Print Posted By Lost in France on 15 Jan 2006 in French Property - Buying French Property

Renting a property in France

Renting a property in France When looking for rental accommodation in France bear in mind that short term leases are unusual when renting in France - leases tend to last for 2 or 3 years. If you need to terminate the rental agreement early 3 months notice is usually required, this is sometimes reduced to one month in exceptional circumstances or if the tenant has lost or changed employment.

Normally the amount of rent shouldn't be more than 30% of the tenants net salary - the landlord has the right to ask for proof of income and sometimes a guarantor is required.

On moving in to the property one months rent in advance plus agency fees (if applicable) and a returnable deposit or bond equivalent to 1 months rent are normally required in advance - the total normally amounts to the equivalent of 3 months rent. Tenants are well protected in France and the landlord may not terminate the lease agreement early (unless the tenant is in rental arrears) and has to give the tenant a notice to quit 6 months before the agreement expires and he may only do this if he is selling the property or wants to live in the property. If the landlord wants to sell he must give the tenant the first right of refusal.

On moving in to the property the agent or landlord will conduct a detailed inventory of the accommodation, check it carefully before signing as the owner may keep all or part of the deposit should any damage occur to the property during the lease.

In France it is the tenants legal responsibility to arrange fully comprehensive home insurance as any damage to the property during the agreement is the tenants responsibility. Proof in the way of an insurance certificate is required when the tenant signs the lease. The tenant must also pay the Tax de Habitation (similar to UK council tax), water and power and any other utility costs.

Useful Terms

  • The rental agreement or lease: droit de bail or bail a loyer
  • The deposit: depot de garantie or caution
  • The inventory: etat des lieux
  • For let: louer

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