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Renting: what to do when your tenant doesn’t pay his rent

Renting is a proven investment, notably in Paris’ residential neighbourhoods. Nevertheless, this source of revenue can dry up when a tenant stops paying. Here are some tips to rapidly put a stop to the situation.


From the date of the first unpaid rent, the owner must take action. Even if you are tempted to resolve the issue in a friendly fashion, after a payment is 15 days late, send the tenant a demand for payment either directly or via a bailiff.

If there’s a guarantor, the bailiff should serve them with the same demand for payment.

Once this official request has been made, the tenant (or his guarantor) has two months to react and make good his account. If this is not done, the next step is to take the case to the Magistrates court. It takes three to four months to obtain judgment that a moratorium be put in place with a plan to clear the debt or authorising eviction.

Bearing in mind the statutory time limits, in order to obtain a right to evict you should generally anticipate at least two years from the date of the first missed rent payment.

The best course of action against these kinds of potential issues that could well put a landlord’s finances in jeopardy is to take out insurance against unpaid rent from the date the tenant moves in, such insurance is called GLI insurance (“Garantie Loyers Impayés”). It costs around 3-4% of the monthly rent received. Depending on the contract and insurance company, cover can be as much as 100% of unpaid rent for a period of 18-24 months. However, taking into account the administrative and declarative process, a landlord has to wait 4 moths from the date of the first unpaid rent to receive such compensation.