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Work obligations and rental standards when renting in France:


When renting a property in France, both the tenant and landlord have certain work obligations and rental standards that must be met in order to ensure a safe and habitable living space. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Work Obligations:

The landlord is responsible for maintaining the property in a habitable condition throughout the duration of the lease agreement. This includes ensuring that the property is safe, clean, and meets certain minimum standards for living conditions.

If the tenant identifies any issues or needed repairs, they should notify the landlord in writing as soon as possible. The landlord must then make the necessary repairs within a reasonable amount of time.

If the landlord fails to address issues or needed repairs, the tenant may be able to withhold rent or terminate the lease agreement.

The tenant is responsible for keeping the property in a clean and tidy condition, and for reporting any damage caused by them or their guests.

Rental Standards:

Rental properties in France must meet certain minimum standards for safety and habitability. These include adequate heating and ventilation, sufficient space for the number of occupants, and compliance with health and safety codes.

The landlord must provide the tenant with a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property, which rates the property’s energy efficiency and provides recommendations for improving it.

The property must have working smoke detectors, and the landlord must provide the tenant with a fire safety certificate (attestation de sécurité incendie) upon request.

The property must have functioning locks on all doors and windows, and the landlord must provide the tenant with a copy of the keys.

The landlord must provide the tenant with a written inventory of the property’s contents and condition at the start of the lease, and both parties must sign and date the inventory.

Other Considerations:

French law requires that all rental agreements be in writing, and that they include certain key terms and conditions.

The lease agreement must specify the rent amount, payment schedule, and any applicable fees or charges.

The landlord may require a security deposit (dépôt de garantie) from the tenant, which is typically equivalent to one or two months’ rent. This deposit must be returned to the tenant at the end of the lease, unless there are damages or unpaid rent.

The tenant may be required to provide a guarantor (caution solidaire) who agrees to pay the rent and any damages if the tenant is unable to do so.

Rent control laws may apply in certain areas of France, which limit the amount that landlords can increase rent from year to year.

If the landlord wishes to terminate the lease agreement, they must provide the tenant with written notice and a valid reason, such as non-payment of rent or violation of the lease terms.


It is important for tenants and landlords to understand their work obligations and rental standards when renting a property in France, and to seek legal advice if necessary. A French lawyer who specializes in real estate can provide guidance on the rights and responsibilities of both parties, and help ensure a smooth and successful rental experience.

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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