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Renting an apartment in Paris: four criteria to take into account

Made the decision to move to the French capital? In that case, we have some tips to help you decide how to go about it.

Anyone attracted to urban city living would be well advised to search for accommodation close to the city centre and should also put together a file testifying to their suitability and attractiveness as a potential tenant, complete with requisite documents (ID for example), etc. Searching for an apartment in Paris can basically be highly competitive and something of a battleground.

But don’t worry: with the right preparation and proper organisation, you’ll be able to find your heart’s desire. Paris is a wonderful city famous for its historic monuments, romantic little streets and vibrant, highly active cultural scene.

The desired arrondissement

Depending on your lifestyle and personal interests, there will inevitably be some districts to put at the top of your list and others you’ll need to rule out. Where the Rive Gauche is concerned, the 15th and 14th arrondissements are calm and quiet in character, and well-served by public transport. If you’re looking for a family oriented feel and environment or a detached house with a courtyard, the 15th will be ideal. Focus your search on the 14th If a leafy area with a high concentration of residential properties is more your cup of tea.

Where the Rive Droite is concerned, the 11th, 19th, 12th and 20th arrondissements are districts that are well on the up. With their little cobbled streets, coffee shops and trendy restaurants, these districts are particularly favoured by many Parisians themselves when it comes to trying to find luxurious but affordable apartments.

If you’re actively looking for an apartment to rent in Paris, we absolutely recommend going through a reputable agency such as john-taylor.com.


Given that every family is unique, make sure you have in mind the type of property you want and the amount of space you require before you start looking. Consider whether you want something highly spacious or smaller and cosier, with or without one or more additional bedrooms, with a separate lounge or open-plan kitchen, etc. In short, you need to visualise the feel and ambiance of the place in which you want to live and decide how much rent you’re willing to pay.

A few reminders:
– Studio flats can be fine for single people, though you’ll need to furnish and arrange it cleverly to maximise the amount of free space available.
– The ideal size in terms of area is around 34 m² for three people and 38 m² for four.
– Property areas are calculated in accordance with the French “Loi Carrez” (Carrez Law), which defines habitable space as requiring a celing at least 1.8 metres high (around 5 ft 11 in).

Apartment style

Modern, old-fashioned, high-ceilinged or loft style? There’s something for every taste! The French capital has many quintessentially Parisian style buildings. In Haussmannian-style apartments, for example, you can take state-of-the-art Hungarian point wood flooring, mouldings and indeed even a fireplace for granted. Another architectural style much in evidence in Paris is the loft apartment, complete with exposed beams – just the ticket for creating a romantic, cocoon-like ambiance. And if you don’t want to rent in Paris but in the south of France : 10 tips for finding the perfect rental in South of France.

Features and facilities

Don’t forget to draw up a list of the essential features, facilities and “little extras” you require. If you have a car, motorbike or bicycle, for example, a parking space will come in very useful. The winning argument in favour? The cost of parking!

If you want to be able to make the most of warm summer evenings and have the option of breakfasting in the open air, an apartment with a patio is a must. One proviso however: make sure the patio opens out onto a rear courtyard or a quiet street, otherwise you risk being overwhelmed by noise and pollution.

If you’re planning to stay for the mid- to long-term, going for an unfurnished rental will allow you to completely personalise the layout and decoration.

So, once you’ve decided what the criteria for your property are and put together everything you need for your prospective tenant file, all that will remain for you to do is begin looking for that dream apartment. Keep a close eye on the ads and look out for any good opportunities that might come along, and consider visiting the various districts at different times of the day to get a good feel for the local atmosphere.

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