When I started searching for an apartment in Paris, my French friends warned me. There are a few apartments and many applicants. The existing laws favor the tenants. So, the property owner scrutinizes the application very carefully before giving a nod to move in. You will be asked for a lot of documentation. The last part did not come as a surprise. The French love documentation. To sum up one month of my struggle, I learnt how whole thing works and got introduced to new banking terms. That forms the basis of my "French Lessons" series.
Besides the necessary and unnecessary documents, the property owners needs a guarantor. Like I mentioned in a previous post, your parents are valuable in this case. They can act as the guarantor. But in my case, my parents do not qualify. "What could we do with your parent's guarantee? They live in India". This is exactly what a property owner told me. Believe me, it was not as rude as it sounds. The speaker posed the question with great difficulty, spending a lot of time to choose the right word while substituting "mmmm" to eliminate the silence while searching for the right word.
As I learnt, the "have-not"s like me have an option. The omnipotent bank. The banks can act as your guarantor. They can give you a document that will be serve as the guarantee for the property owner. The document is called Caution Bancaire or Garantie Bancaire. Now, it seems the problem of guarantor is no longer a problem. Wait. Let me tell you how it works.
First, the property owner is satisfied with your looks, your documents, the monthly rent and duration of the lease. Then, the person gives you the much anticipated nod. Now, you go to the bank and inform them about the property details, monthly rent and duration of the lease. The bank multiplies the monthly rent with duration to decide the total rent paid. Then the bank open another account and moves the total rent paid into that account. Then, the issue the edict - Caution Bancaire or Garantie Bancaire. Your money is locked!