Living in Europe | Accommodation | France

The accommodation search in France, especially at the beginning of the academic year, can be long and difficult. Therefore, we advise you not to wait until the last moment to start your search. 

A basic understanding of the French system will help you to find a decent housing. What documents need to be signed? What are the conditions to start a rent? What are the responsabilities of the tenant and the landlord?

Here are some practical information that may help you:


1/ Contact the International Relations Department of your host institution for more information

Accommodation for international students, doctoral students and researchers can be offered directly by your host institution. It can be CROUS (Regional Housing Office) housing but not only.

CROUS offers the cheapest accommodation options, but certain conditions need to be met. The university residences are located close to university campuses and restaurants.

Description of accommodation:

> Room : Rental from 01/09 to 30/06

- Standard room: 9 m2, single bed, table, chair, shelf, washbasin, wardrobe. Common areas: bathroom, kitchen and working room.

- Comfort room: from 9 m2 to 12 m2, single bed, table, chair, shelf, sink, wardrobe, refrigerator, small private bathroom with shower and WC. Common areas: kitchen and working room.

> Studios (reserved for doctoral students under student status) : Rent from 01/09 to 31/08

- Studio and T1

- T1 bis: surface of 30 m². T1 bis are accessible to couples

- Few T2: surface of 40 m². Priority for single persons with one child.

In some residences, studios adapted for people with disabilities or illness are also available.




You can rent your accommodation from a private owner (landlord) :

> Agency: visits with a real estate agency are free of charge; but if you decide to rent the accommodation, you will have to pay an agency fee (generally equivalent to one month of rent).

Tip: Avoid using a list called "marchand de liste" : these are specialised agencies, also called "rental offices", which offer a list of accommodation in exchange for a sum of money but without any guarantee of finding accommodation at your convenience.

> Notary: The notaries propose housing for rent.

> Private owner: You can contact the owners that publish advertisements (see below) directly and to rent the accommodation offered without having to use the agency (no expenses).

Tip: Beware of scams; we advise you not to pay for the accommodation from abroad without having visited it. Legally, you should be asked no money for your first rent and/or the security deposit before signing the lease and the handover of the keys.

  • Where to find accommodation offers?

On the internet:

  • Room in a private house or in a sharehouse

You will have your own room, sometimes with a private bathroom but share the rest of the promises with the owners or other housemates.


In the framework of its mission to help international researchers, EURAXESS France published a guide aiming at giving you the main keys to understand the French rental system.