Understanding Paris, France Rental Agencies
Looking to rent an apartment for your Paris vacation? You are in luck. Paris has thousands of vacation rental properties - from luxurious penthouses overlooking the Eiffel Tower to budget studio lofts in the centrally-located Latin Quarter. Unlike booking a hotel room where the process is the same wherever you decide to stay, you'll follow different procedures depending on who you rent from. There are three types of rental agencies for Paris apartments:
- Large rental agencies who list thousands of apartments. Agencies are paid a commission or "finder's fee" when you book an apartment. You pay rent and negotiate terms with the apartment's owner.
- Property management companies renting their own apartments.
- Individual owners directly renting their apartments to tourists.
Large Rental Agencies
If you find a website listing thousands of apartments, you are most likely looking at a rental agency site. Rental agencies list apartments and market apartments to tourists for a agency fee, usually 15-20% of the rent. That is the extent of their involvement in the rental process. You'll sign a lease with the owner, arrange a security deposit with the owner and deal with the owner if you have problems with the apartment.
Large inventory of properties. If you have specific requests, the agent can help you find an apartment in your budget that fits your needs. Since agents work with hundreds or thousands of units, they are not motivated to "push" a sub-par property, and genuinely try to find a good fit between you and the apartment owner.
Because of the volume of properties in their portfolio, even with agency commissions, the large firms often have the best Paris rental prices.
After you choose an apartment and sign the agency agreement, the agency bows out. From this point on, you deal directly with the owner.
Our first time renting through an agency was confusing because we communicated with two separate entities. For example, you sign a rental agreement with the agency, then you'll need to sign a lease with the owner.
You can pay the agency fee's via credit card or Pay Pal, but most owner's aren't set up to deal with electronic payments. You'll need to wire the owner euros for the deposit which is expensive and inconvenient.
If you have problems with your unit, you'll work with the owner to fix the problems. This can be a blessing or a curse depending on the responsiveness of your landlord.
Property Management Companies
Property Management firms range from a person owning a handful of Paris rental apartments to a companies owning dozens of apartments employing numerous employees.
You are working directly with the owner and renting apartments to tourists is their profession. Renting their properties is their bread-and-butter and they will bend over backwards to keep you happy. They will guide you through the renting process. If you have a problem with your apartment, they'll move you to another property. You can call them anytime if your have questions or issues. If you need help arranging to take a tours and transportation, they are delighted to help you.
The level of personalized service has a price. Property Management companies often have higher rates for comparable properties than other types of agencies.
These are small websites where owners of Parisian apartments rent out their units to tourists when they are not occupying them. Some owners rent out their apartment 52 weeks a year, other owners rent out a few weeks a year when they are on vacation to make some extra cash.
Cutting-out the middle-man, owners offer rock-bottom rates and can be open to negotiation.
Since you are staying in the owner's home, you may be asked to post a substantial security deposit to safeguard the owner's possessions.
Author: Cheryl Montgomery