Accommodation

Located in the heart of Paris, Sciences Po does not have housing on campus to offer its students. As a result, you must make arrangements to find your own accommodation. Sciences Po has made available numerous housing offers and information to help guide you in your search. One section also provides information regarding housing benefits to which you may be entitled. You will find on this site accommodation listings and information on finding housing in Paris, as well as practical and legal advice on renting in France. Students admitted to a campus other than Paris may access the specific page for that campus:

 

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Sciences Po Housing Service

The Student Housing Unit welcomes students

Monday to Thursday, from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm and on Fridays from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm.

From May to October, our offices are open non-stop from Monday to Thursday from 9 :30 am to 12 :00pm and on Friday from 9 :30 to 12 :00pm.

Students are not required to have made an appointment.

9, rue de la Chaise, garden level

Contact: info.logement@sciencespo.fr

To assist you in finding housing, Sciences Po has placed at your disposal a listings registry made only available to its students: http://logements.sciencespo.fr/

Access to the site is free of charge. To log on, use the username and password associated with your Sciences Po e-mail account. You may browse through listings as well as post your own ads.

Be sure to check regularly for updates, as every offer submitted to Sciences Po will be published on this site:

Available rooms in the halls of residence at the Cité Universitaire

Landlords may also post housing offers, free of charge, directly on this site. Please feel free to pass along this information.

 

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Finding an accomodation

Determining your needs and priorities

You must first determine your needs, set your criteria and create a budget. As a general rule, do not limit your search only to Paris. Nearby suburbs are often easily accessible via the metro and rental rates are substantially lower than within Paris.

Key terms that often appear in listing ads:

The first contact with the landlord

Up next is the initial telephone call to the property manager, landlord or letting agency. If you don't speak french very well, you absolutely need to request help from a french student. Some of the landlords don't speak english at all.

Be clear about what you want to know and ask specific questions. If you are unsure of any information found in the listing ad, do not hesitate to ask for clarification.Be aware when reading listing ads that an address is rarely included and claims such as "10 minutes from the metro station" or "ideal for student" are not always accurate. Ask about the bus and metro routes that circulate through the neighbourhood and nearby corner shops. If necessary, take it upon yourself to verify.

The viewing

Before you begin, prepare all the supporting documents required for entering into a tenancy agreement. This will save you considerable time.

Front and back photocopy of identification document for both you and your guarantor;

Photocopy of the last three pay stubs for you and/or your guarantor (if you do not have any, those of your guarantor will suffice);

Photocopy of the last income tax return for you and/or your guarantor;

Proof of residence for your guarantor (latest receipt of rent payment, last utility or telephone bill);

Bank details or RIB (for a commercial, savings or postal bank account) for both you and your guarantor;

Affidavit completed by your employer, if you are employed (the landlord may request this).

Preparing your dossier ahead of time can potentially give you an advantage over the competition.

More importantly, show up on time for your appointment to view the flat. Be sure to cancel any appointment that you are unable to attend prior to the scheduled date and time. Courtesy and politeness are very much appreciated. Arrive plenty of time before the appointment to walk around the neighbourhood. Take notice of the nearby corner shops, bus stops, and the noise-level in the daytime, etc. The flat viewing is the most crucial moment. A careful inspection of the property could help you avoid unpleasant surprises. Of course you can fall in love with the flat, but be aware that it may hide certain defects that you will later regret. Ideally, you should view the property along with a parent or a friend who could offer a different perspective.

What you should verify: The overall state of the accommodation and that all installations are in good working order. Verify the plumbing – turn the water faucets all the way on and flush the toilets (if there is no running water, get it written down in the tenancy agreement to have the service resume) – the sanitary facilities, the electrical installations (fittings and fixtures) and the heating installations (even in the middle of the summer). Are these compatible with the standard regulations? Count the number of electrical outlets and verify the radiators. Check for the availability of a telephone socket, a TV antenna/areal socket and the possibility for Internet connection. Verify the condition of the paint and wallpapers, doorways and openings (doors, windows, shutters), and flooring. If on the top floor, verify the thermal insulation properties of the roofing system. This way, you could avoid having to endure freezing winters and stuffy summers.

The building: Is there a caretaker? Are the stairways kept clean? What condition are the letterboxes in? Where are the rubbish bins located? Is it possible to bring your bicycle indoors? Do other students reside in the building? What are the security features of the building (digital code entry or intercom)? Ask the neighbours about the pros and cons of residing in the building and in the neighbourhood.  

Rent and associated costs

There are several rental costs for which you are responsible:

Rent: generally, you must pay one-month rent once you sign the tenancy agreement. The rent amount must be written into the tenancy agreement separately from the service charges. Always ask if any charges are included (and the types of charges involved) in the given amount.

Service charges: these include the costs for maintaining the common areas in the building and for one or more utilities (for example: lift usage, water, rubbish collection). Charges are paid to the landlord who in turn arranges provision of the services. In some cases, separate costs associated with water and heating may also be included. Be sure to ask which service charge items may or may not be included in your monthly rent.

Other charges: electricity, telephone, and Internet are usually separate from the rent. You must apply for these utility services separately and ensure that you terminate the contracts at the end of the tenancy. 

The deposit at the start of the tenancy: it serves to ensure that you honour your obligations, such as payment to repair damages caused by the tenant. Within two months after your departure, the owner is legally obliged to refund your deposit, minus the expenses he/she incurred to repair the damages made during your stay.

The inventory of the premises (états des lieux), unless conducted by a third party, is free of charge. A first inventory is done at the start of the tenancy, at the time the keys are given to you and before you move in. The inventory details the condition of the property and lists its content. The second inventory takes place at the end of the tenancy period. Both must be as precise as possible, with detailed observations, in order to avoid any dispute at the end of the tenancy. If you notice any defect, even if it may seem unimportant, ask that it be taken into account in the inventory. For example, a single stain on the carpet that goes unmentioned on the initial inventory could lead to an unscrupulous landlord charging you for the replacement of the carpet.

Home insurance: you are obligated to subscribe an insurance coverage through an agency of your choice (between 30 to 60 € depending on the size of your accommodation)

The guarantor: a guarantor is often required for student tenants – guarantee by a family member or a bank, or in some cases several months' rent in advance.

The housing tax is a local property tax payable each year in autumn. It is owed for the entire year by whoever occupies the property on 1st January of that year. Verify with your landlord the amount and who is responsible for paying this tax.

The tenancy agreement

The purpose of a written agreement signed by the landlord and tenant is to define their relationship and thereby protect the interests of both parties. The tenancy agreement can be made directly between the landlord and the tenant or through a third party professional (agency, bailiff, notary). The agreement must be executed in two (2) original copies, one for each party. Unfurnished tenancy is governed by the law of 6 July 1989. The landlord must abide by the conditions set forth in this law.

Characteristics of Decent Housing (Decree No. 2002-120 of 30 January 2002): the accommodation must comprise a liveable floor area of no less than 9 square metres above which a ceiling height of at least 2.20 metres, or otherwise a living space of at least 20 cubic metres. The accommodation must be equipped with heating, electric and gas installations that comply with safety regulations. If the property consists of only one room, its sanitary facility may be limited to a WC located outside the flat.

Definition of furnished accommodation: the law of 1989, which explicitly excluded furnished tenancy from its purview, imposes however certain requirements when the dwelling constitutes the primary residence of the tenant. A written tenancy agreement is required. A dwelling unit (house, flat, a spare or independent room) is considered furnished when the premises contain the proper and necessary furniture for everyday life: table, bed, storage, cookware, refrigerator, hot plates, etc. Sheets and linens are the responsibility of the tenant.

A standard tenancy agreement must contain the following:

Standard clauses

For the landlord:

For the tenant:

The landlord may require that the tenant subscribe an insurance policy providing coverage for fire and water damage.

Please note: if you are required by the landlord to pay a holding deposit fee and sign a reservation agreement, the latter agreement must include a detailed description of the accommodation, the rent amount, the length of the tenancy, as well as the conditions for a refund of the amount paid, should you change your mind.

It is important to convey any critical information to your landlord by means of a registered letter with return receipt. This is mandatory for terminating a tenancy agreement. It is also essential to respect the advance notice requirements and deadlines specified in your tenancy agreement, and in particular the notice requirements for terminating your tenancy.

The inventory

In case of dispute

In case of dispute, the best course is to try to negotiate an amicable solution with your landlord or flatmate(s). For assistance, you may contact the Departmental Housing Information Associations (ADIL). The ADIL can provide information free of charge by telephone, by appointment at its centres, and is present in the municipal district halls as well as the offices of the CROUS. The ADIL can advise you on all types of housing issues. Free consultation:

If you have subscribed legal assistance coverage, you may also consult your insurance agency.

The deposit

The deposit covers potential damages to the property by the tenant as well as all outstanding amounts due to the landlord.

For an unfurnished tenancy, the deposit is limited to the equivalent of one-month's rent, excluding the services charges.

For a furnished tenancy, the amount of the deposit is not fixed and is usually no more than the equivalent of two months' rent. However, a landlord who requires three months advance rent cannot demand the payment of a deposit.

The deposit is paid to the landlord at the start of the tenancy and must be refunded within two months of the date the tenant returns the keys, minus any deductions for outstanding rent and/or other justifiable charges.

The deposit amount cannot be changed during the length of the tenancy.

If you damage or poorly maintain the property during your stay, your landlord may deduct repair costs from your deposit, or even withhold the full amount.

During the term of the tenancy, you are obligated to perform regular upkeep and certain repairs that fall under your responsibility as a tenant: replacement of broken windows and door handles, maintenance of plumbing fixtures, replacement of fittings on sanitary fixtures, etc.

Failure to fulfil your obligations may result in you being charged for the repair work done after your departure, based on the comparison of the initial and final inventories.

The guarantor

Landlords generally ask for a person with a sound financial record, often a parent, to act as a guarantor for rent payments. It is necessary to provide a written consent from the guarantor. This is the document whereby the person agrees to cover a tenant against non-payment of rent. For this document to be valid all rules in form and content must be respected.

Reminder: the law of 25 March 2009 prohibits the requirement of a personal guarantor when the landlord has already subscribed an insurance policy against the non-payment of rent (or GRL).

Insurance

Home insurance is compulsory in France. The landlord is entitled to ask the tenant to provide proof of insurance within a week of signing the tenancy agreement.

Different policy options are available through insurance agencies. Read the proposed conditions carefully: an excessive coverage is often expensive and may not necessarily meet your needs.

If your family resides in France, it may be possible to be covered under your family policy: be sure to verify this with the insurance agency.

 

Different housing opportunities

Rent a room at the ciup

If you wish to rent a room at CIUP for the month of September (only for international students who come to Paris campus) reserve your room and paythrough your Sciences Po online area. The reservation for a room at the Cité Internationale Universitaire Paris gives you guaranteed housing for one month at a reasonable price to facilitate your arrival and your housing search. No refunds will be made.

The number of rooms available is limited. For more information on the CIUP.

If you are a graduate student, you can also apply for a long term stay : http://workflow.ciup.fr/citeu/site/login.php

Private students' residence

To rent a flat in a private students' residence = direct contact through URL Adele website provides any details you may need concerning all residences. You can reserve on line.

To rent a room in a family :

Offers from private landlords

Offers from agencies

Housing for short term time period

When coming to Paris to get in touch with owners, estate agencies, and/or to visit flats, housing for a short time period can be useful:

In lodging house

If you're looking for a cheap hotel, consult http://www.etudiantdeparis.fr/

Flat share

Sharing a large flat between two or more students is an interesting and less expensive alternative, particularly in big cities with a shortage of single-living accommodations.

The most common option is a single tenancy agreement signed by all tenants, when two or more persons share the flat. This means that you will all have exactly the same responsibilities and rights vis-à-vis the landlord. All flatmates are considered joint tenants and are mutually and individually responsible for paying the rent.

Mutual obligation

The agreement usually contains a solidarity clause that binds all co-tenants for the duration of the tenancy, even if one individual were to move out.

This clause can be still be valid even when the agreement makes no explicit mention of the term "solidarity": if the tenants are said to be responsible "l'un pour l'autre" (for one another), "chacun pour le tout" (one for all and all for one), or "ont obligation au tout" (are obligated for all) then they are bound by a solidarity clause and equally liable for the payment of rent and service charges.

A problem may occasionally arise at the end of the period of the tenancy with regard to the deposit. At the start of the tenancy, the co-tenants pay, in most cases, a single deposit to the landlord (usually the equivalent of one month's rent). However, following the departure of the tenants, the landlord is not required to reimburse each tenant his/her share of the deposit. The landlord will return the deposit to one of the tenants, who in turn will be responsible for reimbursing the others their share.

Departure of a joint tenant

When one of the persons sharing the flat decides to move out, there are two possibilities:

If the agreement does not contain a solidarity clause, the tenant must notify the landlord of his/her pending departure by means of a registered letter. He/she will continue to be liable for the rent and charges until the end of the notice period.

If the agreement contains a solidarity clause, the departing tenant will continue to be responsible for the rent and additional charges until the end of the tenancy, despite having notified the landlord by means of a registered letter. This rule also applies to the guarantor of the departing tenant.

In all cases, the conditions of the agreement will remain unchanged for the remaining tenant(s). However, the departing tenant will not be reimbursed his/her share of the deposit until the end of the period of the tenancy. 

A new tenant can be included in the agreement, either by way of an addendum that will be attached to the initial agreement to substitute his/her name, or a completely new tenancy agreement can be drawn up (at the risk of a rent increase).

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Sharing household expenses

Insurance: co-tenants should all be insured in order to avoid potential conflicts.

Electricity: up to three co-tenants may request to feature on the EDF account. This implies that the persons whose names appear on the contract are jointly responsible. The bills may also serve as proof of residence.

Housing benefit: each tenant may qualify for housing benefit, but will be required to provide a copy of the tenancy agreement for the calculation of his/her benefit entitlement. The benefit amount will be lower than if the individual were residing alone while paying the same rent.

It may be useful to establish ground rules and each person's share of the household expenses.

Sciences Po partnerships

Comforts of Home

Sciences Po is pleased to announce a new partnership with Comforts of Home, a leading provider of student housing in Europe. In Paris, Comforts of Homes manages nearly 200 apartments throughout the city. The layout and size of the apartments are conducive to shared living and guarantees independent access to shared living spaces like the kitchen, the living room, and at least one bathroom. Comforts of Homes offers both single and shared rooms.

Conforts of Home photo gallery

A minimum of 50 spaces have been pre-reserved for Sciences Po students. Sign up by 15th November 2015 to guarantee your spot!: http://comfortsofparis.com

Please contact Alexia Petty for more information

Private student residences

Lerichemont

Sciences Po has a partnership with the social housing organisation Lerichemont offering students shared accommodation in a social housing residence in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. This type of accommodation is reserved for Crous scholarship holders only.

If you would like to apply, please send us your completed application(PDF, 148 Ko) to Sciences Po’s housing office who will forward it directly to Lerichemont. Applications will be forwarded according to date of arrival.

Please only send completed applications. We will not send reminder emails and only completed applications will be sent to Lerichemont.

Contact : info.logement@sciencespo.fr

Sciences Po has many partnerships with private students' residences:

Housing benefit

CAF housing allowance

Individual and/or joint tenants may be entitled to housing benefits whether living in an unfurnished or furnished flat, home-stay, or student hall of residence. 

The accommodation must correspond to decent home standards (offer a minimum comfort: water, toilet, heating installations) and have a minimum floor area of 9 sq. metres.

The tenancy agreement must be in your name or that of your legal guardian, if you are a minor. You must not be a relative of the property owner (child or parent).

Students from outside the European Economic Zone must hold in their first year an extended-stay visa with residence permit (known as the VS-TS), and a residence permit in their second year.

The calculation of your housing benefit will take into account your income, the type of accommodation, the location and the amount of the rent.

For an estimate of your benefit entitlement please visit the CAF website.

For information in English or Spanish : http://www.caf.fr/ma-caf/caf-de-paris/offre-de-service/logement-et-cadre-de-vie

The CAF will be at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, from September 14 to November 25 (salle Nathan, 21 bd Jourdan, 75014 Paris) in order to help you with your application, even if you do not live at the CIUP.

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LA "CLÉ"

The CLÉ (Caution Locative Etudiante) is a State insurance allowing students without guarantor to have easier access to housing. The CLE is handled by the CROUS.

The CLÉ can be used by all students that:

Fore more informations and to apply : http://www.lokaviz.fr/n/a-qui-s-adresse-la-cle/n:473