Is subletting legal?

Is subletting legal?

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During the summer, many French people ask themselves the question: should you sublet your apartment while it is empty? When you leave your home for your vacation, your property remains empty and that's a shame. Between financial advantages, legality and security, what is the risk?

Subletting your accommodation as an owner

In France: you must first of all own the property to be able to rent it. Indeed, subletting, that is to say renting your apartment when you are yourself a tenant, is prohibited by French law. If you bought your property, you have the legal right to rent it seasonally. But this financial arrangement, which makes it possible to make pretty savings on the holidays and to make profitable these last, is framed by numerous laws. Article L. 8221-3 of the Labor Code provides that any person who pursues a profit-making activity or performs commercial acts by intentionally evading his obligations - either because he has not asked to be registered in the trades directory, either because it has not made the declarations which must be made to social protection organizations or to the tax authorities under the legal provisions in force - is considered to be in working condition concealed, by concealment of activity. More clearly, if you rent your apartment or house on a regular basis, you are illegal. This recent phenomenon leads to the inexistence of precise and quantified laws. There are therefore no "limits" between legality and illegality, but if the activity gives rise to significant remuneration, you are not immune from legal proceedings. If you are an owner, you can rent your apartment occasionally and seasonally, but not continuously. You would then compete with the hotel industry, which is one of the most important sectors of the French economy. Many deputies and members of the government are working on legislative proposals to regulate this illegal activity which in 2012 represented several million euros of loss for French hotels. Hotel lobbying and the UMIH, Union of Trades and Hotel Industries, is fighting this trade on the verge of illegality. You also have to think about the decor when subletting.

Subletting your accommodation as a tenant

It is formally prohibited by French law to sublet your apartment, if you are the tenant yourself. There are, however, some exceptions. You can rent your apartment as a tenant, if your landlord agrees. In this case, he must sign a sublease authorization for you. Indeed, in France, article 8 of the "Mermaz" law of July 6, 1989 provides that "the tenant may neither assign the rental contract nor sublet the accommodation except with the written agreement of the lessor, including included on the price of the rent ". And article 1717 of the Civil Code provides for another exception, which authorizes the subletting of furnished accommodation without the owner's agreement, provided that no clause in the lease prohibits it. Most often, however, the lease includes a clause prohibiting the use of subletting. In all cases, you must ensure your rights by referring to your lease. From the moment you rent your apartment without the agreement of your landlord or when a clause in your lease prohibits it, you enter the world of illegality. Numerous court decisions are taken regularly in this direction, as in Toulouse on March 5, 2013 where the Court of Appeal condemned a tenant who illegally sublet his property. Something to think about!