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Your dossier - Important for applying for an apartment

Release: April 2021

Your dossier - Important for applying for a flat

If you are (currently) looking for an apartment in Paris, you will quickly come across the "dossier" in the advertisements. Many private landlords and also agencies require a detailed application folder during the application phase in order to be able to assess the situation and creditworthiness of interested parties.

What should the application folder contain?

Several documents are required to present a meaningful dossier for an apartment. Depending on the personal situation, these can be quite different.

The typical application folder contains identity documents as well as information about the professional situation. Sometimes a completed questionnaire is also requested - and the indication of a French bank account is also asked, even if French law has prohibited asking for a R.I.B. since 2015.

Basic documents for almost every applicant:

 Copy of the identity card or passport
 Proof of current address
 The last 3 rental documents or confirmation that you are a home owner
 Last tax notice 

Additionally, important for employees:

 Copy of the employment contract
 Proof of income: The last 3 salary statements
 Important for self-employed:
 Proof of self-employment (e.g., business registration)
 Proof of income: The last 2 balance sheets or proof of financial resources

Important for pensioners:

 Pension evidence
 Proof of income: The last 3 pension payments

Important for students:

 Certificate of registration
 Copy of student ID

Help, I need a guarantor!

Landlords and agencies are increasingly taking out insurance against loss of rental income - more on this and other options in a following article - making a traditional guarantor superfluous. But guarantors are still requested.

A guarantor can be a family member, a friend or any other person who would stand in for the tenant in the event of a loss of rent.

For guarantors, too, the net income must be correspondingly high - three times the rent including charges - and sometimes a solvent guarantor also increases the chance if one's own financial situation is not entirely convincing.

Can foreign guarantors be listed in the dossier?

Of course, it is possible. However, many landlords and housing companies focus on minimising risk and want to have as little effort as possible in reviewing a dossier. Above all, there is the desire to be covered in case of default, but unfortunately not every landlord is tolerant enough to accept "exotic" dossiers. 

What documents the guarantor must present

Depending on the personal situation, the guarantor will also have to provide the same documents mentioned above to prove the financial situation.

Do all documents have to be translated into French?

The question is often asked which official documents need to be translated into French. In my experience, this is not necessary as long as a few additional comments on the document allow the content to be understood. 

As is so often the case, the general impression and the entirety of the documents also count. Last but not least, your appearance at an apartment tour.

Nevertheless, it is once again true that foreigners do not have an easy time with a dossier that deviates from the norm - unless you can show very high income and financial securities that open doors for them more easily.

Sending in the dossier

The dossier is often checked before a viewing. Understandable, because agencies and landlords don't want to waste time and re-let vacant apartments as quickly as possible. There are always enough applicants, so that the process can be rigorously screened out.

The collected documents can usually be sent by e-mail. But a service such as WeTransfer or more secure transfers via SendInc are also suitable. Sometimes the application portfolio can also be uploaded via an online portal, depending on the specifications.

Let's not kid ourselves, though: Extremely sensitive data such as salary slips, and identity documents are sent to complete strangers. So, you can't be squeamish because this is common practice in France. Black out your tax number and ID on the copy of your identity card if you want. 

Here are some options to protect the dossier a little better:

 Option A

Step 1) Add a watermark to all documents, for example by authorizing them only for the housing search process. This is possible, for example, for PDFs with online tools such as  PDF24 or  iLovePdf. Likewise, programs like Wondershare and many others.

Step 2) However, some tools can remove watermarks, so it is recommended to convert the edited PDFs into images. For example, this can also be done with the mentioned online tools.

 Option B

Create a dossier via an online portal such as  loumi or  DossierFacile. The dossier is secured and will only be used for the apartment search.


Contact me to help you with advice and optimisation of your dossier!