Best Places to Look for a Rental Property?

What would be the best places to search for a rental property?

I've tried leboncoin but for this area and the adjoining one, there are very few (about 9 in all!)

I don't want to do another direct rental with a Brit - but available properties to rent by other means seem very few and far between.

Sarah, if zou want something

My recent experiences with agents were that unless you chase them they do not really inform you when something suitable comes in. Also I found that you gave them a monthly rental figure you were looking for (say €500) and they would only really show you things at €500!! If there was something suitable at €450 or perhaps €575 they did not even bother to enquire if you were interested in price deviation or the property. And this was not just one agent but they all seemed to be the same!! So at the end of the day, you end up looking every day anyway.

Also, there were a couple of the smaller local agents who did not ask for a months rent equivalent from the tenant but shared the costs between landlord and tenant 50;50. So things are quite variable.

Hence, like I say it was a much lengthier and more complicated process than I anticipated. In the UK, the just want to sell sell sell so you don't have to chase them up all the time if they know you are serious about looking.

Howard, if you inform an agent that you are looking for a rental, you will be informed as soon as anything comes up, be prepared to look at things that might not meet your standards, however! This service is free of charge, although if you do sign a lease, you will be expected to pay the equivalent of a month's rent to the agent, but nothing after that. You can also mandate a scout, which will be more expensive and you will probably also have to come up with a month's rent when you finally sign the lease.

The redtape is really awful here as nowadays the agent doesn't always decide who gets to rent the property, the insurance company does as they frequently get several potential renters lined up and the one with the best credentials gets it!


That's the sort of info, that I seemed to have missed. I believe that agencies charge the tenant a sort of finders fee. Is that correct? Is there a scale of charges or can the agent charge what he likes? Do property owners have to pay a similar fee or just commission?

There is an agent in my area, who occasionally has furnished places. Property owners want masses of documentation too.


I thought I had in my paste buffer, but was obviously wrong. I will contact them. I am still looking for something better than I have now but it is hard.

Home made tenancy agreements need to be legal first of all!

However, as you may not want to go to court over a leaky pipe, your best bet is probably an agency, not an English one, but a French one, this way you won't have any contact with the owner and the agency will sort everything out for you.

The big agencies are Connexion, Laforêt, Nexity, Century 21, they will all have good offers as they can afford to turn down grotty pieces of property and beat the price down to an acceptable market level. You will need to have quite a few documents for them to rent anything to you - proof that you earn at least 3 times the rent being the most important, a stable income and a bank account in France.

Good luck!

I contacted them to ask about their services and pricing etc but that was after I had already moved here into the Gite from Hell and committed to a tenancy. As I was already here, I decided to look for myself with the help of a friend.

They seemed local and friendly and prices were reasonable. Apprently, they will find places and provide full details along with lots of internal pictures and measurements etc and they know all the right questions to ask. So instead of just getting some 'nice' pics taken from the right angle at the right time of day, you get to see the place as it really is. I think such companies are certainly more useful to those who cannot be in France to physically look around places. Finding a place even when I was here was a lot harder and a longer process than I anticipated.

Is that MistressPenny thing supposed to be there Howard???

Sarah, did you have any dealings with

Tony, I looked at, specifically for Ile de France and found just 3 places, all of which seemed fairly expensive and a detailed perusal of terms shows that the rent does not include utilities, telephone, cable TV etc. However minimum occupancy was 4, so could be more reasonable. has a much wider range. In my search experience landlords are looking for 12 months rental minimum for furnished accommodation.

In what area are you looking to rent? Are you prepared to rent unfurnished? If yes, you have a much wider choice.

Hi Tony,

My experience with an English owner was not pleasant though I do believe it was made worse by the fact that the owner did not live in France and did not speak French so she expected me to be tenant, caretaker and do repairs out of my own pocket because she was not here and could not phone the local tradesmen (so she says!).

I also believe that because they do not live in France they had expectations of value which were higher than they should have been and not enough knowledge of the French system and how tenant's should be protected etc.

Personally, I would prefer a French landlord. The thing with France is that not all properties are advertised though. I know there are companies which will do the legwork for you if you are not in the country. I found AFTER I had found somewhere to rent whilst still in England and I really wish I had found them sooner. There are several companies out there doing this. For a couple of hundred Euros it might offer peace of mind but apart from finding somewhere suitable it does help to know or have someone involved who knows what your rights are as a tenant over here before you sign anything too. Home made tenancy agreements from English owners are to be inspected very carefully!!!

Hi Karen

And others.

My partner and I are planning to move to France and buy a house, but first we must rent. We are looking at a longer term rental of perhaps 12 months.

I have seen a number of promising properties on the English language site and the majority of homes appear to be owned by British people.

The problems you have mentioned are off-putting and have caused me some serious doubts about this course of action. Do your concerns centre around this type of website and these types of properties?

Tony Hull

Thanks Marie-Claire and Howard. Much appreciated.


I would have deducted the costs from the rent.


You could start here for holiday lets - location saisonnière

Renting can be really horrid in France, especially when you haven't been precisely informed of all the potential nasty situations you can get yourself into.

Some agencies do holiday rentals and would take care of the cleaning, contracts with tenants and counting the spoons before and after their stay. Otherwise, there is airbnb and I think you can get someone to take care of the flat too (I think it would be another airbnb member,but I'm not sure...). Short term rental is booming at the moment, not only for holidays, but also for business trips, so you might want to get a foot in the door now!

I’ve been renting out my apartment in Montpellier full-time for 3 years (bought it as a ‘Buy-To-Let’) I have to say it’s been an experience, and not a good one! Renting out is incredibly different in France than it is in UK/Ireland. I’ve had an awful lot of difficulties with the tenant and also with ‘hidden charges’ which, of course, the Estate Agent didn’t inform me about! For anyone thinking about it - BEWARE of the fact that it is EXTREMELY difficult to evict a tenant in France, even though they may be causing problems i.e. not paying rent, etc. I employed a Management Company to take over the tenancy in March and it’s proved (so far!) a success. They take 8% commission.
Ideally I would like to rent the apartment out as a Holiday Let, so if anyone can offer me advice, I’d greatly accept it. I don’t live in Montpellier so I’d need someone to do ‘changeovers’ etc. Thanks.

No snow last winter at all- but it is often grey and windy! Good luck!

Well said M-C, my sentiments exactly.

During my time as an estate agent in the '80s & '90s it was more profitable and much less hassle usually to sell a property rather than find good tenants. I recall one house rented out to teachers was trashed within a few weeks ! Saying that, some tenants are perfectly fine.

most people have their landline connected with their internet system nowadays and have given up the "official" operator. So, no, you can't tell.

I'm going to ask another question relating to all this but I don't know if I should have started another thread:

Is there any way to tell if a property has a landline connection to it if that connection is currently not operational?

I've found a couple of possible properties, through agencies, and although they have phone jacks in the house the agent cannot confirm if there is an actual connection.

I know it sounds like a stupid question phone jacks = phone line, yes? But I've seen some odd things done and maybe the previous tenants were just optimists!