What is required to rent a house?

My husband, my elderly mom and myself will be living together, at least at first when moving to France. We are looking to rent a house.

My questions are:
- what do we require to provide?
- Will my mum's pension be counted as a proof of income?
- What if we do not have a letter from our current landlord? Does that letter need to be officially translated?
- Is self-employment status accepted?

Hi Chris, if you are looking for a contents only policy try insuremyvilla.com underwritten at Lloyd's of London.

When we first moved to france from the UK all our UK documents were worthless. We had a whole file of proof of income, us being good tenants in the past, my continued work for a UK company, and our savings in the bank.
All this meant nothing.
In the end when we did find a lovely house to rent and a nice land lord we paid him 6 months rent up front. It was the only way...
Remember also that contacting estate agents - immobiliers - and telling them you are looking for a house is crazy here... I emailed perhaps 25 and never had a reply. You need to be on the ground, in the office, asking for a house. It's just the system - we ended up really happy with our house!

Thanks Helen. any suggestions on house insurance companies you can recommend?

as others have said proof of income ie last 3 months of payslips/pensions etc, ID (copy of passport) , avis d'imposition (tax form, they may forgo as you won't have declared here before) , I have always been asked for an attestation of being up to date with my current rent too. Note also that if you cannot be guarantor yourself, the person garante has to provide all this too. Also you will need to sort out house insurance BEFORE you get the keys.

I may arrange with the directors of my current project to allow me to continue working from France for a few months, just enough to get us started and set up.

Thank you

Thanks Michelle, we have signed up with Seloger and I am planning on calling the various agencies to find out what they each say + once we have a better idea of work/where we want to go, we'll try to find the local agencies and the facebook groups as you suggest + any local papers.

It all depends on who you are renting from. I can remember being asked for my RIB and presenting a paying in slip from the NatWest which was accepted. Agent was just going through the motions of having one piece of paper to match each item on his list. Good Luck

You may find it hard to find somewhere to rent long-term through an agent initially. You will certainly need a French bank account. Beyond that things get trickier because they would usually want to see your last French tax declaration and payslips, employment contract etc. You may get lucky and find an agent/landlord willing to accept whatever you can provide in English but I know other people have struggled. Paying a whack of rent upfront might help if you can do that. The alternative is to look for something more short-term or deal directly with an owner rather than using an agent. When we first moved over we rented a furnished gite for 6 months while we got in the system and got some documents together to be able to move on (in our case, we managed to persuade a bank to give us a mortgage and have now bought somewhere). I know other people have rented properties from Brits who have returned to England etc. I sometimes see places like this advertised on Facebook in the sell/buy/swap groups.