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Self-entrepreneur apartment rental: put all your assets on your side

"Did you find this page by typing this combination of keywords into a search engine? If so, you're not alone. While micro-enterprises are becoming increasingly popular in France, the property rental market is slow to adapt.

This discrepancy between the practices of real estate agencies and the status of many tenants has concrete consequences. At Colonies, we often hear of freelance workers having great difficulty finding accommodation, but not only in cities like Paris. Is it inevitable? As optimists and real estate specialists, we think not.

Are you a self-employed entrepreneur looking for an apartment? We've written this article for you. We'll start by defining the status of auto-entrepreneur. We'll tell you everything you need to know about housing assistance. You'll learn how to put together a solid application and choose the right type of landlord for your situation. Finally, we'll give you some hints on how to answer the question: living alone, sharing or coliving?

Who are auto-entrepreneurs, anyway?

In France, we're hearing more and more about the role of "auto-entrepreneur". But what does the law say? An auto-entrepreneur is an entrepreneur who works alone: he or she is both the boss and the employee.

The micro-entrepreneur works on a freelance basis. If they generate sales, they have to pay taxes and social security contributions, just like any other company. And if they use an intermediary between themselves and the customer, this is known as "portage salarial".

The disadvantage is that auto-entrepreneurship remains a separate status, where the worker is neither on a permanent or fixed-term contract. And yet, such contracts, and in particular the CDI, are the documents most in demand by real estate agencies, as well as private landlords.

Housing benefit for self-entrepreneurs: how do I know if I'm entitled?

But all is far from lost. It's possible to find accommodation as a self-employed entrepreneur without any problems or risks, with good neighbors and affordable rent. The CAF makes no mistake about this, as it provides Aide Pour le Logement (APL) to micro-entrepreneurs. The conditions are the same as for any other worker.

"Am I entitled to APL? To find out, go to the CAF website, where you can carry out a simple simulation. You'll get the answer in just a few minutes. What are the criteria? You must be a tenant, and not be related to the owner of the property. You must also indicate your net taxable income.

Housing benefit for self-entrepreneurs: what are the procedures and deadlines?

You've run your simulation on the CAF website, and it tells you that you're entitled to the APL? The amount you receive will depend on a number of factors: allowances, charges, status, etc. Now you can make your actual application.

To do so, return to the CAF website. You'll need the following documents: proof of identity, RIB (provided by banks), income over the last two years, amount of assets, lease.

Once your application has been examined, the CAF says it will take between three and five months to process. Fortunately, payment is retroactive. This means that, if your application is accepted after three months, your first payment will be three times the monthly amount allocated to you.

Self-employed tenants: first and foremost, a solid file!

Imagine: you've booked an appointment for the apartment of your dreams, and you're the first to arrive for the viewing. The apartment is spacious, well-located and affordable, and the owner tells you that he's in a hurry to rent it out. In other words: the apartment will be rented to the first person to provide a complete file.

"Complete file? Suddenly, you're terrified as you realize that yours isn't complete at all. Sure, you've brought a few papers with you. But you told yourself there was no hurry after all. The result? The landlord is sorry, but he won't listen. The apartment passes you by. By the time you've got the paperwork together, it's already rented.

Be careful, this is a common situation. That's why you need to have a complete file before you start looking. This is especially true if you're a self-employed entrepreneur or craftsman. Because if the landlord hesitates because you don't have a permanent contract, your file can make all the difference.

"Action logement" for self-entrepreneur: what documents do I need?

To be on the safe side, your application must include the following documents:

  • a photocopy of both sides of a document proving your identity: passport or identity card

  • Your most recent tax assessment

  • Proof of previous address

  • Proof of income for the last three months

  • The address of your micro-enterprise's registered office

  • The last two balance sheets of your micro-business

  • An official document attesting to the truth and nature of your business.

  • For the guarantor file: you need to provide the same documents, plus a handwritten letter from the guarantor declaring that he/she will stand surety for you (you can find sample letters online).

Micro-entrepreneur housing assistance: what type of landlord should you choose?

Before embarking on your search, we advise you to think about the type of landlord that would suit you best. Estate agency or private individual? Agencies have a greater number of listings, but they are more expensive because of the processing fees. What's more, they don't always accept auto-entrepreneurs. On the other hand, in the event of a problem with your apartment, some agencies are very responsive.

With a private owner, there are no handling fees. What's more, more of them accept auto-entrepreneurs. You'll find ads for this type of landlord by word of mouth, or via sites like Le Bon Coin.

Renting a self-employed apartment: should I live alone, in a shared apartment or in coliving?

"Should I live alone or in a shared apartment?" If you want to live downtown, coliving may be a good option. You'll have a larger apartment with shared rent, which is often lower. As for living on your own, it's increasingly difficult in major cities, because rents are too high.

But at Colonies, we think the best solution is coliving. By opting for the latter, you're choosing the best of both worlds, as you're assured of having a real private space, while sharing certain rooms with other people. Coliving is also a great way to meet new people and share time together. A great way to unwind after a hard day's work!

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