Living in Paris is like an exciting adventure. This biggest city in France houses over 2 million people who live in districts that are called arrondissements. Buildings in these neighborhoods often date back to the 19th century, and neighborhoods maintain a traditional charm with eclectic cafes, regular food markets, and independent bakeries.

Since many people want to live here and residential units are limited, costs are higher when compared to other desirable European capitals, including Madrid and Berlin. However, Paris does have lower rents than London and some North American cities. Despite the financial crisis in 2008, housing costs have remained high.

Rent will usually cost 32 to 38 Euros per month per square meter. This translates to average costs of 1,280 to 1,520 Euros for a 430 square-feet apartment. Smaller apartments, luxury properties and those near the center of Paris cost more per square unit.

French laws tend to protect tenants, but it takes a lot of documentation to get an apartment. Some people might be required to provide a guarantor. This includes students, self-employed individuals, newcomers and unemployed people. Foreigners might have to place the rent amount for the period of the lease into escrow before moving in.

Since there are more renters than available properties, landlords can pick and choose. It’s also hard to evict people, so landlords tend to select the most qualified applicants. Since apartments are so desirable, rent prices are pretty much non-negotiable. Rent increases are limited to one per year.

Sewage and water utilities are usually included in the rent. Since communal associations usually manage the public areas, the costs for those are covered as well. Gas and electricity might be included, but internet, cable, and telephone are not.

Typically, a deposit consists of the amount of two months of rent. This is negotiable, and you might have to pay estate agent and application fees. Renters also need to pay an annual residence tax to the Mairie (local council office). Landlords only have to maintain a property, but renters are expected to maintain, fix and replace appliances and furniture of rental units.

All of these factors might sound like inconveniences, but they are simply signs of a desirable market. Even people who live in the smallest apartments designate living in Paris as a wonderful experience.