Rules for deposit for long term rental

Hi everybody,

I have just received my contract for a long term rental. There are 3 things I would like clarification on

1. The landlord requires 2 months deposit. I thought it was 1 month in France.

2. The contract states regarding deposit:

"This sum will be returned without interest to the TENANT at the end of the lease and at the latest in the two months following the return of the keys, after having taken out if applicable the cost any outstanding sums for which the TENANT is liable, owed to the LANDLORD subject to them being confirmed. In the case where the property rented is in a shared building , THE LANDLORD may hold back a provisional sum to cover the shared charges until they are paid ; Any outstanding sums held back after the two months may produce interest at the legal rate for the TENANT"


3 The contract states:

"THE TENANT declares that they know the property perfectly have seen and visited them previously. They recognise that it is in good condition for use and upkeep and commits to return them in the same state at the end of the lease."

How about normal wear and tear?


ps. I have attached an English version. The contract will be in French

Edit: this furnished and for 6 months with automatic reneval

Hi Tim,

interesting website. Thank you for your input it has been very helpful.


Hi Hilary,

thank you for your input. I appreciate the time you took to look into this matter for me.


I'd've got back to you but another poster came in and undermined what I was saying (on the then limited info I had). I've had a look at the Bail, and, quite frankly, I wouldn't sign it - for a number of reasons.

I'd look at "unfurnished", which would give you more security, & just buy (or bring) minimum furniture which you'd be prepared to sell or leave when you move out.

Sorry I can't give you more info., but, being a "newbie" in here, I don't want to tread on anyone's toes.

But, at the end of the day, it's up to you.

Hi.I am hoping to move to France soon.Can I ask two questions.

Can you rent directly from English people who rent property furnished for a long term in France and do the paperwork in England?

Can you pay your rental to them in England through British bank accounts or are both of these illegal.

Hello Jorgen,

Had you been a subscriber to the bilingual helpline you could have got an instant answer to your questions by telephone and a full confirmation by email. Here are some answers to your questions which I hope will be useful:

Deposit (Caution): In French law the deposit on a furnished property (meublé) is not regulated at all as it would be if it was unfurnished. It is up to the landlord what he asks. The common practice deposit is indeed TWO MONTHS, usually paid along with the first months rent. That means you have to put down the equivalent of three months when you take over the property - two months as security deposit and one months rent in advance.

Etat des Lieux: This is a very important document but it is only part of the story! In fact you need to agree TWO DOCUMENTS with the landlord. An inventory (inventaire) AND an état des lieux. Sometimes these can be combined but it is very important how they are drafted, and how they are signed by both parties with a mentioned copy (e.g. fait en deux exemplaires, etc.) to each.

You have received advice from someone on here to "take hundreds of photos" and attach them to the "état des lieux". The "état des lieux" is a very important document and you should take great care to get it right, to protect yourself and the landlord in the future.

Apart from the practicalities of actually printing them, hundreds of of photos on their own, attached to the document(s) are of little use in law, unless each one is described, numbered and listed in the "états des lieux document and each one is initialed and dated by all the parties on all copies. There is a better way of doing this.

In practice, once you have done the inventaire, which should include absolutely everything you are taking charge of, including the heating and hot water system, wall plugs, light switches, everything listed and described, then you can usually include a detail of the condition of each item (e.g. état neuf, bonne, mauvaise, etc.) and you only need to highlight - and photograph - things that have problems, scratches, bad paint, cracks, broken handle, chipped bath, etc.and put them into the document.

Actually this is probably a bit too complicated to describe fully here. The safest way to do this, which cannot be challenged by either party, is to get an Huissier de Justice to do the état des lieux, but you will have to pay for this. You can ask a huissier for a devis before you start. The advantage is that it is a sworn document which will stand up as fact in any court of law in France.

On a small apartment it should not be too difficult to do this all properly. If you would like some further advice or help then please contact me privately. You will find my contact details on my profile.

Best regards,

Tim Abady

It does make a real difference: a furnished flat in France means that you have to give one month notice when you leave, rather than 3 months, and the same applies if the owner wants the flat back. If you don't pay the rent, you are out on the street in no time, no matter how cold it is outside, whereas non-furnished appartment owners need to comply with "la trève hivernale".

The deposit isn't really 2 months most of the time, it's one, plus one month in advance, however, the landlord can easily ask for 2 months.

If you aren't happy, you should look for something else..... unfortunately furnished appartments aren't very easy to come by in France and are in great demand as most of the time they are privately rented and you don't have to jump through the redtape hoops of providing tax returns (over the last 3 years), proof of income, letters from your boss/parents/whoever... when you go over an agency.

Renting is much more difficult than buying here!

wow how nice is t

Yes it does.

Give me a bit of time (a day or so) & I'll dig out the relevant legislation for you. Please can you tell me if it's a serviced apartment, holiday let or what & how long it's for? You don't have to, but it will help me give you the right information if you do.

The taking photos thing still holds good ;)


No this is furnished and it's not 3 years. Does that make a difference to your response?

We're talking about a 3 year Bail, yes? For an unfurnished property, yes?

OK the extant Law pertaining is "up to 2 months' NET rent" ie not including monthly charges as a deposit, + 1 month's rent up-front.

In respect of return of deposit, yes, the Landlord has up to 2 months to return it, either wholly or with deductions (relevant bills/invoices attached) without incurring interest charges due to YOU. It is generally accepted that normal (subjective term, I know) wear and tear is tolerable, but if you want to re-decorate, bang nails into walls, add fitted kitchen furniture, you will need your Landlord's permission.

My best advice is to take hundreds of photos for the property "as is" on the day you sign the Bail and attach them to the "Etat de Lieux" in 2 copies (or even 3), one for the Landlord, one for you, and one to submit to ADIL should it come to it when you move out, and also not to accept "yeah it's OK, we can live with that" kind of things - MAKE SURE you get any, even the smallest, defects noted - doesn't matter how long it takes - that the Landlord has a supper appointment or whatever - DO NOT sign the Bail unless you are satisfied that the Etat de Lieux shows EXACTLY the state the place is in before you move in, and do not be fazed if the Landlord takes the attitude "Oh well, if you don't want it, there are loads of other people who do" - that might well be the case, but if the Landlord isn't prepared to play properly up-front, he's not going to do you many favours when your water-heater breaks down or whatever. Believe me, it can, and maybe will come back to bite you if you're not completely open-eyed when you move in.