skip to Main Content

The residential lease agreement


The residential lease agreement is a rental contract that allows a tenant to rent a property from a landlord for a specific period of time. This type of contract is governed by specific legal rules that impose obligations and rights on both parties. The provisions of the law of July 6, 1989 apply to leases of premises for residential use.

The legal provisions applicable to the residential lease agreement

The residential lease agreement is governed by specific legal provisions, including the law of July 6, 1989, which guarantees the protection of the tenant’s and landlord’s rights. Among these provisions, we can mention :

  • The minimum duration of the lease, which is three years for unfurnished leases and one year for furnished leases
  • The possibility for the landlord to request a security deposit, which is capped at one month’s rent excluding charges for unfurnished leases and two months’ rent excluding charges for furnished leases
  • The provisions regarding rental charges, which must be justified and correspond to the expenses actually incurred by the landlord
  • The rules applicable in the event of work to be carried out in the rented accommodation, which may be imposed by the landlord but must respect certain conditions
  • The possibility for the tenant to request financial assistance for the payment of rent, including the personalized housing assistance (APL) scheme

In the event of a dispute between the landlord and the tenant, the parties can go to court to assert their rights. It is important to note that the residential lease agreement is a contract that protects the interests of both parties, and that the legal rules governing it aim to ensure a balanced and harmonious rental relationship.


The drafting of the residential lease agreement

The law imposes certain formalities to be respected in the drafting of the rental contract, a reference document between tenant and landlord. Thus, certain information must be included in the residential lease agreement, such as the type of contract, the identity of the landlord and the tenant, the address and description of the accommodation, the amount and revision of the rent, the distribution of the costs of work, the possible solidarity between roommates or tenants, the security deposit and its amount, in particular.

The amount of the rent must also be set in compliance with the rent control constraints imposed in certain cities.

In addition, the rental contract must be accompanied by an information notice, excerpts from the condominium regulations and the technical diagnostic file.

In some cases, the landlord may use a security deposit or unpaid rent insurance to guarantee the payment of rent, in compliance with the law.


The landlord’s obligations

The landlord has several obligations towards the tenant. First, he must provide decent housing, that is, housing that does not present any risks to the health or safety of the occupants. The accommodation must be in good condition and meet the standards of health and safety in force.

The landlord must also guarantee the tenant peaceful enjoyment of the accommodation, that is, he must not obstruct the tenant’s right to live peacefully in the accommodation. The landlord must not enter the accommodation without the prior agreement of the tenant, except in case of emergency or for carrying out work.

Finally, the landlord must respect the rules for setting the rent and cannot arbitrarily increase the rent. The amount of rent must be in line with the rental market and the accommodation offered.


The tenant’s obligations

The tenant also has obligations towards the landlord. First, he must pay the rent and charges within the deadlines set by the rental contract. He must also use the accommodation in accordance with its intended purpose, that is, he must not transform the accommodation without the prior agreement of the landlord.

The tenant must also maintain the rented accommodation and the equipment associated with it, such as electrical installations or sanitary facilities. He must also respect the condominium rules and not cause any disturbances to the neighbors.

Finally, the tenant must respect the duration of the lease and not leave the accommodation before the end of the lease, except in cases of force majeure or legitimate reasons.



The lease of an accommodation is a contract that imposes obligations and rights on both parties. It is governed by specific legal provisions that protect the interests of both parties and aim to ensure a balanced and harmonious rental relationship. To ensure that all legal rules are respected when renting a property, seeking advice from a specialized lawyer can be reassuring and a time-saving solution.

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.

Paris, 19 Rue du Colisee, 75008 Paris

Bordeaux, 78 Cours de Verdun, 33000 Bordeaux

Lille, 40 Theater Square, 59800 Lille

Back To Top