Buying a property in Lyon : the rent control rule

2 November 2021

Lyon is one of the most beautiful cities in France to invest in real estate; an apartment to rent; a secondary or main residence? Before buying a property in Lyon, here are some rules you should know:

Buying a property in Lyon : Rent control in Lyon and Villeurbanne

The Metropolis of Lyon has decided to test rent control in Lyon and Villeurbanne.
This experiment will begin on November 1, 2021, and will aim to limit the increase in rent prices in certain areas of real estate tension, and to make housing more accessible.
It will concern both furnished and unfurnished housing.
The principle
In concrete terms, the system will prohibit landlords from renting a property for more than 20% more than the reference rent.
The rent control is then fixed by the following formula:

The reference rents have been divided into 4 zones, each with a reference rent that varies according to the geographical location, the number of rooms in the dwelling, the year of construction and whether the dwelling is furnished (See Appendix 1).
The rent references are revised each year and published by prefectural decree.
For example, for a one-bedroom apartment of 60 m2 rented empty in the 1st district of Lyon and built after 1970; the reference rent of 14.4€/m2 will set the rent ceiling at 1,036.8€ per month excluding charges (i.e. 60 x 14.4 + 20%). Beyond that, the rates charged will be illegal.

It is possible to make simulations online on the following website:

The rent regulation concerns

– Rentals of empty or furnished dwellings (including roommates with multiple leases) as a principal residence or for mixed professional and principal residential use,
– Mobility leases (temporary occupancy for up to 10 months).
It will apply to leases signed as of November 1, 2021:
– For a 1st rental,
– For a change of tenant,
– For a lease renewal.

It will not apply :
– To housing owned or managed by HLM or SEM organizations,
– To Anah-approved housing (article L351-2 and L831-1 of the CCH),
– To housing subject to the law of 1948 and seasonal rentals (AirBnb type),
– Furnished housing in a residence with services (student type).


The rent ceiling can be exceeded by applying a rent supplement (the amount that exceeds the increased reference rent).
This supplement must be justified by the characteristics of the location or the comfort of the dwelling, but only when these characteristics meet the following 3 conditions:

– They have not been taken into account for the determination of the reference rent corresponding to the dwelling;
– They are decisive for the determination of the rent, in particular by comparison with dwellings of the same category located in the same geographical sector;
– They do not give rise to recovery by the lessor as expenses.

The application of a rent supplement is therefore delicate and is only conceivable for more or less exceptional characteristics such as the presence of a duplex or a large balcony with a nice view or a single-family house in a collective housing area, etc. The presence of a parking lot or a cellar will only be justified by a rent supplement if it is not frequent in the building.
This additional rent may be contested within 3 months after the signing of the lease by the tenant or by referring the matter to the Departmental Conciliation Commission.
Sanctions in case of non-compliance with the rent regulation

The prefect can oblige you, within a period of 2 months, to :
– Bring the contract into conformity,
– Proceed to the restitution of the overpaid rents.
If no action is taken, the prefect can impose a fine of up to €5,000 for an individual and €15,000 for a corporation.
On his side, the tenant can also take action to reduce the amount of the rent, according to the regulations

Source :

Arrêté du 29 novembre 2021 relatif à la fixation des loyers de référence, des loyers de référence majorés et des loyers de référence minorés dans les communes de Lyon et Villeurbanne

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