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This 10 m² Parisian studio at €610/month attracted more than 700 candidates

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Finding accommodation in Paris is a real crossroads. The queues lengthen up the stairs and sometimes even spill out into the street. Rental tension is all the greater as competition continues to grow. The real estate crisis does not only affect sales but also rentals. More and more households, who do not have the means to become owners, come to swell the ranks of tenants looking for a roof over their heads. “Couples of owners, after an “accident of life” (divorce for example), often resort to smaller rental accommodations», underlines Ivan Thiébault, data manager at Locservice, a company specializing in rental between individuals.

Consequence: rental requests are exploding: +23% in one year, according to the National Real Estate Federation. Problem: supply, for its part, is collapsing: -34% over the last 12 months. Half of the agencies have fewer than 10 rental properties. And 10% have none! Blame it on rent controls and the ban on renting energy-intensive housing, according to experts. “In Paris, it is very complicated to find a property that meets standards. Two thirds have a DPE F or G», Underlines Alexandre Fitoussi, founder of Beanstock, a rental management platform.

251 requests in 48 hours

An apartment of only 10 m² nevertheless attracted 765 rental candidates in one week. Its rent of 610 euros per month was enough to put off more than one person. At first glance, this price seems illegal because it is significantly higher than the ceiling set by the Paris prefecture for such an apartment. In reality, this is not the case because this rent consists in particular of an additional 136 euros – “the apartment has a clear view of the rooftops of Paris», underlines Alexandre Fitoussi – which an owner can claim from the tenant as long as it is mentioned in black and white in the rental contract. Sexcept in the case of energy-intensive housing (F or G)a property with WC on the landing and if it is opposite less than 10 meters.

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Excluding additional rent, this 17 m² apartment, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, is for rent for 672 euros per month. Photo credit: Beanstock

Even rents of 900 euros or more (per month) do not put off Parisian candidates looking for a small space. In the 3rd, a 14 m² studio attracted 251 people in just 48 hours! The apartment, with a 5 m² balcony, on the top floor, with panoramic views of Paris, is priced at 920 euros per month including a rent of 642 euros, 80 euros in charges and a supplement of 198 euros. Another example: in the 18th, on the border with the 9th, towards Barbès-Rochechouart, a 17 m² studio is for rent for 900 euros per month including a rent of 672 euros (39.5 euros per m²), 58 euros of charges and 170 euros supplement (see above). In 72 hours, 150 requests were recorded.

In addition to the view or the light, landlords often justify their extra rent by the presence of a washing machine, a television, an air conditioner or even a coffee machine. “This equipment is not part of the mandatory furniture and is a service to tenants», assures Alexandre Fitoussi. These unexpected reasons are also the result of a vague law which does not provide for more precise terms than “location or comfort characteristics» (article 140 of the law of November 23, 2018) to regulate the request for additional rent. And can generate conflicts. “A tenant has three months from signing the lease to contest a rent that he considers too high, if the lease provides for additional rent.», explains Me Valentin Simonnet, lawyer in real estate law.

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