How to become a parisian landlord

As buying an apartment in a foreign country represents a great challenge,I intend to help you in knowing or discovering the great principles of real estate regulations here in Paris, where as a parisian native, I am living since always and doing my best to help you finding the apartment of your dream.Below a short video of Place des Vosges corner in sprintime

I also wish to help  you in understanding the timeline of this special  moment and the practices of professionnal people
To find an apartment in Paris takes time, energy and a good knowing of the different districts and subdistricts of the City , but also patience and perseverance !

17TH Century exterior Door Handle
17th Century exterior door handle

You may indeed ask yourself why 3 or 4 months will be necessary before becoming owner after having found « the » apartment and coming to an agreement about price !
Actually as in France, most of the time, laws protect salaried workers, buyers are also protected when they purchase an apartment in order to be certain to become the only owner and what is the the management account of the properties, to avoid unpleasant surprises concerning balance budget

Before explaining the intern property management concerning budget, its necessary to understand that purchasing an apartment means also estimating what will cost you the building in terms of renovation ( if needed of course ) and what will cost you the regular property fees each month  ( which you will pay each quarter )

Concerning the search of an apartment in Paris, you may have different options, which are very different each other :
  • First one, is to go through a web site offering ads of apartment through private owners
  • Second one is to go through professional web site put on line by real estate brokers : the main site is SELOGER or EXPLORIMMO or BIENSICI  a new platform offering geolocalisation of the ads
  • Third option is to go through services of flat hunters

First option will avoid you to pay negociator fees, but you may discover unpleasant details before signature The owner may hide you difficulties in the copropriete or concerning renovation to come which you should be aware of because as soon as you will be owner you will assume every payment concerning the apartment and the copropriete fees

Second option seems more comfortable as long as you meet an english speaking broker who will feel concerned by your search : I advise you to find a well established agency in the district you wish to settle down, they know perfectly the district, the prices and will be able to help you !
They may ask you to fill an electronic form, in order to send you offers according to your criterias

Third option : customised and made on measure, you may offer yourself the services of flat hunter : their mission is to visit and pre valid the apartment you will visit with them in order to save much time as possible, perfect solution when you have only a very limited time in the city

Goods and dead line are limited elements in Paris Real Estate Market  : property tends to move fast in: sometimes a property is sold the same day it goes on the market. Once you find a place you like, you may have to act fast.
In order to anticipate this state of thing, you will need to be perfectly aware of the square meter price, to get your loan sorted (if needed ) to find a french bank account , and an english speaking notary ( yes it exists !!!)

Place des Vosges 75004

To sum up the timeline : you will need time and most of the times : more than one trip to precise areas and prices equation , to find « the » apartment, and then you will have to follow a precise schedule , with the help of  a french notary to draft reservation contract , you will of course meet your notary , intending to attend or to sign a proxy in order to go back to your country if needed.

The notaries of Paris play a specific role in handling matters of property and family law (eg. inheritance, marriage, divorce), similar to the role undertaken by solicitors and conveyancers in the United Kingdom, for instance. As members of the French law profession, notaries are responsible for drawing up deeds relating to property purchase.

Staircase Ile St Louis mansion 75004
Staircase Ile St Louis mansion 75004

The Paris Chamber of Notaries website is intended as a source of legal information for anyone seeking to buy or sell property in Paris or the Paris area, whether it concerns a flat, a house or offices, for your own use or as a buy-to-let investment.

To book the apartment you will need to sign a reservation contract «  promesse de vente » in French, and  wire 10% good faith deposit plus registration expenses to notary’s escrow account (secured until end of cooling-off period)

During this apointment , at the notary office, you will receive all  building documents legally necessary by ALUR Law since 2014 (building by-laws, co-owner meeting minutes, inspection reports, diagnostics)

In France Consumers protection lawsallow you to call off the purchase and recuperate the full 10% deposit during the 10 days after having received the signed preliminary contract. Past that date, you are held liable for 10% of the purchase price

What’s happeing between the preliminary contract and closing ?
You will send or bring directly to yout bank the document called “ promesse de vente” and complete mortgage application process ( its finaliation will need 6-8 weeks after signature of reservation contract )
Before the appointment of reservation contract or a few days after ( not more than a week) you will transfer 10% to notary’s escrow account
If necessary, during this period of time, you will attend annual co-owner’s meeting ( Assemblée Générale in French )
It will be also the moment to meet renovation and/or  interior design professionals, and bencjmark home owner’s insurance from French insurance company. You will also need to open French bank account ( must be done in person until two weeks after closing)
The closing :you will ask for a complete visit of the property and annexes to ensure they are empty and were not damaged
You will sign closing documents drafted in French -in person or by proxy at the notary office
Your notary will explain tou the accounting of pro-rata payments between seller and purchasr  ( building charges called ‘ Appel de charges” property tax called “ Taxe foncière “
You will receive keys and property certificate
After sale, you will contact French utility companies to transfer account from the seller’s name to yours ( EDF for electricity supply, gas, telephone , internet etc….)
You will receive copy of property deed, original archived by notary, plus every document concerning the copropriete manager ( called “Syndic”)

Congratulations : you are a real Parisian landlord !
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For any Flat hunter request :

Contact me by phone  : (33) 6 60 69 77 67

By mail :

We will talk or meet in order to discover more precisely what is your project, you can come to meet me 17 place des Vosges (Métro ST PAUL BASTILLE or CHEMIN VERT)


  1. A very pleasant and useful read! It gives all the details on the sales process in France, which is often misunderstood and complex for buyers! Thank you!

  2. Nathalie was very nice with my wife and I every time we came to Paris. She is very knowledgeable about the real estate market of Le Marais and helped us find the "pied a terre" of our dream!
    The buying process went really smoothly. A+

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