This guide will help you to first understand and then find a guarantor in France, so that you can rent an apartment in any French city including Paris.
Introduction to the guarantor system
A guarantor in Paris acts as a financial safeguard for landlords, ensuring rent is paid should the tenant be unable to fulfill payment obligations.
Role and requirements of a guarantor
A guarantor is an individual or entity that agrees to cover rent if the tenant is unable to pay. To act as guarantor they must:
- Earn a minimum of three times the rent
- Provide Identification (a passport or French ID card)
- Proof of residency less than three months old (e.g an electricity bill)
- Provide recent tax returns
- Provide an employment contract and/or last three months of payslips
- (Optional) If they earn money via real estate or other investments, they must provide proof of this also
- (Optional) If the person is retired, they must also provide proof of their pension
Who requires a guarantor
Whether or not a tenant requires a guarantor varies based on the tenant’s profile. Consequently, individuals who require a guarantor are those who meet the criteria:
- Tenants under 30, including students and young professionals, are often required to have a guarantor.
- Non-EU residents are typically asked for a guarantor due to the lack of a local financial history.
- Individuals whose monthly income is less than three times the rent are likely to need a guarantor.
What do I do if I don’t have a guarantor in France?
If you don’t have an individual in France that can act as your guarantor, there are services that can act as a guarantor for you instead.
These services act as a guarantor for tenants who are unable to meet the requirements on their own.
Garantme caters to anyone who does not have an individual in France who can act as their guarantor. Instead, they offer a guarantor certificate after evaluating the renter’s financial situation. Subsequently, there is a fee for availing of such a service.
The service charges around 3.5% of the annual rent, which would be €840 for a €2,000 per month apartment.
Emma, an expat from Canada, is looking to rent a flat in Paris. Her annual rent is €24,000. She opts for Garantme, which costs her €840. She submits her documents online and receives a guarantor certificate to present to her potential landlords.
Visale is a government-backed scheme offering a rental deposit guarantee to renters under certain conditions, free of charge.
Eligibility and how it works
- Aimed at young workers, students, and those with modest incomes.
- Applicants must meet certain criteria and once approved, Visale acts as the guarantor.
Lucas, a 25-year-old student with a part-time job, finds an apartment for €800 per month. He applies for Visale, provides proof of income and student status, and is accepted. Visale guarantees his rent, reassuring the landlord without any cost to Lucas.
Caution bancaire: The bank guarantee
“Caution bancaire” is an option where the tenant deposits a sum of money in a bank account, which serves as a guarantee for the landlord.
Implementation and requirements
- Deposit Amount: Typically, a sum representing 6-12 months of rent is required.
- Account Type: The deposit is made into a special blocked account that neither party can access during the lease term. You will have to discuss with your bank how this will be setup. You may also be required to set this up in a French bank account.
How to open a French bank account ->
Example guarantor scenarios
Student tenant using Visale
A student rents a flat for €800 per month. They provide Visale with proof of enrolment and a part-time job contract. Visale acts as the guarantor, and the student pays no additional fees.
Professional tenant using Garantme
An expat employed with a salary of €2,500 per month finds an apartment that costs €1,000 per month. Their income does not meet the thrice-the-rent criterion, so they opt for Garantme, which charges them a fee based on the annual rent.
Tenant using caution bancaire
An expat with sufficient savings but no French guarantor opts for caution bancaire. They deposit €6,000, equivalent to six months of rent for a €1,000 per month apartment, into a blocked account.