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About accommodation

Lyon is a pleasant city to live in. However, finding accommodation can be a complex and time-consuming when you move here, especially at the start of the academic year (September to December). It is essential you start looking for accommodation as soon as possible.

The rules governing rentals in France may be confusing at first, as they may be different to what you are used to in your country of residence. It is important you have all the information at hand.

We also recommend you read the interactive housing guide drawn up by the FNAK. This comprehensive guide will help you understand how to rent accommodation in France.

Where should you live

We have drawn up a presentation to give you information about the different neighborhoods in Lyon, and the neighboring cities

Lyon boasts a particularly well connected and efficient public transport network.

If you have a tight budget, you might want to consider looking further away from the city center and extending your search to the outskirts of Lyon, where rents are more affordable (Villeurbanne, Vaulx-en-Velin, Bron, Vénissieux, Oullins, etc.). Even on the outskirts, you can get where you need to be quickly and easily if you live near a subway or streetcar station.

If you are having trouble finding accommodation, consider extending your search to the outskirts of Lyon, including neighboring towns that have an SNCF railway station with regular connections to Lyon (Vienne, Villefranche sur Saône, Saint-Etienne, etc.).

Rents are much more affordable in Saint-Étienne than in Lyon.

Estimate your public transport journey times between your future accomodation (Lyon and outskirts) and your place of worl or study in Lyon

Interactive map of Lyon

Your accommodation budget

Accommodation will take up a significant part of your budget. Rents in Lyon can be relatively high (around €600 for a studio, €850 for a one-bedroom apartment and over €1000 for an apartment with two or more bedrooms). These prices are only provided for information purposes and may vary depending on the size and location of the accommodation.

In addition to the rent and rental costs, depending on your situation, you’ll have to add:
  • Real estate agency fees: around one month’s rent
  • Security deposit: one month’s rent without the rental expenses (up to two month’s rent for furnished rentals)
  • Telephone line setup fees
  • Setup fees for water, gas, electricity
  • Home insurance
The security deposit, normally referred to as a “caution” or “chèque de caution” in French, is a sum of money paid by the tenant to the landlord (“bailleur”) to cover any damage or unpaid rent. It will be returned to you when you leave your accommodation if all your rent has been paid and no damage has been noted.

Housing benefits

In order to guarantee everyone access to accommodation, the French State has set up a system of financial assistance. Depending on the type of accommodation, your income and makeup of your family, you may be entitled to financial assistance to reduce the amount of rent you have to pay. 

Housing benefits are managed by the Caisse d’Allocations Familiales (CAF) [social welfare office]. You have to send your application for financial assistance to the CAF, which will determine, based on your application, if you are eligible and the amount you will receive. There are a number of criteria, and we cannot indicate the different amounts of housing benefit available. However, you can simulate the amount you are eligible for using the CAF calculation module.

If you are entitled to housing benefit, it will be paid in the months following your arrival. That is why we recommend you submit your request for housing benefit as soon as you move in to your new accommodation. For information, housing benefit is usually paid directly to your landlord. Your rent will be reduced by the same amount. The amount of the benefit is revised in January of each year.

There are several different types of housing benefit. They cannot be combined – you can only receive one of these benefits. The CAF will determine what benefit you are eligible for, based on your application.

Aide Personnalisée au Logement (APL) [Personal housing allowance]

This allowance is for any individual living in APL-compliant housing , depending on their income. This type of housing may be furnished or not, rented from a private landlord, a university or private student residence, a young workers’ residence or a hotel. However, it must be your primary residence in France.
Your APL application must be submitted as soon as you move into your accommodation. You can submit your application on the website

L’Allocation de Logement à caractère Familial (ALF) [Family housing allowance]

Family housing allowance is for individuals who are not entitled to APL and who:
  • Have children (born or expecting);
  • Were married less than 5 years ago, with both spouses being under 40 years of age.
ALF is also based on your income and your family situation. These limits vary depending on the makeup of your household and the geographical location of your accommodation.

Your APL application must be submitted as soon as you move into your accommodation. You can submit your application on the website

L’Allocation Logement Social (ALS) [Social housing allowance]

Social housing allowance (ALS) is for individuals not entitled to either APL or ALF. The amount is generally slightly less than these two benefits.
ALS is awarded if your income does not exceed a certain amount. These limits vary depending on the makeup of your family and the geographical location of your accommodation.

You can submit your ALS application on the website