Up to now, there was no official rule in France establishing the precise list of furnishings required for rentals in France. That has changed. A decree pertaining to the loi ALUR published on July 31, with effect from September 1, 2015, sets out the elements that must be included in a furnished rental unit destined to be used as the main residence by the tenant (not to be confused with short-term holiday lets or meublés de tourisme).
Note that in France, when the tenant occupies the property as their main home they are considered as having the same status of tenure as a tenant renting an unfurnished unit. The minimum contract term is one year, or 9 months in the case of a student.
According to the ALUR act of March 24, 2015, all furnished lets are governed by the law of July 6, 1989, and must be equipped in a manner that allows the tenant to “sleep, eat, and live adequately, in accordance to the demands of modern life”. The decree in effect from September 1 gives a detailed list of how a furnished apartment must be equipped by the owner. It must contain:
- Bedding, including a duvet or bed covering
- Curtains or shutters, to block the view and light in the bedroom or sleeping area
- Cooking hobs
- Oven or microwave oven
- Refrigerator and freezer, or, as a minimum, a refrigerator with a compartment keeping food at temperatures on or below – 6 °C
- The necessary tableware and silverware to serve a meal
- Cooking utensils
- Table and chairs
- Storage shelves
- Lighting fixtures
- Cleaning utensils adapted to the type of home
If you own an investment property in France or are considering buying one, it is worth stressing that tenants are very protected, so take your time and conduct your due diligence when you select your tenants, and make such to obtain professional advice about taxation, remember that even though you may not be resident in France, you are still liable to French income tax on your rental earnings, although double taxation relief is normally available.
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