Choosing to be a landlord is a full-time commitment, and for many, it tends to be a second job.
In Paris, being an individual landlord has added complications. It is quite a long process to find the perfect tenant.
Simply because landlords need to do their due diligence.
Overall, French law favors the tenant, and it becomes difficult to evict unfavorable tenants once they are living in the apartment. Add in a global pandemic where the rental industry was in flux, and stress levels are high.
After over a decade of renting out his Le Marais apartment on his own, Jean-Alain Laban was introduced to Blueground.
During one of the most stressful years for landlords, Jean-Alain was thankful to have met the Paris-based Blueground team, and turned over the management of his apartment in Paris to Blueground full time.
We sat down with Jean-Alain to discuss being an individual landlord and why renting through Blueground gave him the flexibility and peace of mind he needed during a difficult time.
– I am a French filmmaker, director, and writer.
Also, I’ve written movies and television shows, and often travel outside of Paris for work and for leisure.
I bought an apartment in 2003 in the center of Paris. I lived there for five years and eventually decided to rent it out for supplemental income.
– What an adventure!
I would find tenants on Facebook or on Leboncoin, but I was not having luck with the people themselves. I had terrible experiences with tenants — from parties to being loud and causing many noise complaints, to the most difficult, tenants not paying — it was not easy for me.
– I had decided to try one last time to list my apartment and find a tenant, and as soon as I listed the apartment, Blueground’s local team reached out to me.
Blueground was just launching in Paris at the time, so I was not as familiar with the company. Within minutes of going on Blueground’s website, I thought this could be the perfect opportunity for me — a reliable tenant that would manage my apartment in Paris and the process from end to end.
– It was a very seamless process, actually, and went so quickly. The Paris team, along with Blueground’s interior designer, came to my apartment to check it out and make sure it was up to Blueground’s standards.
I had done my own renovations and everything was brand new, so they could tell there was not much to be done.
A few days later Blueground called and said they wanted the apartment. The designer wanted to add a bit of a Blueground touch — she wanted to paint one wall to make it a bit more colorful and inviting.
Aside from that they just brought in all of the Blueground-designed furniture and it was all set to go.
– I really never had anything else to do. It was easy for Blueground as well, since my apartment was brand new.
Ultimately, I just needed to give them access and permissions in my building and that was it.
– Working with Blueground has been a fresh start — a new beginning for me. When I had terrible tenants, my neighbors called me constantly complaining about the noise.
In the entire year working with Blueground, I’ve not received one call — this is huge for me. Blueground has been a reliable partner for me, especially during the pandemic.
– Not having to worry about filling my apartment with reliable tenants during the pandemic and knowing Blueground was taking care of everything gave me peace of mind.
I have many friends that own at least one apartment that they rent out on their own.
With the pandemic, it’s been a nightmare for them — either they can’t rent it or they rent it at a much lower price than the year before and they lose money.
If they manage to find a tenant, it’s usually not a great experience and there is a lot of turnovers right now. Turnover is tough — you have to keep restarting the process of finding and vetting tenants.
With Blueground, I trust them and we have a great relationship. I never even go on and check my bank account, I just know that Blueground will pay me on time.
What’s more important, Blueground saves me time and energy — I don’t have to spend my time calling renters to collect money and they would never call me back.
Also, Blueground takes away the anxiety of wondering if I will be paid. They give me the flexibility I need to be able to move around and not be tied down to Paris to manage the apartment.
– I had to leave Paris for eight months because I was making a series, and I didn’t come back to Paris at all in those eight months.
If I was not working with Blueground, it would have been impossible for me to be away.
Blueground allows me to keep my mind on other things and still have the benefit of making a profit off this apartment. I bought this apartment so that I could get supplemental income to support my mother as she got older. I can do this easily, without worry, with Blueground.
– What I tell my friends is they need to propose a clean apartment, and then they maximize their chances of getting a clean renter. I always recommend Blueground to my friends — one of them did go through the process.
But as Blueground has specific standards for their apartments, this one did not match.
Unfortunately, it was a sixth floor walk-up!
– The neighborhood now is very popular and all about fashion weeks, models and cinema. Some people call it “Little Hollywood” because of this, and there are so many hot spots where you can meet and run into models and actors.
This was not the case when I bought the apartment, but in 15 years everything has changed. I bought it because it was close to Le Marais and I liked it.
Now you walk down the streets during the fashion weeks and all the art galleries are taken over by fashion creators with models in the windows showcasing new looks each week.
For many, this is exciting and it is a vibrant neighborhood.
One restaurant I would recommend is Aux Crus de Bourgogne. It is not too far from my apartment and it is the perfect old-fashioned French restaurant, with white tablecloths and silver. They have great wines, great food and it is the perfect place to celebrate just having moved in.
Being an individual landlord, especially during a global pandemic, is a tough job to navigate. Blueground removes the worries and stressors for landlords — ensuring occupancy, providing on-time payment, handling all maintenance, and ensuring 100% occupancy for the long run.