What Can I Expect?
You can expect that your Comforts of Home apartment will be clean, well-equipped, and spacious enough for you and your roommates and your stuff. It will be located in a characteristic residential area within a reasonable distance from your university or workplace (metro and/or bus travel time is within approximately 30 minutes). You'll find a local grocery, bar and some restaurants within a short walk. You'll be near an entrance to Paris's fantastic metro system, so the whole city will be at your fingertips.
And Comforts of Home will be with you the whole time. We've got a multilingual staff on the ground, and our own maintenance team.
Where will my apartment be?
Paris is divided into a number of distinct zones called arrondissements, each of which has its own attractions and charms. Even though Paris is a huge city, all apartments are within an approximately 30-minute trip by public transportation from campus or work. We try hard to make sure your apartment is near your university. For some universities, we offer the ability to select a category of housing closer to school (for an additional fee).
Can I select my apartment address?
We cannot provide students the option to choose the location of their apartment as there are specific factors that determine the placements of students taken from answers provided on the students’ preferences survey. We make sure that all of our standard apartments are located within an approximately 30-minute commute by mass transit. However we offer supplemental options at an additional cost that allow students of certain universities to live closer to their campus.
Can I take a tour of an apartment prior to arrival?
All of our apartments are either occupied or being cleaned and carefully prepped for the next occupants! Unfortunately, we are unable to take parents and students on tours of our apartments (we don’t want to disturb the tenants!) but, you can refer to our photo gallery to view photos of some of our apartments.
What about apartment amenities?
COH apartments come with everything you'll need to take advantage of your academic experience in the City of Light. A spacious apartment, with a comfortable bed in a Shared or Single bedroom, a living room, bathroom, and fully-outfitted kitchen (refrigerator, stove, oven and/or convection-microwave, cooking supplies, plates, glasses and silverware, pots and pans) fill out the picture. We also supply you with new linens, a duvet and a blanket. You'll find a laundry machine, but not a dryer (most Parisians don't have them), and we don't supply small consumer electronics like hairdryers. Also, don't count on air conditioning (though it's normally not needed in Paris).
Keep in mind that every apartment is in an authentic Parisian residential building, and they're all different. Some are new, some are centuries-old (everything works, but there may be creaky floors and often-painted-over doors). Most Paris apartments have a bathroom (shower, sink), AND a separate room for the toilet! Some buildings have elevators, some don't, some have gardien(ne)s (people who watch the building, organize the trash and pass out the mail), others don't.
Most important, remember that your home is an apartment, in a building where people of many ages live - families with babies, people who wake up early to go to work, older people who may go to sleep early. Living in an apartment is different from staying in a hotel. Part of the experience is learning how to live with many different types of people, and to take care of your apartment like your home - because it is! Many things you'll do yourself (keep your kitchen clean, take out the trash, change the light bulbs), but when something goes wrong, you'll have the security of COH's 24-hour maintenance team to back you up!
Will I be assigned a roommate?
All COH residents live with other students or interns. You can request a single bedroom in a group apartment, or a shared bedroom. After we receive your reservation and initial payments, and approximately one month before your check-in date, we'll send you a Housing Preferences Survey so we can begin the process of matching students up. You can also request a specific person to be your apartment-mate, provided that you mutually request each other (and request the same apartment-type and services!). We try our best to accommodate these requests, but we can't always guarantee it.
What if I can't stand my roommate?
At the beginning of the term we ask all students to fill out a Roommate Agreement, where they specify apartment-wide policies for everything ranging from who cleans the dishes to how late someone can have a guest over. If worst comes to worst, we'll all get together and discuss the unpleasant situation in light of the rules that everyone originally agreed to.
What If I can't stand my apartment?
Hopefully not! We're experienced real estate developers and managers, and we've created strict standards for what makes an apartment qualify for Comforts of Home's program. We look to correct any problems that come up immediately, and to address any concerns that students have with any aspect of their accommodation. In extreme cases we have been able to move students, but this is not always an option (and most people prefer not to relocate during a 4-month term). In any event, moving to any new location is always somewhat stressful, so our initial advice is to spend some time adjusting to the city and your environment first.
I requested something, and I didn't get It. What gives?
We ask for your preferences to help establish which apartment and/or apartment-mates will help make your experience in Paris fantastic. We don't guarantee that we'll be able to provide what you'd prefer, or match you with the apartment-mates of your choice. We're putting together the needs and wants of more than 500 students at a time, and it's a complicated jigsaw puzzle.
In the event that we can't provide you with something that costs extra (like a Preferred Location, or a Single Bedroom), we'll of course refund the difference.
What do I do if something in my apartment breaks?
One of the advantages of Comforts of Home is that we have our own maintenance team that's responsible for fixing anything that goes wrong. Simply go online and fill out a Maintenance Request form, and we'll respond to you within 1 business day by phone or email to arrange a time to fix it.
How safe will I be?
Ensuring your personal safety is a priority we take very seriously. That's why we make sure that all of our apartments have secure locks and meet our strict security criteria. We also make sure that they're in attractive parts of safe neighborhoods. Paris is an extremely safe city, but keep in mind that it is a big city, and standard big-city smarts are required by anyone who lives there. We'll talk about this in greater detail during orientation.
How about emergencies?
Legitimate housing emergencies, including gas leaks, large water leaks and fire are reasons to call the COH emergency number (after you notify the police and/or fire department). We're available 24/7. You can also call us if you're locked out at 2am (but please try to get in touch with your roommates first - we do charge an after-hours lockout fee. Note that we do not recommend calling a locksmith in Paris on your own as their charges can often be astronomical. Serious personal emergencies relating to health and safety should be reported first to the police or handled by emergency medical personnel. We'll get involved as necessary.
When will I find out where (and with whom) I'll live?
We spend a lot of time and put in great effort to ensure that we try and match compatible students and put them in apartments that meet their needs. To help us determine these assignments, we send out a “Housing Preferences Survey” (generally sent out one month prior to students’ arrival) which enables us to learn more about you and best pair you with other flat mates. As we ask a lot of questions based on your preferences, they’re a lot of factors that determine where and who you will live with. Nevertheless, the answers you provide us will not guarantee that we will be able to meet all of your preferences and you should therefore specify what is most important to you. After the survey is completed and sent back to us, we provide students with their apartment address and the email addresses of their flat mates approximately 10 days before check-in.
What will I be held responsible for?
You are responsible for leaving your apartment in the same condition you found it. You'll receive an Apartment Damage Report that we'll ask you to fill out on your arrival, which will point out any issues with the apartment. After that, we'd ask you to treat our apartment like you'd treat your home - because it is! (We have specific rules for things like posting posters, etc., which we'll review with you here.)
You are responsible for informing us when something is damaged. Your security deposit is held as a guarantee in the event of damage you've caused or overages on your energy allowance; we refund security deposits 60 days after the official checkout date , less any charges for damages or housing sanctions. In the event that damages exceed the amount of your security deposit, we will bill you for the excess.
Do I pay in euros or dollars?
All of our fees are calculated in euros to reflect costs we incur. If you're paying with a credit card from a country (such as the United States) that does not use euro, your bank or credit card provider may charge you a small fee to conduct your purchase in euro. Ask your bank or credit card provider for details.
My plans have changed. What's your cancellation policy?
When will my security deposit be returned to me?
All COH residents pay a security deposit prior to obtaining an apartment. These deposits are designed to enforce compliance with our regulations. They are refundable, subject to any applicable deductions for damages, missing items, and/or unpaid sanctions. The security deposit will be returned to the same credit card used to place the deposit within 60 days of your official checkout date, or as specified by your host institution. If your issuing bank has changed, please let us know your new wire bank details so that we can refund the deposit to your current credit card.
Contact us at email@example.com. You can also reach us by phone at +33 1 44 42 00 60.