There are many factors that make France one of the most popular destinations in Europe for those seeking long-term property rentals. Chief among its attractions is the sheer diversity of the country, which provides a wide variety of options guaranteed to suit a multitude of lifestyles and ambitions.
For urbanites, there are the chic cities with their unique blend of culture and commerce, their wide boulevards and stylish apartment buildings. For those looking for a quieter life, France offers an unparalleled choice of medieval villages with their quaint markets and winding alleyways, where the sight of ancient vineyards and the scent of lavender are never far away. France also has an abundance to offer people who long for coastal locations or mountainous retreats. In short, everyone can find the lifestyle they are looking for in France.
Among the most popular destinations is Paris, whose diverse arrondissements combine to constitute a market which caters for all tastes and requirements. Outside the elegant capital, the Alps, Provence, Languedoc, Aquitaine and, of course, the French Riviera all feature close to the top of many ‘most desired location’ lists. So, with all this choice available, finding the right property to rent should not pose a problem, but what factors should you consider when searching for a long-term rental property in France?
Clearly, the usual considerations such as the location and size of the size of the property, along with the rental and running costs, will be the guiding factors in the choice you make. Given that location is frequently cited as the number one factor when it comes to searching for property, it is important that you know as much about the area you wish to relocate to as possible.
What facilities do you require in terms of schools, healthcare, mobility etc? These questions are particularly important if you are seeking to rent in a rural or coastal region that you are only familiar with during the summer months. If this is true, a good idea would be to visit at another time of the year to see for yourself what, if anything, is different out of season. If you live outside France this may prove difficult, so you should do all the remote research you can on your target area before you take the next step of looking for available properties.
Once you have satisfied yourself regarding the location, you should take the time to be equally diligent when it comes to choosing a property. It is always better if you can visit the property yourself before signing a lease agreement as, otherwise, you are reliant on the agent or landlord to give you an honest appraisal of the property. Again, if this is not possible, you should ask as many questions as you need to in order to ensure the property meets your requirements.
Once you have chosen a property there are additional financial commitments, besides the rental costs, that you should take into account. Initially, there is the deposit you will be required to pay. This is usually no greater than one month’s rent in the case of a furnished property, but you should be aware that this limit does not apply to unfurnished properties. The deposit can also be much greater in the case of expensive villas, where the equivalent of two months’ rent is often the norm.
Secondly, if you have used an agent to assist you in the process, you may find you will have fees to settle. In most cases this will be equal to one month’s rent. Other financial commitments you must budget for are home insurance and utility connection costs, although the landlord may be prepared to assist you with the latter. Another cost is the annual Taxe d’Habitation, a residence tax imposed on the occupier of a property in which they were resident on 1st January each year. This tax is collected by the French state
If you take the time to choose the location to suit your lifestyle and the type of property to match your budget, France could prove to be the ideal country in which to fulfil your dreams. But getting it right at this stage is crucial, and so it is better to be measured and patient in the approach to your property search than to end up wishing you hadn’t been so hasty in the first place.