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The following information is a brief overview, we do not claim to be experts in French Tenancy Law, but believe it could be of use to you to understand your basic rights regarding property rentals during your stay in France. We welcome any ammendments/contributions.
BEFORE YOU SIGN
Before a rental agreement is signed, a technical document detailing the property must be provided by the landlord, this should include property measurements and characteristics, such as; the number of bedrooms, inclusion of cellar, kitchen etc. Any applicable monthly charges must also be clearly stated, such charges could include, heated or consierge services. As a tenant you have the right, according to French Law, to request the removal of certain clauses within the contract. This is common whereby the landlord attempts the inclusion of open-house visits beyond an exceptable timescale (ie more than three hours per visit ) if an apartment is listed for sale. A landlord may not demand bank transfers or a signed wage order from his/her tenant.
Rental Agreement (contrat de location)
Your rental agreement/contract is governed by French Law, the contract addresses the terms and conditions the the rental agreement and conditions. The rental agreement acknowledges clearly the landlords key details; Name, Address etc., and the rental propertyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s characteristics, such as; noise level classification, communal area classification, rental price and agreed date of monthly payments. Please ensure the total amount of security deposit is also included within the rental agreement.
Termination clauses will be detailed, typically focusing on failure of prompt rental payment, failure of payment towards charges and failure to take out home insurance.
An inventory list is provided, detailing the fittings and fixtures along with the condition of each, and the property at the time of signing the contact. The inventory list compliments the rental agreement.
Deposit (caution, depot de garantie)
A deposit is taken with a refundable condition, the amount varies, but usually takes the form of, the value of 1 or 2 months rent. The deposit is paid on signing the contract, expect to pay the first monthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rent at the same time. It is not unusual to pay 2 to 3 months rent in total on signing the contract. Once the tenancy agreement comes to an end, the landlord will asses the property, fixtures and fittings, deduct the cost of repairs, replacements or restoration. The Landlord has up to two months to refund the deposit, minus deductions, Note. It is illegal, according to French law to hold back your monthly rent in lieu of the deposit. If you feel the landlord has deducted or accounted for extra deductions, refer to the inventory list that was signed and accompanied with the rental contract.
If household insurance is not included in your rental agreement, you are obliged, by law, to obtain a household insurance certificate. Proof of insurance may be demanded upon contract renewal, furthermore the landlord has the right to implement a clause within the contact, to terminate the contract on the event that the tenant fails to acquire such insurance. Household insurance can cover a percentage of capital and valuables, civil liberties, natural disaster, broken windows, theft and vandalism and legal costs.
Both parties are expected to reach an agreement on suitable condition of the apartment. A legal document, entitled, ÃƒÂ©tat des lieux entrant should be signed, detailing the condition of the apartment. This document along with the ÃƒÂ©tat des lieux sortant to assess will be used to determine necessary deductions at the end of the tenancy agreement.
When signing the ÃƒÂ©tat des lieux entrant , the tenant may request a dated receipt, specifying the rental amount along with charges.
When in a shared building, and not covered by the landlord, the tenant is responsible to pay the monthly charges, such as, maintenance, lighting; water, sanitation and heating. Note. 5.5% TVA is levied from furnished rental apartments.
Council tax, habitation tax is paid on an annual basis (unless covered by the landlord), the collection date of this tax is the 1st of January, the amount payable varies according to type and locality of the property in discussion.
OBLIGATIONS Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Landlord
To rent adequate housing conditions
OBLIGATIONS Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Tenant
Pay agreed rental amount in full and on agreed date as stipulated in rental agreement
Proper utilisation of the property
Cover necessary taxes and charges
Be responsible for the condition of the property
RENTAL TERMINATION FROM TENANT
typically, a tenant wishing to end their contract prior to the date recorded in the rental agreement, they must give three months notice to the landlord. This must be presented in the form of registered letter, and in-turn, accompanied with a letter of acknowledgement.
RENTAL TERMINATION FROM LANDLORD
unless a tenant fails to pay the due rent, a landlord may not evict a tenant. If the landlord chooses to evict on this ground, again, a registered letter must be sent. The minimum notice a landlord is able to give a tenant is 6 months (before the end of contract). Exceptions apply for landlordÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s over 60.