Choosing the right house for long term rent in France
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Choosing the right house to rent in France effectively comes down to 3 main considerations: size, budget and location. If you are looking for a house for long term rent in France during 2024, there are plenty of available properties to consider, but will these prove to be the right choice for your circumstances. For instance the rural farmhouse would be idyllic during June through to September, but will it prove to be such a good choice when you have to heat it over the winter? Here we cover the main questions you should consider to give you a checklist on suitability.
At Long term rentals in France we have established a reputation as the leading provider of houses for long term rent in France. One reason for this is that we visit all of our long term lets personally to capture more information about the layout of the house, the facilities and the locality. Another reason is that we live permanently in the South of France and we have amassed a great deal of local knowledge about the different regions and areas. We have also rented long term in France ourselves, so we are able to provide first-hand advice.
Long term rent in France - location
If you are searching for houses for long term rent in France, then you need to make sure that the location is absolutely right for you. Too often we find that we are organising long term lets for customers who have previously booked to stay in an area too quiet in the winter or too noisy at night or too far away from amenities. Whilst you may crave the peace and tranquillity for a holiday, the 25 minute drive to the supermarket can soon become annoying when you are here for a few months.
Another issue we find is that during the summer, people renting along the Languedoc coast can sometimes feel penned-in by the traffic and the swarm of holiday makers (though this is nothing compared to the Cote d'Azur). One other factor to consider is your social life. In theory, living in a small village should lend itself to the local villagers being more welcoming and sociable, compared to the towns. But we are aware of 'open' and 'closed' villages locally. Also we find that French people who speak reasonable English or who have traveled abroad extensively, are more receptive to conversing with you in French (they are certainly more forgiving of your grammatical errors).
In our experience over the last 9 years, we find that these villages and towns are good spots for a long term rental in France:
- Pezenas, Herault - a beautiful historic town, popular with artists, antique dealers and international clients
- Uzes, Gard - another beautiful town popular with 'foodies'
- Sommieres, Herault - a gorgeous market town with a lovely river running through it
- Fayence, Cote d'Azur - away from the hustle and bustle of the coast and with a wonderful weekly market
- Marseillan, Herault - a Port town very popular for winter rentals
- Collioure, Pyrenees-Orientales - a stunning coastal town at all times during the year
- Ceret, Pyrenees-Orientales - a rural town, yet close to the beaches famous for its cherries and Modern Art Museum
- Caux, Herault - lovely little wine village close to Pezenas and with a couple of restaurants, a shop, bar, pharmacy, boulangerie and butcher
- St Genies de Fontedit, Herault - another popular wine producing village set among the vineyards
- Capestang, Herault - set on the banks of the Canal du Midi and with plenty of life in the town all year around
We have recently written an article on the 10 Best places to live in France. The article is based on actual research conducted over a 2 year period, examining over 208 Quality of Life factors in over 34,000 French villages, towns and cities. The results of the research were quite surprising.
Long term rentals in France - size
The size of the property is also crucial. Whilst it is important to ensure that there is plenty of space for visitors, it is also important to realise that you will be paying for empty bedrooms for most of the year. We fell into this trap ourselves and after our first year in France we ended up renting a medium sized property and then renting a small gite around the corner for our friends and family whenever they came out. This proved to be a good solution because it also gave us the space to continue to work and live our normal life.
The other crucial issue, is that whilst having a spacious property is wonderful in the summer, in the winter you will need to heat all this 'space'. Electricity in France is expensive. Even if you go for alternatives (wood burner, gas fires or petrol burners) then you will need to factor in a monthly budget of €100 per 100m2.
Long term rental in France - budget
Finally, you also need to consider your budget. In our first year we rented a house far too expensive for what we could really afford. We arrived in France with enough money to last us 7 months. But we burnt through this in 2 months. Now we find France just as expensive on a day-to-day basis as the UK, especially the weekly shop and the utilities. You also get nice surprises like the 'taxe de habitation' which can hit you for around €700-€900. So we would certainly recommend that you do your sums thoroughly when you are looking at different rental options.
As a rough guide, this is the standard monthly rental price that you would be looking to pay for:
- 2 bedroom houses for long term rent in France (no outdoor space): €400-€600
- 2 bedroom long term lets in France with terrace or balcony: €550-€700
- 4 bedroom long term lets, South France (no pool): €900-€1100
- 4 bedroom long term lets in France with pool: €1200-€1500
The prices above are for standard long term lets. You will obviously pay much more for luxury or unique rental properties. The closer you are to the coast the more expensive the properties are. Long term lets in some of the popular towns (such as Pezenas, Sommieres, Uzes, Ceret, Marseillan, etc) also attract a small premium.
In addition to your rent, you will also have the following monthly costs (based on a family of four). Generally we advise people to budget for around 15% of the monthly rental price to cover the monthly utility bills:
- Utilities: €180
- Food: €700-900
- Insurance: €50
- Mobile/Cell: €45
- Internet: €50
- Heating (2-3 months in winter): €120
To visit all of the long term lets in France advertised on Long term rentals in France, please follow the link Long term lets in France.
Here is a sample of some of the latest houses for long term rent that we have added to our site. Please check the availability calendars for the most up-to-date availability:
Neffies villa for long term rentals Southern France (Ref: 1672)
This large 5 bedroom villa for long term rentals is perfect for a long stay in Southern France over the winter period. This beautiful sunny villa is located in the pretty Southern France village of Neffies, near Pezenas and the Languedoc coast. The villa has a large swimming pool, together with a separate spa pool. There is a large garden with plenty of privacy, a spacious lounge, well-equipped kitchen and a games room. This long term rentals villa is a pleasant 5 minute stroll into the village, where you will find an excellent restaurant, bar, wine cave, shop, tennis court and playground. The villa comes with secure parking, air conditioning (reversible), Wi-Fi and UK satellite TV. The beaches are 30 mins away and nearby there is superb walking, cycling, riding, windsurfing, sailing, tennis and golf. The villa comes with:
- 5 double bedrooms
- 3 bathrooms
- Private pool
- Beautiful village location
- Roof terrace
This large villa to rent in France, is available for long term rentals for 3-6 months and the Owners will also consider 12 month rental periods as well. The monthly rent will vary according to the length of the rental period and the season (guide price €1850 + bills).
Available from from mid-September 2023 to June 2024.
Riverside farmhouse to rent long term in Lot France Ref: 1995
This beautiful 3 bed farmhouse by the edge of the River Lot in South West France, is available for long term rentals between October to May from €1250 per month + bills. The farmhouse is located on the border of the Dordogne and Lot departments, in between Bergerac and Cahors. The nearby village of Albas has a restaurant and shop and within 15 mins you can visit some beautiful sites. The house contains:
- 3 bedrooms
- 3 bathrooms
- Well-equipped kitchen
- Pet friendly
- WiFi internet
- Large garden
- Direct access to river + rowing boats
- Close to restaurant and shop
This house is available to rent between October to May. The guide rental price is €1800 per month + bills.
L'Horizon - Provence long term rental apartment France Ref: 1984
L´Horizon apartment for long term rentals is located in the beautiful village of Beaumont-de-Pertuis in Provence, France. This bright and beautiful top floor apartment features a private terrace with stunning views. The village of Beaumont-de-Pertuis is located on the edge of the Luberon National Park (an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and is just 40 mins from Aix-en-Provence. Marseille airport is 50 mins and the French Riviera coast is just over 1 hour. The apartment comes with
- 1 bedroom
- 1 bathroom
- Private terrace
- Well-equipped kitchen + washing machine
- WiFi and flat screen TV (satellite channels)
- Stunning views
- Beautiful location
The long term rental prices do not include the utility bills. There is a monthly provision of €150 towards the electricity, water, internet and communal taxes.
Long term rentals (October -May): from €1150 per month + bills
For 12 month long term rental prices, please enquire. Please note that higher rates will apply during June to September.
The Bishop's House for long term rentals Caux France Ref: 1955
This Caux house for long term rentals in South France is an ideal rental for a couple or small family on a long vacation in France. The house is finished to a high standard and it benefits from a lovely courtyard garden. The house is located in a very quiet and friendly neighbourhood in the village. The Owners would prefer a longer rental period of 6-12 months. The house comprises the following features:
- 3 bedrooms
- 2 bathrooms
- Private courtyard garden
- Parking nearby
- WiFi and flat screen TV
- Walking distance to boulangerie, restaurants
- Available for 12 month annual rentals
This house is available to rent from January 2024 and the Owner will consider rental periods of up to 12 months. The guide rental price is €800 pcm + bills.
Farmhouse for long term rentals, Carcassonne, South France (Ref: 1675)
This beautifully renovated farmhouse for long term rentals in South France is located close Carcassonne and comes with 3 bedrooms, a spacious living room and a large private swimming pool. The property has stunning views of the medieval village of Fanjeaux, which is located in between Carcassonne and Mirepoix. The Farmhouse is equipped to a high standard and is very bright and airy inside. The Farmhouse provides total peace and quiet, yet is only a 2 minute drive to the village where you will find an excellent boulangerie/patisserie, cafe/tabac, restaurant and shop. This long term rental property sleeps 6 people in comfort. The farmhouse comes with :
- 3 bedrooms
- 3 bathrooms
- Private parking for 3-4 cars
- WiFi and flat screen TV
- Large garden
- Central heating and fireplace
- Table tennis & swing
- Stunning countryside views
This farmhouse near Carcassonne, France, is available for 3-6 month rentals between mid-October and April from €1200 pcm + bills. Higher prices may apply over the summer season.
Villa Plascassier 4 bed long term rentals Cote d'Azur France Ref: 1996
This lovely large 4 bed villa in Plascassier, Cote d'Azur, is available for long term rentals between October to April. The villa comes with 5,000 m2 of land and has a private swimming pool, garage, electronic gates and plenty of parking. Plascassier is a lovely medieval hillside village, that was once home to Edith Piaf. The village has 2 excellent restaurants and is surrounded by olive groves and fields of Jasmine and Roses (grown to supply the local perfume factories in Grasse).
The villa features:
- 4 bedrooms (sleeps 8)
- 3 bathrooms
- 12m x 5m private pool
- Well-equipped kitchen + laundry room
- Private parking for 4 cars
- WiFi and international TV channels
- Lovely views
- 5,000m2 of grounds
- Quiet residential location on the edge of village
This 4 bed villa in Plascassier, Cote d'Azur, is available for long term rentals between October to April. Prices are based on a 6 month rental period. Minimum stay is 3 months. Not available May to September. The rental price does not include the utility bills (there is a monthly provision of €350 towards the electricity, water, WiFi and communal taxes). Firewood to be purchased separately.
Long term rentals (October to April): from €2750 per month + bills
Thinking of moving to France in 2024 . . . ?
Read our article on the Moving to France with your family
Interested in long term rentals in the South of France? Check out our selection of Long term rentals by the beach in France currently available for rent
Read our article on the 10 best places to rent long term in France
Contact Iain by Email if you have any particular questions you would like to ask about living in the South of France.