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Selecting a tenant in France


Selecting a tenant for your property is a crucial process that requires careful consideration and attention to legal and tax obligations. Here are 10 essential steps to follow when selecting a tenant in France:

Advertise your property:

Advertise your property using various channels such as newspapers, social media, and real estate websites. Ensure that the advertisement complies with the legal requirements for rental advertisements, which include the property’s surface area, location, rent, and additional charges such as maintenance and heating costs.

Obtain the tenant’s personal information:

Once potential tenants express their interest in the property, obtain their personal information, including their name, address, occupation, and contact details. It is also important to verify their identity using official documents such as their national identity card or passport.

Conduct a credit check:

It is essential to verify a tenant’s creditworthiness to ensure that they can afford to pay the rent on time. This can be done by requesting their credit report from the Banque de France, which is the national credit reporting agency.

Check the tenant’s references:

Obtain references from the tenant’s previous landlords or employers to assess their behavior as a tenant and their ability to pay rent on time.

Draft a lease agreement:

Once you have selected a tenant, draft a lease agreement that complies with the French Civil Code and the French Commercial Code. The lease agreement should include the terms and conditions of the lease, including the rent, payment due date, and security deposit.

Obtain a security deposit:

In France, landlords can request a security deposit from the tenant, which is equivalent to one to three months’ rent. The deposit must be held in a separate account and returned to the tenant at the end of the lease if no damage has been caused to the property.

Provide an inventory of the property:

Before the tenant moves in, provide them with an inventory of the property, which lists all the items in the property and their condition. Both the tenant and the landlord should sign the inventory to acknowledge its accuracy.

Register the lease agreement:

The lease agreement must be registered with the tax authorities within one month of its signature. Failure to register the lease agreement can result in a penalty.

Obtain insurance:

As a landlord, it is recommended to obtain insurance that covers damage to the property, liability, and loss of rent.

Comply with tax obligations:

As a landlord, you must comply with tax obligations, including declaring rental income and paying taxes on it.


In conclusion, selecting a tenant in France requires careful consideration of legal and tax obligations. By following the ten steps outlined above and seeking legal advicefrom an experienced french real estate lawyer, you can ensure that you select a reliable tenant and comply with all legal and tax requirements.


About the Author :

Business lawyers, bilingual, specialized in acquisition law; Benoit Lafourcade is co-founder of Delcade lawyers & solicitors and founder of FRELA; registered as agents in personal and professional real estate transactions. Member of AAMTI (main association of French lawyers and agents).

FRELA : French Real Estate Lawyer Agency, specializing in acquisition law to secure real estate and business transactions in France.

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