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Furnishing your Parisian rental: a guide for expats seeking higher returns

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The right furnishings for your Paris rental property can be crucial to your success as a landlord. Well-furnished interiors attract potential tenants and can even bring higher rents, minimize vacancy periods, and reduce turnover. This guide aims to help expatriate landlords seeking advice on furnishing their apartment rental in Paris to capitalize on their investment.

Understanding the Paris rental market

The demand for furnished rental apartment in Paris remains strong among local French residents and expatriates relocating to Paris. Recently, however, it has become increasingly challenging to find an apartment to rent. According to SeLoger, the supply of rental properties had decreased by 50% in just one year by the end of 2023.

At the same time, decreased rental supply, the upcoming Paris Olympic Games, and growing demand are raising rents in Paris. According to SeLoger's press release, the average rent price in France increased by 3.5% in 2023.

If you're considering renting your property in Paris, now's the time! With rental supply down and demand up, you are sure to rent your apartment quickly and have many potential tenants to choose from.

Furnishing strategies to maximize rental appeal

When choosing colors, furniture, and decorations for your rental property in Paris, it's essential to consider styles and elements that appeal to a diverse group of tenants. Here are some tips to achieve this:

  1. Keep colors neutral: Choose neutral palettes like soft whites, muted grays, and warm beiges, especially for walls. These not-so-personalized tones create a backdrop that various décor and color preferences can easily complement.
  2. Prioritize functionality: Select furniture pieces that are stylish and practical for urban living in Paris. Look for multi-functional items like sofa beds or storage ottomans to maximize space efficiency in Parisian apartments, where space is often limited.
  3. Invest in quality pieces: Opt for well-crafted furniture that reflects Paris's reputation for refinement and sophistication. Quality pieces will withstand frequent use and create a sense of luxury in the space.
  4. Enhance Parisian vibe: Highlight the unique Parisian Haussmannian style in your rental property to attract a high-profile foreign clientele seeking an authentic living experience in Paris, focusing on incorporating elements that reflect the timeless charm of Paris, such as vintage lighting fixtures, ornate mirrors, paintings, crown molding, etc.

Parisian apartment living room - white, beige style

Photo by NV Gallery

Choosing essential furniture and equipment for your rental apartment in Paris

In France, a furnished apartment rental must include all the mandatory equipment and furnishings listed by the government. However, our guidance goes beyond merely meeting these basic requirements. Paris Rental advises owners who wish to attract a high-profile clientele for their furnished apartment rental in Paris, such as expatriates, professionals on assignment, international executives, diplomats, families on a sabbatical year, and more.

List of recommended items to include in a furnished rental apartment in Paris:

For a successful furnished rental, here's a list of recommended items to include to make your rental apartment stand out easily:

  • Fully equipped kitchen: Ensure the kitchen is functional with essential appliances such as a refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher, coffee maker, kettle, toaster, kitchen utensils, dishes, cutlery, and tea towels. Last but not least, remember to put a good-sized kitchen bin.
  • Quality bedding: Invest in comfortable, quality bedding, including a good mattress, sheets, pillows, and blankets, to ensure tenants' comfort. Your tenant will also appreciate it if you prepare one or two sets of plush towels.
  • Living room furniture: Furnish the living room with a comfortable sofa (preferably a sofa-bed), armchairs, coffee table, and TV stand to create a welcoming relaxation space.
  • Dining area: Provide a dining area with a table and chairs so tenants can comfortably enjoy their meals.
  • Bathroom: Key bathroom furnishings comprise a versatile vanity or sink paired with a mirror and ample storage options such as cabinets and shelves, towel rails, or hooks for linens. Investing in a heated towel rack would be even better, as it will elevate comfort and add a luxurious touch, which is particularly beneficial in bathrooms with limited ventilation. Last but not least, remember to use a waste bin for disposal.
  • Storage: Ensure the rental property has enough storage spaces, such as closets, shelves, and dressers, for tenants to organize their belongings neatly.
  • Workspace: More and more people are working from home. Therefore, a nice workspace can be a huge bonus. Set up a functional workspace with a desk, ergonomic chair, and reliable internet connection to meet the needs of tenants working from home.

Parisian style dinning room

Photo by NV Gallery

Decoration and staging for a furnished apartment rental

By carefully selecting furnishings, decor, and fittings, owners can create an environment that is both elegant and refined, catering to the tastes and expectations of the most sought-after tenants.

Tip to Enhance a Property Through Home Staging:

  • Lighting: Strategically placed lighting fixtures, such as table lamps or pendant lights, enhance the ambiance, making the property warm and inviting.
  • Accessories and Decor: Incorporate decorative accessories like cushions, rugs, and artwork to add personality and style to the space. These elements contribute to the aesthetic appeal and help potential tenants envision themselves living in the apartment.
  • Less is more - Balancing Artwork in Home Staging: While incorporating artwork can add charm and characteristics to the space, finding the right balance is essential to avoid overwhelming potential tenants. Keep this in mind: "Less is More" and limit the number of paintings, art subjects, or decorative pieces to ensure the apartment feels not too personalized. Instead, choose a few pieces that complement the overall aesthetic and enhance the ambiance without overpowering the space. This approach allows the property to maintain a sense of openness and neutrality while adding visual interest and character.
  • Depersonalization and Decluttering: Remove personal items and clutter, such as photos and excessive amounts of books and CDs, to depersonalize the space, allowing tenants to focus on the property's features and potential.

Use technology and conveniences to add a modern touch to your apartment rental experience

The integration of modern technologies and conveniences for furnished long-term rental apartments include:

  • High-Speed Wi-Fi: Offering reliable, high-speed internet connectivity is essential for tenants who rely on the internet for work, entertainment, and communication. It also saves the hassle of foreign tenants handling unfamiliar internet subscriptions and installation processes in France.
  • Smart Home Automation: Providing smart home devices such as smart speakers, light bulbs, plugs, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home allows tenants to control their living environment more efficiently, even remotely.
  • In-Unit Washer and Dryer: Providing in-unit laundry amenities is a sought-after convenience in Parisian rental properties. A washing machine is essential, and it's advisable to include a dryer as well, as many foreign tenants are used to having it back in their home country, and it is particularly convenient for no end to rainy days in Paris. If space is limited, a washer-dryer combo is an excellent alternative to accommodate both needs efficiently.
  • Home cinema setup: A home cinema setup in a rental property is desirable for tenants who enjoy entertainment and relaxation. It should include a large-screen television or projector and surround sound speakers.
  • Air-conditioning: Most high-profile tenants are used to air-conditioning in their home country and are exclusively looking for rental apartments with air-conditioning. Year after year, air conditioning in a rental property is highly coveted by tenants seeking comfort and relief from high temperatures, especially so when they work at home. Installing air conditioning in Paris can be challenging, especially if your condominium has AC restrictions. In such cases, an alternative solution is opting for a portable air conditioner.
  • Wine Cooler Fridge: Incorporating a wine fridge in a rental property can be an attractive and luxurious amenity for tenants who appreciate fine wines, especially since we are in Paris, France, renowned for its wine culture. A dedicated space to store and display wine bottles adds a sophisticated touch to your rental apartment in Paris. 
  • Pet-Friendly frame of mind for your rental apartment: A pet-friendly attitude attracts tenants with pets and enhances their overall living experience in Paris. More and more expat tenants are moving to Paris with their pets and looking for pet-friendly rental apartments. Being a pet-friendly apartment rental can be a huge plus and lead to higher tenant satisfaction and longer lease terms, as pet owners are often willing to pay higher rents or stay longer in a pet-friendly environment. Additionally, pet-friendly policies can set a property apart from standard competitors and attract responsible pet owners who are likely to take good care of the property.

Wine cooler fridge in Paris apartment kitchen

Photo by Feld Architecture

Furniture management and maintenance for the long-term apartment rental

  • Invest in Durable, Tenant-Friendly Furniture: Choose furniture made from durable materials that can withstand time and are easy to clean and maintain.
  • Protective Measures for Tenant Use: Offer protective accessories like coasters, furniture pads, and removable covers to tenants to minimize the risk of damage from spills, scratches, and stains. On their arrival, educate the tenants on the importance of these measures for preserving the condition of the furniture and the integrity of their security deposit.
  • Clearly outline the tenant's responsibility to maintain and promptly report damages. Highlight the importance of keeping timely reports to prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.

Legal and tax aspects for owners of furnished rentals in Paris

Here's an overview of the legal and tax implications of furnished rentals in Paris, along with tips for navigating regulations and optimizing taxation:

Legal Implications of Furnished Apartment Rental in Paris:

1. Property Classification:

Ensure your property complies with legal requirements for furnished rentals. To be considered as a furnished rental in France, the apartment must include a mandatory list of furniture and equipment, including: 

  • A bed or beds with a quilt or blanket
  • Shutters or curtains in the rooms
  • Cooking plates/induction
  • Oven or microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • A freezer or refrigerator with a freezer compartment at a maximum temperature of -6°
  • Sufficient dishes for the occupants to eat
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Table
  • Seating
  • Storage shelves
  • Light fixtures
  • Household cleaning equipment adapted to the characteristics of the accommodation (vacuum cleaner if there is carpeting, broom, and mop for tiles)

2. Lease Agreement: Primary Residence Lease vs Code Civil Lease

Landlords can rent their furnished apartments for a long-term lease, whether for a primary residence lease or a secondary home. However, leases can differ.

Primary Residence Lease under the 1986 law (Bail d'habitation):
  • Duration: Typically, primary residence leases are for at least one year. If the tenant is a student, the minimum is nine months.
  • Tenant's Protection: France has robust legal protections for tenants, including stringent rent increases and lease termination regulations. 
  • Notice Period: Both the landlord and the tenant must provide notice in advance to terminate the lease. For the tenant, this is one month, while for the landlord, it's three months. Understanding the notice period is crucial as it prepares you for potential changes in your living situation.
  • Rental control: The rent control regulation sets the maximum rent that can be charged for primary residence leases. These rent control limits are determined based on the property's location, size, furnished or unfurnished, building's age, etc.
Secondary residence - Code Civil Lease (Bail Civil):
  • Duration: Code Civil leases offer more flexibility. Contracts are typically renewed in one year, but the tenant and owner may negotiate shorter or longer lease durations.
  • Terms and Conditions: The terms of the Code Civil lease, including rent amount, security deposit amount, and conditions, are freely negotiated between the landlord and the tenant. This allows for greater customization of the rental agreement.
  • Tenant Rights: In France, tenants benefit from solid legal protections no matter what kind of lease they engage in, including strict regulations regarding rent increases and termination of the lease.
  • Notice Period: Both the landlord and the tenant must provide notice in advance to terminate the lease, one month for the tenant and three months for the landlord on expiry of the lease and for one of the authorized reasons (repossession to live in, repossession to sell, or severe and legitimate reason).
  • Rent control: Unlike primary residence leases, Code Civil leases provide greater leeway in rent negotiation. While rent control still applies in principle, landlords can charge a reasonable amount exceeding the regulated maximum reference rent by applying rent supplements. However, to apply for a rent supplement for your apartment rental in Paris, the rental property must have a particular location or comfort features, such as a view of a historical monument, luxurious amenities, and air conditioning.

Tax Implications for Furnished Apartment Rental in Paris:

  • Tax Regime: Choose the most suitable tax regime for your situation: the micro-BIC (micro-enterprise tax regime) or the “Real” regime, professional or non-professional renter status.
  • Income Declaration: Declare furnished rental income in your annual tax return. Ensure that all deductible expenses, such as maintenance, repairs, and depreciation, are included if you apply the actual tax regime.
  • Occupancy Declaration: Since 2023, the Occupancy Declaration has become mandatory in France, and landlords must submit it yearly to the tax authorities.

Tips for Tax Optimization: 

  • Maintain Accurate Accounting: Keep precise records of your income and expenses related to furnished rentals. It will facilitate income reporting and maximize tax deductions.
  • Take Advantage of Tax Benefits: Explore various tax deductions and exemptions available for your furnished rentals in Paris, such as furniture and equipment depreciation.
  • Consult a Professional: Consider seeking advice from an accountant specialized in furnished rentals to optimize your taxation and ensure compliance with all legal and tax obligations.

Resources and support: 

Here's a list of resources available for expatriate owners of furnishing their rental in Paris, along with tips on how to leverage these resources effectively:

Furnishing Professionals:

Interior Design Services:

Hiring a local Parisian interior designer can help create a personalized and functional space tailored to your preferences and lifestyle. They can assist in maximizing space utilization and selecting furniture that suits the Parisian aesthetic.

Furniture Rental Services:

Some companies offer short- or long-term furniture rental services such as Homat or In-lease, which are ideal for expatriate owners who prefer not to invest in permanent furnishings or leave flexibility to the future tenant to choose the set of furniture rental that they like.

Online Platforms:

Websites like IKEA, Maison du Monde, La Redoute, and N.V. Gallery offer a wide range of new furniture in different price ranges, which can be conveniently ordered online. You can also find good second-hand deals on Le Bon Coin.  NV Gallery Parisian style furnishing - Paris Apartment

N.V. Gallery

N.B. IKEA offers professional advice and design services based on your specific needs and preferences, whether you prefer in-store assistance or online consultations. Similarly, Maison du Monde also offers professional design services to assist customers with their furniture and home decor choices. 

Specialty Stores:

Local Furniture Stores: Research Paris local furniture stores that offer products tailored to the Parisian lifestyle, ensuring your furnishings align with the city's aesthetic, such as Merci, Fleux', Silvera, etc.

Department Stores: In Paris, several department stores, such as Galeries Lafayette, Le BHV Marais, and Bon Marché Rive Gauche, offer a wide selection of furniture and other household items.

Silvera - Parisian furnishing brand

Shop of Silvera

Furnishings are essential to landlords' success in making a rental investment in Paris. In a global city like Paris, where expatriates are looking for quality, ready-to-live-in accommodation when they relocate, well-furnished, thoughtful interiors stand out and enable landlords to find premium tenants, achieve higher rental returns, reduce vacancy periods, and minimize tenant turnover for their furnished apartment rentals.

Editor: Siyi CHEN

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