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Posted at January 9, 2020
Before signing a lease, ensure everything stated in your contract is legal. When in the framework of a Code Civil lease, landlords and tenants are free to negotiate the terms of their lease contract. Nevertheless, being aware of specific illegal clauses prohibited by French law is essential.
In a lease contract, the following clauses are illegal:
In France, the tenants must subscribe to home insurance for their rental accommodation. If the tenant fails to provide a home insurance certificate, the owner can refuse to hand over the keys. However, the tenant can take out home insurance with any insurer.
A clause stipulates that the tenant must pay their rent by direct debit, or advance drafts are forbidden.
Any clauses that limit the tenant's use of the rental property are prohibited, such as terms forbidding the tenant to have guests stay over. Besides, owners are not allowed to refuse pets (except for the dangerous dogs category).
The tenant must grant access to the apartment for essential maintenance or repairs that the landlord is responsible for covering. If these works exceed 21 days, the tenant can request a rent reduction corresponding to the work's length. Hence, any clause forbidding tenants to claim compensation for overtime work is prohibited.
The lease must be fair for both the tenant and the owner. Therefore, the landlord cannot exempt oneself from liabilities and impose them on their tenants.
As a result, the following clauses are prohibited:
The tenant must allow the apartment viewings if the owner intends to sell or re-let their property. However, it is forbidden to impose tenants giving access to viewings on Sundays, public holidays, or for more than 2 hours on any working day.
The landlord cannot legally terminate the lease for non-payment of rent and charges, non-renewal home insurance subscription, or neighborhood disturbances, but for no other reasons.
Signing a contract for the furnished apartment rental in Paris you dreamed about is exciting. However, remember that once you sign a lease agreement, it becomes a legally binding contract. To avoid getting into unfair rental contracts, we highly recommend you take the time to carefully review and understand the lease agreement, which can save you potential disputes and headaches down the road. Nowadays, many Real Estate agencies in Paris, such as Paris Rental, provide expat tenants with an English-translated draft lease. So do not hesitate to ask for it for your better understanding.
Editor: Siyi CHEN