What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
When searching for a place to live, some important factors to consider are safety, location preference and individual needs. Depending on your preferences, you may want to find a place close to a school, church, transportation, shops, medical facilities, work and, most importantly, an area that is secure and safe. Choosing the right place to live is essential to having a pleasant and safe stay.
Access to public transport: If you want to live in the city, but your place of work is outside the city, check the public transport connections before you decide where you want to live.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
The expat community is widely spread throughout the area. Many people in the boating/yachting business tend to live closer to the sea in places such as Antibes and Nice, whereas the high-tech community will live closer to Sophia Antipolis to be closer to all the companies that are settled in this technology park. Others will choose to be closer to the schools that their children will attend, and if these are the International schools such as Mougins School, then living in Mougins or Valbonne is the best option. Villages that are a bit further away from the cities and towns on the coast tend to have a higher safety record and a greater family community.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Expats tend to rent their homes, but this also depends on the amount of time they intend to stay in the area. If it is anywhere above 3 years, then buying could be considered.
Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
Typically, before moving into your new apartment or home, you will be required to do the following:
- Provide first month’s rent and a security deposit equivalent to two months' rent. The security deposit is typically refunded at the end of your lease agreement provided that the property is left in the same condition as when you moved in.
- If you rent an unfurnished property through a real estate agent, you will have to pay a fee that corresponds to approximately 6% of the annual rent plus 19.6% sales tax (usually 80% of one month’s rent). There is no fixed law about this, but this is typically the norm. If you rent a furnished property, the cost is usually double this amount.
- If you have no previous banking and/or credit history in France, you may be asked to make a "Depot de Garantie" for up to a year's worth of rent as an insurance against the rent. This deposit is put in an account that will not be touched by the agency or landlord, unless necessary, such as covering unpaid rent.
- If applicable, notary fees may be insisted upon by the landlord.
You will need to pay tenant liability insurance by law before moving in. This amount depends on the area and size of the apartment. This insurance is usually not too costly.
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
In France there are several types of heating. Central heating costs are often included in the rental charges for apartments, though not for houses. Electric, gas and fuel heating costs are usually paid by the tenant, as are all electricity and telephone bills. In addition, according to French law, tenants are required to have a yearly maintenance contract on the heating system.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
The Riviera is generally a safe place to live. However, as with most places, some areas are more desirable than others. This is usually evident in the cost of the accommodation. Beware of safety issues when considering a residence near any major railway station, as these neighborhoods are often considered unsafe. Before deciding where to live, make sure that the house or apartment has door and window protection and a reliable alarm system. It is also prudent to always lock your house and car when you are not there.
If you have any questions or concerns about a particular neighborhood, do not hesitate to contact Crown Nice.
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
The electric current for France is 220 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 50 hertz of power. This is compatible with electrical appliances from the UK, but any from the US will need to be used with a step-down transformer. Be warned that some appliances are not well-suited for transformers. Our advice: do not bring any appliances with you - buy them here instead. Below is an example of the type of plug that is compatible.
Type E - Round pin plug and receptacle with male grounding pin
NOTE: Type E receptacles will also accept Type C plugs. Type E plugs will also work in Type F receptacles.
Type C - Round pin attachment plug
Type F - "Schuko" plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
One of the most common dilemmas for people looking for accommodation is that they are surprised at the high rental costs in the area. As such, depending on your budget, you should prepare to live in accommodation that may be smaller than what you are used to. However, the area is great for all the possibilities it offers to all tastes. You can choose city living in Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Monaco, or in a beautiful old village such as Valbonne or Mougins. You can also choose to live by the coast or inland in the country, either in a village atmosphere with all the local conveniences, such as a boulangerie and boucher, or even choose to live in a more remote and quieter area far from any noise or traffic.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.