Discover all information and useful advice to renting a house or an apartment

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Renting in the private sector

Rates for rented accommodation

Created in January 2013, l’Observatoire des Loyers des Alpes-Maritimes (The French Riviera Rents Observatory) is a long-term and neutral study of the private rental market. It is the result of a joint initiative between the State, the Nice Cote-d’Azur Metropolis, the Urban Community of Sophia Antipolis, the French Riviera Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ADIL, (the French Riviera Housing Information Agency), The Alpes Maritimes Family Allowance Fund (CAF)   and real estate professionals  (FNAIM Côte d’Azur, la Fédération des Promoteurs Immobiliers Côte d’Azur Corse).

The goals of the Rents Observatory are to contribute to the understanding of the rental housing market on the French Riviera, to help shape local housing policies, and to inform the public.

The French Riviera Rents Observatory is therefore of interest to all housing stakeholders, whether they be elected members, local authorities and real estate professionals, or investors, landlords, tenants or individuals looking for rented accommodation.

Renting a House or an Apartment

There are a number of ways to find private housing for rent:

  •  If you work for a company with more than 300 employees, contact your company’s housing commission.
  •  If you work for a company with more than 20 employees, contact your company’s “1% housing contribution” collecting body. Some of these bodies have their own property.

In either case you can :

  • Contact owners directly (classified ads, websites etc).
  • Contact estate agencies. Most are organised into unions or associations and follow a code of conduct which will save you time looking for property and negotiating with the owner.

Looking for an estate agency? click here

  • Websites listing property to rent.
    (remember to check the legal terms and conditions on the site).
  • You can look at this new website for rental property : .


Renting social housing

Social housing eligibility

Social housing refers to housing constructed with the help of state funding which belong to, or are managed by Social Housing organisations. With its controlled rents, social housing is allocated to households whose income does not exceed a certain limit.

Did you know that 70% of the people living on the Côte d’Azur may be entitled to social housing? You may be eligible for social housing depending on your income and the make up of your household. The table below shows the different conditions for eligibility depending on your income and the make up of your household.

Social housing income eligibility in 2019










Young couple = Married couple with no dependents. The sum of their ages must equal 55 or more.

Income tax reference amount in euros for the year Y-2 (as listed on the tax assessment of each member of the household) or for the previous year (Y -1) if income is 10% lower than Y-2.



Applying for social housing

Applications for social housing may be made on line. Once validated, your application will be sent to social housing organisations concerned.

Finance my rental housing

Financial aid for housing

LOCA-PASS guarantee

The Loca-Pass allows a free-of-charge advance of the deposit required to access a rental property to be used as a primary residence.

Who can benefit ?

Employees of a private-sector, non agricultural company who have retired within the last 5 years, seasonal workers, students on work placement courses or seeking employment, scholarship students.

VISALE – Rent arrears loan

The garantee VISALE is a guarantee provided by Action Logement to cover rent and service charge arrears for tenants in the private sector living in their main residence.

Who can benefit?

Newly contracted employees of private sector (non-agricultural) companies  who are taking out a rental contract in the private sector, and all households who are taking out a rental contract in the private sector via an approved rental agency.

FSL – Housing Solidarity Fund

The General Council’s Solidarity Fund for Housing (FSL), provides aid to facilitate access to housing. This aid is also given by Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur ( if your accommodation is on this area)   The FSL can help you with a number of expenses related to moving into new accommodation through grants and / or loans. It may also provide a rental guarantee to the owner. Apart from moving-in costs, all subsidies will be paid directly to the owner or the estate agency. The housing allowance will also be paid directly to the owner.

Who can benefit ?

For people who are struggling to stay in their homes because of their limited resources or situation. This fund is allocated according to the applicant’s housing situation and resources.

Help with relocation

You may be eligible for specific help if you are relocating for work or studies :

Help with rent payments

If you pay rent and have a low income, you may be entitled to housing benefit (APL, ALF, ALS) of the CAF of Alpes-Maritimes.

Who can benefit ?
The amount of benefit available depends on a number of things: Your income, family situation, type of housing, location, the amount of rent, number of dependents. Housing benefit is paid every month to the landlord or to the tenant.

  • For a simulation of the amount of housing benefit you may be eligible for : click here

Help with arrears

Temporary loan to help with rent payments

If you fall into arrears with your rent or service charges, the CAF may intervene to help. Notify the Alpes Maritimes CAF benefits office and they will try to find a personalised solution, help in negotiations between the tenant and the landlord, keep up any housing benefit payments while the arrears are being paid off, and put you in contact with other financial aid agencies (FSL).

If you are renting from the provate sector and have dependent children, a social worker will get in touch to help you find a suitable solution.


Who can benefit ?

Anyone receiving housing benefit

FSL – Housing Solidarity Fund

The housing solidarity fund (FSL) can help you pay off your rent or service charge arrears or utility bills with financial aid in the form of an allowance and /or loan. The FSL can also take preventive action in extreme cases to maintain essential payments such as rent and electricity. These financial aids are paid directly to the owner or utility supplier. Any housing benefit would also be paid directly to the landlord.

Who can benefit ?

For those facing difficulties paying their rented accommodation due to low income or particular situation.

CIL-PASS assistance

If you are having difficulty finding housing or keeping your rented accommodation due to particular, unforeseen circumstances, the CIL-PASS ASSISTANCE can help you:

  • Pay your rent
  • Find suitable accommodation

Who can benefit?

Employees working for a private sector, non- agricultural company with a workforce of more than 10, employees  working in the public sector whose employer pays into the 1% housing fund.

Any tenant of a primary residence facing difficulties having an impact on housing.

Other help for tenants

Home appliances and furniture

The CAF des Alpes-Maritimes (family benefit office) provides loans to buy basic household appliances and furniture.

Who can benefit ?
Means teasted

Moving allowance

An allowance may be granted to large families who need to move to accommodate a growing household.

Who can benefit ? 
Depends on size and composition of the household.

Financial aid from the CAF

The CAF des Alpes-Maritimes (French Riviera Family Allowance Fund) supports families with a dependent child receiving family allowance  to help them put in place a project or to face difficulties such as rent arrears or unpaid bills, home improvements, the purchase of domestic equipment, school canteen bills etc.

Financial help “aide sur projets” of up to 2000 € may be granted by a social action commission in the form of a loan and/or a subsidy.

Requests must be made through your social worker.

Who can benefit?

Those with a dependent child receiving family allowance.

House / Apartment sharing

Prior to the ALUR law, passed in March 2014, individuals sharing an apartment or a house had no specific status. This left them in a difficult situation, for example, if one of the sharers wished to move out of the shared property.   In the French Riviera, where the rental market is saturated, shared housing has been developed as a possible solution, and one which is not reserved only for the younger population. The ALUR law clarifies the legal status of shared housing and fixes specific rules applicable to shared rental contracts drawn up from this date.

What is shared housing?

Shared housing is defined by the new Article 8-1 of the Act of  6th July 1989 as  “the rental by several tenants of the same property, which constitutes their main residence and which is formalised by a single contract or by several contracts between the tenants and the landlord”. This means that:

  • there is shared housing when there are several tenants ( at least two) whatever the relation between them.
  • the rules of shared housing apply to both furnished and unfurnished rented accommodation.
  • a single rental contract may be drawn up which includes all the tenants, or there may be one contract per tenant.

Note that  spouses or civil partners at the time that the initial lease was drawn up are excluded from this status by the economic opportunity law, known as the Macron law.

N.B. Each tenant may be eligible for housing allowance for his/her part of the rent due.