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Paperwork: everything you need before signing for your rental in France

There are plenty of reasons to live in France – maybe the next step on the career ladder takes you to one of its great cities, perhaps you’re here to study at one of the excellent universities, or it could be the idyllic countryside that attracts you. Whatever the reason, you’ll need to find somewhere to live and before you move in you’ll need to provide some essential paperwork (quelle surprise).

Documents needed to rent an apartment in France…

If you’re a student

  • A copy of your ID e.g. a valid passport
  • A certificate of enrollment from your university
  • A bank reference form (you’ll need a French bank account)

Most importantly as a student you’ll usually need a guarantor (e.g. a parent) – this is somebody who can pay your rent/damages if you’re unable to. This means that before you move in you’ll also need some documents from them –

  • A letter from the guarantor
  • A copy of their ID
  • A copy of their employment contract and last three pay slips
  • Their last tax declaration


If you’re a professional

  • A copy of your ID e.g. a valid passport
  • Proof of employment e.g. an employment contract or letter from company (including name and address of company, contact of reference with phone number for verification, annual salary, position and length of employment).
  • A bank reference form (you’ll need a French bank account)
  • Your last three pay slips
  • Your last tax declaration
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Whether you’re a student or you don’t earn the equivalent of 3 times your rent, you’ll probably need a cosigner to give the best chances to your rental application.

Innovative and online solutions now exist to allow you to boost your application!

Our partner Cautioneo helps you fill all your landlord requirements by providing you with the best financial guarantees at a minimum cost.


If you’re self-employed – you’ll need to show your chiffre d’affaires (a document proving your turnover) and tax returns.

If you’re coming from outside the EU – You may need to show your visa as well as the documents listed above.


What about home insurance?

Home insurance is obligatory for renters in France, so unless your landlord already has it (check with them or on your rental agreement), you’ll need to take care of it yourself and provide them with an insurance certificate. Get a quote here.


Preparation is key – so try to have everything beforehand to make sure that things run smoothly. It’s always handy to have a copy of important documents uploaded to your phone, laptop or emails – just in case anything goes missing.