5 Tips to Avoid Rental Scams in Paris

5 Tips to Avoid Rental Scams in Paris

3 bedrooms, view of the Eiffel Tower, washer / dryer, furnished and only 700€ a month. Where do I sign?! I hate to be the bearer of bad news but...

Here are our top 5 tips on how to spot these scams and what to do if you find yourself falling for one.

1. If it seems to good to be true, it usually is

There's an easy way to double check if you're being scammed - simply type in "average rental price in {city/area}" and you'll quickly see if the pricing doesn't match up. Studios in Paris are in high demand so expect to see the average price of a 25m2 studio to be at roughly 1000€ per month. It can be easy to get your hopes up on low prices and fancy pictures but your money is safer elsewhere.

2. There are little to no photos on the advertisement

This is not so much a scam so much as an immediate red flag. It could be listed as a 450€ per month in the 1st arrondissment of Paris with just a photo of the exterior of the building. If they're not disclosing the photos of the inside, there's usually a reason why. Perhaps its that it is 9m2 with a shared bathroom and a window looking onto a wall. Be weary of these advertisements and we always encourage visiting the place in person to get a real feel for the space (and to verify that the appartment actually exists).

3. The landlord doesn't live in the country

Some "landlords" will claim that they are living abroad or that their children used to live in the appartment but had to move away so they have to handle the listing from afar. You might be thinking "huh, that doesn't seem too out of the ordinary" but it's usually just an easy way for the criminal to have the perfect alibi. Steer clear and try to encourage as many in-person meetings as possible or try finding an agency who can do the visits instead.

4. They require a deposit to confirm that the flat is yours prior to visiting (1 month rent deposit or even sometimes cash)

These "landlords" will often convince you by haggling or telling you that they'll lower the price of the rent per month by 200€ a month to convince you to pay upfront before having seen the property. This can certainly seem enticing and you might even feel like you're getting a better deal than everyone else. They'll also ask you for your RIB & proof of identity - be really weary of this ! You will not have to provide any personal documents until you have already visited the apartment and are applying for the appartment. As for payment, that's the very last step so no paying before you've seen the place first !

5. They reply to your email / enquiry with a long email

If you've sent an enquiry on an apartment and receive an email 3 pages long that is covered with funky fonts and crazy colours, you're looking at a scam. Here's an example below:

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Feel free to get in touch with us via hello@settlesweet.com if you're looking to relocate and want to avoid the hassle of spotting these scams - we'll be more than happy to help you find your future home !

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