First of all, you should be aware that while furnished apartments and houses do exist, renting unfurnished property is by far the more common option in France. We will, therefore, focus in the following on renting unfurnished property for a long-term, principal residence. Long-term means here a minimum period of three years with an automatic renewal if not otherwise stated in the contract or terminated by either tenant or owner. When renting in France, you will have to be prepared for the following costs:
- Rent (loyer) and service charges such as e.g. community fees: Typically, property owners look for tenants with an income of at least three times the amount of rent. Landlords can and usually do ask for proof that this is the case (e.g. recent pay slips, income tax declaration etc.).
- Security Deposit (dépôt de garantie): For unfurnished property, this amounts to one month’s rent. Deposits for furnished apartments can be higher.
- Agency Fees (frais d’agence) typically also amount to one month’s rent, where applicable, and might be shared with the landlord.
- Residence tax (taxe d’habitation), if you are living in a rented property on January 1st.
- House Insurance (assurance risques locatifs or assurance multi-risques d’habitation), covering at minimum damage caused by floods, fire, natural disasters etc. and personal liability.
- Utility charges for electricity, water, et cetera.
- An energy performance report (Diagnostic de Performance Energétique (DPE))
- A report on the natural and technological risks (risques naturels ou technologiques) if the property is in a ‘risk zone’; the report must be less than half a year old
- A lead exposure report (constat de risque d'exposition au plomb (CREP)) for properties built before 1st January 1949
- Identities of tenant and landlord
- Information on property, including type, size and any additional elements (e.g. garage)
- Amount of rent, deposit and service charges
- Date of commencement
- Contract duration and conditions for termination
- Obligations of tenant and landlord
This article was provided by InterNations (www.internations.org), the largest expatriate network worldwide. Founded in 2007, it was created to help members meet other high-profile expatriates from around the world living in their city and connect with them, both online and offline through events and activities. InterNations also offers its members the know-how and support to make moving abroad more manageable. InterNations now has over 1 million members in more than 390 Local Communities around the world.