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Student: Finding your guarantor

Updated on May 25, 2021
Student Life

Looking to rent student accommodation? Whether you are living independently or sharing, your property owner may require a guarantor. What exactly is a guarantor? How do I find one? We’re here to help clear things up and answer any questions you may have. 

What does a guarantor do? 

As a student, you rent accommodation without necessarily having any personal income. For property owners, this might represent a risk of not being paid rent. So, they may require a guarantor to be certain that the rent will be paid at the end of the month. 

Your guarantor is responsible if you fail to comply with your obligations. Basically, your guarantor pays out if something goes wrong, so proof of enough resources to foot the bill is needed. This is why property owners often ask for the guarantor’s most recent tax return — as proof of income. 

Your guarantor signs an official document, called a guarantee, which is also known as a type of “security”. This means the guarantor is legally bound to pay the property owner for you if necessary. The guarantor completes the document, which is then attached to your lease. 

Handy hint: For shared accommodation, all tenants must have their own individual guarantor.

How do I find my guarantor?

The first solution, which most students choose, is simple: Ask someone close to you. 

This could be a parent, sister, uncle, friend or third party. Any private individual who declares income in France and has an official tax return can be a guarantor for you.

If you are an international student, please note that a property owner cannot legally reject your guarantor because they live in your home country. However, in practice, applications with guarantors who live in France often have an advantage.

Don’t worry if this is the case — you can go through a specialised agency like Visale or Garantme. This is explained in more detail a little further down :)

Etudiante lisant à son bureau dans son studio étudiant YouFirst Campus

Studio - Paris Palaiseau

What supporting documentation does my guarantor need?

The following is a list of documents that your individual guarantor needs to provide:

  • Valid photo ID 
  • Document providing proof of address issued within the last three months, e.g. a rent receipt, an electricity bill etc.
  • Employment contract or other proof of work
  • Proof of income, such as payslips, most recent tax return etc.

Do I need one or two guarantors?

It all comes down to numbers. Your guarantor must provide proof of a monthly income equivalent to four times your rent -utilities included-, either through recent payslips or a tax return.

Not everyone earns enough to do this. If your chosen guarantor does not reach the required income threshold, you can have a second guarantor. 

Each guarantor must then provide proof of an income equivalent to three times the monthly rent including utilities, with all the necessary supporting documents. 

Echange entre un étudiant et le YouFirst Manager

What do I do if I don’t have a guarantor?

Maybe your guarantor lives abroad, doesn’t meet the income requirements, or you don’t know someone who can help you. You can then turn to a “corporate body”. In other words, a legal entity, such as a company, a bank or an association. 

It plays exactly the same role as a private individual in that it will pay, if necessary, the rent, utilities and any other amounts that the tenant owes. 

Here are two organisations that can act as your guarantor:

1. The online fee-based service from Garantme

The upsides:

  • Everything is done online to be as convenient as possible
  • You’ll receive a certified application within 24 hours
  • It’s available to French and international students
  • Garantme can offer support with your application 


The downside: There is a charge for the guarantee service, with a rate of 4.5% applied to the amount of your rent including VAT. By using our exclusive promo code YOUFIRST, you can take advantage of a special discount, reducing the rate to just 3.5%, which represents a saving of 1% on the total cost of this insurance. 

Let's take a concrete example with a monthly rent of 800 euros. Normally, the monthly cost of this cover is 36 euros. Thanks to our promotional code, the monthly cost drops to 28 euros. That's a reduction of 8 euros a month (a saving of around 100 euros a year).

Visit the Garantme website to find out more.

Etudiant travaillant sur le bureau dans sa résidence étudiante Talence Centre

Studio - Talence Centre

2. Visale, the free service offered by Action Logement

The upsides:

  • It’s free
  • It’s available to French and international students, even those without an income
  • For rents including utilities lower than €425, no proof of income is required.

 The downside is that certain conditions apply, so you must :

  • Be under the age of 30
  • Not be registered at the same tax address as your parents
  • Not be paying more than €800 (utilities included) in rent for accommodation in Paris, and €600 for the rest of France. 
  • Be paying an amount equal to between 30% and 50% of your income.
  • Not be renting shared accommodation.

If you are an international student:

Please note: The Visale guarantee can last for up to 3 years, up to a maximum of 36 monthly payments. 

Visit the Visale website to find out more.

Etudiant dans son studio étudiant équipé: résidence étudiante YouFirst Campus

Studio - Paris Bagnolet

In summary

A guarantor is a must-have in getting a foot in the door and securing a student rental, but putting together a complete application is just as important.

Tip: To get on the fast track, get all your documents ready [link to list of required documents] before starting your application.

Student rental mini glossary

Guarantor, guarantee, security deposit… you’ll come across a lot of words when completing your application and so it’s best to know what they mean.


The person or organisation that guarantees that your rent will be paid to the property owner of your apartment. 

Guarantee or security

The document that your guarantor must sign when signing the lease. This means that the guarantor is legally bound to pay your rent for you, including utilities, if you default on payment during the term of your lease.

Not to be confused with “security deposit”

Often called a “retainer”, which is in addition to your guarantee. The security deposit is an amount equivalent to one or two months’ rent (including tax and excluding utilities), which must be paid when you move in to your accommodation. This money is retained for the duration of your stay and is returned to you when you move out.