During the process of applying to be a landlord’s next tenant, you will be asked for a renting dossier. The renting dossier is designed to give all the information about you in a select few documents that will confirm if you are legally able to become a tenant and in the position to finance your tenancy.
What is a renting dossier ?
A dossier is a collection of documents about yourself and your personal situation. It covers everything from your finances to your employment and rental history, and any contingencies your landlord must know about you.
What do you need for a renting dossier?
The most commonly requested documents are the following :
- ID / Passport
- Job Contract
- Last 3 payslips
- Last year’s tax return
- Bank Account number
- Last 3 rent receipts
Good to have for a Dossier:
- Earn 3x the rent
Good to know : Normally, once successfully catching a landlord’s attention and maybe even after the viewing, these documents will be requested, however in highly competitive areas such as metropolitan Paris it is a good idea to send the documents directly with the first application – apartments can be rented in the space of 30 minutes if you are too slow.
Let’s break it down:
|Document||Purpose||Good to Know||💡|
|ID / Passport||To verify your identity||Make sure it’s valid!|
|Job Contract||To prove you are employed, what type of contract you have and your income||Landlords prefer having tenants with a CDI and that you have passed your probation period. They also prefer if you earn 3x the rental amount.|
|Last 3 Payslips||To prove you have an active income||Your payslips should be consecutive and consistent.|
|Last year’s tax return||To prove you are following the law and paying your taxes||If you have not paid your taxes yet, proof of having a tax ID number should be enough (link to tax piece)|
|Bank Account Number (RIB)||To prove you have a bank account and the means to transfer the rent||Some landlords verify with the bank if you are a reliable customer|
|Guarantor(s)||✅||Some landlords request that the guarantor has a French bank account. Also be aware that your guarantors will need to provide all these documents to the landlord.||If you don’t have a guarantor you can explore options such as the Visale (scroll down) or paid services such as guarant.me|
|Last 3 rent receipts||Proof that you are a paying tenant.||This is not a common request, you can negotiate this.|
How do I create a Dossier?
My preferred method of sending a dossier is using Dossier Facile – they not only check that I have the correct documents, but also watermark them. So, potentially rogue landlords or criminals who just want access to your private information cannot steal it. It’s also completely free to use.
The alternative is to submit a file with paper copies of all your documents directly to the landlord, or in digital form as email attachment or with a WeTransfer file.
I don’t have a Guarantor
This is a big topic, especially for foreigners moving to France. You have several options, the most sought after Guarantor is a French citizen who earns 4x the amount of your rent, with a bank account in France, preferably related to you.
Another option is using a company such as Garantme to pay them to act as your Guarantor. It’s easy to sign up and depending on your rent, you’re looking at 200€ – 500€ a year for their services.
If you have no funds or connections and are under 30 years old, there is the Visale.The Visale is a free service by Action Logement for young people in France who do not have a guarantor. Simply visit their website and see if you are eligible, if you are, apply and get confirmed in sometimes less than 15 minutes – it’s very easy and can be a lifesaver.
Fun Legal Facts:
Sometimes the listings you apply to are fake, to collect personal data such as the content of a dossier – protect yourself by using watermarks and keeping track of where you send your info.
Here are the documents a potential landlord can not ask you for by law since June 6th 1989 and January 17th 2002:
- A copy of your Carte Vitale
- A copy of your bank account
- Any documentation relating to your bank account status
- Any documentation relating to your loans
- A direct debit authorisation
- Your marriage contract or PACS (pacte civil de solidarité) contract
- Your medical files
- Your criminal background