Rental file : which documents to provide?

6 October 2022
Reading time: 2 min.

The search for an apartment is often long and tedious. The number of apartments being less numerous than the potential tenants, many emails and phone calls are often necessary and several visits of apartments are to be expected before finding the perfect AND available place.

Why provide a rental file?

Among the ungrateful tasks related to this process, is the creation of a rental file that will be requested by the owner (or the agency that represents them like My Apartment in Paris).

The reason for the importance of this file is to reassure the owner of your financial solvency. The French rental system has the particularity of being very protective towards tenants but the downside is that before signing the lease they must offer sufficient guarantees for the owner of the property to commit to you.

However, the list of documents that the landlord can require from you is regulated. Certain personal documents such as a bank statement or a criminal record extract cannot be requested from you. The decree n°2015-1437 of November 5, 2015 lists precisely what can be required from you.

What documents do I need to provide?

I am an employee

By far the most common case, it includes most of the elements that will be required in the other cases.

An identity document

This can be one (and only one) of the following documents:

  • an identity card
  • a passport
  • a driver’s license
  • a temporary residence permit or resident card

Proof of residence

Only one of the following documents may be requested:

  • the last 3 rent receipts
  • a certificate from the previous landlord
  • a certificate of election of domicile
  • a certificate from the host
  • the last property tax notice

A document proving your employment

Several documents may be requested. Among which:

  • an employment contract
  • a certificate from the employer specifying the nature of the job, the salary and the start date of the contract

A document certifying your resources

The landlord may require several documents which may include:

  • the last or second last tax notice
  • the last three pay slips

I am a student

If you are a student, you will not be asked for any professional documents. However, in addition to documents proving your identity and residence, documents related to your schooling will be requested. These may include:

  • a student card
  • a school certificate
  • an internship agreement

In the case of students with scholarships, you may be required to provide a notice of award.

I represent a company

The first two points do not change. However, you will be required to provide a certain number of documents, in particular if the occupant is not the signatory of the documents.

  • an identity document of the signatory
  • a Kbis dated less than 3 months
  • a certificate from the employer
  • the last tax return
  • the power of signature (if the signatory is not on the Kbis)

I am a craftsman / independent professional

Regarding the identity document and the proof of address, nothing new. Just consult the part about employees. For the rest, here is what will be useful to the owner:

  • the last two tax notices
  • the Kbis or equivalent
  • the last two balance sheets
  • the professional card (liberal professions)
  • the identification certificate from INSEE with the identification numbers (self-employed workers)
  • the original D1 extract from the trade register dated less than 3 months ago (craftsmen)

I am a guarantor

If the tenant does not have the financial resources to rent the apartment alone (generally an income equivalent to three times the rent), he/she may have to call upon a guarantor who would cover any eventual defaults.

For this person, the obligatory documents to be sent are strictly the same as those requested from a tenant, regardless of his profession, his tax status or his place of residence.

In the case of tenants coming from abroad it is common for landlords to require a French guarantor, which can be difficult to find. To avoid this, agencies such as GarantMe act as guarantors, allowing future tenants to present a solid and reliable file.


By complying with the above points, you will generally be ready to respond to the requests of the owner or the agency with whom you will be in contact. Do not hesitate to anticipate your apartment search by preparing a complete file beforehand, even before your first visit. In high demand areas such as the Paris region, speed of action can be a determining factor in finding an apartment.

Good luck!

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