Culture(s) / Finding a place to live

A1 Breakthrough
In your country and culture, is it important to have a fixed address? Is it easy to find a place to live? Is the rent reasonable? If many people live together in one place, do they do it by choice, for tradition, or out of necessity? Does it matter that each person in a household should have his own room, even the children? Must you prove that you have a regular income? Two out of three Europeans consider it difficult to find a decent place to live at a reasonable price in their area. (From Le Soir, 26 March 2010). If you don’t have an address that is registered with the town council, it is difficult to find a job and open a bank account, and you cannot receive any mail. Even if you have enough money to pay the rent, you must be able to produce a permanent contract, prove that you have a high income, or have a guarantor; having identification and paperwork to show for your residence permit is a given. However, even if applicants earn a good income, owners are very distrustful and may refuse to rent a three-bedroom flat to a family with three children. It is becoming increasingly common for each child to sleep in their own room as soon as they are born. This is not the case in countries like Vietnam where children sleep in the same room as their parents until they are six years old. With any luck, friends will take you in when you first arrive, or you might stay at a cheap hotel or youth hostel before finding a studio, flat, or house to rent, like the Mizaoui family.