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I would like to know about the steps for moving in

Accommodation budget

Before moving into an accommodation, there are many expenses to consider.

Here is a list of the most important expenses you need to take into account:

  • Any moving expenses
  • Estate agency fees (if applicable): approximately 1 month's rent
  • Security deposit: 1 month's rent (2 months maximum for furnished accommodation)
  • 1st month's rent
  • Water, gas and electricity subscription fees
  • Home insurance: between €50 and €100/year (depending on the type of accommodation)
  • Residence tax (if the tenant is liable for it)
  • Subscription to internet, television and/or telephone (if not included in the rental charges)
  • Rental charges: expenses related to the provision of collective services to all residents, maintenance and use of the building (electricity, water and heating in common areas, lift, security, cleaning, green areas, household waste, sanitation)
  • Energy consumption charges (water, electricity, gas): amount collected by independent bodies (e.g. ES - Energies Strasbourg)

Rental file

Before signing the lease, the landlord (or estate agent) may ask the prospective tenant for a number of documents such as:

  • a valid identity document (identity card, passport, driving licence, residence permit, etc.)
  • a proof of professional status (employment contract, employer’s certificate, internship agreement, student card, education certificate, etc.)
  • one or more proofs of financial resources (last three pay slips, tax notice)
  • a proof of residence (rent receipt, electricity bill, proof of residence, etc.).

Please note: French law prohibits the landlord from requesting some types of documents, such as bank statements, bank account details, criminal records, personal medical records, etc…


The guarantor, also known as a guarantee, is a natural person (family or friend) or legal entity (company, bank, public body) who undertakes to pay the rent if the tenant is unable to do so. This ensures that the lessor will be paid in all cases.

If you are having difficulty finding a guarantor, some support can be provided by:


VISALE is a free deposit mainly for students and tenants between 18 and 30 years old. This guarantee offered by Action Logement covers the payment of rent as well as damage to the property. It makes it easier for students to find accommodation and gives landlords security on rent payments. 

The application must be submitted by the tenant, if possible before you start looking for accommodation, and directly on the website: www.visale.fr. You will receive a reply within 48 hours.

Learn step by step how to apply for the Visale guarantee with this tutorial from Campus France: tuto de Campus France

Signing of the rental agreement (lease)

For any type of rental (furnished or not), the rental agreement or "lease" sets out the rules for the tenant's occupation of the property, the length of stay, the conditions for payment of the rent, and the conditions for termination. It must be in writing, dated and signed by both parties. The lessor and the tenant each keep an identical copy of the lease.

It is when you sign the lease that you will have to pay the various costs of entering the accommodation: security deposit, agency fees if applicable, first month's rent, etc.

Inventory of fixtures

The inventory of fixtures is a mandatory step that must be carried out in your presence It allows you to compare the accommodation at the beginning and end of the tenancy and to determine which repairs are the responsibility of the landlord and which are the responsibility of the tenant.

If the accommodation is furnished, an inventory must be attached to the inventory of fixtures. It specifies the equipment and furniture provided and their condition. Before moving in it is therefore important to check that all the equipment is in good working order (household appliances, heating, smoke detectors, etc.), and to read the water, electricity and gas meters.

Home insurance

In France, it is mandatory to insure your accommodation. Home insurance covers you in the event of damage to your home (water damage, theft, fire, etc.). You can take out insurance with your bank or a private insurer. It costs between €20 and €80 per year, depending on the additional cover chosen. 

Further information

To help you decide, check out the home insurance comparator on the website quechoisir.org

or www.etudiant.gouv.fr

Notice of departure

You can terminate the lease at any time, provided you give the required notice and pay the rent during the notice period. The request for cancellation must be made by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

  • For furnished accommodation, the notice period is minimum 1 month before departure.
  • For unfurnished accommodation, the notice period is 1 to 3 months before departure (depending on certain conditions, as well as the area where the accommodation is located).


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