±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
±Compare Expat Providers
±Expat Focus Partners
±Latest Financial Articles
· Expat Focus Financial Update July 2017
· The Lifestyles And Cultures Of Great Expat Locations
· Understanding Exchange Rates for Your Overseas Property Purchase
· Interview With Duncan Khoury, Head of Marketing, World First Australia
· Expat Focus Financial Update June 2017
· Relocation Destinations For The Politically Minded And Socially Progressive Expat
· Expat Focus Financial Update May 2017
· An Expat Guide To Investing While Living Abroad
· Expat Focus Financial Update 27 April 2017
Renting PropertyBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
France - Renting Property
When looking for a rental property, it’s most common to use estate agents with dedicated letting departments, local classified papers, rental websites, or by asking around in the local area. Before you begin your search, it is important that you understand the process of renting in France and have a good idea as to whether you’re looking for a long or short term let on a furnished or unfurnished property.
Rents in France are completely down to the discretion of the landlord and the tenant, and both are free to negotiate an acceptable agreement between them. However, when it comes to rent increases, the landlord cannot implement an increase unless this is specified in the tenancy agreement.
By law, a tenancy agreement (bail or contrat de location) must be provided if the property in question is the main residence of the tenant. The tenancy must be signed on or before the tenancy start date and does not need to be witnessed by a notary (notaire).
There are also certain clauses that must be included within the tenancy agreement. For example, the commencement date of the agreement, the duration, the amount of tent, and the amount of the deposit must all be outlined clearly in the tenancy.
Equally, there are a number of clauses that are prevented from being used in a contract, so it’s worth keeping a look out for them when signing your lease – an obligatory payment or the rent by standing order, or the obligation to take out an insurance policy chosen by the landlord are both forbidden by law. Interestingly enough, it is also against the law for a landlord to refuse to allow pets to reside in the property.
You should also note that an unfurnished property must have a minimum tenancy of three years, whilst a furnished property must be at least one year. If you require a shorter tenancy for professional reasons, then this can be arranged however it must be agreed between you and the landlord in advance.
The tenancy agreement should also include a condition report and survey report for the property, including energy performance and asbestos.
The majority of French Landlords require a damage deposit (depot de garantie) to cover any damage to the property or rent arrears, should they arise. The amount of the deposit for unfurnished properties is fixed at one month, and law regulates this. When it comes to furnished properties, however, there is no limit on the amount of deposit a landlord can request.
For annual tenancies, the landlord must return the deposit to the tenant within 2 months of the contact ending. If any amount is deducted from the deposit, it must be clearly accounted for and justified.
As a general rule, tenants of unfurnished properties have a much greater level of protection than those of furnished properties. However, whilst the regulations and requirements surrounding furnished (meublèe) and unfurnished (vide) properties vary in the French legal system, there isn’t actually a legal definition in terms of what makes a property furnished. With this in mind, it is crucial that, when viewing a property, you check how much of the furniture will be left for you.
When leaving the property, a three-month notice period is the standard practice, although tenants can technically give notice at any time. Landlords, however, must give six months’ notice if they wish to end the tenancy and they must also have a good reason to do so.
The good news for tenants is that the legal system in France is extremely pro-tenant, meaning that tenants have considerable rights, as well as the option of taking legal action against their landlord should those rights be compromised. For example, once the tenant has the keys to the property in their possession, the landlord no longer has the right to enter the property without the tenant’s expressed consent. What’s more, if they enter the property without consent, they can be charged with trespassing or harassment.
Read more about this country
Expat Health Insurance Partners
Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.
At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.