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Problems with landlord/appartment


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I am experiencing huge problems with my landlord/appartement at the moment and I hope you can help me.

I found an apartment that started from the 15th of july. It was very hard to get it, since the estate agency asked for a lot or papers. The guarantee was the main problem, and since I could not find someone I decided to offer to pay one year of rent ahead. Only this way I managed to get the apartement I am in now. It took me one month to get it all done.

When I entered the appartement it turned out to be very noisy. I live next to the maindoor of the appartement + elevator + door to the stairways and there is noise the whole day. Everybody is smashing the doors and there is no isolation so I cannot sleep or work here in a normal way. Also there was an accident with the shower door, which exploded spontaneously. I read in the internet that that happens sometimes, but it was real bad luck that it happened right after I moved in. But I felt really bad in the apartment and already after 1 week I decided to find another appartement.

The woman that rents me the apartement who turned out to be also the owner of the apartement, which I didnt know before, is now very angry at me and started to yell at me when I told her about the noise and the problems I experience here. She told me that there is no noise, that I am the problem myself and that she did all the work for me so I can't leave the appartement.

I think there is no rule for leaving an appartement and that there is no minimum period that you have to stay.

I brought her my letter, which was difficult since the name of the contract is not the same as the name on the letter box. The letter I send to her by courier never arrived since he couldn't find the apartment. When I decided to go there myself I found out that her name was on the Lettre Box, and not the name mentioned in the contract.

Apart from the fact that I paid her 1 year as a garantee, she also asked me to pay one month deposit on top of it. Which is not allowed I think?

Since I paid her a lot of money to garantee for myself and I am moving out in 2 weeks, I asked her if she could pay me the money back since I need it. She will not need it since I paid 1 month deposit as well (1100€) which she can use for any repairs.

Ofcourse, she refused to pay me the money back.

I will be moving out on the 24th of september. The money I paid her in advance was 12 months of rent + 1 month rent deposit. Plus ofcourse the agency fee.

What is the best thing to do now? Is she allowed to keep the money and how can I get it back? I am not sure if one year of rent as a garantee can be used for any repairs as well. Besides that, she asked for more money than she was allowed.

I hope you can help me since this is causing me a lot of stress. The woman keeps on yelling to me, saying that I am totally wrong, that I am rude since she was doing all the work for me (which I paid for ofcourse!) and that she is very angry.

I hope you can tell me what to do with the situation and how to get my money back.

I have a proof for the one year rent I paid but I realize that it depends on her goodwill if she will pay me the money back or not.
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Hi, thanks for your reply. I think it's allowed when you offer to pay one year rent in advance yourself. Of course I was not planning to move out already after a few month and the situation now is very stressful. Especially because the woman of the agency is extremely unfriendly now. She was not like that!

Is there an organization that protects tenants where they offer help when you are in trouble? I quess I am in big trouble..
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What type of lease did you sign?  Mobilité, 3 year unfurnished lease, one year furnished lease?

In any case, John is right, it is not legal to accept one year of rent in advance.  There are also private guarantor companies you can apply to to be your guarantor if you do not know anyone who can do it for you.  Of course, these companies do charge fees to do this for you.

Whether it is legal to offer to pay one year of rent in advance I have no idea, but probably not since the entire process would fall outside the law.  I do know individuals who have been asked to pay for one year in advance and some did, but it isn't legal.  When problems arise, the illegality will create serious issues for both sides.

There are plenty of organizations who will help with landlord/tenant problems.  Just do a google search and you will find plenty.  Some will do it for a minimal fee, others will intervene for no fee.  Read their rules carefully.

Have a look here and read each category carefully. 


Have a look here too.  I don't know where you live.  This link is for Ile-de-France, but there is likely something similar where-ever you are.


Also, in the future, take note that almost all apartments located on the RDC will have the same issues you found unpleasant.  Many people avoid them for all the reasons you stated.

Also, read the rules/legalities of renting an apartment in France.  There are tons of them online.  You need to understand these rules/laws before you sign another lease.

If your lease is just for one year, I would simply stay where you are to avoid a LOT of problems that will likely cost you a lot of money.  Lesson learned.

Good luck.

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Thank you, very helpful. I am in a 3-years unfurnished contract. I didn't know it was illegal to pay one year of rent. I thought it was quite common when you cannot find a guarantee? Of course I didn't know so much about renting in France before I came here. No I know that it s easy to find an insurance company that takes care of it. But I was desperately in need of an apartment.

The woman from the agency was difficult from the beginning, but she was nice. Now that I am moving out she is yelling at me. But my contract ends the 24th of September so she still has time to pay the rent back. The only thing is that she doesn't answer my question when I ask her when to get it back. She said: I don't know, may be I will need it for repairs. Which scares me, since it's 15000€. I kindly ask her to transfer the money back, buy she is just ignoring me now. May be I should give it some time?

I am btw not regretting that I move out. The apartment was quite expensive and noisy and I didn't want to be there. But of course I regret that I paid her so much money. I just hope for the best. I will definitely have a look at this websites you guys mentioned.
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Hello again Boebele.  If your 3 year unfurnished lease began on 15 July, how is your contract ending on 24 September?  If you signed a 3 year lease with a move in date of 15 July 2020, your contract will not end until 15 July 2023. 

This should be clearly noted in the contract you signed.  The fact that you've decided to move out 2 months into your 3 year lease does not change your original lease.  You need to re-read that contract very carefully as it should also mention what can happen if either side (landlord OR tenant) decide to end the lease prior to 15 July 2023.

If this lease was written up by an agency, you may have some recourse by contacting the organization that licenses real estate agencies.  However, the links given on this thread should be the first things to review as you need to become aware of the landlord / tenant laws in France.  And you need to find a lawyer or organization that specialises in these disputes to assist you. 

I, personally, would NEVER "give it some time."  The longer you wait, the less likely you will see any of your money back.  The longer you wait, the more the landlord will think that you have no knowledge on how to pursue her or your money (and she would be right).

Get assistance and get it soon.  15000 euros is a huge amount of money to lose and you will almost certainly need professional assistance to get any of it back.

Do keep us posted.  I wish you all the luck in the world.

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Thanks for your answer. It's a unfurnished contract that says the landlord cannot cancel the contract before 3 years. I can cancel any time, with a delay of 1 month since I live in a zone tendue.

There is no doubt about that.

The thing is, that I rented this place with the help of an agency. But the woman that works in the agency and did all the work for me is the owner, or her husband is the owner, I am not sure about that. That's also the reason that she is mad at me. She takes it very personal.

Since she is the owner and I paid her the money (I didn't know I was transferring the money to her husband) it makes it more complicated. Normally the estate agency is not personally involved and you will have more protection from them when problems occur. In my case, I have the feeling that there is no protection at all. When I told her about my problems her she just yelled at me.

I will contact the estate agency tomorrow, may they can help. I also will get in contact with a lawyer.

The contract didn't end yet, that's why I thought I should wait till one month is over. Normally they have to pay you the deposit back in 1 month? That was the time I was talking about.

I am very nervous and so afraid :(
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I understand you have the right to end the lease.  All tenants have the right to end most leases.  They just have to follow the rules for doing so.  If you are in a zone tendue, then yes the one month notice is fine as long as your lease doesn't say otherwise.

My concern for you is not that you have the 'right' to give notice to end your lease and move.  My concern for you is that your transaction of giving the agency or owner (I'm not clear on who exactly you gave 15000 euros to or in what form, cheque, virement, etc.) an entire first year of rent payments is outside the 3 year, unfurnished rental laws.  Getting it back is what may prove to be difficult.

If an agency was involved in writing this lease, I would contact the licensing organization of the agency in question.  I presume you have already contacted the agency if they were involved in writing up the lease as you would have had to notify them that you were moving out by letter.

Put in your postal code/department name here (this is one of the links posted earlier on the thread) to find your local ADIL office and contact them for advice:


If you haven't already, you might want to run an internet search on the subject of landlords in France asking for or taking a full year of rent payments up front on a 3 year unfurnished lease.  There is a lot out there to read. 

This site also explains the steps to take if a landlord refuses to return your depot de guarantie.  It doesn't mention anything about returning a year of rent paid in advance because that falls outside of normal procedures/law.


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Hi, thanks for the information.

I send the letter to the owner, that's what she told me to do. The name of the owner is on the contract. The woman works in an agency yes, but I have the impression that this was something private somehow. I don't know, but it causes me stress. It was not put up as private when I wrote her when I saw the advertisement on seloger. It confuses me and I hope the agency where she works for will help me.

I know that landlords have a lot of rights, but doesn't tenants also do have a lot of rights? I have the proof of payment the owner send me and everything was legal. Even paying one year of rent ahead is not illegal. And when it is, can I be blamed for it and will I loose the money? It was a virement btw.

I hope you can give me some confidence that everything will be allright. I will for sure find professional help and a lawyer if necessary. 15.000 will make it worth it and I didn't do anything wrong imo.

Thanks for your help! I still believe that the woman is just trying to bother me because she is pissed about the fact that I cancel the contract already after 2 months. And that she will pay me back.

I was also planning to pay for any repairs myself. The shower door exploded a few weeks ago and I will have to replace it, although it was not my fault. I offered to pay for it so she has no reason to keep the deposit. But if she is not planning to pay me back it doesn't make sense or..?
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Tenants have plenty of rights in France.  That is when the transaction they've entered into was done legally.

3 year unfurnished leases require the first months rent (including any charges) paid at day of move in (or pro-rated if moving in mid month), then the equivalent of one or two months rent (not including charges) as a security deposit.  If you are working with an agency, there are agency fees that must be paid in addition to the previous payments (these can vary from agency to agency).  No more money is exchanged.  You mention an agency, but you are not clear on if that agency charged you fees and wrote up your lease.  Reading your lease would make it much easier for some of us to offer advice.

If you sent 15000 euros by virement to someone, you will have a hard time getting it back. This was initiated by you (the virement).  Since I cannot see/read your lease, I have no idea what it actually says.  This is extremely important - what is written in the lease.  You say you have documentation from this woman that you paid the first year's rent payments in advance.  What documentation do you have and is this also written in the lease?

Hopefully, at the very least, you noted on the virement documentation that the money was to pay for TWELVE MONTHS of rent from July 2020 to July 2021.  Even then, I fear you will have problems.  Bank prelevements can be disputed.  When you choose to send someone money through a bank wire transfer, you cannot normally come back later and say you want it back.  You have to go to who you sent it to and ask them to give it back.  Hence the problem getting all or a portion of it back.

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Yes I mentioned it on the virement and the owner send me a quittance for the 12 months rent from July 2020 to July 2021.

I know I cannot get it back from my bank, she has to give it back to me.

I paid her a 600€ fee and one month security deposit. And 12 month rent, from which she has to pay me back 10 months

The woman made up the contract with the name of the owner in it. I also transferred the money to the owners bank account . If you want I can send you a scan of the lease in a pm?
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What is the date of the quittance and what exactly does it say?  What is the date on the lease?

Did you pay the payments before or after the lease was drawn up? 

Don't panic yet.  There are organizations to help you.  They should be open tomorrow.

Just don't put yourself through this again.  Real Estate agency practices can vary widely.  The larger, well known franchises tend to be much more seriously aligned with the law. 

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Quittance de loyer pour la période du 1 er aout 2020 au 31 juillet2021

Adresse de la location :




Je soussigné .......... propriétaire du logement désigné ci-dessus, déclare avoir

reçu de Madame ..........

La somme de 14.880 euros au titre du paiement du loyer et des charges pour


période de location du 1"' Aout 2020 au 31 Juillet 2021 et lui en donne

quittance, sous réserve de tous mes droits.

Fait à ..... le 4 I 07 2O2O


/es reçus qui auraient pu être établisprécédemment en cas de

du présent terme. Elle est à conserver pendant frols ans

Déta ldu rèol



1.130X12 = 13.560 euros

Provision pour charges :

110 X 12 = 1:326 euros

Total du loyer :

1.240x12 = 14.gg0 euros

Fait à ..... le 4 I 07 2O20


That's the quittance.

The date of the lease is 15.07.2020

I paid her after the lease was signed. I was still busy with visale and when they rejected my apply I transfered her the money. Of course because I never expected to leave already after 2 months, I didn't even think of it. That the apartment would be that bad.

Of course I made a huge mistake that will probably will cost me some money. But she made so many mistakes also! I mean, some things were against the law. May be that will help me when this comes to court? I am a foreigner and I really assumed that everything was totally legal and nessesary.

And no I will never ever do this again in my life!!! Also with the estate agency I am in now, everything is so much easier and much more professional.

Thanks for your help, I will make a start tomorrow with the help of my french colleagues. There are people there to help us with problems that occur.
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I feel so bad for you.  But, I think you will get help.  I'm pretty confident that the people you worked with on this knew very well that what they were doing was not legal, under the circumstances described. 

What concerns me is that your quittance is dated 4 July and your lease is dated 15 July - AND - that you said that the lease does not have the year of advance rent being paid written in it.

If you paid the money before the lease was signed (before 15 July as stated by the quittance), that payment (14880 euros) should have been written into the lease most certainly.  Otherwise, you signed a lease that made no mention whatsoever of the year's rent you paid.  And you signed this lease AFTER you paid the money.

I presume that the address of your apartment and the name of the proprietor is correct (since you with good reason did not copy that onto the forum).

My last bit of advice to you would be this:  Please consider just staying where you are.  People adjust to noise levels.  It is very hard to secure an apartment in zones tendue; especially in your price range.  I know as I've done it twice now (second time at a much higher monthly rent) and it was absolute He**.  Also assisted my daughter twice in the Paris region - in your price range.  So, please consider staying where you are and avoiding the strong possibility of loosing a lot of money.

Please keep us posted.

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The date of the quittance is indeed 04.07.2020 but I paid after the lease was signed. I didn't understand why he put this date, because I didn't pay before the lease started. I can also proof this with the emails in which we discussed this and the proof of virement of my bank account. It was the 22nd of July.

Is the quittance illegal now?

I really don't know if I have the energy to chase after my money. I have the feeling I got screwed big time.
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I'm not sure if the quittance is legal.  Are all the names/apt. address, euro figures correct?  Not sure how a quittance can be issued two weeks before the payment was actually made.  Your payment on 22 july would not coincide with a quittance for a payment made on 4 july.

DO NOT GIVE UP !  For heavens sake, this is a LOT of money and you should get 10 months of it (and the security deposit, less any damages) back.  This is YOUR money.  Do not let it go.
Have your French associates help you.  There are many organizations here to help in your circumstances.  Contact them.

Otherwise, stay where you are.  It could be a lot worse comfort wise, I can assure you, especially in the Paris region.  At least stay for the first year since you've paid for it.  Then move.  Please consider this.

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Yes the address is right, the quittance is ok except for the date. I didn't understand, but now I understand that it is very important. I still have all the emails and whatsapps in which we were discussing the problem with visale. It's totally clear that on the 4 the there was no payment at all. We were still in discussion and waiting for visale to answer.

Is the date really crucial? Even when I can proof that it's wrong? It was surely not a mistake.

I already left the apartment, I send the letter and there were already some visits so there is no way back. And if I had known all of this, I sure wouldn't have left! But I didn't had a clue about the things to come. I really didn't expect all this to happen...

Still hoping that this worst case scenario is not going to happen and that everything will be fine.

I will talk to her agency tomorrow, I really hope they are willing to help.
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My employer offered me help. He wrote a letter with the help of a laywer to make the situation clear. She has to pay me back the 10 months as soon as possible, if not, we will go to court. We send the letter recommandee today.

I am still very frightened. There is no day and time set for the état the lieux. She is ignoring most of my emails. She is not answering the phone when I call her.

What happens if she doesn't show up for the état the lieux?

So many things went wrong, also from my side. I feel so stupid now. I am so worried that I will never see any of my money back. There is so many weird things happening. The name in he contract is wrong and she is acting extremely nervous now. Ignoring my messages and all. I am afraid that she spend the money and simply cannot give it back.

I hope this all is just a bad dream :(
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I'm glad your employer is trying to help you.  Did you also contact the agency from the earlier link?  They are specialists in this kind of problem.  I think you would have more impact if they intervened. 

If you have already moved out and there was no état des lieux, you must still have the keys?  I don't think she is required to give you back anything until the état des lieux de sortie is completed and you have given back all keys, etc.  Keys are not normally returned until AFTER this is done.

So, of course, if she is not being reasonable, she will attempt to put this off as long as possible.  I think there is some sort of rule/law about how long a landlord or tenant can wait (or put off) to complete the état des lieux de sortie.  I haven't looked it up, but I'm sure there are rules.  Be sure you have a copy of the état des lieux d'entrée with you when you eventually do complete the one for sortie. 

Also, if you do still have the keys, I would make a visit to the apartment to make sure no one else is living there - AND - to take pictures of the state of the apartment for your dossier. 

When you say "the name on the contract is wrong" what do you mean by that?  Who's name is wrong - yours or the landlords?  If the lease was drawn up by an agency, sometimes the agency will note the owner's name in the lease, yet note that payments and financial transactions are to be handled by the agency (named also in the lease).  I believe you said you made your rent checks payable to a person, not an agency right?  So what name on the lease is wrong and how do you know it is wrong?

Whether she has spent the money or not, she owes the 10 months to you.  The illegality of the entire procedure is what will make this more challenging than a normal 3 year lease.

In order to pursue her, you will need legal assistance.  Contact the agency noted above in the thread.  They can intervene or get you connected to legal organizations who can help you at little or no cost.  She is unlikely to respond to anything but contact from legal entities.

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