To rent private housing in France, it is essential to have a guarantor (un garant in French). Its role is to reassure landlords about your ability to pay your rent every month.

Usually, landlords require a guarantor that lives in France and earns at least 3 times the rent amount. But what can you do if you do not know anyone? Here are our tips to find student housing without a local French guarantor.

guarantor student housing

If you’re between 18 and 30 years old and if your monthly rent is less than 600€ (or 800€ in Ile-de-France), you can benefit from the Visale service, which is provided by the French governement. Basically, Visale acts as a guarantor and commits to paying your rent if for any reason you are not able to pay anymore. By reassuring tenants, the service helps young people find an apartment easier when they don’t have a lot of resources. 

How it works : 

  • First, you need to fill out an online form and provide the required paperwork (outlined below) 
  • Receive written proof that VISALE can be your guarantor
  • Look for a flat. You can show potential landlords the written document in order to prove VISALE can be your guarantor.
  • When you find a flat, the landlord will just need to register and create an account in order to activate the service.

💸 Price : Free

🧾 Paperwork required :  2 pieces of ID (eg : passport & identity card), Visa, proof of school enrollment, proof of income for you and for your legal guardian (more details here)

👍 Pros : 

  • The service is completely free.
  • The fact that the French government provides the service gives it extra credibility.

👎 Cons : 

  • The application is only available in French.
  • After 3 years, the service will no longer act as a guarantor for you.
  • You can not get any flat you want with VISALE because of the rent limit. However, you can get this limit waived if you can prove that you have more than 1200€ to live each month (1600€ in Île-de-France). If your parents support you financially, it also counts.
💻 Website : www.visale.fr

ONLINE GUARANTORS

Another option to consider is using a online guarantor. They usually require no upfront costs : you pay for the service only once you have secured a flat. Here is an overview of some of them :

GARANT ME

How it works : 

  • First, you need to fill out an online form and provide the required paperwork (outlined below) 
  • Receive written proof that GarantMe can be your guarantor
  • Look for a flat. You can show potential landlords the written document in order to prove that you have a guarantor
  • When you find a flat, you’ll receive a secure payment link by email to activate the service. As soon as you pay, Garantme automatically sends your landlord a confirmation.

💸 Price : 3,5% of rent

🧾 Paperwork required : Visa, ID, proof of school enrollment, proof of income for you and for your legal guardian (more details here)

👍 Pros : 

  • You do not have to pay upfront
  •  The service and customer support is available in English
  • GarantMe has partnerships with several student housing companies such as Campusea or Adele. 

👎 Cons : 

  • Rent in Paris is already quite expensive, and GarantMe is an extra charge I’m sure you don’t need ! For example, if your monthly rent is 800 €, and you stay 6 months in Paris, you’ll have to pay 168 euros.
  • Not all landlords trust the service, so using GarantMe does not automatically mean that you’ll have an easier time finding an apartment. 

💻 Website : garantme.fr

UNKLE

How it works : 

The service works the same way as GarantMe. 

💸 Price : 3,5% of rent

🧾 Paperwork required : ID (identity card or passport), employment contract or proof of income.

If you are student with few resources, you can also provide information about your parents’ financial situation, as it will strengthen your application. (more details here)

👍 Pros : 

  • You do not have to pay upfront
  •  The service and customer support is available in English

👎 Cons : 

As you can understand, since Unkle & GarantMe are very similar, they pretty much have the same cons : 

  • The fact that it’s a paying service
  • The fact that using it does not automatically mean that you’ll have an easier time finding an apartment. 

 💻 Website : www.unkle.fr/en

The takeaway from this article ? Don’t limit yourself : apply for VISALE and for online guarantors just to be safe because they are free when you’re in searching, and only use online guarantor services as a last resort only if you have to (eg : some real estate agencies or student residences have a partnership with a specific guarantor service)

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