Reading through posts this seems an all too often occurrence!

Our tenants stopped paying rent in December, then paid up for December during January when they received the 'Hussier' letter (we started the process quick as they had done the same thing for 2 months last summer).

Then of course they didn't pay January and also defaulted on the following 3 months. But during February they also gave notice of 4th May as their move out date. This apparently 're-sets' the timings for the hussier and also for any default payment insurance so we had to start all that again. Unfortunately our letting agency are incompetent, and that's being nice to them. They have let the tenants get away with everything and only act when we push them to do so.

The pre-departure inspection was (allegedly) done by the agency on the 24th April to give the tenant time to repair any faults. We were informed the house and garden were in good order.

Now after the final inspection we receive a list of faults that have not been rectified including the statement that the locked storeroom door in the basement (where some of our belongings were stored) has been forced open and a new ill fitting door put in its place. Note that it clearly states in the contract that this room is not to be entered.

Now I come to the questions - since it seems the agency have been lying to us and did not carry out any pre-inspection (and have also admitted in an email that they did not carry out any regular inspections at any point) do I have a breach of contract and the right to cancel immediately?

Also with reference to the tenants forcing access to a locked room and possible theft of items (at this point we have not made it up to the house to view as we have just relocated to a new country for work) - this is an assumption based on the fact that other items have been taken, including 2 smoke alarms which were fitted to the ceilings, should I involve the Gendarmerie?

All replies gratefully accepted. I hope to get up there next week to deal with the agency and see the state of the house for myself.



what you write here is an experience that probably has been made already by anyone who was renting his property in France. Some may understand this as a behaviour of an Socialism on its head. In Germany this behaviour would be judged as intentional “Mietbetrug” (rent fraud) so judged as crime, precisely because of the intent! In France these rules / schemes are virtually non-existent. We had not rented anymore due to these chronic legal uncertainty. I can only recommend to everyone not to rent, you easy end up in a spiral when you include costs for: insurances (who often refuse to pay out), lawyer, court, tax and unpaid energy bills.... .

This is a very common scenario in France, you got away quite lightly. My tenants wrecked my house, a beautiful old town house on three levels with a walled garden which we bought purely as an investment for retirement but in the meantime, let it out to what seemed a delightful young French couple with 2 children, working and outwardly respectable. Rent was paid for several months, house looked fine from the outside as the landlord has no right of entry and then they slipped into arrears and I was asked to accept housing benefit directly from the CAF. OK again for a period then no rent apart from the CAF payment. I went through the process of asking for payment etc and then we sold our farm and were moving back to Ireland. The week before we left, the keys to our house were sent by post and we duly thought, well we've lost our money but we have the house back, went to see and the house was a tip, human excrement over the carpets, the walls, drains blocked with gravel, taps,door handles window catches,velux window,conservatory door all smashed plus a myriad of other damages. We arranged for the house to be repaired,professionally cleaned and so on and then proceeded through an avocet and hussier to try to reclaim our losses at the Tribunal. The judgement was eventually given in our favour but to this day, four years down the line we have not received one centime and of course had to pay all the legal fees.

The lucky bit was we sold our beloved house quickly without a capital loss as we could not face going through the same again with other tenants.

In your case, the agency are not working in your favour but what can you do, not a lot. The Gendarmerie will consider it a civil matter as they did with us so my advice would be to forget renting unless as a holiday let. This way your guests do go home and they pay up front.

To try to reclaim your losses, it is simply pouring good money after bad. I would never consider a tenant in any property I owned ever again.