Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Friday, February 13, 2009

Back to the drawing board

I'm so frustrated right now. I went to look at an apartment for rent Tuesday night, which meant I had to cancel my date with Crystal. (Btw, I'm still really sorry about that dear!!). Unfortunately it was all for nothing too - there were at least 20 people in line in front of me and another 20 or so people in line behind me (with more arriving as a I left), meaning I, the little old foreigner, had little to no chance of getting the place. It wasn't perfect, but it was a decent apartment at a good price and the location was okay too - about 10 minutes walk from where I live now.

But even though I have a CDI (permanent job contract), am gone half the month for work (equals no partying) and make a lot more than your average French person, the competition is such that pretty much no one will take me because I don't have anyone in France to act as my guarantor. No one** wants to rent to some random foreigner when there are stacks of Frenchies with parents willing to sign their life away in order to get their (adult) child an apartment, no matter how much you make. It's just so frustrating - I explained my story to her, and offered her to give her the contact info for previous landlords as references, but she wasn't having any of it. All she cared about was renting to someone who had a stupid garant in France. I understand that law is on the tenant's side and that it's really hard to evict a non-paying locataire (especially during the winter months), but I think a lot of owners are taking it way too far. Sigh. Things are so much easier when you're in a relationship with a Frenchie and have French in-laws who can sign for you.

Which is why I decided to put this out there on the internets with the hope that someone out there may hear/know of something. It doesn't really matter to me if I live alone or in a colocation, but what is important is the location. I would much rather stay where I live now than live in the suburbs or on the outskirts of Paris. For my mental health, I need to be in a place that's active & transport-friendly, with easy & fast access to the city center (& the train stations). So if anybody hears of anything in the next few months, please pass it on my way.

I guess the good thing is that for the moment, I'm not desperate - worst case scenario I stay here and continuing being able to save tons of money on rent. But on the other hand, it'd be nice to have a place bigger than a size of a walk-in closet. One that has a real bathroom and a place for guests to stay and that I wouldn't be ashamed to show to my family. Y'all know what I'm saying.... though actually, if you've never lived in Paris, you probably don't! *S*

**I should clarify here that there are landlords out there willing to rent to foreigners - they just charge prices that are even higher than normal!! Or their apartments are in sketchy neighborhoods, lol.



Blogger L said...

Can your bank be the garant ? I know some banks offer no interest loans for the agency fee or the security deposit, and I want to say that there are banks that will be your guarantee. Hmmm... to be researched. As for finding for rent signs, don't forget to check out the Bureau des Etudiants Etrangers or Bureau de Mobilité de l'Etudiant at the univerisities around town. People put signs up there when they want to a rent an appartment to students.

February 13, 2009 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger L said...


February 13, 2009 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

If you keep saving money on rent, perhaps you could build up a nice little down payment on a place of your own...

February 13, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger L'Étrangère Americaine said...

There are people out there willing to rent to foreigners and are willing to look past having a guarantor. It is possible but it just may take more time.

Negativity breeds negativity. If you are convinced no one will rent to you and you won't find an apartment then no one will rent to you and you will never find an apartment.

Hop on the positivity bandwagon for once, it's a wild ride.

February 13, 2009 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

If you have the cash, do une caution bancaire. It'll put you in the front of the queue everytime. When I told landlords I was willing to do that, I had them calling me!

Oh yeah, is a good option too.

February 13, 2009 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

hey no worries about tuesday ! i'll take a raincheck...sorry bout the apartment but I'm sure something will come along. Hey I got married for a work permit, why dont you shack up with a frenchie with rich parents to act as guarantors? :p

February 13, 2009 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

My very recent experience is that even your French in-laws can't act as garants. They have to be "real" family, not in-laws. However, you can "pas figurer sur le bail" and they can act as garants for your Frenchie. Fun.

February 13, 2009 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger La Framéricaine said...


Have you ever thought of looking through academia for a room mate? There are a lot of U.S. academics who keep a pied à terre in France/Paris and use is very rarely. Perhaps, given your schedule, you could connect with an American owner of property in France who would absolutely love to have a paying housesitter.

I do have to agree with your other commenter that positive, creative visualization is the way to go. You only need one home, one person willing to welcome you to live in an abode. You might try a little paradigm shift on this project and see yourself housed in the place of your dreams, regardless of where it comes from. You can do it. You've done so much more. You get what you concentrate one. Concentrate on your bliss and investigate other avenues. I suggest academia.

Just a thought... And very best of luck with the lodging project.


February 13, 2009 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Thanks L, but I don't qualify for Locapass because of my employment situation. Fab & I used them when we first came to France though for our caution.

And Ali, that's my goal - and what makes me think maybe it's worth toughing it out where I am now for a year or so.

Jasmin - thanks for the encouragement pal, it's much appreciated. It's not because I wrote a frustrated post that I'm giving up or being negative. Trust me, Fab is the master of dealing with women over 40 and I learned a lot from watching him over the years. I pulled out my best skills with her & she wasn't having any of it. Which is her choice.

And Andrea, I'll check out the caution bancaire idea - I hadn't thought of that.

Rebecca - at least at our apartment in V-town, Fab's dad was the garant for both of us. It's France though, so I'm assuming it doesn't work that way everywhere. But I know of cases where friends have 'porter garant' for other friends, so I think it's all a case of finding someone willing to act as a garant for you.

Framéricaine, that would be great, but the question is - how does one go about finding that kind of situation? I think a lot of that stuff happens by word of mouth (hence my post).

February 14, 2009 at 12:01 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

I guess my main problem is - I don't need a loan for the caution or for the rent. I have a really good salary, I have a lot of money in the bank - I just need to find some way to convince someone that I'm a minimal risk.

February 14, 2009 at 12:02 AM  
Blogger Thiruppathy Raja said...

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October 31, 2011 at 7:25 AM  

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