited price to US$ 45/night or less and it was still over a thousand. Zoom in till only four metro stops from the Louvre are showing and had fourteen available mid-January for US$ 45/night.

Some can be "seedy" but if you study the listings and testimonials, with that many choices, you can find something good. Best of those fourteen (in my opinion) was US$ 33/night or US$933/month (plus a fee for AirBNB).

Another option: WarmShowers.org, BeWelcome.org. Find someone local to stay with for a few days who knows the area and can help you find a good deal.

  • VRBO.com is similar in purpose to AirBNB. Best example I found on the first page (sorted by price) is € 2170.00 ("Taxes and fees are additional") for two people from 17 Jan 2015 to 17 Feb 2015. I don't read French well, but in Italy, I got better choices by using a site that was only in Italian. – WGroleau Sep 9 '14 at 16:10
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thanks for all your comments ! In the end I followed the advice to ask someone of my university in my home country who stayed in Paris. He recommended me a site that he used to find his rental apartment: http://www.paris-start.com They really did not charge a lot for their help, compared to the agencies I visited and they helped me even with the translations and everything. Just signed the contract for my furnished studio ! :)

  • paris-start.com is an interesting site, but I cannot see any explanation on the site of how it works. It invites me to "add to cart" apartments for 1.42 EUR each, but what exactly would I be buying for that? – EM0 Sep 24 '14 at 13:55

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