The rental deposit

question

A rental deposit is simply a sum you pay your lessor when you sign your lease agreement and that he keeps temporarily. It’s not mandatory by law, but owners have the right to require it and virtually always do. The amount and conditions surrounding the deposit must be specified in your lease agreement.

What’s it for?

The rental deposit compensates your lessor if he’s got complaints about you. For instance if you don’t pay your rent or your rental expenses, or if you’ve damaged part of the apartment, he can keep a part of the deposit - or all of it. That’s why you have to conduct a thorough inventory of fixtures when you enter the apartment so that you and your lessor are very clear about what can be deducted or not from your deposit.

danger

The rental deposit is supposed to cover all risks associated with the rent. Don’t accept giving any other guarantee in the form of money in addition to the deposit!

The rental deposit isn’t an advance payment, you can’t use it to pay rent!

When should I pay the rental deposit?

In general, you pay the rental deposit when signing the lease agreement, even if you move in the place later on. 

How much does the rental deposit legally amount to?

If you’re renting an empty housing, the deposit can’t exceed what amounts to a month’s rent - excluding service charges

Via which method of payment can I pay the deposit?

In most cases, it’s done via a direct transfer to your residence or owner. Some lessors might suggest you pay via PayPal or other services of that sort.

Will I get my deposit back?

Normally yes, unless you’ve caused damage in the apartment or you’ve had big delays in paying rent. 

If your lessor decides not to give the deposit back, he has to provide you with quotes and bills of the reparations he has to conduct because of you to support his decision. If the inventory of fixtures and check-out inventory of fixtures are identical, he has no reason for retaining the deposit.

How does recovery work?

If there’s nothing to declare on the check-out inventory of fixtures and it’s identical to the check-in inventory, the lessor has a month to give you the full deposit back starting from the check-out inventory of fixtures date.

If the apartment isn’t given back in the same condition as when you moved in, the lessor needs time to estimate the costs of repairs and hence what amount he keeps from your deposit. Therefore, he has 2 months to give part of your deposit back to you. 

danger

When you leave the place, inform your owner of your new address so he can send you the deposit check. If you don’t provide him with this information, he can’t be held accountable for not giving the deposit back!

What should I do if I don’t get my deposit back?

It doesn’t happen often, but it happens! 

First of all, don’t forget your lessor has a bit of time ahead of him before he has to give it back (1 or 2 months depending on the check-out inventory, remember?). So no need to start hyperventilating if he didn’t plan on giving it back to you at the exact time of your check-out. 

If despite your patience you feel he’s reluctant to reimbursing you, you can start by reaching out to him to remind him of the deposit. Start by getting in touch by whatever means you’re used to communicate with him. If you don’t get an answer, you can send him a registered letter with advice of delivery. 

ask (nicely) for your deposit

If he’s still playing dead after that, contact the Studapart support team and explain the situation ton us. We’re your primary point of contact throughout your rental journey in France, so feel free to reach out for help, we’ll do our best to smooth things out!