Housing and living costs in France: a comprehensive guide

Published on
October 26, 2022
Last updated on
November 20, 2023

Rent, electricity and water charges, internet subscription, deposit, insurance: many costs apply to housing and living in France. If you book accommodation in France as an international student, here are all the charges you might have to pay. Accommodation expenses are always a bit tricky and never the same depending on the country you live in. The language barrier does not make it easier! This is why we have worked on the following article to help shed some light.

Looking for your future home in France? Browse our 10K+ properties, all certified and available without a guarantor. Check our offers >

Booking-related costs: finding a place to live in France

Booking fees

Booking fees are not mandatory. You can find a place to stay without any pre-payed fees. However, fees most of the time can be a sign of trust.

Most real estate agencies and websites require the payment of reservation fees. If you are offered a rental without reservation fees, especially on platforms like Le Bon Coin or Facebook, you should be very careful and check the landlord's information before sending any money.

Renting an apartment from a real-estate agency or website is usually safer, as you are less likely to be scammed. How to detect rental scams?

Livinfrance, for example, applies fees in the rental process. Fees maintain our activity and allow us to give special support dedicated to international students. It also enables us to keep providing safe and great accommodations without the need for a guarantor.

Depending on the type of booking process you go through, you might therefore need to consider booking fees as part of your living costs in France.

Guarantor service

Unfortunately, very few housing options are available without providing proper guarantors. Moreover, many landlords will only accept French guarantors.

Fortunately, some companies in France offer a service that can provide you with documents equivalent to a French guarantor, based on your guarantor's resources in your home country. Amongst all of them, we selected Garantme: a simple online procedure to get you strong guarantees for your rental in France.

This kind of service usually costs around €15 per month and is another living cost you have to consider when moving to France.

Living in France-related costs: accommodation and other charges


This is a sum of money you will owe your landlord as long as you are renting accommodation. It has to be paid every 5th of the month. Don't be late!

There are different types of accommodation in France, that do not involve the same costs:

  • CROUS university residence: the less expensive type of housing, but the places are limited and low-income students are often prioritized. You will have to pay €400 to €500 for a CROUS room in Paris, and €250 to €350 in other cities of France.
  • Private housing stock: apartments, residences, studios... owned by a private person or a company (e.g.: real estate agency). For this kind of property, you will have to pay €800 to €900 in Paris, and €400 to €650 in other cities of France.
Our tip to spare money on housing: book a private room in a shared flat! You will live in a larger flat and the costs will be split between every roommate. Check our flat-sharing offers right here.

Electricity charges

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Electricy costs in France

If your rent doesn't include electricity charges, you will have to subscribe for it, check with Ilek if you need to do it!

How much does electricity cost per month in France? For a normal consumption for one person, electricity will cost you around €15-30 per month in the spring and the summer, and €50 or more in the winter (especially if your flat has electric heating).

Water charges

Most of the time, water charges are included in your rent. However, if it is not the case, water bills for one person usually cost about €150 per year.


The deposit is equal to one month's rent (up to two months) minus the monthly charges.

In order to get your deposit back at the end of your stay, you need to give back your room as it was when you arrived. There are three ways you can lose a part of the deposit.

• If you break something, and you don't replace it, you will be billed.

• If you give back your room/flat dirty, the landlord can charge you the costs of a cleaning company and withdraw the sum from your deposit.

• Some contracts have a mention on the charges "Provision pour charges". That means that your electricity consumption is not unlimited and that if you consume too much, there will be a regularization at the end of your stay (pay for the overconsumption or get money back in case of low consumption).

Housing insurance: a living cost often overlooked

This is mandatory by French law! Your housing insurance will cover you if there is consequential damage in the house due to specific reasons: floods, fire, or any unpredictable event that can damage the rented good. Home insurance usually costs around €5 to €15 per month in France, depending on the characteristics of your property.

If you don't have housing insurance, you most likely won't be able to enter your house on check-in day., and will need to pay for reparation in case of fire, flood, etc., even if it is not your fault.

Luko is an insurance company which allow you to get insured in 2 minutes, and 20 % cheaper on average than the market.

Bank account: what cost for student in France?

As an international student, going abroad is always a great experience. Especially in France ❤️

There will be a lot of different services you will need to subscribe to whenever you will be coming to France: mobile phone, wifi, CAF, housing insurance, electricity, etc... 

The best way to pay for those services will be to have a French bank account, and we have the perfect deal for you: check our banking partners >

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