Official website of Notaires de France

Renting - the advantages of a notarised lease


Rental or residential lease is a contract between a tenant and an owner said taker called lessor.

  • Different forms of residential lease

    • In France there are two types of contracts:
      - private contracts, which are directly drawn up and signed by private individuals,
      - authenticated contracts drawn up and signed by a public officer, usually the notaire. This is then referred to as a notarised instrument .

      When a contract (a lease for example) includes the obligation to pay a sum of money (for example rent), the notaire provides the person to whom the money is owed (the lessor-owner in our example) with an execution copy enabling him to enforce the tenant’s commitment as though it were a court judgment. This is why the notaire’s role is particularly important when a lease is signed.
      All the conditions of the rental contract will therefore be performed without a court order being required.

    • Owners to whom outstanding rent is owed send their execution copy to the court official of their choice to initiate legal and debt-recovery proceedings. 

  • Security of the notarial lease

    • In the interest of both the lessor and tenant, and to ensure their respective security, all leases should be drawn up as notarised instruments , the tenant benefitting from all the guarantees the notaire’s jurisdiction and the authentic instrument provide

    • With an authentic instrument, there is no danger of the tenant signing a lease that does not include all the guarantees the law offers

    • The sums the tenant has paid and those he has agreed to pay will be the correct amount and cannot be disputed by the owner

    • Furthermore, each type of lease is currently governed by many compulsory legislative and regulatory texts.
      Certain failings are punishable by law and owners are increasingly being held liable. Owners are sometimes held liable over public health issues. Situations can take a turn for the worst if the owner has overlooked a material obligation.
      Are you sure you know all the compulsory regulations that apply when you rent out a residential property: the notion of decent housing, minimum surface area and volume, lead, asbestos, etc.?
      - Are you sure you know the status of commercial leases: term, right to give notice, fix and revise the rent, conditions under which the lease may be transferred?
      - Are you sure you know the status of farm tenancy: amount of rent, obligations of the tenant, inventory of fixtures, renewal rights, etc?
      - Are you sure you know the legal system that applies to professional leases: term, tenant’s notice, etc.?

    • When you are about to sign a lease, whatever the purpose (accommodation, commercial, rural, professional), the term and the rent charged, always remember the authentic instrument.

  • Rents

    • In addition, the determination of rent is now the subject of several legal or regulatory provisions that must be followed.

    • During the formation of the lease:
      - If the unit is located in a common-called tense areas, the proposed initial rent for a new tenant must be (with exceptions) the same as that applied to the previous tenant. An increase is possible within the limits of the variation in the benchmark index of rents (IRL) only if it has not been applied in the last 12 months.
      - In addition, since 1 August 2015, the second framing device rents ALUR the law came into force in Paris. Thus the Parisian owners who rent their home as primary residence can not demand a higher rent to an "increased basic rent", which equates to a median rent (calculated quarter by quarter) increased 20%. This new strain (which is added to that the rent applied to the previous tenant) should be extended soon to other cities. It should thus concerned Lille in December 2016.

    • During the lease
      - exceptions (especially in cases of manifestly undervalued rent), the annual increase of rent (the date agreed between the parties or, failing that, on the anniversary date of the lease) is possible only if it is expressly provided for in the lease.
      - It can not be greater than the change in the rent reference index (IRL), published quarterly by INSEE. This index is the average over the past twelve months, the evolution of consumer prices, excluding tobacco and rents.
      - Since March 27, 2014, the landlord must demonstrate its commitment to implement the review. It has a period of one year from the date to make a request. After this time, the revision of the rent for the past year is not possible.

  • The deposit

    • The landlord may require a deposit. Paid when entering the premises, the amount must be included in the lease and can not exceed 1 month rent excluding charges. No security deposit may be requested if the rent is payable in advance for more than two months period.

    • The deposit can be financed by a third party such as a body of 1% housing. In this case, the sum is advanced as a loan and the tenant then reimburse, without interest, in 36 monthly maximum. This aid is for leases of private or social sectors.

  • The tenant protection

    • Since the ALUR law, but also with MACRON law, tenants have seen their better protection, especially in case of leave granted by the lessor who must now justify in writing the serious and valid reasons that push to break the contract, or yet its decision to resume housing, or sell it.

    • Similarly, the conditions under which an owner who has purchased an occupied dwelling may give notice to his tenant have changed. Thus, if the term of the current lease comes less than three years after the acquisition date, the lessor may give notice to the tenant for sale at the end of the first automatic renewal or renewal of the contract current rent (however, if the term occurs more than 3 years after the date of acquisition, leave for sale can be given to the term of the lease in progress). If there is a holiday for recovery and that the term of the current lease comes less than two years after the acquisition, the leave given by the lessor at the end of the current lease will take effect 2 years of the acquisition.

  • With VISALE, no need to deposit!

    • Visale is a totally free online service:
      - For tenants seeking a guarantee: it is open to employees of more than 30 years regardless of their employment contract (not confirmed CDI) entering a rental unit private park within three months of hire; employees under 30 years regardless of their employment contract for a lease beginning in the year after taking office; households together as part of a rental intermediation; and to all young people under 30 seeking to accommodate (younger workers, self-employed, unemployed or students with the exception of non-scholarship students linked to the taxpayer of their parents).

      - For donors looking to secure their rental income with ease

    • Visale guarantees to lessors of private park payment of unpaid rent during the first 3 years of the lease (within a certain sum fixed by the housing situation).

  • Find a notaire

    • Find the details in the Directory of Notaires of France.
      You should therefore contact your notaire before you find yourself in complicated legal/ tax proceedings.

See also


French property market report / N°31


The role of the Notaire