Saturday, June 19, 2010

Intern Non Grata

Hello les filles,
Comment allez vous?  Here in Paris, the apartment search continues!  I have now called about/visited close to 20 apartments and my latest dilemma seems that I have stumbled into apartment No Man's Land.  I realize now that I am at the very bottom of the Undesirable list when it comes to renting property.  Sure, no one wants a drug addict or a party animal living in their flat, but even worse... The worst possible tenant of all?  The Unemployed Intern!  You may think I am exaggerating but I can actually hear the fear and judgement in their voices as I reveal the terrible truth.  They go from relatively keen on renting me the apartment (I have taken to dressing up and using my fancy grad school email address when applying), but as soon as I say that I am looking for work or that I just finished an internship at a well-known magazine, the mood changes. They can't wait to get me out the door so more "serious" candidates can visit!  

Yesterday we visited a lovely apartment with a gorgeous kitchen and stunning views and the agent was thrilled that we were interested.  We went back to her office to discuss the details and she even continued without judgement as I admitted to being a (gasp!) foreign Eternal Intern. She started to list the documents I would need to provide her on the back of her business card and when she handed it to me, the entire card was covered with Euro symbols!  I'll recreate the calculations: 

Rent:  €1150
Security deposit:  €2500
Caution bancaire:  €6,900  
(Owners require foreigners to block 6X the rent in a French account for the entire length of the rental!)
Agency fees:  €1150

Grand total to move into a RENTAL apartment:  $14,500 USD!!!!!  

As you can imagine, we walked right out the door and didn't look back. I'd be better off BUYING an apartment!  Infuriating?  Yes!  Discouraging? Mais oui! It's clear that an intern (without an internship no less!) is persona no grata when it comes to parisian rentals!  So I ask, no I beg of you, Parisian landlords, look past my Scarlet Letter and consider this:  I have never missed a rent payment, I have never trashed an apartment and I will definitely be the best tenant you've ever had!  Give me a break already!  

More apartments to visit!   Fingers crossed!  

Bisous, Ophelia 

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