Housing and Renting in France


France is one interesting place to live in just as much as it has a lot of surprising aspects that newcomers will have to keep learning. In France, you get to experience beautiful sceneries and idyllic vineyards. Among the many taking points about France, the French Riviera takes the crown.  From the glamour of the countryside to the cities and towns, the country is a visual inspiration. France’s beauty is a great attraction to both tourists and those looking for places to stay. Housing or rather renting in France is pretty diverse, prices vary from different domains. 

All in all, it is common among ex-pats to rent rather than buy a house in France. This is because buying a house is quite costly. Nevertheless, many ex-pats moving to France permanently prefer to buy rather than rent an apartment.

Renting a House in France

You can find a variety of property types in France to rent. The location of the houses and prices varies from one place to another depending on the make and proximity to the town area. However, finding a house in a city such as Paris will take longer than in the countryside.

Because of the diverse types of apartments and houses in France, it would be better to opt for short-term rental. This will work out best because of the many factors to take into consideration. When finding houses for rent, engage the services of a real estate agent.

Requirements for renting in France

One of the main requirements from a foreigner by the landlord is a guarantor. The guarantor must be a French citizen with the ability to pay the rent if the tenant fails to pay.  Other compulsory documents include:

  • Details of the guarantor and the payslip
  • A letter from the university if the tenant is a student
  • A copy of the tenant’s, passport, or visa
  • The tenant’s recent pay slip of contract from the workplace with all the details

How to find a house in France

Are you wondering how to get a house for rent in France? Worry not, there are many ways through which anyone can find a rental house in France.  You can use online renting websites that give you all the required details for what you want. Additionally, property agents, landlords, or classified adverts in newspapers will all come in handy.

The most common means of renting a house is via property agents also known as immobilizers. These are quite reliable since they deal with a lot of properties in town. You can find their offices through the different websites.

Rental costs in France

Costs of renting in France vary, it depends on the kind of neighborhood or the kind of house you want. While renting, tenants must pay a deposit while signing the contract. The deposit is at least a month’s rent.

The deposit is refundable in full if the property has zero damages when the tenant is leaving. The rent also depends on whether one intends to rent on a short-term basis or a long-term. Generally, the current average costs of renting a house across France are:

  • One bedroom apartment costs €525–665 per month while in the city the same house goes for 850–1,150 a month.
  • A three-bedroom apartment will cost you €965–1,300 per month. In the city, the same house will cost a tenant €1,750–2,600 a month.

While renting through an agency, you are required to pay an agency fee as per the terms of the particular agency. Other costs may include utility bills, the price of electricity, insurance costs, tax, and furnishings. However, you can get help from the housing allowances in France such as Personalized housing allowance (APL), or Family housing allowance (ALF).

Buying a house in France

If a foreigner is moving to France on a long-term basis or permanently, it is wise to consider buying a house rather than renting. When you buy, the homeowner has the power to personalize the house or home as per their preference. In addition, it saves you money and creates a great space for you to call home.

There are three different types of ownership in France. These include indivision, en tontine, or a Société Civile Immobilière (SCI). The type of ownership depends on whether one is buying land with a partner, under real estate, or as a sole owner.

What to keep in mind while buying a house in France

  • Find a good estate agent, reliable and trustworthy. These must be members of a registered body.
  • Ensure to see the cadastral plans from the estate agent before signing a contract.
  • Go through the contract before signing. As a buyer, make a demand of the contract and go through it carefully before signing.
  • Give details on how you plan to finance the house. This includes the terms of the mortgage or payment. It is advisable to take a mortgage in France, they have great rates with few restrictions for foreigners.
  • Consider all purchasing costs before buying a home. this includes utility bills, tax, and transportation.
  • Do a property survey before settling for a piece of land. This is to ensure that you are satisfied with everything you are buying as an ex-pat.
  • During the signing of the deed of sale, tag along an interpreter if you are not well conversant in the French language.

Cost and payment of property in France

There are three major taxes to consider while paying for property in France. They are stamp duty, land tax (Taxe foncière) and local taxes (Taxe d’habitation).  These charges vary according to the age of the property.

Concerning costs, lands and properties in France vary from one place to another. It is advisable to talk to the land agents for better direction on costs.