Écrit par Marine ● 4/6/18 5:39 PM

5 Tips to avoid housing traps

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You’re looking for a place to live? Be careful! You can easy fall into traps!

Every new school year, many students participate in the race for housing. However, in a hurry it is easy to fall into real estate traps. Students who are the less wealthy and are often in a hurry to find a solution, are the most affected. So, beware of fraudulent posts online. Here are 5 tips to avoid them.

1- Never pay by cash

In large cities, many scams exist in housing rentals. The most common scam is to attract the renter with a very competitive offer and then ask them for a cash deposit. Usually, for a cash deposit you will receive a slip with a simple identification number. To get your money, the scammer will need this number and so, will tend to insist on you to get it. Generally speaking do not pay anything, until you sign a lease. If you have any doubt about who you are talking to, turn to the certified online rental websites, that will be able to verify if the offer you found is real or not.

 2 - Choose an appropriate search website

If you do not want to go through real estate agencies, some students are looking for a P2P housing rental. To do so, they use the dedicated rental websites. Among these websites, the most reliable are ParuVendu, Leboncoin, PAP, LocService, ImmoJeune... Do not hesitate to vary the number of search sites.


3 - What to know about the lease

Verify that the lease includes the following:

  • the rental start date and the duration
  • the usage type of the rental (private, professional or both)
  • the monthly rent, the payment terms and rent adjustment terms
  • the monthly charges
  • the deposit: it is not mandatory, but equal a month's rental and returnable when tenants leave.
  • the terms of termination of the lease
  • the extra charges coverage, or not: electricity, gas, wifi…


The duration of the lease varies between 1 year for furnished apartments (9 months for some student contracts) and 3 years for unfurnished apartments. The lease is tacitly renewed at the end of this period. The tenant can leave the accommodation if he informs the owner 3 months before his departure. To terminate the lease, we advise the tenant to send a registered letter with an receipt, to the agency or to the owner.


4 - Check the amount of agency fees

Each agency has the obligation to clearly display the prices of its services. Notice that, unlike the deposit, these fees are not paid back when leaving the apartment. This amount can vary between 8 and 12 € / m2 depending on the geographical area and the service proposed.


5 - State of entry

Before moving in, it is essential to schedule a check-in inventory. Usually, it is a formal agreement signed by both parties. It is an insurance for the landlord to check if the tenant has fulfilled his obligations regarding repairs and maintenance. In summary, if the tenant returns the housing in the state in which they took it, their deposit will be fully returned. If not, the costs of repair and cleaning will be deducted from the deposit.


In conclusion, knowing the pitfalls to avoid when looking for housing will give you the necessary confidence for your upcoming visits. The best advice is to rush no decision. Do not pay anything until you sign the lease and use trustful websites that will put you in contact with certified owners.