Help ! dd is having a shit time trying to find a flat in Bordeaux.

(46 Posts)
ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 19:44:36

She's there this week, flys back on friday , so tomorrow last day.
She is having trouble finding a furnished flat cos they want a french guarantor..which she doesn't have.
So unfurnished there a decent second hand market , anyone know the area.
Such a pita.
She should have done all this a month or so ago I know but hey ho she's there now .
And she's had to pay money to estate agent to get list of flats to view!!!
Most student furnished are all taken.
ANy advice??

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 20:08:51


ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 20:15:51

feeling guilty that i'm not with her as all the french students have their parents with them

Impomea Wed 07-Aug-13 20:39:35

Hi ggirl .I don't know the area but there is a website which the french use to advertise everything! If she speaks some french it is very easy to use .My son used this to find student accom in Poitiers.
I have never heard of paying an estate agent for a list of rentals!
The uni also have rooms to rent on campus.
Good luck.

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 20:54:03

thanks for that, i think uni ones have all been taken by the french students, will give her that address.
she's finding that all the landlords want to only rent to french people
she speaks good french so thank you

Gingerandproud Wed 07-Aug-13 20:59:05

Try finding an Emmaus shop for second hand furniture, there are over 250 in France I think so good chance there is one there.

AnnaBegins Wed 07-Aug-13 21:00:26

Can she ask at the uni if they know any students seeking flatmates, or is there a noticeboard with flatmates/flats wanted ads? Or has she met any English students who are leaving accommodation? That's how I found mine!

AnnaBegins Wed 07-Aug-13 21:01:39

Oh and meant to add, my accommodation was a room in a french family's house - can she put ads up in some shops/la poste/local noticeboards/churches?

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 21:01:44

Thank you , have txt her that name

Bluestocking Wed 07-Aug-13 21:09:30

Can't do links, sorry, but is a great source of info. Their accommodation advice is here

MsApprehension Wed 07-Aug-13 21:14:44

Is she going through on an Erasmus exchange from a UK uni? Her home uni might be able to put her in contact with previous students who've been to Bordeaux who might be able to recommend a flat/landlord or give her some tips.

BriocheBriocheBrioche Wed 07-Aug-13 21:15:38

Tell her to look on and find the local forum.
Its an expat forum but lots of people rent out holiday homes out of season/spare rooms in exchange for a few chores etc.

A lot of my friends rent privately via angloinfo as its really hard to get a flat without a CDI work contract/guarantor/shit loads of money!

There is often lots of furniture for sale/giveaway too if she's ends up in an unfurnished place.

Good luck to your dd

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 21:16:48

thanks she's had no luck with the uni, closed this month
is looking on the 3rdyrabroad site
the wanted ads etc ,,she's called loads and loads and 99% of them don't answer the phone or return call after message left..v weird

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 21:20:45

thx will give her the angloinfo one sounds good

she's got 8 viewings tomorrow for mostly unfurnished , she's ahd quite a few viewings and most have had loads of french students viewing with their parents so they get them

she's decided she'll go for unfurnished , she's then got to arrange wifi and electric

poor girl is stressing out

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 21:21:12

wish i had gone with her now

skylerwhite Wed 07-Aug-13 21:23:18

French Craigslist is quite popular afaik. Are halls a no-go?

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 21:24:09

halls have no rooms left for erasmus

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 21:24:41

is french craiglist called the same?

BriocheBriocheBrioche Wed 07-Aug-13 21:25:30

Im sure you do but imagine how (in hindsight!!!) proud she'll feel having sorted all this out herself.

An unfurnished might be the better option, she can get lots of bits and peices to make feel like home.

I second emmaus for cheap furniture and she should look out for local 'vide greniers' the equiv of a car boot sale. My house is full of amazing finds!

skylerwhite Wed 07-Aug-13 21:28:32

Yea, just google Craigslist Bordeaux. It's v popular in Paris, but can't speak for other cities.

Also the international office at the uni should be open, and they might have advice or a notice board.

Mimmit Wed 07-Aug-13 21:28:36

Hi.i lived in bordeaux as a student many many years ago . Unfortunately too long ago to be much help now other than saying I had a nightmare finding digs but it was character building and by far the hardest bit of the year. I got somewhere through tge Catholic association (?)in the didn't matter that I wasn't Catholic!
.it is a beautiful place to be.i am sure she will have a fantastic year. She will be better for doing this herself.Can't believe parents are going out to help. Keep us posted.

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 21:28:43

oh the car boot is a good idea
she'll have to find a way to get a mattress delivered, can't see her carrying that
I know she's technically an adult but she's still my baby and I hate to hear her stress ...all a good experience I suppose
thanks for all your help

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 21:29:40

hahah yes she's said she's suddenly turned religious..praying for a flat

skylerwhite Wed 07-Aug-13 21:30:44

Also, perhaps get her to look for a Facebook page for Bordeaux international students, or something like that - she might get advice or find someone with a room going spare there.

Bluestocking Wed 07-Aug-13 21:31:31

OP, I'm sure you do wish you had gone, but truthfully, what support could you have provided by being there that you aren't already offering?
Your DD will find herself somewhere to live and will feel so proud and capable for having sorted out this big thing for herself. Your role is to keep reminding her that she can do this, because (to quote Sugar Pie De Santo via Mr T) her momma didn't raise no fools.

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 21:35:12

thanks your right..she will be proud of herself
she's got more balls than me for sure

Impomea Wed 07-Aug-13 22:30:11

Lots of student studio appartments come with very basic furniture usually a bed and a desk.She could get one of those inflatable mattresses to tide her over .They often sell them in french supermarkets.

Once she starts uni I am sure she will find everybody to be really friendly and helpful.

ggirl Wed 07-Aug-13 22:38:50

great idea about inflatable mattress
will see what tomorrow brings
thanks for your suport smile

castlesintheair Thu 08-Aug-13 10:09:47

My French friend's DD is starting in Bordeaux. I can ask her for advice if you want. Just pm me. We live in France.

ggirl Thu 08-Aug-13 14:49:07

oh castles I wish i had seen your post this am
she's been on the ph in tears
was 5min too late for one she saw at 1pm
some are asking 2mos deposit and she's fretting about the money
I just told her to get the one she likes and we'll worry about the deposit

bloody stressful !!!!!!!!

ggirl Thu 08-Aug-13 14:50:08

she hates asking for money from us so is stressing majorly about that as well

Impomea Thu 08-Aug-13 17:21:52

Has your daughter looked at the CROUS site for Bordeaux ? They have student accom .(logement etudiant)

ggirl Thu 08-Aug-13 19:41:17

Hi update ,as dd is due to leave Bordeaux tomorrow at 10am she has been frantically trying to sort something out today.
She has been asked for 2 mos deposit hmm but also I or dh have to sign a form and give send tax return proof from year before last (last yrs not enough hmm)
So provisionally she has found somewhere but it is all subjective to landlord getting this proof and speaking to us on the phone tomorrow...and as dd is flying back tomorrow , if this falls through she's buggered!
Poor girl was in tears calling me form estate agents but I think they have taken pity on her and thus allowing us till tomorrow to get these forms to them.

ggirl Tue 13-Aug-13 18:19:08

ok so she has found nothing
french landlords want french tenants
she's home now so will have to go back in week or so with a parent this time ....aaargh!!

It's really tricky finding apartments when you are a student so she has my sympathies. I did a couple of internships for the French government in Paris and Lyon when I was a student and even their payslips didn't always help us with landlords. I remember turning up to one grotty place and we were number 20 in line to view that day ... Everyone had their guarantors lined up too! Remember that I furnished often means no white goods (ie fridge, cooker) and sometimes not even a kitchen sink......

I did stay in a catholic hostel in Lyon for a while, it was great and they didn't mind the English girls rolling in at 3am on a Sunday morning, as long as we were quiet.

For your dd, I just found loads of furnished student accommodation on the national website Adele. Is she not eligible for any of these? There are studios and flats, city centre or outskirts, Internet, launderette. Any good?

Btw I wouldn't go through estate agents as they often ask for money just to look at their properties. Stick with the small ads in local papers, notice boards etc. very few of these will be as picky and a landlord will never ask for your tax information.

ggirl Wed 14-Aug-13 20:26:33

butterflies, thanks for your advice, meant to post earlier , gave dd the website info this am.She's going back to Bordeaux on the 26th and taking dh this time to try and find and confirm a place.

riverboat Wed 14-Aug-13 23:13:54

It is a nightmare finding a flat to rent in France if you are French, and a HUGE nightmare if you are foreign!

It seems impossible when you're in the thick of ithe search, but I'm sure she'll get there.

She may be better with a house share or sublet as it won't require all the guarantor stuff. Look at: (has a housing section)

When you go out there, take originals and copies of all the paperwork you might possibly need should you be called upon as guarantor - bank statements, tax return, work contract with stated salary...

I know a couple of Brits here in Paris who have clinched an apartment by throwing in English lessons to landlor or landlord's kids as a sweetener! Could be worth a try...but the dossier is the most important thing.

Personally I wouldn't pin my hopes on a flat for the reasons riverboat has pointed out. I didn't have my own place until after graduating and having a decent income - even then it was 20 m2, one room on the fifth floor with no lift.

For reasons of friendship, social life, security and cost I would personally go for a flat share or student accommodation / foyer etc. and would not live on my own.....

Best of luck to her and keep us posted!

ggirl Thu 15-Aug-13 17:01:05

She's not hoping for a flat ...she'll take anything...flatshares , studios etc and she has already been there with all the paperwork , going back again with dh cos they seem to want a parent physically with her as guarantor .

ggirl Wed 28-Aug-13 09:38:16

Update , dd has finally found a flat . It's a studio flat and furnished in student area . Shes so relieved. Cleaning it up today and sorting all the other stuff out like Internet ,phone electricity . Thanks for all your help.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Thu 29-Aug-13 01:35:15

Been lurking as i can remember myself in her shoes 20 years ago! Had no positive feedback so thought i'd bite my tongue!
Glad its sorted. Hope its all smooth sailing now!

ggirl Thu 29-Aug-13 10:35:53

Oh Master -thanks for not telling me your horror stories.
I'm now worrying how safe she is and how long she'll be without phone internet etc.
She's adamant she wants to do this alone , meeting up with another girl today from same uni so at least she'll have a friend.
You never stop worrying about your kids do you?!

So pleased she's found somewhere to live. I doubt you'll ever stop worrying but she'll have the time of her life.

fussychica Fri 30-Aug-13 14:12:52

Glad to hear it's sorted - what a relief!

DS is off to Bordeaux region for his year abroad - he is teaching through the British Council - been placed in the middle of nowhere! He has been offered accommodation at the school (it's boarding) - after hearing your DDs experience I sincerely hope it works out.

I'm sure they will both be fine along with the hundreds of other doing similar but I'll be worrying with yougrin

ggirl Fri 30-Aug-13 20:00:24

In hindsight dd should have gone to find a place in July rather than go travelling hmm...she regrets that choice now.

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