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Finding an apartment in Paris

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Un Japonais
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Inscrit le: 10 Oct 2005
Messages: 8
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MessagePosté le: 10 Oct 2005 22:22    Sujet du message: Finding an apartment in Paris

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I am Japanese guy who has moved to from Japan to France with my family appx. 1 month ago.

I'm currently looking for an apartment in or around Paris.
I had an apartment which I was interested and I wanted to ask to lower the rent. But actually what happened finally was that agency or landlord has increased the rent for 50 euros saying that they have made some mistake at the beginning. (There's no way for me to know if it's true or not...)
I was surprised and disappointed by this excuse. I don't know what has happened to them. Does this happen often in France?

Does anyone have good idea to negotiate or convince the agency (landlord) anyhow?
I appreciate so much for your advices/comments. Very Happy
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eve
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Inscrit le: 20 Sep 2003
Messages: 2435
Points: 26642
Pays, Ville: Tokyo

MessagePosté le: 10 Oct 2005 23:07    Sujet du message:

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Hello Un Japonais,

I don't think it's very common to negotiate the rent price in France, at least I haven't heard of people doing it. I don't know about the 50e... it may have been an honest mistake, or not.

As you may know, in the recent years in Paris it has become extremely hard to rent appartments and even the worst flats are now overpriced.
It's especially hard for foreigners. With people literally waiting in line to rent flats, I don't know if it's possible to negotiate, since the landlord, who will probably choose a French person over a foreigner, can just pick the next person.

The cases where you can negotiate are the ones where nobody else wants the flat. You can try to lower the commodities price if you can contact the landlord. This may be harder with an agency because the agency will already have adjusted the price to the market's level (while landlords directly looking for tenants will usually rent at a higher price).

If you can afford it, maybe you could try to negotiate by offering to make a bank warranty on the rents (ie the bank will block 1 months worth of rent on our account) and/or paying a few months by advance. This is a "plus" you will have to offer compared to other potential tenants and this may enable you negotiate. It's also a way to convince landlords who are reluctant to rent to foreigners.
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Un Japonais
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Inscrit le: 10 Oct 2005
Messages: 8
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MessagePosté le: 11 Oct 2005 00:41    Sujet du message: Thank you so much for your advice

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Hello eve,

I appreciate so much for your quick response as we need good information as soon as possible to take a quick and effective action.

Could you explain me bit more about "a bank warranty"? Could we have such kind of financial product in banks?
I would like to take a consideration about "a bank warranty" and "paying a few months by advance" right now.

To tell you more detail, we have succeeded to remove "100 euro car parking fee" away from the monthly rent as we don't have car. But after that, agency told us to increase 50 euros for the apartment itself and they are saying that they made a mistake. (It sounds like an bad excuse...) Thus, we still see slight chance to negotiate with the agency. At least worth giving a try as we have nothing to lose even we fail the negotiation.

Can you think of any benefit or advantage for the landlord of "having Japanese family" as a tenant?
If the landlord is trying to avoid foreigner, there's not much I can do.

But thanks anyway for your useful information.
Looking forward to hearing again from you soon. Razz
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2eme Dan
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MessagePosté le: 11 Oct 2005 10:09    Sujet du message:

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Hi Un Japonais,
From your post it appears that you would be willing to pay a few months upfront.
Why not taking advantage of your cashflow to say to the agency "Hey, how about you forget about your 50 euros and in exchange we pay 3 months in advance ?" ?
In my humble opinion, that could give you an edge over the other would-be tenants.

In Paris, Japanese people have the following reputation in general :
  • Reliable
  • Wealthy
  • Quiet

All this is in your favor, so my guess is that the landlord would love to have a Japanese family in his/her appartment. Moreover, "family" means stability, which is another reassuring factor for the owner.
The only things I see as potential problems are :
  • your being foreigners (if the owner is a racist narrow-minded s.o.b.). As you pointed out yourself, nothing much to do in that case.
  • your kids. To some people, "kids" means trouble : graffitis on the walls, noise for your neighbors downstairs, and general lifespan of appliances drastically shortened.
    But then again, Japanese kids have a reputation for being specially responsible.

Good luck ! がんばてね。。。 Smile
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eve
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MessagePosté le: 11 Oct 2005 16:00    Sujet du message:

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Hello again,

Well De ci de la gave some very good advice, so I'll just add a few things. As he said, people who have been in contact with Japanese and/or know a bit about them will be in favor of renting to Japanese tenants. In addition to being thought as "Reliable", "wealthy" and "quiet" they're also thought to keep the place clean.

This is a bit of a side note, but still some people don't know much/anything about Japanese: some people mix up all Asians and a few months ago there was a scandal about the so-called "ravioli restaurants" when it was found out some Asian illegal immigrants were making Chinese/Vietnamese food for restaurants/cators in tiny appartements, using the beds and furniture as 'tables', in terrible conditions, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear it's become harder for some Asians to rent since that story.

If you want to discuss the pros of having Japanese people renting, you can always give these arguments to the agency or landlord (Japanese pay timely, are very reliable, clean, etc) and tell them they can easily check about this and everyone will tell them the same thing.

Citation:
Could you explain me bit more about "a bank warranty"? Could we have such kind of financial product in banks?
I would like to take a consideration about "a bank warranty" and "paying a few months by advance" right now.


A bank warranty (not sure this is the proper term in English; in French it's Caution bancaire) can be used when a tenant doesn't have a garant, or guarantor (保証人) in France. I am not sure what the procedure to make one is, but it's very likely simply done at your bank. An amount of money equivalent to xx months of rent will be blocked on your bank account. The bank account acts as a guarantor and if you fail to pay the rent, it will be automatically taken from this blocked money.

This is pretty much the same as paying a few months in advance.
It will definitely be a good argument if the landlord is reluctant, or requires a guarantor in France (which is the case for most landlords as far as I know). If you can afford to pay even only 3 months in advance or do the bank warranty thing, it will definitely be easier for you. If you can afford it, I would definitely recommend using this argument.

To give you an example of another situation like this one, a friend of mine who's a Japanese raised in France tried to rent a small appartment in Paris when her parents went back to Japan indefinitely. She no longer had a guarantor in France since her parents were in Japan, and she had no other family in France. So she had to make the bank warranty thing, and she was able to rent it rather easily, however she said the procedure was a bit long and it was hard getting one year's worth of rent on her bank account.
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Un Japonais
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Inscrit le: 10 Oct 2005
Messages: 8
Points: 42

MessagePosté le: 11 Oct 2005 22:55    Sujet du message: Let's give a try!

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Thanks for the useful advice!
I will give a try tomorrow (Oct. 12th) and the day after (Oct. 13th).
Wish me luck!!! Wink
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Sonka
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Inscrit le: 14 Oct 2004
Messages: 123
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Pays, Ville: Beaujolais

MessagePosté le: 12 Oct 2005 14:43    Sujet du message:

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I fully agree with that fact that Japanese people have a good image. I even once knew of landlords who would rent their appartments only to Japanese people!

Hope you can find something good anyway, keep us posted!

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Michael_Voyageur
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Inscrit le: 21 Sep 2003
Messages: 2578
Points: 47643
Pays, Ville: Paris, France - Tokyo, Japan

MessagePosté le: 12 Oct 2005 16:01    Sujet du message: Some resources

 Note du Post : 5   Nombre d'avis : 2
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HI there,

I also agree with all the good advices given above,
especially if you can aford it, the work-around of blocking an amount of money on a bank acount for the rent has proven many times to work out very well, I also know some japanese friends who had to use this work-around to find a flat in Paris and it worked out.
The problem is that if you plan to stay for 1 year or more, this is quite a big expense at a tough time when you just arrive to France and need to settle;

Otherwise, I'd like to remind here a few ways to look for a flat in Paris. There are a few publications such as "Particulier à Particulier" which provide a huge list of locations or flat for sale... But I would say if you can use internet you should use it at your advantage. There are quite a few great resource on the French internet to find a flat :

Arrow INTERNET RESOURCES

Particulier à Particulier : This is the first/best resource to rent/buy flats/homes in France
http://www.pap.fr/uk/immobilier/offres/offre-location.asp

Yahoo Classifieds : also provides very good classifieds, actually I found one of the flat I rented in Paris through their anounces
http://fr.realestate.yahoo.com/

Some other sites, I put those also, but I think they maybe less efficient, or for some of them a little expensive
FNAIM : this is the website of one of the bigest real estate agency in France
http://www.fnaim.fr/immobilier/location-appartement-paris.aspx

CENTURY 21 : the website of another agency
http://www.century21france.fr/trouver_logement/annonces_location/index.php?

SE LOGER.COM one of the many real estate search portals
http://www.seloger.com/annonces.htm?idtt=1

EXPLORIMMO another of those
http://www.explorimmo.com/RechercheLocation.shtml?meuble=0

http://www.paris-apts.com/index.htm

http://www.apartment-paris.com/en/


Arrow The Japanese Bookstores

One other solution is to go the Japanese bookstores "JUNKUDO" and "BOOK OFF" near Opera, you will find there many announces for Japanese people !
JUNKUDO Japanese Bookstore
Address : 18 rue des Pyramides 75001
tel. 01 42 60 89 12

BOOK-OFF Opéra
29 rue Saint-Augustin 75002 PARIS
Tel. : 01.42.60.00.66
http://www.bookoff.co.jp/shops/kaigai06.html

There is also a Japanese bookstore in the "House for Japanese Culture in Paris" :
Librairie Culture Japon (Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris)
101 bis, quai Branly, 75740 Paris cedex 15 (métro : Bir-Hakeim ; open from 12:00 to 19:00, closed on sundays)
Tel. : 01 44 37 95 00
Fax : 01 44 37 95 15


Arrow The Japanese newsleters
Most of those Japanese bookstores have some anounce boards where people can put anouces for flat to rent or buy.
Besides you can also pick up there the free papers/magazines/newsleters for the Japanese community living in France such as "OVNI" , "FRANCE NEWS DIGEST" , "ICE"... :

OVNI (free magazine for the Japanese community in France in Japanese and French)
http://www.ilyfunet.com/ovni/pa/index.htm

FRANCE NEWS DIGEST (free magazine for expats in Japanese)
48 rue Sainte-Anne 75002
tel.33-(0)1 42 96 21 02,
Fnd@club-internet.fr

In such free papers or the corresponding web site you can find many announces for renting flats to Japanese people. The problem is that many of the flat anounced in those papers are a bit "expensive", but the good part is that many of those flats are clean, furnished or well equiped, which make them quite a good fit for Japanese people settling in Paris.


Arrow The Japanese community/associations :
There are also other papers like this one you can find in the Japanese Libraries or also at the NIHONJIN-KAI, or other associations alike

FRANCE-NIHONJIN-KAI : Association of Japanese Living in France
97 Champs-Elysées (5th floor) 75008
tel. 33-(0)1 47 23 33 58


Last but not least, my personal advice to find a good flat in Paris :
Jump fast on your phone !
As soon as you see a new anounce on a website or publication, you should call very soon and try to get an apointment to visit the soonest you can ! If you can not get an apointement tomorrow then try to ask "what about today !!" The point is to visit fast and decide fast on the one that matches your needs, I know that this is not easy, and if you visit/decide too fast then you might not see some important drawbacks you could regret later. But the point is that good flats don't stay long without any rentor in Paris, everything goes very fast... Rolling Eyes

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Un Japonais
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Inscrit le: 10 Oct 2005
Messages: 8
Points: 42

MessagePosté le: 12 Oct 2005 20:54    Sujet du message: Tomorrow

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Thanks to everyone for great advice!
We will go to the second home finding visit tomorrow.
Let's see what happens. Surprised
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De ci de là
2eme Dan
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Inscrit le: 19 Mai 2005
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MessagePosté le: 15 Oct 2005 08:09    Sujet du message:

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Hi Un Japonais,
How did your appartment hunting go ?
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