As a chartered South of France property surveyor, we’ve helped hundreds of people find their perfect home in the region and know a good property (and a bad one) when we see it.

However, purchasing outright may not be the right option for everyone when choosing to relocate for the long-term to this stunning part of the world.


In such cases, the alternative option is, of course, to find a suitable property to rent in the South of France – and we have got plenty of experience in this regard as well.


So, let us consider the pros and cons when it comes to renting in the South of France.


Renting is a popular option in France. More than one third of the French population (36%) rent their home, according to the most recent figures from eurostat, which is roughly the same as the EU average.


This includes many expats who choose to rent either to work in country, study, or during the interim while they find the right property to purchase.


Indeed, this is one of the pros when it comes to renting in the South of France.


If you don’t know precisely how long you will be staying in the region, then renting is a good option. It is less of a commitment, you have flexibility, and will have the chance to make 100% certain that a permanent move – combined with a full property purchase – is the right choice to make.


And while you do, you will also enjoy excellent protections from the French legal system, which is strongly pro-tenant. So long as you pay the rent and bills on time, follow the rules laid out in the contract, and repair any damage that you cause yourself, the landlord will not bother you whatsoever.


In fact, as the tenant, once the keys are in your pocket, the landlord cannot enter the property without your consent – and can be charged with harassment and even trespass if they attempt to do so.


You can also sublet if you wish to help pay the bills – though you will need official written approval from the landlord before you may do so.


The downsides of renting a property in the South of France largely come down to the complications involved – and the expense.


There are two main options available – private rental direct with a landlord or renting through a French rental agency.


When it comes to private rental, most landlords prefer a 3-year contract – which may be a little longer than you have planned, and certainly hinders your flexibility. For shorter, monthly rentals, the terms can be quitter onerous – and expensive.


The same holds true if you opt to go through a French rental service, who typically charge the equivalent of one month’s rent as a fee for arranging the rental, plus a monthly management fee on top.


You will also have to prove your income, which may involve digging up backdated payslips and tax returns. In all, it can be quite a stressful process.

Final Thoughts

There are upsides and downsides to renting a property in the South of France. Though you will be afforded with flexibility and not be committed to a long-term mortgage, you will nonetheless likely be tied to a contract which may prove quite costly.


Buying a property outright can indeed save money in the long-term – and if you choose to do so, you will of course require the services of a professional and experienced South of France property surveyor.


Charles Mackintosh is at your service. Get in touch today for more information.