Home » Welcome to France » Welcome Guide » Accommodation

Housing in France

Finding and renting accommodation in France can be quite difficult for international students. Before you arrive in France, start looking for accommodation as soon as possible. You can take certain steps from abroad. Don’t hesitate to book an accommodation, even temporary, so that you have a place to sleep and drop off your belongings when you arrive. This will give you time to look for permanent housing later on.

OMNES Education is happy to advise and guide you in your search for your future home!

First of all, there are different types of housing in France:

student residences, shared apartments, private apartments, housing in exchange for services and international housing.

We’ve put together all the information you need to help you find accommodation.

Our advice

How to find an accommodation?

Watch this video to find out everything
you need to know to find your future

  • Don’t wait until you arrive in France to look for accommodation. Apply remotely, whether for a room in a residence, a hostel or private accommodation.
  • Look for furnished rentals. You’ll save on moving costs.
  • Register on this government website helps you put together a concrete rental file to find the home of your dreams. It’s free, easy to use, and will reassure your future landlord because your file will be certified by the State.


When you are looking for a place to live! Here are some tips to help you identify and avoid them:

  • Beware of misleading email addresses and phone numbers.
  • Always make sure that the phone number listed works.
  • Beware if the landlord to whom you are paying a deposit claims that he or she cannot show you the apartment because he or she lives abroad, or claims to be currently traveling.
  • Make sure you receive a lease that clearly identifies your landlord. Ideally, a copy of your landlord’s identification should be provided.
  • Beware of prices that seem too good to be true. Fake ads are easy to create and particularly difficult to spot. Professional photos often reveal the falseness of the ad! In most cases, these are scams. You pay a first deposit without ever seeing the apartment or you end up with three other people in the same room. These practices are illegal. Please note that in France, a landlord cannot rent a space smaller than 9 m². One way to find out if this is a scam is to do a Google search with apartment photos (go to the search engine and click on “image” at the top right and “upload a photo”). If the same photo associated with the ad is located in different cities, it is a scam!
  • It is preferable to make payments by bank transfer in order to have a written record of payments.
  • Never send money remotely until you have signed a rental agreement and have had direct dealings with a landlord or real estate agent. Never send money to people you don’t know by money order like Western Union, Money Gram international money… These means are very often used by scammers because it is extremely complicated to follow the money sent and to identify the owner.
  • Never go to an appointment with the landlord if he or she asks you to bring cash.
  • Do not send money in advance to a landlord before visiting the apartment and signing a rental agreement.
  • Since March 2014, a landlord cannot ask you for a deposit of more than 2 months for unfurnished housing. For a furnished apartment, the deposit can correspond to two months of rent. In all cases, the amount of the security deposit is indicated in the lease contract and cannot exceed 2 months’ rent excluding charges.
  • Scammers may often appeal to compassion or pity in their dealings with you: a sick relative, a disability, the death of a loved one, or appeal to a moral argument: “I chose you because I am looking for an honest and respectful person” “to live in harmony and with respect for each other” or “is looking for a person of good character” and then asks you to pay the requested amount immediately.
  • If you feel pressured, threatened, or like the landlord is forcing you to sign or pay, do not sign any contract!
  • Often, in the case of a scam, the scammer claims that a lawyer (often also abroad) has to send various documents.
  • If you’ve been scammed, you can report illegal ads to the judicial authorities on the official website

Useful Resources

To learn more about your accommodation while studying in France, click here:

Our Partners in Accommodation

Enrolled as a student in OMNES Education schools, you can benefit from these partnerships with discount codes as well as personalized and easy access to accommodation.


OMNES Education schools have a partnership with the online accommodation site Studapart to help you find accommodation in France. Furnished, individual, shared, student residence or home-stay accommodation is available to suit all budgets, from a minimum of one month. Reservation requests must be made directly on the platform. All procedures are carried out online. You can also benefit from post-booking services such as home insurance and a home warranty. As an OMNES Education student, all you have to do is log on to the link above using your personal or school ID, create an account in the tenant area and start your accommodation search. Studapart staff are on hand to help via chat in several languages.


Paris-Hospitality is a dedicated organization offering complete solutions for international students on the housing market, making the process much smoother. The platform has the right answers for short and medium-term furnished rental requests that match your situation. Paris-Hospitality offers access to a wide range of accommodation solutions in Paris and its suburbs (individual apartments; shared houses or apartments; student residences; furnished or unfurnished) and facilitates the rental process. As an OMNES Education partner, students can benefit from discounts on booking fees. Be sure to ask for the discount code in order to benefit from it.


Spotahome lets you book a variety of medium to long-term accommodation online in over 30 countries and 100 cities in France and around the world. The accommodations advertised on the website are checked and visited by a professional photographer. Students can view, choose and book their ideal accommodation directly online, while benefiting from a 30% discount on booking fees thanks to a promotional code, or personalized assistance in their search for accommodation. As soon as you register, ask for the promo code and information on personalized support.

Disclaimer: the accommodation organizations and websites listed above are for information purposes only. OMNES Education does not benefit financially from any of them and cannot be held responsible in case of dispute or damage caused by the above accommodation providers.

Accommodation options by type of housing

If you are looking for other options, there are many types of accommodation you can find throughout France:

Host family

If you prefer to stay with a host family, you can consult Homestay

Shared apartment

If you prefer to live in a shared apartment, you can consult :

Intergenerational housing

If you prefer to live in intergenerational housing, you can consult :

Studio ou apartment

If you prefer to live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment, you can consult :

Temporary accommodation

If you are looking for temporary accommodation, you can consult :

Disclaimer: the accommodation organizations and websites listed above are for information purposes only. OMNES Education does not benefit financially from any of them and cannot be held responsible in case of dispute or damage caused by the above accommodation providers.


Student residences


Disclaimer: the accommodation organizations and websites listed above are for information purposes only. OMNES Education does not benefit financially from any of them and cannot be held responsible in case of dispute or damage caused by the above accommodation providers.


Real Estate Agencies

Real estate agencies can be a solution in your search for a home, but they will charge a fee for their service.

Student residences

Some of these residences have a partnership with OMNES Education schools, so do not hesitate to specify which school you are enrolled in when contacting the residence.

Disclaimer: the accommodation organizations and websites listed above are for information purposes only. OMNES Education does not benefit financially from any of them and cannot be held responsible in case of dispute or damage caused by the above accommodation providers.


Association that helps students find housing:

Center Régional d’Information Jeunesse Nouvelle-Aquitaine (CIJA)

5 rue Duffour Dubergier

125 cours Alsace et Lorraine


Telephone: 05 56 56 00 56 or

Student residences

Real Estate Agencies

Real estate agencies can be a solution in your search for a home, but they will charge a fee for their service.

  • Cabinet CORIM
  • Citya Bordeaux Real Estate
  • Century 21 Cabinet Rollin
  • Foncia Victoire
  • Agence Les Terrains D’Aquitaine
  • Cabinet DEMONS
  • Real Estate Flash
  • Cabinet Bedin Immobilier

Disclaimer : The accommodation organizations and websites listed above are for information purposes only. OMNES Education does not benefit financially from any of them and cannot be held responsible in case of dispute or damage caused by the above accommodation providers.


Student residences

If you wish to reserve a room in one of the residences below, please inform the international office in mid-June for the fall semester and in December for the spring semester.

Disclaimer: the accommodation organizations and websites listed above are for information purposes only. OMNES Education does not benefit financially from any of them and cannot be held responsible in case of dispute or damage caused by the above accommodation providers.

Mandatory Administrative Procedures

The guarantor

When looking for housing in France, French or foreigners are required to provide a guarantor. The guarantor is legally responsible in case of non-payment by you. It provides financial security that reassures your landlord: with a guarantor by your side, the landlord has confidence in your ability to pay your rent in full on time. Your guarantor must be a French tax resident and must provide a pay slip proving that his or her financial income is at least equal to three times the amount of the rent for the apartment. This is a big commitment, which is why it can be difficult to find one when moving to France.

You can obtain a rental garantee on our partners plateform :

  3. Or the free of charge option VISALE, the rental garantee of the government:

Through the VISALE system, the French government provides rental guarantees if you rent an apartment or room in a student residence. We advise you to start the VISALE process as soon as possible – even before you arrive in France – because the process takes a long time. To be eligible, you must be between 18 and 30 years old. It is not necessary to know your address in France to obtain a VISALE certificate of eligibility (called a “visa”).

Please note: When presenting the VISALE certificate to the landlord, the landlord has the option of accepting or rejecting prospective tenants who wish to use the VISALE system to guarantee payment of their rent and other charges. The VISALE must be accepted by the landlord prior to the signing of the rental agreement.

Please find the Campus France tuto here: Campus France tutorial: the VISALE guarantee

Housing insurance

Whether you live in a student residence or in a private apartment, you must purchase home insurance from an insurance company or bank. Basic insurance covers household damage and incidents such as fire, burglary and flooding. Proof of homeowner’s insurance must be given to the landlord before receiving the keys to the apartment. If you can’t get one from your bank, you can obtain one with our partners:

  3. Or the student insurance company HEYME

As a student at an OMNES Education school, you can benefit from a discount when you subscribe to their offer. Contact your school for more information.

Disclaimer : The home insurance websites listed above are provided for information only. OMNES Education does not benefit financially from any of them and cannot be held responsible in the event of litigation or prejudice caused by the insurance providers listed above.

Room check or “état des lieux”

The “état des lieux” is a crucial non-mandatory document that is usually annexed to the lease. We strongly advise students to insist on having one. There are two parts to the “état des lieux”:

  • “Etat des lieux entrant” the incoming inventory (when you start renting the apartment)
  • “Etat des lieux sortant” the outgoing inventory (when you leave the apartment).

The tenant is responsible for drawing up the room check with the landlord or the agency. Typically, the tenant and landlord visit the apartment together and go over all the details of the apartment by asking and answering a series of questions, such as: Do the doors close properly? Are there holes in the walls? Has the apartment been freshly painted? Do the shower and sink drain properly? Are there any broken tiles in the kitchen? Is the apartment clean? Are there significant scratches on the floors, etc.?

Together the tenant and landlord answer and document all these types of questions. Once the visit is complete, both parties sign the “état des lieux entrant.” When the tenant is ready to leave the flat, both parties will use the “état des lieux entrant” as a reference document and together they will look for new problems or damage to the apartment. If there is no new damage, then the “état des lieux sortant” will be exactly the same as the “état des lieux entrant” and the deposit will be fully refunded to the tenant. If there is new damage, then this damage will be documented on the “état des lieux sortant” and the tenant will not receive a full refund of the security deposit as the tenant will have to pay for the damages. For example, if the apartment was very clean and documented on the “état des lieux entrant”, but very dirty for the “état des lieux sortant”, the tenants will have to pay for a maid service to clean the apartment. It is therefore important to create a detailed “état des lieux entrant” and to keep a copy so you know what you are responsible for and what was already there when you moved into the flat. 


  • During the inventory, it is preferable to be accompanied by a native French speaker, it could help you.
  • It is also recommended to take digital photos or a video of the apartment before moving in and send them to the landlord to avoid any future disputes. If you discover a hidden defect after you move in (during the first 20 days), inform the landlord immediately by sending a registered letter.
  • Your deposit cannot exceed two months’ rent and this amount must be returned to you, less any charges for damage you may have caused.
  • The deposit cannot be used to refurnish the apartment.

Security deposit or guarantee

For all types of accommodation, a deposit will be required. The security deposit is a sum paid directly to the owner by the tenant before moving in. It must be mentioned in the lease. The amount varies between one and two months’ rent (excluding charges) depending on the type of accommodation concerned (furnished or unfurnished). The security deposit is a sum intended to cover the damages noted at the time of your departure and which are directly attributed to you justifying a non-refund of the security deposit. This amount must cover all or part of your rental debt at the time of your departure. Except in the case of major damage or unpaid rent, the security deposit will be refunded in full or in part after your departure – at the latest two months after the return of the keys.

Electricity and gas

If you are renting an apartment, and electricity and gas are not included in the rent, you will have to open an account with suppliers.

Many energy suppliers operate in France. There are the traditional utilities (EDF, ENGIE) and others have appeared with the opening of the market to competition (Direct Energie, Total Spring, Eni, Planète Oui, among others).

If you rent a room in a university residence, the cost of electricity and gas will probably be included in your rent. In this case, you will not have to contact the electricity and gas suppliers.

Below you will find several suppliers:

To subscribe to an offer, you must provide the following information:

  • The housing contract
  • The name of the last tenant (don’t forget to ask your landlord)
  • The electricity (and/or gas) meter identification number
  • Your bank statement (IBAN or RIB) – if you have a French bank account.

For more information, visit

Disclaimer: The electricity and gas websites listed above are for information purposes only. OMNES Education does not receive any financial benefit from them and cannot be held responsible in the event of a dispute or damage caused by the above-mentioned service providers.


The tension of the French electrical system is different. The French electrical system, like that of most European countries, is 220 volts at 50 cycles. The plugs take a standardized format with two or three round pins. Hairdryers, chargers, electric shavers and all other electrical appliances require an adapter and a voltage converter. Most can be adapted fairly easily, but seek advice and be sure to purchase an adapter and converter before leaving your home country, especially for expensive devices. The residence or school does not have voltage adapters or converters.

French Government Housing Subsidy (CAF)

Once you have your accommodation rental contract, you may apply to the “Caisse d’Allocations Familiales “(CAF) which is a social fund that helps subsidize student housing on a monthly basis. The most common subsidy is the “aide personnalisée au logement (APL)” which you can obtain if you are a single student or a couple with or without dependents and living in a subsidized housing unit in metropolitan France. The French government allows international students or other EU students who are studying in France and have a Long Stay Permit to obtain this housing subsidy.

The amount will depend on how much rent you pay, your personal situation, and the type of apartment you rent. The APL can be sent to you as the beneficiary directly or it can be sent to the landlord which means you will pay less rent each month.

The requirements are :
  • live in a studio or individual apartment named on the rental agreement.
  • have a French bank account (to receive the bank transfer)
  • have a French health insurance or a European Health Insurance Card for EU citizens
  • have a home insurance
  • have applied for your residence permit (if applicable).

For example, a 20 m² studio apartment for a single person, with a monthly rent of €700, can receive a subsidy of up to €200 per month. Please note that grants do not begin until the month following the date of application (not when you move in). We therefore advise you to make your request as soon as you arrive in your apartment.

The key steps in applying for and obtaining this assistance are :
  1. Run a simulation: you can find out your entitlements in advance by running a simulation. To do this, go to CAF – Make a simulation
  2. Create an account here to register, you need your final social security number, your visa (or residence permit) and your passport, as well as your telephone number and e-mail address.
  3. Apply as soon as the lease begins: to do this, you will need the following documents before you start: passport, visa/residence permit, certificate of school enrollment , French bank details (RIB), your income (if you have any), your lease or rental contract, CROUS certificate (if you live in a CROUS residence).
  4. Check the status of your application: by accessing your account on MonCompte or on the Caf MonCompte mobile app.
  5. Receive your payment: it will be deposited in your account two months after you move in, as the first month does not count (if you move in in September, your first payment will be made at the beginning of November).

FInd the tutorials here :

I create an CAF account_(document not translated yet)



I apply for an private accommodation



I apply for a university residence Outside CROUS



I apply for a university residence CROUS



Do you have a problem? At any time, you can call the number dedicated to student housing assistance

09 69 32 52 52 (price of a local call), accessible anywhere in France.

If you live in a shared apartment:

When you apply for the APL, your name must appear on the lease, as well as that of your roommates, and each occupant must make their own application to the CAF. Note that the resources of each roommate are also taken into account to determine the amount of APL paid.

Housing tax

The taxe d’habitation is an annual tax that concerns all persons who rent a dwelling on January 1st of each year. Your landlord can also pay this tax directly. They may ask you to pay the tax up front when you move in, or they may include the amount in your rent. In both cases, ask for written confirmation and receipts. This tax is collected for each type of accommodation (house, apartment, studio, residence, student, etc.), and if there are several students living in the accommodation, the tax must be shared among all the roommates. The amount is approximately equivalent to your monthly rent. Please note that any student staying for a year or arriving in the accommodation in January will have to pay this tax. It is mandatory under French law.

Phone and Internet

If you wish to have a phone package during your stay in France, you have several options. You can get a package from your home country or buy a prepaid card in France. Make sure your phone accepts international Sim cards.

Cell phone operators in France: there are four main cell phone operators: Orange, SFR, Bouygues Télécom and Free mobile. They have offers that are probably right for you: unlimited calls to mobiles in France, USA and Canada + unlimited calls to landlines in 45 countries + unlimited SMS + unlimited internet (3G/3G+). Their package is non-binding, so you can end it at any time. These offers are “Sosh”, “Red”, “B&You” and “Free Mobile”. Note that in France, you only pay for outgoing calls and messages, not for incoming calls (although this may be different for international calls). We recommend that you use Facetime or WhatsApp to call your family, as international calls are often very expensive.

Internet: if Internet connection is included in your rent, you don’t have to worry about finding an Internet service provider. If the owner doesn’t provide one, you’ll need to obtain a connection. The main Internet service providers in France are Free, Orange, Bouygues Télécom and SFR. In Paris and the suburbs, you can get a triple-play offer almost anywhere, which includes unlimited Internet access (usually from 4 to 20 Mb/s, depending on where you live), a telephone line (usually with unlimited international calls), and a number of TV channels of varying degrees of interest. A triple play offer costs around €30/month. It may take a few weeks to open your line.



Tips :

  • Look for student offers!
  • Check with your bank to see if they offer
  • Do not hesitate to consult the comparative platforms on the internet

Furnishing your home

Once you have found your home, it is time to furnish it, if it is not already furnished.

Partner of OMNES Education, MondoPal is a platform on which you can order and have delivered all the essentials per room: bedroom (sheets, pillows, comforters, etc.), kitchen (plates, cutlery, utensils, frying pans, etc.), bathroom (towels, carpets, etc.) for moving into your new home. It’s quick and easy to use, so you don’t have to rent a car to get to IKEA or a shopping mall. You’ll be delivered to your home or to a relay point, on the day and at the time of your choosing, from Monday to Saturday.

As an OMNES Education student, you will receive a discount on MondoPal fees. Be sure to ask for the discount code in order to benefit from it.

Geev: Geev is a platform where users donate various objects and furniture for free. It’s an opportunity to complete your home without spending a cent.


Anc. ancienAn older building
Appt. appartementAn apartment /flat
A rafr. A rafraîchirTo refresh = needs decoration
Asc. ascenseurA lift / an elevator
Etat des lieuxState of the apartment / Room check
Bail or Contrat de locationRental contract or rental agreement
Blc (ou balc.) balconBalcony
Bur. bureauStudy room/an office
Caractère. characterWith something unusual
CC or Cc*1 / Ch.incluses = charges comprises *1Only some of the extra charges are included in the rent *1
Cft.confort Comfortable
Ch ou chbre.chambreBedroom
Ch. chauffageHeating
Ch. coll. chauffageShared heating
Colocataire ou colocA roommate/ flatemate
Cuis. cuisineKitchen
Cuis.eq. Cuisine équipéeEquipped kitchen
Dépôt de garantie or CautionA security deposit
Dche. doucheShower
F1 (or T1) or “une pièce”Apartment with kitchen, bathroom and 1 room (living room and bedroom in one)
F2 (or T2)Apartment with kitchen, bathroom, 1 living room and 1 bedroom
F3 (or T3) Apartment with kitchen, bathroom, 1 living room and 2 bedrooms
Hors ch. hors charges*1Charges*1 not included
Part. particulierThe owner himself is offering an accommodation
PréavisAN advance notice
Quittance de loyerRental receipt
Ref. nf. refait neufNewly remodeled
Rdc. rez-de-chausseGround floor, street level (UK) First floor (US)
S. d’eau. salle d’eauNo bath, just a shower and a basin
Sdb. salle de bainsBathroom
S/cour. sur courOverlooking a yard
T.b.e. trés bon étatVery good condition
TCC*2 . toutes charges comprisesAll extra charges are included in the rent
Vice cachéA problem that was not told

*1 Service chargesare expenses related to the accommodation that are paid by the landlord, and for which the landlord is entitled to demand reimbursement (these may include water, electricity, heating, etc.).

*2 “960 euros TCC” means that you will only pay 960 euros per month (€900 rent and €60 service charges).

Before your return

At the end of your semester, when you leave your home for good, remember to terminate all the contracts you have signed.

  • Accommodation: you are legally obliged to give your landlord one or three months’ notice of your departure date (depending on what is stated in the lease – this is something you need to pay attention to when you move in). The French Public Service can help you draw up your letter of notice.
  • CAF: you must make sure you inform your CAF of your departure by changing your address on your online account, so that they can stop APL payments. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay back the money after you’ve left.
  • Electricity & gas: you must inform your supplier as soon as possible when you know the date of your departure. You can call them at any time and/or send them a – “Cancellation letter”. You can find many models online, such as this one.
  • Cell phone & Internet: if you’ve had to subscribe to an Internet service provider, be sure to check the regulations on cancelling a subscription. You must write and send a cancellation letter by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt. Please note that your suppliers may charge you termination fees. When your supplier receives your letter, they have 10 days to terminate your contract. For further details and information, please consult the French Public Service website.

Souvenirs: and of course, don’t forget to bring back a souvenir for your loved ones 😉.

Updated 23 February 2024