Seasonal lettings

Seasonal lettings are lettings of furnished or unfurnished housing for the maximum duration of a season (e.g. three months).

As their object is not the tenant’s main residence, seasonal lettings are only governed by the provisions of the French civil code.

However, the law of 2000 (decent housing) and of 20th July 2003 (information on natural and technological risks) apply.

The rental agreement for furnished properties

As mentioned before, the law of 6th July 1989 proclaims that the right to a place to live (droit au logement) is essential. As such, the enforcement of the lease is difficult. Indeed, even with a legal title such as a court order, it can be difficult in practice for a landlord to obtain possession of his property even if the lease is legally terminated. This is especially the case when the tenant is having difficulties with relocating.

The rental agreement for unfurnished properties

The unfurnished property is governed by the law of 6th July 1989 which was officially designed to protect tenants (who are entitled to a right to a place to live “droit au logement”). This tendency is still in force as this has been confirmed by the recent laws.

The law of 6th July 1989 applies to unfurnished housing rented as a main residence. Furnished lettings, seasonal lettings and secondary residence lettings are then excluded. The main provisions of the law of 6th July 1989 can be summarised as follows.

Letting your property

Whether you envisage only a temporary stay in France or plan to settle for a long period, it is advisable to rent in the beginning rather than purchase as it gives you the time needed to familiarise yourself with an area and its amenities, and to ensure that it does suit you and your family before making a significant investment.


There are two main legal stages involved in your sale, the first contract (ie: compromis de vente or promesse de vente) and the actual transfer of title, which takes place on signature of the Acte de Vente.

Setting up a gîte in your French property / Chambre d’hôte

 A bed and breakfast (typically shortened to B&B or BnB) is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast. Bed and breakfasts are often private family homes and typically have several rooms. In addition, a B&B usually has the hosts living in the house. Bed and breakfast is also used to describe the level of catering included in a hotel's room prices, as opposed to room only, half-board or full-board.