What you should know before you book a flat in le Marais or anywhere else in Paris. 
Crooks or illegal companies based in the USA or fiscal paradises are invading the french rental market. Not to be fooled, here is what you must know before you book a flat in the city of lights.

1 - Be sure the company or private owner respects the French laws about renting an apartment. This is the only way you can be sure that you’ll get your deposit back, have legal support from the French authorities in case of a conflict with the owner, and have no other unfortunate surprises.

2 - If it is a company you are renting from, it must be a licensed travel agency or a licensed real estate agent registered in France. An agency licensed in the UK, Eastern Europe or the USA has no right to rent flats located in France. Despite this fact, hundreds of these agencies are still operating. Be sure to protect yourself by renting with clearly established French companies.

3 - If you book with a private owner, make sure they have the legal status of a renter called either LMP (loueur de meubles professionnel) or LMNP (loueur de meubles non-professionnel) If not, they have no right to convert a private flat zoned for housing into a commercial holiday rental, and the city of Paris is strongly fighting with these rentals. Recently, Bertrand Delanoë, mayor of Paris, wrote to the head of the Paris police to put an end to these illegal rentals, in the interest of the renters, but also for Parisians who respect the laws and pay their taxes in France. The Paris Tourism Office is supporting this new policy by accepting only companies or owners who are legally registered in France and offer insurance and protection to their clients.

4 - For extra security, make sure you are renting from a reliable company. It is important that your contractor belong to a tourist association such as the Paris Tourist Office or Atout France, the ministry of tourism label

5 - Make sure your contract is written in French or at least French and English. If there is a problem, a contract not written in French will have no value in front of French tribunals. You would not likely rent an apartment in the USA if the contract was not written in English, and it is a similar situation in France. Trust French companies first when renting in France.

6 - Avoid any company that asks you to pay in dollars and wire the money to a bank account somewhere in a Caribbean island, USA, Agentina, Spain, Slovenia, Bulgaria or to Russia where many web sites are created using fake PayPal accounts—be sure to protect your money and credit card number.

7 - Make sure the owner does not ask you to pay more than 25% to reserve your flat. By French law, the owner can’t ask for more than 25% in advance to book a flat, with the remaining 75% to be paid upon arrival or a few days before.

ASK Paris Tourism office if the company you re renting from is one of their member, if not, just run away from them !

The parismarais team.

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