Renting in France

All information to know when you move to France for a short or a long-term stay: contracts, charges and deposits...

The rental contract

A rental (house, apartment, room, etc.) is said to be furnished when it contains sufficient furniture and equipment for normal living. The rental must be decent regarding the risks for health, security and comfort of its tenants.

The lessor has the right to request a proof of your income. You may also have to provide details of a guarantor who will be named in the contract and who will stand surety in the event that you cannot pay the rent.

Since 20 January, 2005, if the accommodation is the tenant's main residence, the law provides that the rental contract must be in writing, signed by both parties and accompanied by a written document concerning the physical conditions of the accommodation and the inventory of fixtures. Each party is entitled to an exemplary of the lease. This contract has at least 1-year duration, renewable by tacit agreement each year for 1 year. If the lessor wants to modify the contract, he can do this with a one-month advance notice.

Good to know: new rules for rent control in Paris

A new rent control system will apply throughout Paris territory for leases signed from 1 July 2019 in. It will concern empty and furnished rentals: relets and 1st rental, renewal of leases and mobility leases. The new reference rents were fixed by prefectural order. This system is part of the Elan law allowing cities located in tight zones ("zones tendues") to apply rent control on an experimental basis for a period of 5 years.

Learn more about the new rent control system in Paris (in French)

Other cities are in the same tight situation. If you want to check before moving to France on this website.

Termination of a lease

Two scenarios are possible when terminating a leasing agreement.

You want to settle in another country of the European Union. You are wondering when and how you can terminate your lease in France?

► You are a tenant in an empty/unfurnished housing:

In France, in order to leave your housing, you have to give a three months notice (according to the Law of 6 July 1989 regarding the improvement of tenant relations: “loi du 6 juillet 1989 tendant à améliorer les rapports locatifs”

This period may be reduced to one month in some situations:

  • Initial employment, work transfer, loss of employment, or new employment following a loss of employment;
  • If you receive the “Revenu de Solidarité Active” or in abbreviated form “RSA” ‘( earned income supplement);
  • If you are over 60 years old and your health justifies a change of residence;
  • If you are the tenant of a regulated accommodation and your landlord assigns you a different housing under agreement and in the same stock;
  • If your rental is situated in a "zone tendue".

Good to know: The period runs from the date of receipt by your landlord of the registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt. As a precaution, send your mail several days before the start of the period and specify in your same mail the exact date you want to terminate the lease. For example, regarding an empty housing, if you want to terminate your lease on 1st June 2016, send your mail on 15th February 2016, so that the landlord can pick up the mail before 1st March 2016. Also, if your landlord is in bad faith and refuses to pick up the mail in order to prevent the starting point of the 3 months period, keep the registered mail which will be returned unclaimed by the postal service and make use of the services of a bailiff so that he gives notice to the landlord.

Attention: In all cases, you will remain liable for the payment of the rent until the expiration of the notice. You could not compensate it with the deposit you would have paid on arrival. You should also know that if you leave your housing before the end of the notice period, you will still have to pay the rent until the expiration of the notice, unless the landlord leases the housing to another tenant in the meantime.

► You are atenant in a furnished accommodation:

Regarding furnished accommodations, the lease (usually for a period of one year, or nine months for students) may be terminated at any time with one month's notice. No formal requirement is imposed by the law to give notice. However, we advise you to do so by registered mail.

Your landlord wishes to repossess the housing that you rent because he may intend to house his family or sell the unit. Does he have this right?

The Law of 6 July 1989 regarding the improvement of tenant relations (“loi du 6 juillet 1989 tendant à améliorer les rapports locatifs” ) specifies the conditions and situations in which the landlord may give notice to the tenant. First, the legislation imposes strict formalities: your landlord must give you notice via registered letter with return receipt or by bailiff at least six months before the expiry of the lease time, while indicating the names and addresses of the beneficiaries in the event of recovery, or the prices and conditions of sale if it is a cover for sale. Otherwise, the notice is null. If it is valid and if it is a cover for sale, you have two months to give your decision (see third point). If you refuse to leave the property at the end of the lease, the landlord may apply to the court for validation of the notice and request the eviction.

Good to know: The landlord can give you notice in the following cases:

  • The landlord may repossess the housing to live there himself or "his spouse, his civil partner, his ascendants or descendants or those of his spouse, of his registered partner or partner under a civil union." This possibility of repossession is however not allowed for other family members unless a family real estate company (SCI) owns the home (the SCI must be made ​​exclusively between parents and relatives up to the fourth degree included). So if the housing recovery is in favour of a partner of this type of SCI, you cannot prevent it. If the housing in question is taken as a secondary residence, you can object it because the possibility of recovery is limited to primary residences.
  • The landlord may also repossess the housing for "any serious and legitimate reason". Some examples of judgments illustrate different scenarios: daytime and nocturnal disturbance of the tenant, exercise of a commercial activity not provided for in the lease, repeated non-payment of rent, destruction or substantial renovation of the building in order to build a housing estate.
  • If the landlord announces their intention to sell the property, they will be obliged to offer you the housing for sale in the notice, that is, to inform you the prices and terms of sale. You indeed benefit from a “right of refusal” or “right of first offer”. This offer is valid during the first two months of the notice period. If you accept the offer, you have two months to carry out the sale. If you indicate in your response that you intend to take out a loan for this purpose, your acceptance is conditioned by obtaining the loan and the period in question is then extended to four months. Your lease is extended until the expiration of that period. If the sale has not been carried out ​​within this time limit, the acceptance is void and you have no longer any right and title of occupancy. If your landlord decides to sell the property on terms or at a lower price, it should (or the notary) notify you the new terms and pricing. This notification counts as a new offer for sale, and is valid for the period of one month from the date of its receipt. If you agree, you have a new two-month period for the completion of the deed of sale, extended again to four months if there is a loan application.

Some useful information in case of sale:

It is important to remember that if you accept the landlord's offer, the sale may be cancelled only in case of an agreement with the landlord, whereas they may give up selling the housing if you refused to buy it.

The landlord may not impose a new offer later because of the increase in the market prices.

If the offer for sale price is higher than the market price and thus proves to be deterrent, it will generally be considered void by the courts, because it would prevent the tenant to exercise its right of first refusal

Finally, the notice suggesting a price “to negotiate” is also considered void by the courts

"Etat des lieux"

Every accommodation, whether furnished or unfurnished, requires the completion of a mandatory property condition report at the moment of your arrival, as well as your departure.

It is at this point in time that the landlord and tenant ensure the condition of the accommodation and that everything works out...or not!

Advice:

  • It is necessary to describe everything, room by room, piece of equipment by piece of equipment.
  • Do not hesitate to try the faucet, turn on the heat or flush the toilet. If the apartment is equipped with a sleeper-sofa, open it!
  • If there are holes in the wall, do not hesitate to mention it because when you move out, your landlord may keep a portion of the security deposit. Additionally, consider taking photos with the date, which can be extremely useful in the case of a dispute. As a general rule, avoid using approximate terms such as “good general state” that do not offer any helpful information.
  • If you realize a defect later you have the possibility of asking the landlord to modify the condition of the room. This needs to be done in less than 10 days. If you arrive mid-summer and have no way of checking whether or not the heat functions properly, you have until the first month of the heating period to report the malfunction.

As a general rule, you should not sign an inventory report if you disagree, because a signature denotes acceptance.

In any case, keep your copy even after your departure. If the situation arises that your landlord identifies damage not mentioned at the time of your arrival or departure, he has every right to retain your security deposit. Be aware that they will have to justify the sums deducted.

Cancellation of the lease

Here again, there are differences between the rentals signed before and after the law of 20 January 2005.

  • Before, there were no specific rules, so the common regulation provides that the lessor or the tenant, if one or the other wants to cancel the lease, addresses a 3-month advance notice to the other party. The rents are of course due after these 3 months.
  • Since the law of 20 January, 2005, the tenant can cancel the lease at any moment with an only 1-month advance notice. The lessor can cancel the lease but with a 3-month advance notice and at the term of the lease. Moreover, the lessor must always justify his cancellation.

These new rules also apply to the lease which already existed on 20 January, 2005 and is still ongoing, if the accommodation constitutes the main residence of the lessor. In the other cases, the common regulation would apply.

Rent, charges & deposit

Rent must be paid as stated in the lease or between parties. Upon payment, ask for a receipt which works as proof of payment.

Rent

Be careful: if you have any problem for a payment it is preferable to prevent the lessor before the deadline is over in order to avoid a bad surprise. Because if you don’t pay the rent, the lessor may ask for your eviction. The lessor can increase the rent only if there’s a rent adjustment clausein the lease.

Charges

When you rent accommodation, every month you pay what is called “a provision for charges”. This corresponds to a cost estimation linked to the production of water or electricity, for example. Usually it is based on last years’ costs.

Once per year you are supposed to receive a final calculation for regulation. So your landlord must send you an invoice concerning the nature of these charges. Within this document, you must be notified if you paid too much, or on the contrary, if you need to pay the difference. The invoice must be sent to you by your landlord one month before regulation, either by email or by post. In the case of collective buildings managed by the same landlord, you must also find the distribution method between tenants in addition to the calculation on the invoice. An additional note also must be added on the calculation method for heating and hot water charges.

Attention: The invoice is one important thing, but not everything!

In fact, for six months from the date of invoice dispatched by your landlord, supporting documents - such as invoices and maintenance contracts - are kept at your disposal. In order to see these documents, you must make a request directly to your landlord, who may not refuse. You can make your request by simple mail or registered mail, in the case of a blockage. Lastly, be aware that you cannot require your landlord to bring you these documents in person, or even to send them to you in copy. You will have to go see them for yourself in order to review the various elements.

The deposit

In many cases, the lessor asks for a security deposit which is usually the value of two months rent. At the end of tenancy and on the return of the keys, the landlord has up to two months to reimburse the deposit, deducting the amount needed for repairs to the property. If you feel an unnecessary amount has been deducted, you may request to see the invoices (invoice of the repairs, replacement,etc.). 

Documents you can be asked to provide for long-term rentals

  • The photocopy of your identity card
  • The photocopy of your residence permit (carte de séjour), where applicable
  • The photocopy of your last three salary slips (bulletins de salaires)
  • The photocopy of your last tax notification (avis d’imposition)
  • Your student card or a school certificate
  • The employment contract
  • Your bank details (RIB: Relevé d’Identité Bancaire) 
  • The last rent receipts of your previous rental (quittances de loyer)

The landlord can also ask for a security deposit of max. 1 month rental amount (article 22 de la loi du 6 juillet 1989 modified in 2009).

Often the landlords also ask for a guarantor to cover a potential risk of non-payment of the rental, especially if they rent to students or low incomes. Usually a landlord will accept an application only if the regular income is at least equivalent to 3 times the rental amount.

  • The photocopy of the identity card
  • The photocopy of the last three salary slips
  • The employment contract
  • The last tax notification
  • A photocopy of the property tax or local taxes (often the housing tax taxe d’habitation)
  • A RIB 
  • A written agreement to act as guarantor in two copies (cf. articles 2288 ff of the French Civil code: the written agreement has to include the rent amount and the possibilities to rent increase according to the rental agreement, a clause showing clearly that the guarantor is aware of the extent of his obligations, a copy of article 22-1 of the law of 6th July 1989). Read this for further information on the different types of “caution” (individual, solidary…).

You should know that very often real estate agencies and landlords refuse to accept guarantors based in another Member state. They will insist on a French resident, as they consider it difficult to compel a foreign guarantor, despite the new EU simplified judicial procedures.

You might then want to consider an “institutional” guarantor such as a bank guaranty (cautionnement bancaire). Even though this is a paid service (you will have to pay usually an annual fee of 1 to 2% of the deposited sum plus setting-up fees between 20 and 100 €) it might be of help to you.

More information.

Before signing up for such a guaranty and depositing your money into a bank account, you should compare the offers of several credit institutions as the contract conditions vary depending also on the landlord’s requirements (e.g. duration of contract between 3 months and 3 years or depending on the duration of the rental agreement). You should also ask if the credit institute offers to invest your money profitably (even if most of the time the interests do not cover the fees). Not all banks advertise the “cautionnement bancaire” but most provide this service.

Documents you cannot be asked to provide for long-term rentals

According to the provisions of Article 1 of Law 89-462 of 6 July 1989 aimed at improving rental relationships, "no person shall be denied rental of a dwelling on the grounds of origin, surname, physical appearance, gender, family/marital status, health, disability, lifestyle, sexual orientation, political opinions, union activities, membership or non-membership, actual or assumed, to a specific ethnic group, national, race or religion”.

These provisions shall apply to both private and social sector housing. For that reason, the landlord (or real estate agency) cannot require the following documents from the candidate.

If your application is not taken into account for the rental, do not hesitate to ask the landlord or the real estate agency to receive your documentation back.

What to do if the landlord is still asking for these documents?

Insist on the laws protecting you. But it will be up to you to decide whether you want to hand over these documents as there is no possibility to force a landlord into contracting with you.

If you are subject to discrimination though, you can contact the Défenseur des Droits or start a civil procedure against the landlord. In this case, you will need to prove the discrimination based for example on your origin, family name, family situation, health, sexual orientation, religion etc. This will not ensure you the rental but might allow sanctioning the landlord.

Lists sellers

You will study in France and you are looking for a rental, maybe you are tempted to call on a “lists seller”. The price of these services could be attractive compared to real estate agency fees. But there are some things you need to be aware of.

The lists seller is a real estate professional. His activity consists of – and is limited to – providing lists of available housing and the details of their owners.

Unlike real estate agencies, the lists seller does not intervene in the transaction and does not guarantee it: he does not visit the housing with you, does not write the rental contract and does not establish inventory of the place.

Their obligations

Since September 2015, the merchants of lists have to respect the rules of a code of ethics.

The lists seller has to establish a contract with the applicant for the rental to define his criteria (geographical location and characteristics of the researched good, rent, etc.). Since the ALUR law of 24 March 2014, the contract has to contain a clause specifying the conditions of the reimbursement of the future tenant when the service provided is not in accordance with the criteria established in the contract. 

The lists seller has to hold, for every offer proposed, a written and signed agreement by the owner, describing the real estate to rent, specifying the length of time the offer could figure in the merchant’s files and mentioning how the owner and the lists seller will inform each other to keep the list updated. Since the ALUR law of 24 March 2014, lists sellers can only propose places for which they have exclusivity. The contract concluded with the owner must contain an exclusivity-clause, forbidding the owner to publish offers/ads in the press (paper or internet) or through other real estate agencies.

No amount of money or remuneration can be required by a lists seller before he/she actually provides the lists or the file. The transfer of the lists or the file has to be completely executed before payment (even for contracts involving a commitment to produce lists periodically over a specific timeframe).

The lists seller has to propose offers of available housings and corresponding to the characteristics chosen by the client. In case of unavailable housings at the moment of the communication of the list or housings which do not correspond to the criteria indicated by the consumer, lists sellers will have to provide a partial or total refund and can be sanctioned.

Since 1st September 2015, lists sellers, like every real estate agent, have to respect the rules of a code of ethics: rules of professional conduct, competence, transparency, confidentiality, defence of the parties interests, settlement of disputes with their principals. If these professionals don’t respect these rules, they may face disciplinary sanctions ranging from a warning, to the removal of the right to practice (temporary or even permanently).

Practical advice:

The ALUR law of 24 March 2014 aims at preventing abusive practices. But stay alert!

  • Check the terms of the contract and especially your research criteria and the clause of reimbursement which is obligatory;
  • Don’t pay any amount before you have the list;
  • If the list is not in accordance with the criteria mentioned in the contract or if the announces are available on other supports (agencies, internet, press), don’t hesitate to ask for reimbursement of the amount you paid to the lists seller.

Residence tax

The housing tax is levied for the benefit of your local authority or group of municipalities in which your housing is located.

The amount you will have to pay varies from one municipality to another and depends on the characteristics of the taxable premises (size, level of comfort, etc.) and your personal tax situation (your income, the composition of your home, etc.) as of January 1 of the tax year.

Whether you are owner, tenant or occupant for free, the residence tax is due for both your principal residence and your secondary residence if you occupy the place on the 1st January of the tax year, even if you moved out and sold your housing since 1st January.

In principle, you don't have to subscribe a declaration for residence tax. You receive a tax notice on which appear your residence tax and the audiovisual licence fee. Be careful, the payment of the residence tax is coupled with the audiovisual public contribution (Contribution à l'audiovisuel public) which is also payable every year.

Every furnished premise affected to housing (individual houses and apartments) and its immediate dependencies (maid bedroom and garage) are subjected to residence tax.

Audiovisual public contribution

Find out in which cases this contribution applies to your household.

This contribution is due if:

  • You are not entitled to exemption from the "taxe d'habitation" (residence tax)
  • You have a television set or a similar device equipped with a tuner allowing the reception of television at home (except computer, tablet and smartphone). It also covers i.e. a mechanism linking several devices connected wirelessly or with a cable and allowing the reception of signals, pictures or sounds by electromagnetic means (e.g. a flat panel display without tuner associated to a DVD player equipped with one). If you watch television only through your computer, smartphone, or tablet or through a micro-computer provided with a TV capture card and if you don't have any television set or similar device at home, you don't have to pay the fee. The French government confirmed in July 2018 that these devices weren’t and wouldn’t be concerned by the contribution. If you have subscribed to a combined Internet + TV offer, you only have to pay the audiovisual contribution if you have a TV or similar equipment.

The contribution, which is about 138€ in metropolitan France or 88 € in the French overseas departments, is due by the person occupying the residence so either the owner or the tenant. The fee is payable per household irrespective of the number of persons living there and irrespective of the number of TV sets and/or similar devices.

If you are granted complete exemption from the "taxe d'habitation", you will be granted automaticexemption from the audiovisual public contribution as well. Exemptions may also apply if your fiscal reference income equals zero, in case of certain disabilities or for elderly people (detail of the applicable conditions on service-public.fr). For further information, please contact your tax authority.

If you are exempted from audiovisual public contribution for any reason referred to above, you have to inform the administration by checking the appropriate box on your income tax return.

The "contribution à l'audiovisuel public" is payable altogether with the "taxe d'habitation", so it will be automatically calculated by the French fiscal administration and you will pay them altogether. In the event of late payment, the whole amount will be increased by 10%.

If on 1st January none of your residences (principal home or secondary home) is equipped with a television set, do not forget to indicate this in your income tax declaration, by ticking the corresponding box. Otherwise the fee will be automatically applied.

In the case of a false declaration, you risk a fine of 150€ in addition to the payment of the audiovisual licence fee.

Should you be wrongly required to pay the audiovisual public contribution, you can submit the claim to the tax office mentioned on your tax notice. (You will find more information on the modalities on service public.fr).

Good to know: In September 2018, the French Government announced a reevaluation of who should pay the « contribution à l’audiovisuel public », which is the fee for usage of public service broadcasting. The contribution is currently only due by those who own a television set. However, since public service broadcasting is nowadays also accessible from smartphones, tablets and computers, the government sees a need to adapt the fee to the new consumption habits. Therefore, in the future, the possession of any of these devices might justify the payment of such a contribution. The discussions on the subject are ongoing.

Good to know: If you buy a TV set from a shop or in an auction, you will have to sign a declaration with your name and address, date and place of birth which will be transferred to the French fiscal administration. If you inherited or borrowed the TV set or if it was offered to you, you do not have any formalities to accomplish.

Your principal residence has no TV but you have one in your secondary residence? In this case, you will have to pay the audiovisual license fee and you will receive a tax notice together with the residence tax for your principal residence.

Your principal residence is abroad and you have a secondary residence only in France with a TV-set. In this case, too, you have to pay the audiovisual public contribution. The audiovisual public contribution finances public TV and radio organisms (France Televisions, Arte-France, Radio France, Réseau Outre-Mer 1ère, RFI, Institut national de l'audiovisuel).

Disputes & procedures

The CCRD encourages conciliation between landlords and tenants. A procedure avoids judicial procedures in rental conflicts.

  • What kind of dispute?

The CCRD are competent to deal with disputes defined by the law n° 89-462 of 6 July 1989 concerning:

  • conflicts relative to the inventory of fixtures when moving in or leaving the accommodation.
  • the re-evaluation of a rent at the moment of the lease renewal for a rented accommodation, which is not regulated (second rented home, seasonal, business, commercial, rural accommodation or for an on-site accommodation.)
  • the service charges
  • the collective disputes resulting from the implementation of national or local collective agreements, from a plan of rental consultation (“Plan de concertation locative”) or from the administration of a block of flats.

This is an exhaustive list. Indeed, all general rental disputes, (apart from those concerning the re-evaluation of a rented accommodation which is not regulated), like indexing problems, paybacks and outstanding payments do not fall within the competence of the CCRD. The Committee does not deal with other common disputes like those concerning the length of time of a contract, notices or the turmoil caused by neighbours. It is important to underline that only disputes relative to unfurnished accommodation are within the jurisdiction of the CCRD.

The information concerning the composition and the rules of functioning of the Commission (provided for in the decree 2001-653 of 19 July 2001) is largely spread, particularly on the Internet. Furthermore, the “Directions départementales de l’équipement” publish an annual report about the activities of their county commission.  

  • Conciliation procedure

The CCRD summons both parties by letter to a conciliation session at least 15 days before the session. Like many other mediation-conciliation proceedings, it is usual to appear personally with all the documents justifying the complaint; however it is possible to be represented or assisted by a duly appointed person. If an agreement is reached, the CCRD draws up a document that resumes the terms of the agreement. This document, which will be signed by the parties, will have the same effect as a contract. In the event of a disagreement between the two parties, the Commission returns a verdict within two months. This verdict can require a supporting document to be added to a litigious case file. Indeed, if no agreement is found before the Committee, both parties can bring the case to the “Tribunal d’Instance” (French equivalent of a magistrates’ court dealing with civil matters). The CCRD seldom decides totally in one of the two parties’ favour.

The referral does not exclude the possibility of a litigious review.

The recording of the agreement as well as the decisions made are written and the parties are immediately informed about their content. However, there is no appeal time limit.

CCRD referral

How is the CCRD referral procedure designed?

How to refer to a CCRD?

The referral to the CCRD does not cost anything. This referral consists of a recorded letter in French with acknowledgment of receipt addressed to the secretariat offices of the CCRD, which are represented by the “Direction Départementale de l’équipement” (services responsible for public amenities). It is imperative that the file contains the rental agreement as well as the initial letter of complaint addressed to the other party. It is necessary to enclose all documents backing up the demand.  

Conciliation procedure

The CCRD summons both parties by letter to a conciliation session at least 15 days before the session. Like many other mediation-conciliation proceedings, it is usual to appear personally with all the documents justifying the complaint; however it is possible to be represented or assisted by a duly appointed person. If an agreement is reached, the CCRD draws up a document that resumes the terms of the agreement. This document, which will be signed by the parties, will have the same effect as a contract. In the event of a disagreement between the two parties, the Commission returns a verdict within two months. This verdict can require a supporting document to be added to a litigious case file. Indeed, if no agreement is found before the Committee, both parties can bring the case to the “Tribunal d’Instance” (French equivalent of a magistrates’ court dealing with civil matters). The CCRD seldom decides totally in one of the two parties’ favour.

The referral does not exclude the possibility of a litigious review.

The recording of the agreement as well as the decisions made are written and the parties are immediately informed about their content. However, there is no appeal time limit.

Repair and maintenance services

Starting 1 April 2017, consumer information on repair and maintenance prices in the construction sector and household equipment will be improved. The legal provisions of the order of 24 January 2017, later modified by the order of 28 February 2017, will replace those of 2 March 1990.

Overall, the purpose of this new order is to introduce more transparency and price visibility in the construction sector, a sector generating numerous consumer complaints with the DGCCRF.

More specifically, this improvement of consumer price information means additional requirements for professionals regarding their estimates.

This order has a large application scope because it concerns all repair and maintenance services in the construction and household equipment sector listed in annex 1. This list resumes the order of 2 March 1990 by adding new services. Among the services that were already covered are locksmithing, electricity, chimney sweeping, painting or masonry. Among the services added are the maintenance of alarm and remote monitoring systems, fire extinguishers, deratisation and rainwater damage.

Also covered by the new order are replacements or additions of parts, components or devices connected with these services.

This order does not affect:

  • Services covered by lump-sum payments made at the time or at the renewal of contracts, including as an ancillary measure, the commissioning or connection of the goods, maintenance contracts, warranty contracts or after-sales services;
  • Connections to a public network carried out by a public service concessionnaire or under their responsibility, subject to special tariffs.

This new order requires professionals to publish the pricing list for their main services offered on their website (article 3).

All professionals must offer the consumer a detailed estimateprior to any signature of a contract relating to the concerned services. The new order eliminated the €150 limit including all taxes (quotation included), which allowed professionals to exempt themselves from this obligation for any lower sum. Similarly, it has discarded the estimate exemption for services rendered in an “absolute emergency” as well as the following formula: the estimate drawn up in duplicate must also include the handwritten quote, dated and signed by the consumer, before the execution of the work.

The estimate must be given to the consumer on paper or other sustainable medium, the latter only permissible with the consumer’s consent. The definition of what is considered a “sustainable medium” is available in article L.221-1 of Consumer Code (USB, DVD, email, etc).

The estimate must include certain mandatory information (Article 4). The new order distinguishes this relative to services concluded in the professional’s establishment from service concluded outside of the establishment.

Mandatory Information:

A - If the contract concludes in the professional’s establishment

  • Information presented in articles L.111-1 and L. 111-2 of Consumer Code;
  • The date of the writing of the estimate;
  • The professional’s name and address;
  • The consumer’s name;
  • The place of the service’s completion;
  • The quantity, the unit price and its unit (the hourly labor rate, linear or square meter) for each service and the elements required for its completion;  
  • Travel expenses if they exist;
  • The total price to be paid, HT and TTC (before and after taxes) (with the applicable VAT rate);
  • The offer’s period of validity;
  • The free quote or the amount to pay.

 Lastly, if the repair order has been cancelled, the estimate must contain the exact nature of the repairs to be completed.

B - If the contract concludes outside of the establishment (at your home)

  • Information in articles L.221-5 and L. 221-9 of Consumer Code, notably those relative to right of withdrawal within 14 days;
  • Obligatory information for estimates relating to services concluded in the professional’s establishment, containing a detailed invoice for each service and the elements necessary for its completion, including the estimated time and the price for each service, in the case of a lacking unit price.

Attention:Right to withdrawal does not exist for “urgentmaintenance or repair work done in the consumer’s home and expressly requested by them” (Article. L. 221.28 (8) of Consumer Code). This rule does not apply to items supplied or installed on this occasion that would not respond to the emergency.

C -  Whether the contract concludes in or outside of the establishment

The consumer must be informed if they may keep replaced parts within the estimate. This information is provided through the following standard model:

Do you wish to keep the replaced elements, pieces or devices?  YES__ NO __

Signature of the consumer preceding the written mention “read and approved”

The new order does not offer anything new on this point (Article 5). It applies to the 3 October 1983 provisions relative to the publication of all service prices, modified by the order of 15 July 2010.

Once the service is executed and prior to any payment by the consumer, an invoice must be delivered (denominated “note”) with two copies, in which the original is given to the consumer. This is obligatory for the professional when the price of the service is higher or equal to that of €25 (VAT included). On the contrary, under this value, delivery is optional, excluding the case where the consumer explicitly requests it.

The following elements must be included in an invoice:

  • The date of the writing of the invoice;
  • The professional’s name and address;
  • The consumer’s name, except if they object;
  • The date and the place of the service’s completion;
  • The total price to pay,  HT and TTC.

Attention: In view of the fact that this new order requires the professional toissue a quote regardless of the estimate of the services ordered, the detailed statement of the quantity and price of each service and the elements necessary for its completion is optional.

  

Failure to comply with the provisions relative to pre-contractual obligation of information (articles L.111-1 and L. 111-2 of Consumer Close) exposes the professional  to an administrative penalty of up to €15.000. (article L. 131-1 of the same code).

Regarding the provisions relating to the off-premises contract (Articles L. 221-5 and L. 221-9 of the Consumer Code), their non-compliance has more serious consequences. In addition to penal and administrative penalties for the professional (Articles L. 242-5 to L. 424),the contract may be invalidated (article L.242-1 of the same code).