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How to apply for housing deposit assistance: consolidate your file

A rental application without payment guarantee isn't robust. If your landlord asks for a security deposit, know that they're referring to a housing guarantee, and importantly, several housing guarantee assistance programs are available.

Landlords typically require tenants to provide a security deposit. In common parlance, and even professionally, it's also known as a rental deposit, tenant guarantee, security check, or sometimes erroneously as a guarantee. The security deposit can be a barrier for many types of tenants. That's why several housing guarantee assistance programs exist.

We'll explain everything about this widespread practice, which has almost become a 'law' through common usage.

What is a housing guarantee?

A housing guarantee, or more precisely a security deposit, is an amount deposited by the tenant with the landlord at the beginning of the lease. It's often in the form of a check, hence its other name "security check".

The rental deposit is not used to pay the first month's rent. Similarly, the housing guarantee (in the sense of a security deposit) is different from a personal guarantor. This misuse of terminology can sometimes cause confusion.

The security check can come from a housing deposit assistance or be signed by a close acquaintance. The deposit (amount of money) is given to the landlord to compensate for any damage to the rented property or cover months of unpaid rent. While the landlord may cash it, they are obligated to return it at the end of the lease after any deductions (unpaid rent, repairs).

In the case of lease renewal, no new housing guarantee is required.

Finally, note that the rental guarantee is not a legal obligation. It becomes legally enforceable only if mentioned in the lease agreement. In practice, it has become a 'right' of the landlord.

What are the different housing guarantee assistance programs?

The security deposit (or guarantee) can represent a significant sum for some tenants given the state of their financial resources. It typically amounts to one month's rent for an unfurnished property and two months for a furnished rental. If this amount needs to be added to the payment of the first month's rent and the moving costs, the total becomes substantial.

Several housing guarantee assistance programs can be applied for. They allow the tenant to build a strong application without using their own funds at the beginning of occupancy.

LOCA-PASS: assistance for the security deposit

LOCA-PASS advance is a zero-interest loan designed to finance the housing guarantee. The LOCA-PASS loan is free: no application fees or interest. It is granted by Action-Logement.

Tenants eligible for the LOCA-PASS guarantee are non-agricultural private sector employees, grantee students and working students (with contracts of more than 3 months), apprentices, and unemployed individuals under 30 years old. The leased property must be a primary residence.

The LOCA-PASS advance is applied for online and is repayable over 25 months. This housing guarantee assistance is not cumulative with the same type of assistance granted by the FSL (FSL housing guarantee assistance).

CAF housing guarantee assistance

The Caisse des allocations familiales acts as a guarantor to the landlord for a period of three years if eligible. It is requested for ANAH or APL conventioned housing.

Visale Action Logement

The Visale guarantee is another housing guarantee assistance managed by Action Logement. It is not a zero-interest loan like the LOCA-PASS advance; its mechanism is different. Visale guarantees payment of arrears and compensation for any damages.

The Visale guarantee is capped, applied for online, and subject to eligibility criteria.

Student housing guarantee assistance

We've already seen that students are eligible for housing guarantee assistance from LOCA-PASS and Visale. The latter program has replaced the CLÉ (Student Housing Guarantee) managed by the State.

Obtaining a Visale visa requires several steps. The student looking for a guarantor must create a personal account on the Visale website, fill out the form, download the visa (with a validation period of two days), and present the visa to the landlord.

Housing guarantee assistance for the unemployed

LOCA-PASS used to be requested by unemployed individuals/job seekers as assistance for the security deposit (an advance of 500 euros). Since 2019, Action Logement recommends that they instead apply for the Visale guarantee.

It should be noted that LOCA-PASS guarantees provide young people under 30 with a strong guarantee to include in their rental application. As for housing guarantee assistance for those over 30, it is issued by Visale in the form of a visa for housing.

Housing guarantee assistance for civil servants

Civil servants and state employees can benefit from the Personnel Installation Assistance (AIP). AIP is intended for "first-time" civil servants or those assigned to Sensitive Urban Zones (ZUS).

AIP is a non-repayable financial assistance that covers various installation costs and the security deposit. Like any housing guarantee assistance, the civil service deposit guarantee is capped and subject to conditions.

Tenants having difficulty presenting convincing applications to landlords can seek assistance from several organizations (FSL, CAF, Action Logement, etc.). Housing guarantee assistance can take the form of a zero-interest loan (LOCA-PASS scheme), a solid guarantor (Visale visa, AIP guarantee), or a social subsidy (CCAS assistance for the elderly or disabled).

Being in a precarious situation does not prevent tenants from providing a guarantee. Several non-cumulative solutions exist. It's essential to seek the right housing guarantee assistance and choose the best landlord to facilitate your housing experience.

Colonies: a new solution for shared housing/coliving

Since its launch, Colonies has positioned itself as a flexible real estate brand. The tedious tenant journey is simplified to the maximum. The rental application is submitted online on the Colonies platform and quickly processed.

With this in mind, Colonies' Supercoloc offers have been reinvented. The reservation process is seamless: we aimed for a hassle-free experience. Don't wait any longer!

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