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registering for school and renting an apartment "cash in hand"


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We are taking unpaid leave from work and in August 06- to have  a year out -and we are coming to live in France for one year with our two boys (7 and 9)

We hope not to work and have recently been to france to find some accommodation for our stay. We have found a apartment to rent in a village away from the coast in 83, and the landlord will rent it for 350 Euros  a month. ( a good price in my book). This will be cash in hand. The landlord won't rent the apartment if he has to declare the income.

Can anyone advise us, if we do not have a lease agreement or rent reciept (or a utility bill in our name), will this be a problem for:

   - registering the boys to go to the local school?

   -insuring our car?    -opening a bank account?         - anything else.....?

I understand that we may not now need a "Titre de Sejour" but we cannot find out from the internet if we definitely don't need one or maybe don't need one?

Thanks Sara and Martin


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Sara - In answer to your questions, yes, you will find problems. 

Be extremely careful doing something like what you have described - you

too will be breaking the law entering into an "under the table"

transaction.  I'm sure others here will similarly warn you.

Yes, the price is extremely attractive, but probably not worth the risks involved.

If the rental is in the village (maybe even if it is not), the locals

will know where you live.  Foreigners are noticed in smaller

cities.  The school will ask for your address, they probably won't

ask for your rental agreement, but the Mairie will.  You don't say

where you are from.  I am American, so I HAVE to have a Carte de

Sejour or Residency card to reside here.  If you are coming from

an EU country, I have been told that this does not apply to you -

others here will tell you the facts.  For me, in order to get my

Carte de Sejour, I HAD to provide proof of residency - in my case, this

was a copy of my lease.  Without proof of residency - along with

half a dozen other things, I could not have obtained my Carte (a


Who will be paying the Taxe D' Habitation?  This tax is paid at

the end of each year by the occupants of a house/apartment.  The

owner pays the Taxe Fonciere, but the occupants pay the Taxe D'

Habitation.  Legally, this would be you.  Will the owner be paying it?

The bank asked me for my address.  They did not ask me for a copy

of my lease.  They did however ask for ALL kinds of other personal

data, tax data, etc., but we were obtaining a loan with them, so if you

are only opening a checking account, perhaps they will not need the

extra data.

As for car insurance, I have never been asked to prove my residence,

but I was taking out home insurance at the same time, so I had all

kinds of data with me..  Will you not be taking out rental

insurance to cover any damages that may occur in the apartment ? 

Since it is an "under the table" transaction, I am not sure if you will

be doing this.  If you DO plan to do this, you would be asked to

offer proof of residence, size of residence, occupants, owners data,


Do be careful.  I, personally, would not do it, but we all have to

make our own decisions.  Just be sure you know ALL of the facts

before you  get into something like this.

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You're asking for a heap of trouble with cash in hand for property renting. No receipts, rent book etc = possibility of being kicked out with no warning just like that with no recourse and no protection of rights. This is France, transactions carried out like this can incurr many problems for you. Don't forget that once you start giving this address to the school, it goes to the authorities and they can check up on anything here. The utilities especially could be a problem.
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Thanks Lori and Val for this information.

We imagined that this would be the case but, before we turned such a good offer down, we wanted to check.

We are British - essential information regarding the "Titre de Sejour" that I forgot to mention


Sara and Martin.

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Hi Sara and Martin,

I wouldn't think that the "treachery" of it would be much of a problem

as it'd be seen as a good systeme D way to kick the authorities (a

French sport). However you open yourselves up for a heap of problems IF

the owner isn't honest-to-his-word (as opposed to honest-to-the-law).

Ie., if the utilities aren't in your name, how do you know how much to

pay? Would you just give the owner whatever he asks for, or ask to see

the bill or be given the bill?

In my opinion, it's something you can do only if you can check up on

the owner (ie., people have done this and have no complaints - you

could tell him it's a deal if he can refer you to 2-3 previous tenants.

If the previous tenants say it's a good deal, just a tenacious peasant

who won't trust authorities and degrudges his taxes, as it may simply

be a the case, then it's okay...)

But there'll likely be a bunch of difficulties if you must justify your

address and if you decided to move, you'd have no proof of lease, no

utilities bill, etc, ie., with the French system, you wouldn't be able

to rent legally (unless you could produce a lease from England, etc,


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[quote user="Lori"]The school will ask for your address, they probably won't ask for your rental agreement, but the Mairie will.  [/quote]

We've never been asked to provide proof of rental or ownership, not by the Mairie or anyone else.

The important thing is to cover yourself.  You need a contract.  You need the utilities (EDF, water etc) to be in your name.   Then whatever the landlord does with the money is up to him.

What you WILL need in everyday life in France is proof of address, usually an EDF bill (don't laugh, it's true!).  You need this proof to get all sorts of things, from carte grise for a car to registering with CPAM or whatever you need to do when you're just here for a year.

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