Tenancy agreements?

Can someone please tell me does a UK rental agreement apply to renting a house in France, or will I need to have a French tenancy agreement written up?

My landlord insists on having a UK agreement and to be paid in pounds. I am not sure if this is a good thing? Will the agreement be worth the paper its written on if there is a problem? If he has a UK agreement does this mean that my deposit should be put into a deposit holding account as is required of landlords in the UK?

I took legal advice on the same issue recently. UK tenancy agreements have no jurisdiction in France. the landlord can ask you to sign a UK contract but the tenancy is under French law whether the landlord ( or you ) like it or not. In my opinion, UK law protects the tenant more than French law does anyway, particularly the deposit , which must be held in registered schemes in the UK . The UK contract your landlord has asked you to sign is not worth the paper it’s written on. French law applies even if no French contract has been written up.

David that's a great point he must be doing it via the UK for a good reason and small claims will wrinkle him out. You can make a UK small claims from France via this option.


It seems to me that you have a bad deal. However with respect this is not how your original post was presented. Reading it one might assume that you were on the point of entering a tenancy. No matter. I think you have little chance of recovering a deposit if as it would appear you have moved out. However the next time you rent you should have a proper French Tenancy. If you wish you might consider making a claim in the UK small claims court to retrieve your deposit. It just might be that your landlord so called might not appear in which case you might get a judgement against him. I say this because he is clearly operating in the UK and paid in Sterling.

Thank you Keith

We will take any help we can get.

To say the house is uninhabitable would be a bit much, but in winter I cant think of a colder damper place, other than the cave.

We did ask for a french contract but that did not materialise.

We have been promised from the outset that a proper contract will be drawn up but we are still waiting for it. We were given an down loaded copy of a UK agreement, Do I assume that with a UK contract that the we should get a Tenancy deposit certificate? I understand that if this is not provided with in 30 days of taking a deposit there could be fines of up to 3 times the deposit amount.

Your Friend may be able to help us out here.

Thank you for taking time to read through and offer help.

Thanks for your replies

My landlord has insisted on being paid in £ and into his UK bank account. We have been really honest tenants and have had the landlords consent with regards to all things we have done to the house and garden, and we really have not done much

  • repaint the wall in a tasteful off white Dulux paint we paid for in the UK
  • fit new kitchen units which we brought over for the landlord from the UK ( he did pay for the units and worktops, I fitted them and tiled free of charge)
  • Cut a few trees down that the landlord agreed

We have had no end of trouble with the house, huge damp issues which only really became clear in winter, we have had no kitchen lights for a good few months, We refused to fun the oil as it costs so much so we had wood burners on. There was huge amounts of mould in our babies cot under her mattress, poor thing had asthmatic bronchitis over Christmas apparently common when mould is present. 3 children and my wife and I slept in one room above the kitchen because of the damp in the boys room. This really doesn't scratch the surface of the many little damp issues that the property had that was apparent over the wet season.

Our Garage roof has leaked from day dot and has never been looked at properly, this in turn has caused the downstairs bathroom to have a mouldy ceiling.

The was a massive leak in the basement which was fixed, the plumber ripped the wood panelling off the bathroom walls to get to the pipes. he never made good what he damaged. I said i would replace, the landlord said he would pay me to do it, i never got around to doing it however with what else was going wrong I was getting cheesed off with the place...basically he hasn't lost out cause he can do it himself no problem. We had also painted in the bathroom but the plumber didn't give a hoot and soldered directly onto the newly painted window sill.

The dining room was damp, we painted one coat of our dulux paint on the walls and the plaster started peeling, and despite adequate ventilation we got told it was rising damp (we know this cannot be the case!) and that we weren't running the oil heating...no we were not, but isn't that our choice?!! apparently 'this is france and this is how old properties are over here', and we were told at the time quite nastily that it's our fault due to the choice of woodburners over oil. Gave us a very bitter taste in our mouth at that point, and that prompted our decision to move. We know this not to be the case, my parents own a house here, own two actually, and neither one has been wet over winter, one has been empty and it's still bone dry and the other is only heated by woodburners.

Now the landlord is with holding £1000 deposit claiming that we have damaged his house and he has a list they are preparing???? Really can't wait to hear it, we have photographic evidence of everything.

Where would be the best port of call for legal advice?

Which means that your landlord will be obliged to treat you as any French tenant would be and therefore you should have much more protection than in UK.

not worth the paper it's written on - the house is in France so French tenancy law applies ;-)

Can't say legally that you can have a Uk agreement but it smells wrong to me. Slight wiff of tax avoidance?