Or otherwise titled 'What the estate agents won't tell you'.
We do a lot of property searches for our clients, some medium term (2 or 3 months furnished) and some long term 1 to 3 years unfurnished.)
These are some of the things we'd like to know about before we start our property search for you.
- Quite frankly be warned from the start it's a nightmare to do: Envisage estate agents not turning up for pre-arranged appointments. Appointments being cancelled at the last minute, the property not being even nearly suitable. Agencies don't call you back. There is no such thing as a mailing list (so no point in leaving your name, phone number or wish list for them to call you.)
- Don't expect replies by email - even if there is a contact list on the website. You will always have to call.
- For a long term rental – Ideally you need 1 to 2 months to actually do the search, then often it's a (max. of) 2 months notice for the previous occupants to leave. If you are looking for a long term (1-3 years rental / non furnished) we recommend you take a short stay furnished rental for the initial look around. You will NEVER be able to rent a property over a week or a weekend's stay.
- If you don't have a salary IN FRANCE (no matter if you are earning millions elsewhere)... landlords won't accept your request to rent – in which case we set up, using an English speaking local banker: A Bank Bond : typically holding a 3 months rent along with a contract.
- Just because you've fallen in love with a property there is no guarantee the landlord will let you have it: they construct a 'dossier' on you and then decide who to rent to.
- Lower your expectations – houses / apartments in France can be of all standards – you will never get 'exactly' what you want! Take this as friendly advice.
- Consider where you are going to work / take kids to school with regards to where you want your property to be. Montpellier is a big city to cross at rush hour.
- 90pc of the time there will be no kitchen installed on the property (apart from a kitchen sink – think Ikea 'unfitted / fitted' kitchens as an easy solution.
- You will be required to have a renter's insurance and quite often too a maintenance contract for the boiler. We can set you up with an English speaking insurance agent.
- You pay tax d'habitation on long term rentals if you stay there over the 1st January – you will pay for the whole year.
- Agency fees will normally be up to 1 months rental. Check out also 'charges' for apartment rentals (rubbish, cleaning and so on...)
- NB There always seems to be more clients than apartments;/ houses......
- Also note in France, it's not what you know, it's who you know... always get a recommendation.
- Don't forget you'll have to pay for electricity / water / phone / internet and maybe gas supplies to be set up.
- Set up a bank account as soon as you can in France... it is indispensible. We can recommend a local English speaking bank who is excellent.
Here at Moving to Montpellier, we can call around for you. Set you up with google maps and spreadsheets of appointments for you to independently visit. Or we can visit with you and translate and give our own opinions. A second visit with one of us in tow would be the ideal solution.