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General safety standards

The rental of a furnished property must meet a number of criteria of comfort, safety and surface.

What are the obligatory pieces of furniture? What are the consequences of failing to meet your obligations? Who should be responsible for repairs and routine maintenance of the home? What are the safety and electrical installation standards?

In the following chapters, we will give you an overview of these fundamentals, which are essential to know because a breach of the law can lead you to court.


The criteria of safety, decency as well as the rental standards which the owner must avoid are enacted in the decree 2002/120 of January 30, 2002.

Failure to comply with these requirements means: exposing yourself to legal prosecution, the obligation to normalize the situation under penalty of losing your rights as a lessor and being banned from leasing at the end of the land.

Each rental contract must allow you to live in compliance with these requirements.

In addition, it is essential to learn about developments of new laws and decrees issued in order to always comply with the legal framework.

Housing surface

The accommodation must have at least one main room with:

With a living area of ​​9 m2 and a minimum ceiling height of 2.20 m


A living volume of 20 m3

The tenant’s health and safety criteria

Before offering your property for rent, you must check several points:

In terms of risks:

  • ‘Le clos et le couvert’: this criterion allows the tenant to be sheltered from runoff and infiltration.
  • Protection against parasitic air infiltration : doors, windows, walls and openings of rooms, opening onto the outside or onto unheated adjacent rooms shall be airtight and have no doors or windows.

Chimneys must have hatches.

  • Personal restraint system: safety systems such as guardrails on stairs, passageways, terraces, balconies, etc. must be in place to ensure the safety of people and animals.
  • Condition of construction materials, pipes and housing coverings: all equipment and devices essential for everyday life must comply with the safety standards in force.
  • Networks and connections of electricity, gas, heating and hot water production equipment: comply with standards and are in excellent condition of use and operation.
  • Ventilation: the accommodation must be sufficiently ventilated. The windows and the opening devices are in good condition, allowing the air to be renewed and moisture to escape, suitable for the normal operation of the property and its equipment.
  • Natural lighting : the main rooms have windows that allow for adequate natural lighting.

Preserving the health of the tenants:

In order to fulfill your obligation to provide information and for the tenant to make commitments with confidence there are several types of diagnostics which are grouped together in the technical diagnostic file (DDT) which includes:

  • The state of natural and technological risks: indicates whether or not the property is located within an area exposed to one or more natural, mining or technological risks.

He also mentions the risk of seismic activity and possible soil pollution.

  • The energy performance diagnosis (DPE): provides information on the degree of thermal insulation of the property and the expected heating costs. It must be included in the rental advertisement.
  • The lead exposure risk determination (CREP – if housing built before 1949): indicates whether or not the coatings of the housing contain lead.
  • The asbestos diagnosis: must be made available to the tenant if the building permit was issued before January 1st, 1997.
  • Diagnosis of the condition of gas and electricity installations: to be provided if the installations are more than 15 years old.
  • Information on air pollution

It is required to provide the statement of natural and technological risks and energy performance (DPE), either in the form of a document attached to the lease or electronically.

To this may be added lead, electricity and gas diagnoses, as well as the state of noise and air pollution.

These diagnostics should be performed by a certified diagnostician.

The costs depend on the number of diagnostics you need, the area of ​​the accommodation and the technician’s travel costs. It can therefore range from 100 € for a studio up to 600 € for a house.

If the property is declared under the « régime réel » these costs can be deducted.

Absence of pests 

Decent housing should not be infested:

  • From pests (rats)
  • Parasites (bed flea, cockroaches, etc.)

Lessee’s remedies 

If the accommodation does not respect the rules of decency, the tenant must:

  • Indicate in writing the signs of non-compliance of the accommodation
  • Give notice to the owner to carry out the compliance work. This must be done in writing with acknowledgment of receipt.

You have two months to respond to this formal notice.

At the end of these two months, if it has remained unanswered or if the disagreement persists, the tenant may first apply to the departmental conciliation commission and, if applicable, the registry of the commercial court.

It is up to the tenant to provide proof of non-decency of the accommodation. He can use:

  • The initial inventory of fixtures
  • A bailiff’s report that noted the urgency of the restoration work
  • A medical certificate which states that his state of health is affected by the damage
  • Photos or videos of the accommodation

However, the tenant must not stop paying all or part of the accommodation otherwise you will not meet your obligations.


If the judge determines that the accommodation does not meet the obligations of the decency standard, he may:

  • Force you to undertake the necessary work
  • Impose a reduction in rent

French Tax Online is a tax consultancy firm specialized in foreigners investing and living in France.

A member of the Budiz Company Group, which is a French chartered accountant registered with the Order of French Chartered Accountants (OEC).

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