What is seasonal rental?

According to the Tourism Code, seasonal rentals correspond to “furnished villas, apartments, or studios, for the exclusive use of the tenant, offered for rent to a transient clientele who makes a stay characterized by a rental by the day, week or month, and who does not intend to live there.”

It may, therefore, be the rental of a main residence or secondary residence. This type of rental can be acquired:
  • Through a real estate agency
  • From person to person
  • Via rental platforms (i.e. Airbnb, Abritel, Amivac, Homelidays, etc.)

The classic residential lease (for long-term rentals) is governed by the Law of July 6, 1989. This law was renewed, and updated by the ALUR Law of 2014 in order to incorporate changes related to seasonal rentals: 
  • The lease cannot be signed for more than 90 days
  • The owner/landlord may indicate a maximum number of occupants allowed
  • The owner/landlord has the right to prohibit an animal
  • The owner/landlord does not have the right to oblige the tenant to take out insurance
  • Seasonal rentals as furnished rentals must meet certain requirements. For example, the property must have the mandatory equipment of a furnished property.
  • Seasonal rentals are thus defined as short-term rentals.

The seasonal rental lease

Unlike conventional residential leases, subject to the law of 6 July 1989, seasonal rentals are governed only by the Civil Code (Article 1713 et seq.).

The duration, price and conditions of the civil code lease are freely set by both parties. This type of lease is very often used on properties considered "atypical" with for example a beautiful view, a large balcony, a large area, etc.

The seasonal lease must contain:
  • Information about both parties (name, contact details, etc.)

  • The exact duration of the rental (with arrival day and departure day). The tenant simply leaves the premises on the end date of the lease, without having to send a letter of notice 

  • The characteristics of the accommodation (address, surface area, full description, services available (example: swimming pool, parking)). It should be noted that the lessor must attach information to demonstrate that it complies with security  requirements

  • The price and the procedure for settling the seasonal rental

The inventory of fixtures of entry and exit must be carried out in the presence of the lessor (or his representative) and the tenant.

Several documents must be attached to the lease agreement:

Regulation: the rental price, deposit and deposit

The seasonal rental lease must include:
  • The rental price and payment terms (including security deposit)
  • The law does not regulate the security deposit, but the amount of the deposit is generally 20% or 30% of the total amount of the rent. The deadline for return is 3 months (after the departure of the tenant).
  • The estimated amount of the tourist tax. 
  • When the accommodation is rented via an online booking site, the tourist tax is collected directly by the site which transfers it to the municipality.
  • The consequences of canceling a reservation.
  • The regulations concerning the security deposit and the inventory of fixtures. 

The deposit regulations:
  • They do not definitively bind either the tenant or the owner/landlord and they can be kept by the latter in case of cancellation.
  • When the sums paid have been stipulated as a deposit by the rental agreement, this deposit definitively binds the landlord and the tenant.
  • However, the deposit must be returned twice by the landlord upon renouncing the rental (Article 1590 of the Civil Code).
  • The tenant may be obliged to pay the full rent in case of cancellation.
  • In the event of a dispute before the civil court, the tenant can only be exempted from paying the entire rental fee if they prove that they were forced to terminate due to force majeure.

Important Link: The Rules to Respect in Seasonal Rentals

How to rent your second home?

  • The mayor of Paris makes a distinction between owners who invest in properties as a second home intended for exclusive seasonal rental (which therefore increases the capacity of tourists) and landlords who rent from time to time.

  • Taxation does not differ from other French cities, nor does the use of housing.

  • As part of the provision of a principal residence, it is possible to rent the property for a maximum period of 120 days.

  • When renting a property that is not a principal residence, the owner must obtain prior authorization from the town hall, (via the urban planning department). 

  • If the owner wishes to transform the use of their property to rent it for more than 120 days, it will then be necessary to propose their other real estate (with an equivalent surface, which must be in the same district and intended only for residential use). This is to preserve the balance between habitat and economic activity.

  • The owner will have to request a change of destination in hotel accommodation.

  • This regulation also applies in the inner suburbs of Paris and in other French municipalities with more than 200,000 inhabitants that have regulated short-term accommodation.

Important Link: Can Commercial Space be Transformed into a Residence? 

Important Note: The city of Paris is currently not concerned by the obligation of the rental permit, but this is the case for many municipalities in Ile-de-France.

What are the advantages of seasonal rentals?

This makes it possible to: 
  • Avoid unpaid rents since the payment of rent is made before integrating the rental.
  • Stay free and manage the rental calendar as you see fit
  • Limit the risk of degradation, the maintenance of the housing between each rental ensures conservation in good condition
  • Taxation is advantageous. Micro BIC and real regimes allow the calculation of taxation to be based on the revenue collected. It is possible to obtain a flat-rate allowance.


Home insurance contains a "civil liability" clause that must cover the liability of the owner in case of problems during the rental.

Tip: Remember to check that you are well insured against certain risks (fire, water damage, etc.).

Taxation and regulation - who can rent seasonally?

Some tax obligations apply to owners:
  • Income tax return - Income resulting from furnished rentals as well as those from subletting are subject to income tax in the category of industrial and commercial profits (BIC).

Important Links:
  • Payment of social security contributions - From the moment the rental earns more than € 23,000.00 per year, it is mandatory to register with Social Security (under Self-employed) and to pay social contributions. In certain cases, and thanks in particular to certain derogations, landlords will be able to pay contributions to the general social security scheme.

  • Payment of tourist tax - Tenants are asked to pay a tourist tax to the municipality. The cost varies between 20 cents per night and per person (for a guest room) and €3.00 for a furnished rental. This cost may vary depending on the accommodation but also on the municipality.

Important Note: It is possible to sublet a property only with the agreement of the owner.

A1 Real Estate tips

Use an agency manage your seasonal rental:
No need to travel to perform tasks such as:
  • Create the ads
  • Manage bookings
  • Respond to customers
  • Prepare the property
  • Welcome
  • Maintain ownership

Equipping the property for a seasonal rental:
Equipment that could make all the difference:
  • Wifi equipment
  • The integrated kitchen
  • The parking space
  • The workspace
  • The washing machine
  • The dryer

How to prepare your home?

  • Free up storage
  • Secure personal belongings in locked closets
  • Maintain the property regularly
  • Do one now at least once a year

Maintenance once a year :
  • Interior and exterior paints
  • Replace bed linen, towels and floor mats.
  • Have all electrical appliances, heating, air conditioner, water heater, etc. serviced.

  • Electrical installations must comply with standards.
  • The installation of a carbon monoxide detector is recommended.
  • The fire safety standard requires the presence of a smoke detector (DAAF) in the dwelling.
  • The NF P01-012A standard requires the presence of guardrails on windows, stairs, balconies to fight against accidents.
  • If there is a swimming pool, it is mandatory to install a security device (pool barrier or pool alarm).

> The guide to real estate diagnostics


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