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Accommodation

Lyon is a pleasant and safe city. However, finding accommodation can be difficult and time-consuming. The rules and regulations governing rental housing in France may be confusing at first, especially if they differ significantly from those in your home country. It is therefore essential to gather useful, reliable information.

We also encourage you to read the interactive housing guide published by the FNAK. This thorough guide will help you to understand rental accommodation in France.

Where to live

Lyon is a safe city with a particularly well-connected and efficient public transport system.

There are not really any neighborhoods to avoid for safety reasons.

If your housing budget is limited, you might consider looking further from the city center, in the outskirts of Lyon (Villeurbanne, Bron, Oullins, etc.) where rent is more affordable. As long as you live near a metro or tramway station, you can travel around the city easily and quickly.

Accommodation budget

Housing will be one of the biggest elements of your budget. Rental rates in Lyon can be relatively high (around €600/month for a studio, €850 for a one-bedroom apartment and over €1,000 for apartments with two or more bedrooms).

In addition to rent, you may have to add on:

  • Moving costs.
  • Real estate agency fees: usually around one month’s rent.
  • A security deposit: One month’s rent, excluding charges (possibly more for furnished accommodation).
  • Fee for opening a phone line.
  • Fees for turning on the water, gas and electricity.
  • Rental insurance

Note: in France, any person occupying a lodging on 1 January must pay housing taxe: taxe d’habitation. This tax must be paid, even if you have moved during the year, within France or abroad. You will be sent a tax notice in September by post to your residence or to the address that you provided to the administration. Contact the owner of your lodging or the rental property agency for your tax amount.

For more information about these expenses, consult the housing guide published by the FNAK.

Housing benefits

In order to guarantee access to housing for everyone, the French State has implemented a system of housing benefits. Depending on your type of housing, your income and your family composition, you may qualify for financial assistance to reduce your rent amount.

Housing benefits are managed by the family benefits body: Caisse d'Allocations Familiales (CAF). You must submit your allowance request to the CAF which determine whether you are eligible and the allowance amount. The CAF's criteria are too extensive to allow us to provide the diverse housing aid amounts here. However, you have the possibility to evaluate it using the CAF calculator.

If you are granted housing aid, it will be paid from the following month. For this reason, we advise you to apply for such assistance as soon as you move into your new lodging. Note that housing allowances are generally paid directly to the owner of the property. If this is the case for you, your rent will be reduced as a result. The specific allowance is re-evaluated each year during the month of January.

Several types of housing allowances exist. Such allowances are non-cumulative: you can only benefit from one allowance at a time. The CAF will determine, based on your dossier, the allowance for which you are eligible.

 

Personal housing aid (APL)

Aide Personnalisée au Logement (APL) is housing aid made available to people living in APL-certified housing, under certain conditions. These accommodations can be furnished or not, rented from a private owner, a university or private residence, a young worker's home or a hotel. In all cases, it must be your principal residence in France.

You must submit your APL allowance application as soon as you move into your new accommodation. Apply directly online at www.caf.fr

 

Family housing aid (ALF)

Allocation de Logement à caractère Familial (ALF) is family housing aid for those persons ineligible for APL assistance and who:
  • Have children (or are parents-to-be).
  • Were married less than 5 years ago and prior to each spouse's 40th birthday.
ALF assistance is also attributed according to your income and your family situation. These income ceilings vary depending on the make-up of your family and the geographic situation of your lodging.

You must submit your APL allowance application as soon as you move into your new accommodation. Apply directly online at www.caf.fr

 

Social housing aid (ALS)

Allocation de Logement Social (ALS) is social housing aid for those persons ineligible for both the APL and the ALF. The amount is generally slightly lower than the first two allowance systems.

You may be eligible for ALS assistance if your income does not exceed a certain amount. These income ceilings vary depending on your family make-up and the geographic situation of your lodging.

Apply directly online for APL assistance at www.caf.fr