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EverHopeful wrote : The really important thing is to ensure that you undertake a full état des lieux with the landlord when you take up the lease, recording everything that could be considered damage, vétusté or anything that requires repair by the landlord (photos are an excellent idea), that is duly signed by both yourself and the landlord. You also need to ensure that a full état des lieux is completed, agreed and signed by yourself and the landlord when you depart. The état des lieux would normally take several hours and should not be rushed.

To which Travel_Phil replied : But wow, do you really mean several hours for a walk-through? This is a small 1br apartment.

The point EH is making is really valid in that an état des lieux is not a walk-through. It is a minutely detailed sweep of everything, absolutely everything.
My super French neighbours made me aware of how careful you need to be .. for example : some of the floor tiles in our salon had small chips on the edge and I wanted these noted on the list so that I was not accused of having chipped them when we left.
The bathroom basin was slightly cracked so I refused to accept that unless it was replaced. It was, then I agreed to sign that it was fine.
This is why the E des L 'entrant' is v important or you can find you have a big bill from the E des L 'sortant' when you leave.

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