One of our most amazing apartments -- only 23 square meters, but with lots of light and great views from three large windows, a sweet separate eat-in kitchen, surrounded by great transportation and has what one recent guest says is the most comfortable bed she has ever slept in!
House Hunters International couple Brook and Jonas
Adrian Leeds Group long-term rental Chez Antoine
Adrian Leeds Group rental - Le Coeur de la Cour
Adrian Leeds Group rental - Le Magenta
Adrian Leeds Group rental - Le Petit Loft de Paris
If you read yesterday's Parler Paris Nouvellettre® then you know that this week we are filming our 26th House Hunters International episode featuring a young American couple with two little boys who moved here a few months ago. They are seeking a furnished rental apartment in Le Marais with two bedrooms for a budget of about €2,400 per month. With average rentals of furnished apartments in Paris at about €35 per square meter per month, their budget is right on target.
As is the TV show's formula, we visit three different apartments together, all with most of the attributes ticked on their "wish list." I am often asked if the "contributors" only visit three apartments in real life, or more -- and of course, that all depends! Let me explain why.
Finding an apartment for long term rental is tougher than finding a property to purchase. There is a serious housing shortage in Paris and that means there are very few apartments on the rental market. Those that are, get scarfed up fast...by tenants who can qualify for the landlords' strict requirements -- mostly the ability to pay their rent!
An apartment can be for rent furnished for one year or unfurnished for three years, the leases are automatically renewable unless specified otherwise, each with a cancellation clause of 30 days. This is by law. In France where one must follow the rules, a lease cannot be written with much freedom. Every aspect is highly regulated and to claim an apartment is furnished depends on how well furnished -- there are minimum requirements: the property must have bedding, a stove and oven or microwave, fridge and freezer, cookware, kitchen utensils, tables and chairs, storage shelves, lighting, window coverings and housekeeping equipment.
Many landlords prefer to minimally furnish and call it a "furnished" apartment -- rather than risk a tenant "squatting" -- when the tenant fails to pay the rent when it's near to impossible to evict them, leaving them with up to three years rent unpaid. Therefore, unfurnished apartments are even more scarce than furnished. In fact, I believe that this is one reason for the current housing shortage. Landlords would rather leave a property empty than risk squatting.
We regularly perform searches for rental apartments of both kinds. We help our client organize a "dossier" that will present a favorable opinion about him to the landlord. It includes:
* Your passport, driver's license, visa or other ID * Proof of your professional activity such as a work contract, employer's reference, student card or business statement * Financial proof, which could mean your last three pay slips, pension or other benefits, previous tax returns or student scholarship * References of previous renting such as the last three rental receipts, a declaration, references or attestation from your previous landlord
We also help our client prepare for the scrutiny to which he will be subjected by the landlord. This happens because, by law, the landlord cannot ask for a bank guarantee if the apartment is being rented as a main residence and it is now illegal to force a tenant to hold funds in an escrow account. If the rent is paid up front, the landlord cannot ask for a security deposit and the tenant may request switching over to monthly payments. By trying to protect the consumer/tenant, the landlord has a need to protect himself and as you see, this ultimately hurts the consumer/tenant.
With our real clients, we may visit one apartment that's perfect and jump on it immediately or visit dozens before we find the right fit. House Hunters International only shows three, but there have been cases where we've visited dozens.
Just like a landlord seeks out a good tenant, we wholeheartedly believe that the single most important aspect to a good apartment is a good landlord. The best combination is pairing a North American landlord with a North American tenant because of their like-mindedness and mutual trust. French landlords who have had experience with North American clients know that they are honest and trustworthy and are almost never "deadbeat" -- skipping out on paying the rent. But those who haven't had the experience will treat our North American clients with even more suspicion as other tenants and will choose a tenant solely for his ability to pay the rent.
The landlord may also request a tenant take out homeowner insurance as well as pay for the annual "Taxe d'Habitation" (whomever inhabits the property on January 1st is responsible for payment of this tax), the utilities and the building maintenance charges. These are negotiable items with the landlord. The landlord is held responsible for major repairs, but the tenant can be held responsible for minor repairs and of course, any repairs for that which was caused by the tenant.
The tenant cannot sublet the apartment without the approval of the landlord. Normally this is written into the lease, but the rent cannot exceed the amount paid by the tenant. Since August 2015, rent control was implemented in Paris, however implementing the regulations in other cities is currently being discussed. New leases are now capped to no more than 20% of the previous rental agreement, while reductions in rent are limited to 30% or less. The Paris Préfecture de Police has established a maximum rent measured in euros per square meter, based on the date of construction and location of the property. To determine the legal fair rent of a property, visit this website.
Our House Hunters International couple wanted an apartment with good light, a bathtub, a level not beyond third floor without an elevator, a space where the father could put a desk and work without their sons, disturbing him (too much), a washer/dryer, a large dining space where they could entertain, a modern kitchen and bath, and of course, Parisian charm. All the apartments we're visiting fit their parameters so well that their decision is sure to be tough...and that's the whole point of the show: to keep the audience guessing until the last minute when they make their decision as to which property wins their favor.
I'll say it again: it's better to choose a good landlord than a good apartment. A good landlord is key to having a great apartment...and that's even tougher to find than the apartment itself!
P.S. We have a special Facebook page where you can express yourself and keep up on our latest episodes...so please do! Be sure to LIKE the page and share it with your friends. You can also visit our own website page. And of course, if you read any of our Nouvellettres®, we'll let you know when the episodes are airing. If you like the shows and wish to let the network know, please feel free to visit their own Facebook page and leave your comments there!
ADRIAN LEEDS GROUP APARTMENTS
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