More and more students and young professionals are considering sharing an apartment, which makes sense when you think about the many advantages this lifestyle offers.
Reducing the cost of rent, building new relationships, avoiding loneliness, meeting new people, and sharing apartment expenses are all reasons for wanting to share an apartment. Some of these advantages can also be found if you choose to live in a student residence, but you won't have the same quality and comfort as a shared apartment.
But how do you find the right apartment, and the right roommates? How can you make your search easier? We explain it all in this 5-part guide. Make the most of our advice so that you can find the ideal roommate in less than a week!
First of all, before wanting to rush head first into the world of student housing websites, you should define a certain number of points which will facilitate your research.
The question of rent is one of the most important - and one that many dread. Of course the rent price will vary according to your situation and criteria, but the real question to ask should not be “how much can I afford per month?” but rather “how much am I willing to pay for a particular service?”
Would you be willing to spend €150 more to be within a 10 minute walk of your work or school and avoid traffic jams or public transport?
Or conversely, would you be willing to spend €100 less per month and do without a common space like the living room?
Rather than thinking about the amount of the rent, try to define what is essential for you in your future flatshare and what is not. This will help you to refine your search and better understand the average prices of the market for your requirements, and adjust your budget if necessary. Be aware that the prices of accommodation and the services can vary a lot between cities. In Lyon, for example you can find a bedroom in a shared flat between 400€ and 800€ a month, whereas in Paris the price will generally be between 700€ and 1200€.
You probably know which city you want to live in, but have you thought about the area you want to live in? Do you want to live downtown or in the suburbs?
Only you can decide, and it’s one of the most important questions to ask yourself.
If you are in the suburbs, or even in a neighboring city, and you have a car or public transportation that can easily take you into the city, then living in a shared apartment could be an incredible experience for you. Living outside the city centre can mean that your budget can stretch to a larger, better-equipped house with more luxurious bedrooms that may have their own bathrooms and closets. Some apartments even have gardens, or very large living rooms for entertaining people or having a good time with your roommates. However, you will be far from the city center and going to parties, bars or nightclubs is less accessible.
Conversely, living in the center of town makes it much easier to get around or to enjoy the parties, school, work or cultural events that your city has to offer, but you won’t have the same level of comfort in your apartment on the same budget.
You might also simply like a specific neighbourhood in a city that is close to parks or restaurants, or because it is quiet or beautiful.
So ask yourself the right questions, like how much you're willing to spend, and why choose a downtown area over a smaller, nearby suburb or vice versa?
Before you even begin your search, you need to have a clear idea about what kind of people you want to live with every day.
Do you want just one roommate or several? Do you prefer men or women? Students or young professionals? What is the minimum and maximum age of your roommates?
Since it is not always easy to find the ideal roommate, some people make lists in order to see more clearly and to determine the profile of the ideal roommate!
The date you move in is very important, as it will affect the number of rooms or apartments available fduring your search, which in turn impacts prices. Since the real estate market is very dependent on supply and demand, apartment prices can vary by 30% to 40% more or less expensive depending on the period.
If you are looking for accommodation for mid-September or later, the prices will have gone down but you will have almost no choice.
On the other hand, if you are looking during the summer or during the Christmas period, prices will be at their highest, but you will also have much more choice.
And more choice means more competition, which makes it harder to get your application approved and move into your new apartment or house.
You will have to make a strategic and difficult choice. Is it better to pay more and not live in your room for a month or more but be sure to have what you need, or do you prefer to wait and pay less if your schedule allows it, even if it means your choices are much more limited ?
Today, there are many websites that will help you find the roommate of your dreams. But they do not all work in the same way, and do not all provide for the same needs. So here is the list of the best sites to find a flatshare.
Sharing an apartment in Paris with Chez Nestor is a simple and practical concept. We partner with landlords who offer apartments for rent. We then renovate and adapt the apartment to make it a pleasant, well decorated and easy to join flat share. Whether you are a student or a young professional, an expatriate or an erasmus student, our offer will suit you.
Since we operate in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lille and Montpellier, you can even switch your room in a shared apartment for one in another city while staying with Chez Nestor.
You can visit the apartment and the room of your choice in 3D directly on your web browser. Navigate between the rooms and common areas in the same way as you would with Google Street view. It's a great time saver for you since you can visit several apartments in a few minutes without leaving your desk!
Forget about wasting dozens of hours visiting apartments only to find out that the apartment is not suitable for you or that your application has been rejected!
To make your life as easy as possible, everything is done for you - you can book your room in 5 minutes. Everything is done online and your file will not be submitted for review asis the case with other providers. All you need to do is fill in all the information online, have a guarantor who earns at least 1500 € net per month (unless you earn this much yourself) and ... that's it. You are now the new roommate of the apartment or house you have decided to rent. :)
The lease is very easy to sign, completely online, and it is one of the easiest ways to join shared student accommodation in France.
Another strong point of Chez Nestor is that you can move in within 24 hours. Once your reservation has been made and paid, you will be able to pick up your keys and move in within a very short time. You will be able to pick up your keys in key boxes accessible at the Chez Nestor offices or in a partner business located near your apartment.
Another advantage of Chez Nestor accommodation is that you won't have to worry about problems with your landlord in case of breakdowns, water damage or equipment to be replaced. You will never have to be in direct contact with the landlord, but rather with our dedicated customer support team who will respond to your needs as soon as possible, which ensures a very quick response and intervention!
For sure the most well-known advertising website in France, Leboncoin is a site which will be able to offer you a broad choice of apartments for any type of profile. Its different filters can help you in your search.
In general, prices on leboncoin are relatively true to the market, and you may even find a good deal if you’re lucky.
Be careful though, there are a lot of scams on this site, and any accommodation offer that seems too good to be true probably is!
This is a problem on all sites where anyone with an account can post an ad to rent an apartment. Without moderation from the site, it is a risk to keep in mind.
La carte des colocs is probably the site which has the most ads for flatshares in France, so you will have a wide choice of flatshares, and only flatshares.
You will have access to a certain amount of information about the apartment, but depending on how much detail the person who posted the ad provides, you may lack information to make your choice.
The quality of the properties will vary from luxurious apartments to small rooms.
Moreover, the only way to get in touch is by phone or by direct message and you are not sure to get an answer, especially in competitive real estate areas.
You will have access to a map which shows the amenities around the accommodation such as metro lines, bus or streetcar stops or some important places of the city which is very practical when making a well thought out choice.
The site is totally free so don't hesitate to take advantage of it, however if you come across an ad from a professional agency, you will probably have to pay agency fees to rent the accommodation.
So rely more on quantity to find the ideal flatshare more easily!
This site is similar to the flatshare map, although it doesn’t have as many offers.
Its unique offer is the freemium option. You can register for free in order to carry out your research by sector and budget, and also to contact all the advertisers. It is ideal in cities where the real estate market is accessible.
The site also offers a Premium option which costs between 1€ and 2€ per day where people will be able to contact you directly, and you are less restricted in who you can contact. This is not a bad idea if you want to move to cities where rental real estate is very competitive, like Paris, Lyon or Bordeaux.
With several thousand listings, you could easily find an available room that fits your criteria on the Whoomies website. The rentals here are varied and can range from single rooms to large coliving spaces. Although the site's features are relatively standard compared to other sites, the quality of the houses and apartments is still very good. Each member is verified by the company, which ensures that you are living with tenants with whom you are less likely to have problems.
Probably the second most visited site after la carte des colocs in France, locservice is relatively standard in its features and offers. Nevertheless, with thousands of ads posted regularly, you will be spoilt for choice in your search.
Halfway between casa coliving and Chez Nestor, colivme offers solutions for both colocation and coliving. However, one downside is the huge difference in services between the different listings.
Before we get into the subject, what is coliving? Quite simply, it's a slightly different way of living in a shared apartment. You live a real community experience, meet people and build friendships between roommates - and all this in very large spaces fitted out for community living with a garden, a gym, a cinema room, a huge kitchen or with various similar services. In addition, most of the rooms have individual showers and sometimes even mini-kitchens so that you can have a kind of studio in the apartment, which is practical if you are social but still crave alone time. We tell you more about the differences between colocation and coliving right here!
This kind of service can be quite expensive, and you will find it almost exclusively outside of city centres. You will have to take a car, the train or the bus to get closer to work, schools or any cultural place.
You should also know that this type of offer is generally chosen by young working people and not by students, either French or international.
Here you will find offers for some very nice accommodation. However, you will have to fight to join one of these coliving apartments because the site does not offer many rooms for rent. Moreover, the candidates are handpicked to make sure that the community life is always of good quality with the arrival of a new roommate, so it is very competitive.
This company offers properties that are relatively similar to those of Live colonies. The accommodation is always nicely decorated and spacious. With housekeeping services for the common areas, yoga classes or weekly fruit and vegetable baskets, the services offered by casa coliving are very advantageous.
You should not only rely on dedicated websites to find your student accommodation. Indeed, social networks can be a very good way to find the ideal flatshare. Nevertheless, you will have to rely mainly on Facebook which, thanks to its marketplace and its different groups, is the only social network to have functionalities to help you search for a flatshare specifically.
Facebook groups are the perfect tool to see the ads posted by group members, or to let people know that you are looking for a roommate.
Make sure that your Facebook wall is clean, because anyone can check your profile if it is not set to private. It would be a shame to lose chances to rent a room because of too many compromising photos or videos of you. In general, it is best to avoid sharing political opinions or socially divisive topics if your profile is in public, and to think carefully about the photos on your profile.
To find that rare gem, you will have to type "colocation" plus the name of the city where you wish to move. For example : "Colocation Paris" or "Colocation Lyon".
You can then join Facebook groups such as
Paris : location d'appart, échange, colocation ! - with 50 000 members
Logement Etudiant Paris | Colocation, Appart, Chambres, Location with 13 000 members…There are far too many to list, but you get the idea!
How can you combine the leboncoin ad system and a profile like Facebook for access to roommate groups? Facebook marketplace has found the solution!
With access to a live chat (messenger) you can communicate with lessors to have access to more information and make appointments for visits.
There are numerous listings offered by the site, and although it is not necessarily the first place that you might think of when looking for housing, this platform can be very beneficial for those who use it.
So, don't hesitate to use Facebook marketplace which has proven to be an excellent way to search and find an accommodation everywhere in France!
We tend to forget that our personal network can be a great search tool.
Whether it's to find an apartment or to look for a flatshare, it's sometimes better to talk directly to your friends and family!
So don't hesitate to tell your friends or family about your plans to move to a new city.
It is also a way to reconnect with old acquaintances and grow your network.
Don’t be shy about communicating on your social networks, or to make stories on platforms like Instagram. In short, throw bottles into the sea and see what good comes out of it.
It is always easier to rent or to become a roommate with someone you already know - even if this way, you don’t push yourself out of your comfort zone!