When you find a good place to live, you will have to sign the rental agreement. Here are some tips in order to better understand the terms.

Le contrat de location (the rental agreement)

Le contrat de location is a contract between a lessor or a landlord and a tenant specifying the terms and the conditions of their agreement.

Here is an example of un contrat de location (bilingual)

When you have signed the contract, you will have to give 2 deposits :

- The rent deposit

Lessors or landlords will usually require the first month's rent payment in advance when they enter into an agreement to rent. They will also ask you to have a paper signed by a third-party which garantees they will pay if you cannot (it could be your parents, a member of your family or a bank...).

- The security deposit

This deposit (“caution” in French) ensures the lessee respects his duties (e.g. paying for repairs due to damages).
in general,  the deposit amount is equal to a month’s rent. When the lease is terminated, the owner must give back this
deposit minus the legitimate amounts due (last rent, repairs, etc.).


L'Etat des lieux (the inventory)

L'état des lieux is a document that will describe the state of the accommation. Write down everything broken, unusable, cracked, stained in the accommodation. You will have to fulfill this document before moving in and before moving out.

Here is an example of un état des lieux (bilingual)


In order to be able to sign the rental agreement, here are what the lessor will ask you to have :

  1. a copy of your ID
  2. a copy of your guarantor's ID
  3. three month pay slip (yours or your guarantor's)
  4. a proof of your guarantor's address (utility bill for instance)