Essential rental info

Renting in Paris: Everything about Payment of Rent & Security Deposit by Tenant

4 k views

Renting an apartment in Paris can be an exciting and fulfilling experience, whether you're an expat, international student, or resident. However, before you move into your rental apartment in Paris, there are essential details you need to know about paying rent and security deposits as a tenant. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about rent and rental deposit payment, including the options available and the legal requirements.

Explaining rent payments in France: Guidelines, methods and legalities

1. Who should I pay rent to if I rent through a Real Estate agency

In France, the tenant usually pays their rent and rental security deposit directly to the landlord, even when renting their apartment through a real estate agency. However, if a Property Management Company manages the apartment you rent, in that case, you will have to pay your rent and security deposit to the property management company. In general, this information figures in your lease agreement. So it's essential to ensure you understand the payment terms and schedule, including the amount of the rent, when it's due, and how to make the payment.

2. Can I pay my rent in cash in France?

In France, there are several ways to pay rent:

  • Cash : 

If the rent is less than €1,000, the tenant can pay it in cash. However, the tenant is responsible for paying the exact rent amount owed. The landlord can decline the cash payment if the tenant cannot provide the exact payment amount. 

How to prove you paid rent in cash?

While cash payment for rent is allowed in France (not above 1,000 €), other payment methods such as bank transfers and checks are recommended for tenants to track their payment records easily. If paying in cash is unavoidable, tenants should request a rent receipt corresponding to the rent amount paid (quittance de loyer) as proof of payment to the landlord.

  • Bank transfer :

  • Automatic debit from the tenant's bank account ("Prélèvement automatique'" in French)

If they agree, the tenants can give their RIB to the owner for a direct monthly debit. And the tenant must sign a SEPA mandate (Single Euro Payments Area) for a direct bank debit of the rent. This mandate replaces the tenant's commitment to deduct their rent automatically. Some landlords prefer this payment method because it is relatively reliable, and the rent payment will always arrive on the promised date. However, the landlord cannot impose this rent levy on the tenant.

  • Interbank payment title (Tip SEPA)

This payment method transfers money directly from the tenant's bank account to the owner's account without using a credit card, check, or cash. However, the owner will have to send the Tip to the tenant, who will sign it and return it to the owner by post.

  • Check

3. Can a landlord indicate how a tenant should pay rent in France?

The landlord can suggest rent payment methods from a bank transfer, cash (under 1 000 €), check, automatic bank transfer, and interbank payment. However, the landlord can not impose any payment method on the tenant. And the tenant has the option to decline the landlord's payment suggestion. And the landlord can apply a deduction from the tenant's salary to obtain his rent, only by a legal decision and only if the tenant does not pay his rent.

4. Can I pay rent by credit card?

Only some landlords or small Property Management Companies may accept credit card payments due to the processing fees involved and the complicated collection procedures afterward. In addition, every credit card transaction in France incurs a merchant processing fee, making the payment difficult for individual landlords. However, you can usually pay your agency fee with a credit card on a POS machine (Point of Sale) in the real estate agency.

5. What evidence can I provide to prove my past rent payments?

A rent receipt is evidence to prove your past rent payment. It confirms that the tenant has fully paid the rent and other associated rental expenses (such as recoverable rental charges and utility fees). In France, the landlord or the rental Property Manager must provide the rent receipt to the tenant free of charge upon the tenant's request. Sometimes, a certificate of rent (attestation de loyer) can substitute the rent receipts.

6. Rent payment for apartment sharing in France

In the case of apartment sharing, and if the lease agreement includes a solidarity or indivisibility clause (clause de solidarité), each co-tenants is jointly responsible for paying the entire rent and associated rental expenses. If one of the co-tenants fails to pay, the landlord has the right to collectively demand the rental debt from the co-tenants.

However, if the lease agreement does not contain such a solidarity clause, then each tenant is responsible for paying their portion of the rent and charges only.

7. When is rent due legally in France?

Should rent be due at the beginning or end of the month? Typically, the rent is payable in France at the beginning of each month. The rent can also be due at a frequency such as quarterly, every trimester, or every six months, according to the signed lease agreement. However, the tenant has the right to request monthly payments instead. 

8. Can the landlord charge the tenant a fee for late payment of rent?

In case of late rent payment, the owner has no right to charge additional fees in France, whether the Parisian rental apartment is furnished or unfurnished. In addition, a clause in your lease agreement permitting the landlord to collect penalties in case of late rent payment is forbidden. Tenants can contest such illegal provisions in court.

If the tenant repeatedly fails to comply with this rent payment obligation, the landlord may terminate the lease agreement upon its expiration. In France, consistently being late in paying rent is a significant cause for the landlord to refuse to renew the lease. 

9. Does paying rent late affect my credit in France?

In countries like the US, late rent payment affects a tenant's credit score. However, unlike the US, France has no credit score system. Therefore, paying rent late may not directly affect your credit in France. However, there are other serious consequences: the landlord must initiate a rent payment demand via a bailiff if the lease agreement includes a termination clause. Then, the tenant has a two-month grace period to settle the outstanding amount. If the tenant fails to do so, the landlord can automatically initiate the lease termination process by taking legal action in the district court. Upon reviewing the tenant's financial situation, the judge may order the lease's termination and the tenant's eviction.

On the other hand, the tenant must provide their past three months' rent receipts to rent an apartment in Paris. Therefore, you must pay your rent on time to ensure the required rent receipts to move into a new apartment in Paris. 

10. Can the rental security deposit be used to pay last month's rent?

We commonly get this question from expat tenants. The answer is no! The tenant is obligated to pay their rent until the end of the lease term, even if they have paid their security deposit to the owner. The purpose of the security deposit is to cover the tenant's potential liabilities to the rental, such as damages or lack of maintenance of the property. It is against the law to subtract the final rental payment from the security deposit.

11. How to calculate my final rent payment?

Suppose the lease's termination date or your notice of departure occurs before the end of the month. In that case, the last month's rent amount will correspond to one month from the lease's termination date or two months for a function rent, whatever the month's time.

Payment of Security Deposit for a rental apartment in Paris

1. How much security deposit do I need to pay for a rental apartment in Paris?

Security deposit of furnished rental apartment: 

  • Code Civil lease (secondary residence lease & company lease): Two months of rent maximum (rental charges included) 

  • Primary residence lease: Two months of rent maximum (excluding the rental charges) 

However, in some instances in France, the landlord may request an extra security deposit from the tenant to safeguard against potential damage to the rental property. For example, if the Paris apartment for rent has expensive paintings or decor inside, this extra security deposit or insurance must show in the lease agreement.

Security deposit of unfurnished rental apartment:

One month of rent maximum (excluding the rental charges)
The security deposit for an unfurnished apartment rental in Paris should be at most one month's rent, excluding the additional rental charges. The security deposit amount cannot be increased during the lease period or lease renewal.

2. Can the landlord adjust the security deposit according to the rent evolution?

The security deposit amount is unmodifiable during the lease term or at lease renewal. 

3. How do I pay the rental security deposit in France?

When both landlord and tenant have signed the lease agreement, the tenant will have to pay the security deposit to the landlord. If the tenant chooses to pay the rental deposit in cash   (1 000 € maximum), they are entitled to a receipt from the landlord as proof of payment.

4. How do I pay my rental security deposit in cash?

In France, the tenant can pay their security deposit in cash if the landlord accepts the cash payment (1 000 € maximum). If the tenant pays in cash, remember to request a receipt from the landlord as proof. However, paying rental security deposit via bank transfer or check is preferable for most landlords and agencies.

In conclusion, paying rent and security deposits are essential responsibilities for tenants in Paris. Understanding the various payment methods and legal obligations can help ensure a smooth and trouble-free rental experience. With some preparation and foresight, renting in Paris can be a rewarding experience.

Editor: Elisa Cardigan

Sources: service public, PAP


Credit Photo@Bastien Nvs