How to rent a flat in Lyon, in France?
It is a good question, isn’t it? Because France is quite complicated in most of the formal things to organise, I decided to have a closer look into the situation with renting a place in this beautiful country and more specifically in Lyon where I got some experience.
Actually, I have been so lucky to arrive to Lyon to a flat already rented but I got many friends who went through the troubles of finding a flat to rent in France. And that is why I wanted to share with you some tips to make this process much easier.
- go through a real estate company so called Regie
- deal with the owner directly
Going through the real estate company:
Very important to know is the fact that, when you want to rent through the Regie, you need to have a French guarantor who is ready to pay the rent in case of non-payment. If you don’t have a family or partner or very good friend in France, finding this guarantor can be a real problem. On contrary, you can easily find a Regie in France. There are so many of them and the top French real estate companies in Lyon are:
Very useful website to look for an apartment to rent is seloger.com which is a search engine of all above. It saves a lot of time to check each agency and it’s very easy to use.
Going directly through the private owner:
The good news is that this French guarantor is usually not required when finding your flat directly through the private owners’ network. In order to find this private owners, you have also quite a choice of websites through which you can contact them directly:
For me, more secured and proper way of finding a flat to rent in France is to go through the real estate company but it will always be a bit more expensive and requires more paperwork. Having said so you are sure you have a place for how long you need and if there is something broken in the apartment, you contact the agency straight away to fix it.
When it comes to dealing with owners directly, you should find the flat to rent cheaper yet executing your rights might take longer. There could be a case that all of the sudden the owner says he needs the flat and give you short notice to move. Anyways, your choice should depends on your budget and preferences. And you shouldn’t worry too much, just go with the option more convenient and suitable for yourself in your current situation.
Now, what choice of places to rent in France do you have?
There are different types of apartments in France. I got lost at the beginning with theirs Ts so I shall explain it now properly
- A studio is a one room flat, with a kitchenette, a bathroom and a toilet
- T1 is a flat with the main room, separate kitchen and bathroom and toilet
- T2 is a flat that consists of one bedroom with the living room, a real kitchen, bathroom and toilet
- T3 is a flat that has two bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom and toilet etc
And lastly how much you will pay?
It all depends on where you want to rent. I would divide Lyon briefly into 2 main areas:
- The more popular, the more demanded, the more expensive part of Lyon will be its centre: Bellecour, Brotteaux, Préfecture, well as the Croix-Rousse and Vieux Lyon. So the districts: 2nd, 3rd, the 4th, the 6th and they have the following prices with the charges included:
- • Studio /T1: from 400-580 euros
- • T2: from 500-750 euros
- • T3: from 650-850 euros
For the 3rd, the 7th, the 8th and the 9th district in Lyon:
- • Studio/T1: from 300-500
- • T2: from 450-650 euros
- • T3: from 600-800 euros
Quick tips worth knowing about renting a flat in France, in Lyon:
- The standard period notice to resign from renting an apartment in Lyon is only and always one month.
- There are fees related to your renting procedures such as: the agency fees (if you deal with the real-estate company)
- You will always be asked to pay the deposit but I think this is a standard. The owner or agency need to be assured you will keep the apartment in proper order. Usually, it is one month rent and should be returned once you left the flat within two month period.
- Your very important obligation is that you need to be available for the day of so called inspection. There is a specialist coming to check the state of the electricity and you need to fill the document, in which you note any imperfections in the flat such as broken locks, torn wallpaper, scratches on floors etc. Remember to be honest when doing it as it will be double checked and if it’s not accurate, your deposit might not be returned
- When signing the rental contract between you and the owner, pay attention to have the all elements included in it: (name and the address of the owner, the date in which the rental contract agreement starts officially and ends, address, full description (address, available equipment, number of square meters) and any additional information (storage, garage, garden, parking….), list of shared/ communal spaces, the cost of rent, methods of payment, the amount of the deposit).
- Very important: Read the rental contract carefully! You must sign it twice, in two copies, and keep a copy of the one signed by the owner.
- You will probably pay the rent at the beginning of the month, each month by cheque or bank transfer. Remember to keep all the official receipt which mentions the amount, date of payment and the reason for the cheque. We are in France so it’s extremely important to collect as many documents as possible.
- Charges! On top of the rent, you need to pay extra charges. They might be included in the rent, when it says ‘ all included, “Charges comprises” in French or “CC” or you need to pay them separately when the rental agreement says “in addition” or “hors charges”, “HC”.
- You must pay the following expenses: (For services such as: elevator fees, central heating, water, lighting of the stairway, etc. For maintenance: fees and repairs of communal areas of the building and obviously taxes related to the rental period such as garbage removal, upkeep such as sweeping, etc.
- You can pay the charges – “provision of charges” every month or trimester. Then once a year, it will be verified in order to adjust the amount to cover the real costs. So you might add or be refunded.
- Home tax! If you rent permanently a flat in France, you are obligated to pay the home tax. The amount depends on the flat and location. You can expect the amount of the home tax to be received by post in October. It has to be paid by cheque or bank wire. The only cases you don’t pay this home tax is when you are a student living in some kind of dormitory or if you aren’t a student but you live in a furnished room with a person. This remains the responsibility of the owner.
There is much more when it comes to moving and living and renting a flat in France and more specifically in Lyon. If you have other questions feel free you ask in the comments. If you have any useful tips or experience to share, please do! I would be very grateful.
Lastly, in case you are interested, I created a list of places recommend to live in Lyon here and here are my personal preferences.
Good luck and see you in Lyon!