Paris Apartments: Glossary of French-English terms

Paris Apartment: Glossary of French-English terms

To help English speaking renters and owners to wend their way through contracts and advertisements as the hunt for the Paris apartment moves along FUSAC has compiled a glossary of terms for Housing.

accusé de réception: receipt that is signed by the recipient of a letter and sent back to the send as proof of reception
acompte: advance payment, down payment
agence immobilière: estate agency [UK], real estate agency [US]
ancien: built more than 20 years ago
appareils électriques: appliances
appartement vide: unfurnished flat [UK], unfurnished apartment [US]
armoire: storage cabinet
assurance habitation: homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Note: it is obligatory for renters to have an insurance policy.
bail, contrat de location (plural = baux): (rental) lease / contract
bien immobilier: property

box: enclosed parking space with a locked door
cage d’escalier: stairwell
canapé: sofa, settee
canapé-lit, canapé convertible, clic-clac: sofa bed
caution: often mixed up with dépôt de garantie, but caution refers to someone who is in solidarity with the renter and will be able to pay the rent if the renter cannot, a guarantor, for example the parents will « cautionner » unemployed students
cave: basement storage room
chambre à coucher: bedroom
chambre mansardée: attic room with sloping ceiling
charges locatives: building maintenance and amentities costs, may include central heating, hot water, concierge
chaudière à gaz/mazout/fioul: gas/oil-fired boiler
chauffage central / collectif / par l’immeuble: central heating
chChemineeeminée: fireplace

clair: bright

clause de solidarité: see « caution »

clause résolutoire: clause in a lease governing the means and reasons of breaking the lease
colocation: shared apartment
compromis de vente (contrat synallagmatique) : preliminary sale contract (bilateral contract)
concierge/gardien: caretaker, custodian
conditions suspensives: conditions under which the sale would be annulled
couchages: number of people for which there is sleeping space
couverts: cutlery
cuisine américaine: kitchen opening on the living area

cuisine vide: kitchen empty with only sink and counter- assume this unless otherwise mentioned

cuisine aménagée: kitchen with cupboards but no equipment or white goods

cuisine équipée: fully equipped kitchen (usually only in furnished rentals)
cuisinière: cooker [UK], stove [US]
dépot de garantie: security deposit

Diagnostic: professional analysis of nasty things such as lead, asbestos and risk of natural disaster as well as energy use
digicode: security door with keypad/ keycode
douche: shower
durée de séjour: length of stay
durée du contrat: contract period
emménager: to move in
en bon état: in good repair
escalier: stairway
étage: floor
état des lieux: inventory of fixtures and general condition of the apartment
faire visiter: to show round [UK], to show [US]

fioul: fuel oil (used for heating) – also called mazout
four: oven
four à micro-ondes: micro-wave oven
garant exigé: financial guarantor needed
hauteur sous plafond: height from floor to ceiling
honoraires d’agence: agency fees
hotte aspirante: cooker hood [UK], range hood [US]

huissier: official third party, bailiff

lavabo:    washbasin
lave-linge: washing machine
lave-vaisselle: dishwasher
lettre recommandée avec accusé de réception: registered letter with acknowledgement of reception
linge de maison: household linen
linge de toilette: bathroom linen
locataire: tenant
location: rental
location meublée: furnished rental
location vide: unfurnished rental
louer: to rent
loyer: rent
mandat (exclusif) d’achat / de vente: (exclusive) buyer / seller representation agreement
mandataire (pour l’achat): buyer representative
mandataire (pour la vente): seller representative

metres carrés: Square meters. One square meter is about 10 square feet.
neuf: all-new construction, no previous occupant
notaire: notary
offre d’achat: offer to purchase real estate, purchase offer
parquet: wood floor / parquet
penderie: wardrobe, free-standing closet
période de préavis: notice period
pierre de taille: carved stonetomettes
place de stationnement: parking space
plafond: ceiling
plaque de cuisson: hotplate
porte-fenêtre : French doors
préavis de départ: termination notice, notice of intent to vacate
propriétaire: landlord, owner
quittance de loyer: receipt for rent paid
récent: built in the last decade
remise des clefs: keys handover
rénové: renovated
réserver: to book, to reserve
rez-de-chaussée: ground floor, street level
rez-de-jardin: Garden or courtyard level
salle d’eau/de douche: shower-room
salle de bain: bathroom
salon, séjour: living room, lounge [UK], sitting room

standing: luxury
T1, F1: 1 room + kitchen + sanitary (wc, shower or bath)
T2, F2:  2 rooms + kitchen + sanitary (wc, shower or bath)
T3, F3: 3 rooms + kitchen + sanitary (wc, shower or bath)

tacite réconduction: automatic renewal
taxe d’habitation: local residency or occupation tax, paid in Nov/Dec by the person who is resident on January 1st of a given year
taxe foncière: local real estate tax, paid in October by the person who is the owner on January 1st whether or not they reside there

taxe audiovisuel: also known as the TV tax, this is an annual tax of about 130€ added to the taxe d’habitation for anyone who has purchased a television, so if you sell your TV be sure to tell the taxman
tiroirs à l’anglaise : drawers within a cabinet

tomettes : hexagonal or square terra cotta floor tiles
traversin: bolster
verrière: glass roof/glass canopy
vide: unfurnished
virement bancaire:  bank transfer

Now that you have the vocabulary read the ads to find your perfect Paris flat.