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Renting in Paris 

Top 10 Things to Know

Renting in Paris is a new adventure so here is a quick overview of things to expect when reading the property rental ads or when getting ready to sign your lease.  

  • Most apartments do not come with a kitchen. If there is no kitchen you will need to buy everything including; cabinets, appliances, sometimes even a sink. You will also need to have everything installed. If there is a kitchen the ad will say "cuisine aménagée". 
  • Apartments are listed by the number of rooms "pieces" not by the number of bedrooms "chambres".   Other useful words cave - basement, wc - toilet, salle de bains - bathroom, jardin - garden, sejour - living room.
  • It's common to have a master bathroom with just a shower and sink but no toilet.  
  • Shower stalls and bathrooms in general tend to be very small, no doubt built for the tiny Parisians and not their larger European or American counterparts.
  • Older apartments offer more personality and charm but those beautiful old windows also mean no insulation.  Unless they have been updated kitchens and bathrooms tend to be small and  there is little to no closet space. 
  • Make sure any repairs are made before you move in.  Landlords often tell you they will take care of something only to let know once you have already unpacked that it will not be possible to make the repair after all.
  • A lot of apartment buildings in Paris have a "Guardian" who takes care of taking out the garbage, keeping the entrance clean, turning on the heat, and other small jobs around the building. A good relationship with your guardian is imperative. Don't forget to give her a tip at Christmas.  - See Tipping Guide
  • Even though your apartment has beautiful fire places in every room this does not mean that you can use any of them! Check your lease to see if fireplace use is permitted. Note: working fire places require annual chimney inspections and this is the responsibility of the tenant. 
  • Find out if utilities, parking and a storage area are included in the rent (le loyer). You can ask for approximate monthly costs for electricity, gas, water and heat.
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