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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are looking to move to the southern end of France from October 2014. Before the possibility of purchasing we'd like to rent a long term furnished property for approximately 2-3 years to look at various options before committing.

We are both self employed working online from home so the only restriction we have is having a decent internet connection and obviously living in a nice area :)

Firstly I would like to know if being self employed would present a problem to leasing a property long term. Secondly would it be more beneficial to look for at an expat rental as it seems quite a long process and expensive to go through an agency and they seem to be more inclined to offer their holiday let as a long term rental. Thirdly where is the best place to start looking?

Thanks in advance.
 

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In short, yes and yes!

Local expat businesses and the Angloinfo website for your area are probably a good place to start. Also, you can rent directly from the owners on a site called PAP (Particuliers a particuliers) which cuts out the agency and added complication. Also try leboncoin, it's the French version of Gumtree and has both personal and professional adverts for property.

I have just moved out of the flat I rented last year. It was a bit complex, but we did it (although I'm now having problems with them keeping money back from the deposit.) It's not impossible and if you find the right place through an agency it might be worth it. Much of the trouble is caused by the stringent criteria you need to fit to be an eligible tenant according to the landlords' insurance, which not all landlords have so you might be lucky. Most do, however, and so you will find that being self employed and not having a financial history in France will count against you and make life difficult.

However, if people want to rent their flat and you're good tenants, there are people willing to make concessions for you. Just be careful not to be bullied into anything you're not comfortable with: we had people saying we would either have to pay a year up front or have a year's worth of rent set aside in a bank account that they can access.

Finally, it may seem obvious, but don't fall into the trap I did of signing a contract at the word of the agent about it's content.... my agent was so professional I didn't doubt her but I wish I'd taken it home, translated it and gone through it properly or I wouldn't be having the problems I am now having with the deposit!
 
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