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Paris Property Insider


The Art of Apartment Rental

Enhanced web-edition online at: /parlerparis/property

August 15, 2002


It is a good time of year to live in Paris. Mid-August and my neighborhood is a
ghost town. Traffic on the streets is half what it normally is. One of the
three "boulangeries" is closed (the other two alternate the days they’re open),
two "boucheries" are closed, several of the cafés and restaurants, too, all on
their "congé annuel"–annual holiday.

I discovered this neighborhood three years ago when I was still a visitor.
Rather than staying with friends or in a hotel as I usually did, I rented an
apartment. Not only did I discover the pleasure of staying in my "own" little
flat, I discovered the pleasure of actually "living" in a neighborhood.

I have a friend who comes to Paris two or three times a year, and says renting
an apartment has been the best thing she ever did. "Whether you are here for a
short visit or a longer stay, if you want to get to know Paris better, renting
an apartment is an ideal way to do it."

Staying in an apartment rather than a hotel offers you practical experience in
living here. While there is no one to make your bed every day or change your
linens, the upside is impressive.

Generally, hotel rooms here are miniscule compared to those in the U.S. The
space and comfort of an apartment far surpasses those of most hotel rooms.
Mandated by the French government’s star rating system, hotel room sizes range
from 86 square feet to 107 square feet for a single room. An average studio
apartment, in contrast, is generally around 200 square feet. Add comfortable
furnishings to that and you’ll find your apartment is more than just a place to

Quickly you can become part of the neighborhood by visiting the "boucherie"
(butcher shop), "fromagerie" (cheese shop), and "boulangerie" (bakery) to put
together your own dinner. Don’t forget to stop by the wine shop and
"patisserie" for the finishing touches to your "home-cooked" meal. And if
you’re not quite ready for that realistic an experience, there is bound to be
at least a "traiteur" in the neighborhood where you can buy ready-prepared

Staying in an apartment gives you a closer connection to the neighborhood
you’re in. Michael, a client, decided to take an apartment near Montmartre. Ten
days later he left Paris knowing his little corner of the world–the
boulangeries, the cafés, the streets–saying "I’ll never stay in a hotel
again". He’s looking forward to returning to the same neighborhood when he
returns to Paris in October.

Read on for more information about renting and how you can find a special
apartment for your next visit to Paris. You too may end up finding your own
little corner of Paris.

A bientôt,

Schuyler Hoffman,
Editor, Paris Property Insider
E-mail: [email protected]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In this issue:

*** First Time "Living" in Paris? Here’s Some Tips
*** Congratulations–You’ve Bought Your Fist Paris Apartment…Now What?
*** A Comfortable Home in Old Montmartre For $500 a Week
*** The Luxembourg Gardens Could be Your Front Yard

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Deciding to rent an apartment instead of staying in a hotel is the easy part.
Going about finding a rental is probably going to be a bigger process for you.

There are a number of big agencies that offer a large selection of apartments.
The smaller
agencies, and independent managers, have a smaller–but more
select–inventory of apartments, and often, better service. A competitive
market has brought about additional services beyond just renting you the
apartment. Some offer airport pick-up and return, concierge services, and even
maid service.

While one of the best ways to choose an agency or apartment manager is by
recommendation, you may need to do some research and comparison-shopping to
find the apartment you want at the price you want.

If possible, talk to someone at the agency. Ask questions about the services
included with your rental. Read the contract or letter of agreement you’re
asked to sign and ask if you have any questions. Make sure you know what you
are paying for and that there will be no surprise charges. Get everything in
writing… do not rely on verbal promises or assurances.

An apartment will cost you anywhere from $700 to $1,500 per week for a
one-bedroom apartment. Rates will vary depending on the size, location,
amenities, and time of year you rent (most have off-season rates). In general,
the rent on a studio will be a little less, while a two-bedroom will cost

The more expensive apartments–because of their location and quality–are
usually found in central Paris (4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th arrondissements).
Upscale and luxury apartments will also be more expensive, but can be found
throughout the city.

Short-term apartment rental is big business these days. An Internet search will
give you a nearly endless list of possibilities. As the number of visitors
renting grows, so does the number of apartments available and companies
offering rental services. It can be a bit overwhelming. To help you narrow down
the search, send me an email at
mailto:[email protected]?subject=FindaRental

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You buy a Paris apartment in the center of town. You renovate it, furnish it,
plan to stay in it once or twice a year, but otherwise want to generate
short-term rental income from it. What do you do?

The first option is to manage the rental yourself. You set up a website,
advertise in local publications like FUSAC (France USA Contacts) and/or US
publications, promote it however you choose. You then take care of booking the
apartment yourself. The time and expense of this may or may not be worth it to

If you do not reside in Paris, managing the apartment is more problematic. You
would need to have someone local to look after it and actually deal with your
rental clients. Again, this may or may not be worth it to you.

If you do not want to manage the rental yourself, the next option is a rental
manager. The rise in the number of visitors renting apartments has also
increased the number of people buying apartments and renting them out. Since
many of these owners are not local, there has been an increase in management
companies and individual apartment managers.

Finding a good manager will require some research. Each company or individual
offers different services. Some will handle every detail of managing the
apartment. They take responsibility for its maintenance as well as handling the
rental management. Others will only deal with rental management–promoting the
rental, accepting payment, dealing with the clients, etc. In this case you
would still need someone to look after maintenance of your apartment.

The rate for management services will vary from agency to agency depending on
the services you want them to provide. In general you can expect to pay 15% to
30% of the rental fee to the manager.

When interviewing potential managers, be sure to ask questions. Read their
agreements carefully. Be clear about what services are and are not included for
the fee you will pay them. Take a look at how they promote their apartments.
These days a web presence is essential. Look at the other apartments they
represent. Does your apartment fit their inventory and clients? You want to
know that they will do a good job of keeping y

our apartment rented.

Finding someo
ne to manage your apartment and its rental is similar to finding
an apartment to rent… a good recommendation goes a long way toward being
satisfied. To help you with your search, contact us for our recommendations at
mailto:[email protected]?subject=FindaManager


International Living’s Paris Office offers consulting services to assist you
with every aspect of renting or buying an apartment.

We can create a package for as much or as little assistance as you need. From
merely locating an apartment to helping you set up utilities or do a
renovation, we can help.

To inquire about our services and fees, please contact Schuyler Hoffman at
[email protected]

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Through our associations with rental agencies and individuals we have resources
to locate the ideal apartment or "maison" for you. Whether you’re looking for
short-term or long-term, less expensive or luxury, we can help. The following
section contains examples of properties we have available: Limited Time, Year
Round Short-Term, Outside of Paris, Homes in the South, and Upscale.


Parisians often rent out their apartments for a limited time while on vacation
or out of town. We work with private owners to assist them in finding
short-term renters. The following is a selection of apartments available only
for a limited time:

* Home in Old Montmartre–A comfortable, well-equipped 45-square-meter
one-bedroom apartment, sleeps two, located in a charming, non-touristy
neighborhood behind Sacré Coeur. Cost is $900 for the first week, and $500 per
week thereafter. References, photos, and additional information available on
request. Available June 27 to July 27 and from August 19 to September 6.

For more information on this apartment, please send an email to:
mailto:[email protected]?subject=#mkMontmartre

* Fully furnished and equipped one bedroom apartment. Lots of charm, sunny, in
building with an elevator. Located near the Bastille and the Marais. $750/week,
$2,600/month, $2,900/five weeks, utilities and maid service included. One week
minimum, non-smokers preferred. Available August 26 to September 30.

For information and reservations contact:
[email protected]?subject=#barryagonnet


Looking for an apartment anytime of year? This is where you’ll find it. We work
with a number of agencies and individuals who represent short-term rentals
available all year long. Below is an example from this category. For a full
listing, please visit our website:

* Rue de l’Arbre Sec. Studio apartment in a 17th century redone building. This
entirely redone spacious studio is located in the heart of the most central
area of historic Paris, a few feet from the Louvre, Palais Royal, and the
Seine. $900/week, $2,500/month.

For information and reservations contact:
mailto:[email protected]?subject=VDerinArbreSec


We are adding apartments outside of Paris to our list of availabilities. Below
is an example. You can find the full list of apartments in this category on the
General Rentals page on our website

* Le Point d’Or. This ideal vacation rental is located just one half hour from
Biarritz in a complex on the beach, with views of the Pyrenees Mountains. A
duplex studio (two floors), it comes with a sofa bed that sleeps two, a second
floor mezzanine with a queen-size bed.

Offered at 700 euro per week (7 days) August through September, 320 euro per
week after September 1st.

Pictures and more details available here:

For more information on this apartment, please send an email to:


Our listing of homes for rent can be found on our website at


For those who are seeking a special, unique, elegant, chic apartment, we offer
the following examples. For a full listing, please visit our website:


Located a few feet from Luxembourg Gardens, within walking distance of the
Alliance Française, rue Vavin is in a very upscale residential section of
Paris’ historic left bank district (6th arrondissement). Facing the courtyard,
this fifth floor apartment (with elevator) is bright, sunny and very quiet. The
apartment has recently been redone and is beautiful.

Pictures and full details available at:

Offered at $2,000 per week, $5,000 per month.

For information and reservations contact:


Use our online form and your detailed request is automatically sent to the
rental agencies and apartment managers we recommend. If they have an apartment
that matches your request, they contact you. It’s that simple.

You’ll find the form here:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


If you are not a member of the Paris Key Club, and would like the inside track
on all things Paris, click here for more information:

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If you’re not a regular reader of this e-letter, and would like to be, simply
enter your e-mail address here (it’s free):

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Know someone who would be interested in the opportunities in this e-letter?
Forward it to your friends, relatives, and associates!

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Go to:

Copyright 2002 Agora Ireland Publishing & Services Ltd.

TO: [email protected] OR GO TO OUR WEB INTERFACE


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