Noisy and careless tenants, unpaid rents, poorly defined legal framework ... The stereotypes surrounding the roommate die hard, and lessors are often cautious about the idea of renting their property to several people, outside households and families. The advantages are numerous, starting with the financial benefit! Thomas Villeneuve, founder of the Weroom social platform, shows us some avenues to explore in order to negotiate a roommate with a lessor. More and more people are looking for a roommate solution when looking for accommodation to rent. However, it is not always easy to convince owners who do not see this way of life very favorably ... A trend that tends, however, to reverse, as Thomas Villeneuve explains to us.
What is the Weroom.com social platform?
T. Villeneuve: Our site was created in order to help individuals find their future colocation quickly and securely. In the space of two years, we have brought together a real community of tenants, owners and real estate agencies, who can now trade in complete transparency. Like the Airbnb platform, the owners offer shared rooms all over the world, which can be booked and paid for via Weroom. Today, we bring together nearly 300,000 users in France and abroad!
What is the typical profile of the French roommate?
The roommates are no longer mainly students as in the past: for several years now, there has been a significant increase in the number of young working people. Today, the colocation has 50% students and 50% young workers, often between 25 and 35 years old; the elderly who have opted for shared accommodation are still a very rare phenomenon in France… In terms of profiles, as many girls as boys, with a fairly balanced representation of all socio-professional categories. The only notable difference is on the geographic side: there are very few shared flats in rural areas, the tenants having a clear preference for the city.
What are the major obstacles for a landlord to share their property with others?
There are still caricatural fears, real images of Epinal, linked to the roommate. However, in reality, property damage, neighborhood concerns or unpaid rents are minority phenomena! On Weroom, we receive daily testimonies from lessors satisfied with their tenants. In addition, it should be remembered that colocation minimizes the risk of unpaid rents compared to a conventional rental. The joint and several lease, used in most rental contracts, multiplies the guarantors and the amount of guarantees: these represent a security that individuals cannot always offer.
How can you convince a landlord to rent a shared apartment?
Renting a large shared area is the safest way for a landlord not to have a rental vacation, especially if the property is located in an unattractive area. On the other hand, colocation is much more advantageous from a financial point of view, with higher rents than for a traditional rental, even if the state of the accommodation is not impeccable. Individuals opting for colocation are on the whole less attentive to the details! Another advantage for landlords: the ease of renting their furnished property, with the resulting tax advantages… In general, colocation is a good solution for quickly finding tenants and not leaving your property vacant for a long period.
The regulations have evolved since last year, can you tell us more?
In reality, the regulations have not really changed… on the other hand, it has the merit of having fixed black and white on the existence of shared accommodation. The law on access to housing and renovated town planning (Alur), adopted on March 26, 2014, remedied this legal vacuum by giving a precise definition of shared accommodation as well as a strict regulatory framework, which reassured many donors. The latter now have in their possession concrete elements to have recourse to justice if necessary.
What are the essential elements for the future roommate to build a solid file?
They are not very different from those requested by real estate agencies for a conventional rental. The remuneration and the situation of the guarantors are the two key elements of a concrete file! On the other hand, the personality of the candidate is essential in the case where the shared accommodation is already constituted, and can take precedence over a very good file.