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Tips to renting apartments in France

Tips to renting apartment in France? House or Apartment? Unfurnished or Furnished?

The most headache we have when moving to France is to choose a place to live, House or Apartment. Whether in the City or countryside. Furnished or Unfurnished.

Countryside or City Living

Countryside living usually offers bigger areas compared to City living with the same cost. But living in the city also means you have better transportation and facilities, like supermarkets, healthcare or eateries.

We had a choice to choose where do we want to stay, in Fountaine Bleu (45mins away) where there are more English speaking facilities. However, we narrowed down to staying in the town where work location is nearer. You go to work 5 days a week.

If travelling to work is a daily thing, it will be a wise choice to stay near to your work place. It’s 5 mins drive away to the work place. So the choice is, if you are working, choose somewhere near to your work place. France is a huge country. Travelling takes up most of the time.

House or Apartment

In Singapore, we lived in HDB flats aka Apartment. It’s public housing somehow subsidized by the government. Our is a 5room flat, 113m², cost about S$ 420,000. (And they call it subsidized, OMG) Getting a House, will cost easily S$1 million. So we are always keen in staying in a house, whereby it is more spacious, you have your own garden.

So, let’s look at the pros in a house and aparment

House Apartment

May have a garden

More private space

Less security


Shared Space

Lesser privacy

More secured somehow

So ideally in Singapore, our houses are safer somehow. Thus it seems okay and safe. In France, we are not so sure of the security. So security plays an important factor in our choices. But it is also good to have bigger space for our pets. They can roam around more freely.

Furnished or Unfurnished

Unfurnished Apartment in Paris | source:


Pros – Unfurnished Apartments

Customisable: You can customize the unit to your style and liking.
Increased stability: You are minimum covered for 3 years

Cons – It is empty. As the picture above. No furnitures.

Furnished Housing in France | source:

Furnished Housing in France | source:

Furnished apartments will include the furniture.

Pros – Furnished Apartments

  • Many options: many of the apartments are furnished, so you can choose the style.
  • Shift in immediate: fully furnished and equipped with everything you need to move in without buying anything extra
  • Flexibility: If you are relocating for short term, furnished apartment is your own option.

And so, if you thinking whether to rent furnished our unfurnished in France. First we look at the budget you are having. As unfurnished properties tend to be cheaper of course. And renting an unfurnished property, will be 3 years minimum.

Furnished properties only have a standard minimum contract term of one year or even shorter.

However, do take note, landlords in the past sometimes tried to pass off unfurnished properties as furnished ones as sometimes shorter period of rental are easier to rent out. The french government recently enacted a law on what constitutes a ‘furnished’ apartment to avoid this.

Legal definition that qualifies as furnished property

Lease signed after 1 September 2015 : The furnished property must have bedding with blankets, blinds and curtains in the rooms, hob, oven/microwave, fridge and cutlery and utensils. Tables and chairs, storage shelves, light fixtures and vacuum and mop. And it will be good to have an inventory list from the landlord as well.

But of course, you can also bring your own furniture, unless the lend forbids you to.

However, just take note of the clauses in your lease contract.
– As you may be required, inform your landlord or get permission before changing anything in the housing;
– do not throw furniture or items of equipment provided by the owner, unless agreed in black and white. And, upon departure, the unit must be fitted as it was on arrival.

Items we brought along. Includes our mattress and 55

Items we brought along. Includes our mattress and 55″ TV. The landlord TV was too small for comfort. Thus, we decide to bring along our Home TV.

Our Choice?

So, in the end we chose, furnished apartment in a countryside. Because we don’t have much choices. There is no viewing on house and the town we are at is nearer to the work place. But for consolation, our apartment comes with a yard!

Our shared yard.

Our shared yard.

France Rental Sites – 

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About the Author Donovan

Don is a Kiasu Singaporean that blogs his journey while exploring Europe. A Singapore Travel Blog that provides travel guides and tips on how to travel free and easy in Europe.

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