So... After apartment-hunting for over a month I ended up settling in a converted garage in Aubervilliers, about 4 months ago. It's been nice for my cat, who can go outside when I'm home and leave the door open, and easy for me and the dog (when I'm home) to go out, but it's killing my social life. It's been very frustrating to me to have to "run" home to take the dog out (takes about 40 minutes to get there from where I usually am) in the evening, or right away in the morning if I end up missing a metro and staying at someone's place. Add to that I don't feel secure (I could probably break into my place if I wanted to, and I know the neighbour was broken into - while I was home!), hate the neighbourhood, and would love some windows... I want to move. I don't have a work contract or guarantor, and if I found a roommate they'd need to be OK with my pets and probably being left with them whenever I'm back in Los Angeles (if I were on my own I would get a pet-sitter). If I had a friend in the countryside, who wanted fuzzy company, that would be an awesome option for the pets instead of keeping them in an apartment (after living and roaming in California...), and take pressure off of me finding a new place ASAP (I'd still be looking. I want to be in a real apartment! In Paris!), but I don't. So I'm looking for a solution... does anyone have any advice? I've been checking pap and fusac and the American church and seloger (I can't do that anymore, though, it's all through agents), etc... and now I'm just trying networks of expats. heeeeeelp! My kitty thanks you. :-)
Have you tried searching for a site called Couch Surfing? It’s primarily for people who are just looking for a place to crash for a few days while traveling but an old roommate of mine found a room with a couple in Paris on there so it can happen. She paid 500€ a month for her own room in Paris. Failing that, try craigslist as well. Although like the others have said, I think you may have to find other accom for the fuzzy ones unfortunately
Hope things start to look up soon
Agree, I would find a solution also. That is if I would be a single and not having 3 kids and a wife. In that case 800 euros is very limited as single income for a family, even outside the ridiculously pricy Paris area. ;-)
So I don't agree when people do that (staying without paying rent), but I can fully understand in some cases. Laws in France don't change easily, especially when it means taking rights from certain groups in French society.
Ah, As property-owner you have indeed more duties then rights it seems. (Looked into renting out a Paris apartment but decide to sell it just for that reason). When the official unemployment rate is over 9% and rising it means that you can get fired in France (unless you're a civil servant, but they're a class apart). And your benefits will drop relatively quickly to a less than 800 Euro's a month level. Look at your own Parisian housing situation and then ask again why people simply choose to buy food instead of paying their rent. Their alternative is to live in the street or a homeless-shelter. It's better in smaller cities and on the countryside, but the problem exists.
If everything overhere was like in LA then our president would probably be called Obama and not Sarkozy :-)
The problem here is that tenants have an enormous protection once they get the lease of a property. For example: you succeed in renting an apartment and after a few months payment you stop paying your rent. You will be loosing your deposit that is normally required, but it will take the owner sometimes more than a year to evict you (without any hope of recovering all the rents due over that period). There is even a law that forbids property-owners to evict tenants during the winter period!
So they're not second-guessing, they only want security due to an enormous number of bad experiences. And by the way, if you (as a non-EU citizen) find yourself with no means of living at all in France you could be evicted any-time, so the French hospitality does also have its limits.
we could accommodate fuzzy ones maybe
Just a reality check (might just be the best piece of advice).
If I understand correctly you've got no job (that is, with a contract), no guarantees whatsoever and you want to rent an apartment in Paris or the Banlieus? Then your cat and dog are the least of your worries. With the current state of laws on renting, no house-owner in his right mind would want to rent you an apartment, not even as a co-loc. The file you'd have to hand in to convince them to even consider your application would miss out on some vital documents (contract of employment, pay slips, tax-declaration), sorry. Perhaps the garage is as good as it gets given the circumstances.
I suppose you don't qualify for French unemployment i.e. social benefits? If you do however, you can try to go via the social security agencies who do have (a small number of small) apartments for the "social cases" of which there are tens of thousands in the city of light.