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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

My spouse and I are preparing for a move to Marseille in the fall. We've been looking at apartments and it's my understanding that most agencies require a permanent work contract (contrat de durée illimitée) be shown to them before agreeing to let you sign a lease. (Given the pro-tenant leanings of French law, I suppose.)

My spouse and I are both freelancers, who make enough income to pay rent and all, but do not have permanent work contracts, as we work for different clients. I have some contracts that run for a year or so from my main client, but don't know if that'll satisfy an agency or landlord.

A friend in Marseille was in a similar situation and said she was forced to pay 12 months rent up front.

Anyone have any experience with this kind of situation? I'd prefer not to be living under a bridge. Or at least be armed with info and options/suggestions when talking to agencies or potential landlords.

All info is greatly appreciated!

Kyle
 

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I'm freelance too, and when I moved to France I would have preferred to rent rather than buy. The first agency I spoke to wanted THREE YEARS worth of rent locked in a holding account as deposit. I decided it was cheaper to buy a house so I did. This was quite a long time ago, maybe they're not quite that bad now, and at the time I didn't know about leboncoin which is a good place to find private landlords and non professionals who have a more casual attitude. I suggest you start there, and there are other similar sites.

The trouble with agencies is that even once you've persuaded one to accept you onto their books, every time there is you and another person interested in the same flat and the other person has a CDI, they'll get it every time because landlords who use agencies do so because they are cautious and want to cover their backs.
 

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You should read about tenant rights in France. Recent laws limit further how much a deposit can be for a principal residence, but I believe a vacation rental can be any amount of deposit. Further there are apartments 'vide' (unfurnished) and meublé (furnished). The vide is for 3 years and you have better rights.

I think the deposit can't be more than 1 month but you need to make sure:
https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F31269

The law also limits the amount an agency can collect for their fees.

I got my apartment without a work contract , took about 3 weeks in Paris. I think it depends a lot on how crowded the market is. If you are competing against the students all looking for a studio, it will be tough. Slightly higher end, there's less competition. Having a French bank account is critical.

Best of luck.
 

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Hello everyone,

My spouse and I are preparing for a move to Marseille in the fall. We've been looking at apartments and it's my understanding that most agencies require a permanent work contract (contrat de durée illimitée) be shown to them before agreeing to let you sign a lease. (Given the pro-tenant leanings of French law, I suppose.)

My spouse and I are both freelancers, who make enough income to pay rent and all, but do not have permanent work contracts, as we work for different clients. I have some contracts that run for a year or so from my main client, but don't know if that'll satisfy an agency or landlord.

A friend in Marseille was in a similar situation and said she was forced to pay 12 months rent up front.

Anyone have any experience with this kind of situation? I'd prefer not to be living under a bridge. Or at least be armed with info and options/suggestions when talking to agencies or potential landlords.

All info is greatly appreciated!

Kyle
You do not need a CDI to lease an apartment. If your rental agency insists that you provide one, just find another apartment with a different agency.

Leasing contracts are usually of one year and are renewable, Most renting agencies will be happy with a work contract that covers the first year of lease.

Since you are freelancers, you probably will need to provide proof of income so that the leasing agency can assure itself that you will have enough money to pay the rent.

If they ask you to pay 12 months rent up front, just dump them and find another agency which is more reasonable.
 

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Big question is: are you looking for furnished or unfurnished housing? If unfurnished, the lease term is 3 years (with the option to terminate early if you give appropriate notice). Furnished leases are generally more flexible as they are handled more like "holiday homes" (though often rented by the week during the high season).

Basically what any agency or landlord is looking for is "proof" that you can and will pay the rent. Usually they will want you to establish a standing order so that they can take the rent each month from your bank account - and with that goes some form of "proof" that there will be enough money in the account each month on the due date. The traditional form of credit control is to have three months of either payslips or bank statements that show a regular flow of money into your account (usually at least 3 times the rent).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Sometimes the sticking point is that the landlord has insurance against non-paying tenants. If that's the case neither he nor the agency has discretion over what they'll accept and what they won't because they have to meet the insurers' conditions. If they can't obtain all the documents that the insurance company specifies, the insurance won't cover that tenant. A landlord who lets a lot of properties is obviously more likely to have insurance than one who just lets one or two.
 

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I'm trying to find accommodation for our family at the moment in the South of France and having exactly the same problem.
My husband is planning to commute weekly to the UK until he can find something of a similar level in France and although he is on a permanent contract in the UK in a very secure job with the NHS (I work freelance) agencies won't touch us. I was told we needed a 'French job on French soil paying French money'.

Several private landlords have said the same, it's to do with the insurance they take out to cover themselves against non-payment. One private landlord did agree to rent to us but hiked the rent up by ?300/month when we said we wanted it so we turned it down. I have also heard of the one years rent in advance being the only way round it with agencies yet this seems illegal from the official information I can find.

If anyone knows of any way round this I'd also be really grateful for advice. We need to move before September as our children start school but at this rate I'm starting to worry that I won't find anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, everyone, for your helpful answers.

I wrote to a few agencies who were representing rental properties that we had liked. The two that responded said they didn't require a permanent work contract necessarily, but that an income tax declaration and past pay slips or some other proof of regular income would suffice. Who knows...maybe some of the French are becoming a little more flexible with time... :)
 

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You might try a site that has long-term holiday rentals. We just signed a lease on an apartment for a year with only a 400 euro deposit and we have to pay the first month 6 weeks in advance of our arrival. It is fully furnished and they greatly lowered the price for the year rental. Only 200 more per month than "low season" and 800 less than "high season" for the year. A really nice deal for a really nice apartment (in Carcassonne).
Karen
 
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