Payment of rent for private sector housing 

Verified 24 August 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The tenant must pay the rent on the date indicated in the lease. In return for this payment, he can ask the owner for a rent receipt. In case of difficulties in paying the rent, the tenant must try to find an agreement with the landlord (example: partial payment of rent) to avoid having a late payment or a rental debt. The landlord may revise the rent each year, if the lease so provides (annual review clause).


The rent of an empty or furnished rented accommodation used as a principal residence by the tenant is in principle freely fixed by the owner.

However, municipalities in stretched areas are subject to rent control. In these municipalities, the rent is capped when the dwelling is rented out (in the case of a new tenant) and when the lease is renewed (in the case of the same tenant).

To find out if the accommodation is in a tense area:

Verify that a dwelling is in a stretched area

Attention, specific rules apply to Paris, Lille (Hellemmes, Lomme), Lyon and Villeurbanne, Montpellier, Bordeaux and the municipalities making up Common plain and Is Together.


a clause in the lease may provide that the tenant will carry out the work in return for a rent reduction.

Annual review under lease

The owner can to revise the rent once a year if a lease provides for it.

However, the landlord loses the opportunity to review the rent if he does not ask the tenant within one year of the review date.


  • In mainland France, when the lease is signed since August 24, 2022 and concerns a housing classified F or G (classification indicated on the DPE: titleContent), it is forbidden to revise its rent.
  • In Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane, Reunion and Mayotte, when the lease is signed after the 1er July 2024 and concerns a housing classified F or G (classification indicated on the DPE: titleContent), it is forbidden to revise its rent.


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General case

Rent and charges are payable throughout the lease.

As a result:

Substandard housing

In the event of a ban on living in the premises, the rent shall cease to be payable as from 1er day of the month following the dispatch of the health order.

In case of notice (leave)

In case of notice (leave), the payment period may be adjusted:

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Departure decided by the tenant

The tenant is obliged to pay the rent and expenses during the entire period of notice. Unless, with the agreement of the owner, the dwelling is occupied by another tenant before the end of the notice period.

Notice given by the owner

The tenant is only obliged to pay the rent and charges for the time he actually occupied the premises during the notice period.

The tenant must pay the rent and charges on the date specified in the lease.

Generally, the rent is payable every month, either at the beginning or at the end of the month.

The landlord may propose to the tenant that the rent be paid by one of the following means:

The tenant is free to refuse the landlord's proposal.


the landlord has no right to charge rent from the tenant's salary, even with his agreement.

A rent receipt is a document that certifies that the tenant has paid the rent and expenses in full.

The owner (or real estate agency) is obliged to hand over for free a rent receipt from the tenant, if the tenant requests it.


the rent receipt can be sent by e-mail, provided that the tenant has given his consent.

Here is a sample letter that the tenant can use to ask the landlord to give him a rent receipt:

Apply for a rent receipt from the landlord

The receipt must indicate the details of the sums paid by the tenant, distinguishing between the rent and the charges.

Rent receipt template


in case of partial payment of the rent, the landlord or the real estate agency must give the tenant a receipt.

No fees can be charged by the owner in case of late payment.

It doesn't matter whether it's an empty or furnished apartment.

A clause allowing the owner to levy fines or penalties for breaches of the lease or the building's rules is unfair (it is ignored, as if it did not exist). It can be brought before the protection litigation judge of the court on which the dwelling depends.

Who shall I contact


if the tenant repeatedly pays his rent late, the landlord is entitled not to renew the lease on legitimate and serious grounds.

If the tenant has difficulty paying the rent (but without unpaid rent), he must try to find a friendly solution with the owner.

In case of persistent difficulties, social assistance may be granted to the tenant. In addition, housing support can be maintained to alleviate a rent debt and thus avoid eviction.

If these difficulties are added to another outstanding debt (for example: unpaid credit or invoice), the tenant can deposit a over-indebtedness record.


not paying rent and expenses is a reason to termination of the lease by the landlord and eviction of the tenant. Paying in part can have the same consequences, unless the tenant is not involved (example: non-payment of housing subsidies in case of indecent housing).

The landlord can claim for 3 years any outstanding charges or rent owed to him.

This deadline also applies to the tenant who has paid too much and wants to be reimbursed for the overpayment.

For example, a rent (or expense) debt from July 2021 can be claimed until July 2024.


if the landlord has not reviewed the rent on the date specified in the lease, he can do so within one year only.

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