Apartment Hunting in Lyon
It is very difficult to find an apartment in Lyon, even more so if you are a foreigner. I looked frantically for 3 weeks, and finally settled for an overpriced studio apartment in the 7th district.
I spent the first week calling ads I found in the newspaper Paruvendu (You can get this paper at Place Bellecour or visit the website http://www.paruvendu.fr/). I was hoping to find an apartment directly with the owner (“particulier à particulier”) rather than going through an agency, as agencies can be quite pricey and the administrative process can be very strict. Although most agencies in Lyon do not accept foreign guarantors, individual owners may not consider this to be a problem. However, many of the owners I called didn’t answer right away, and I ended up leaving a lot of voicemails. Oftentimes when the owner did answer, they informed me that the apartment had already been taken. You can also visit http://www.pap.fr/ to search for “particulier à particulier” apartments online.
I spent the second week visiting agencies. Galyo is the only agency I could find in Lyon that accepts foreign guarantors. You can visit GAYLO in person at 4 RUE de la CHARITE 69002. Expect to pay a finder’s fee of around 400 Euros. I found this agency to be quite efficient. They are open during the week from 9-12 and 2-6, as well as Saturday morning until 12. You can easily arrange to see apartments and then give the keys back when you are done.
If you know someone in France who can act as your guarantor (they must earn 3x the amount of your rent), then you may go to any agency and choose from a whole array of apartments!
I spent the third week dealing with paperwork. You need to have a French Bank Account (which ironically you cannot get without having an address in France). You also need to provide a current address in France. Luckily I was staying with a friend who wrote me a letter stating that I lived with her.
-Photocopy of passport
-proof of current address in France
-French Bank account information
-proof of job (contract or last 3 pay stubs)
-if property owner, deeds for properties
-income tax information
-all above documents for guarantor
The price depends on the area and whether or not the apartment is furnished. If you think you will be staying in France for more than one year, I strongly advise you to rent an unfurnished apartment, as they are much cheaper and you can furnish your apartment relatively cheaply.
Studio – 400-500+ Euros
1 bedroom – 500-600+ Euros
2 bedrooms – 700+ Euros
3 bedrooms – 800+ Euros
BEWARE: Most advertised prices do not include utilities
“charges” refers to monthly fees for elevator use and garbage collection
“charges comprises” means that the “charges” are included in the rent price
All districts (1 through 9) are quite lovely and safe.
1 – somewhat cheaper, neighbourhood of artists and art galleries
2 - heart of downtown but may be a bit noisy
3 - located in the commercial district, modern architecture, “Part Dieu” Shopping Centre (the biggest shopping centre in Lyon)
4 - located on the hill of Croix-Rousse, offers a great view of the city, not ideal for biking or walking to and from home
6 - known as the bourgeois district, can be a bit pricey
5 - located in Old Lyon (a World Unesco Heritage Site), the most architecturally amazing part of town, always full of life
7 – somewhat cheaper, a lot of students live here as the University is close by
8 and 9 – nice but a bit far from downtown, the 8th is home to the Frères Lumières museum (the brothers who made the first films)
Hope this helps and good luck!
Guide section: Accommodation
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