Utilities and contracts
In France, a property’s occupant pays for utilities, as well as telephone, internet and television services, except when renting furnished property on a short-term basis.
When a property is rented, the contract specifies the service charges payable on top of the rent.
Service charges cover expenses relating to:
- Water and communal heating in the premises, including communal areas.
- Individual systems, such as heating and hot water.
- Indoor communal areas.
- Outdoor spaces (management and upkeep).
- Taxes and other contributions (e.g. for waste collection).
- Lift maintenance and use (if applicable).
These charges can be paid in two ways:
- Through the payment of provisions for expenses, either every month or every quarter.
- By collecting funds for any expenses incurred on an ad hoc basis, subject to receipts being produced.
Except in specific cases (joint-tenancy or furnished rentals where the lease was signed after March 27, 2014, and if charges appear as a fixed amount in the lease agreement), charges are generally balanced at least once a year.
For further information: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F947
With the exception of certain contracts for furnished rentals, which may include these expenses in the form of a fixed charge, in France the occupant generally carries out the formalities required to subscribe to a telephone, television and internet service.
All housing in France is fitted with a communal or individual heating system.
Some buildings or groups of dwellings feature communal heating, i.e. the system is communal, as is its management. Its cost is spread between each homeowner or tenant. Occupants are not required to sign an individual heating contract and maintenance is carried out by the landlord or the building’s block management company.
When accommodation features an individual heating system, its occupant must sign an individual heating contract. They are free to choose their energy source (electricity, natural gas, LPG, fuel oil, wood, solar or heat pump) from the energy supplier of their choice.
In addition, the occupant (whether they are the owner or a tenant) must ensure that their boiler is serviced on an annual basis (whether it uses fuel oil, gas, wood, coal or mixed fuel) and that the chimney is also swept annually, if applicable. Exception: if the lease agreement specifies that this obligation is incumbent upon the landlord.
For more information: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F20760
France’s municipalities manage water supplies and sewage systems directly (or indirectly via specialist companies to which they delegate their authority).
To have potable water in their home, users must subscribe to the service through the municipal council. Generally speaking, the owner of the property takes care of these formalities.
If a tenant is renting an apartment in a building fitted with a single water meter covering all the dwellings it contains, the subscription is taken out by the block management company or the building’s managing agent.