When you own your accommodation, you have a certain freedom, such as occasionally renting a room to tourists. A rented room is automatically synonymous with new income, and this is moreover mainly what makes this practice worthy of interest.

You are obviously not the only owner to rent a property, as more and more owners are turning to this solution to supplement their ends of the month, but also to have company. It also and above all breathes new life into the rental market, the prices of which are sometimes very high for tenants.

The different steps to rent a room at home

Where do you start?

First of all, you have to know that you have every right to rent a room in your house or apartment that you own. The reasons that encourage you to adopt this type of accommodation can vary, and you do not need to justify yourself on this subject to start renting one of your rooms occasionally. The resulting income may also be subject to exemptions, which provides more information on the relevance of such a project to build up a little more income.

Go step by step to launch your rental and start first by checking that the room to be rented is pleasant to live in. Is the room decent enough, clean enough? Is there everything necessary for a stay in good conditions? Is the bedroom well secured? These are all questions that will help you know what to improve when needed. Renovation work will therefore sometimes be necessary: ​​painting, repairing a door or a lock, better furnishings, etc. If you want to set a decent and unambiguous price, you also need the room to reflect its cost.

Focus on comfort. If you have two bedrooms, for example, and you have to make a trade-off between one of them, prefer the one that gives easier access to the toilet and the kitchen if necessary, the one that has a well-placed window, the one which is suitably ventilated and lit by daylight. In short, you need to have a real host mentality to be sure that someone will feel good at home.

The tax exemptions granted to owners of rental properties are only valid for furnished rooms. You will not be able to claim this if the room is empty and rented as is. To be exempt, you must also avoid setting rental prices exceeding the ceiling of 185 euros per square meter if you are in Île-de-France, and the ceiling of 136 euros / m2 if you live in the provinces.

Make the essential declarations and announcements

Your occasional room rental activity can begin as soon as you wish and its duration will be determined only by you. You can decide that the rental will last one night, one week, one month or more. However, you must respect certain rules, including legal declarations to be made to the authorities and announcements to attract temporary tenants.

The declaration to the town hall is not always obligatory, but it also depends on the municipality in which you are located. You will therefore need to find out whether the short-term rental you want to start must be known beforehand by the town hall on which your accommodation depends. In a city like Paris, this formality is mandatory. It can be done quickly either online or through a phone call to the call center of the Paris town hall.

Registration is done by providing the identification number of your apartment or of the house in which the room for occasional rent is located. Following this, the town hall will give you a registration number that must appear on all real estate advertisements that you make.

Mandatory declarations are subject to the Elan law which also defines the penalties incurred in the event of non-compliance with regulations for everything relating to tourist rental. The fine can thus reach 5000 euros if you do not make a mandatory declaration at the town hall of your municipality. Penalties may still fall for landlords who exceed a certain limit of rental days (rule varying from one city to another) and for those who do not provide the town hall with the record of the rental times recorded.

Indeed, it is not because a room for occasional rental has not been declared that officials from the town hall will not be informed. If they are, they can raid the scene and carry out a tax audit. To avoid getting there and having to endure a tax adjustment and very heavy fines, it is therefore better to comply with this law and take the declaration process seriously.


If you do nothing to attract tenants, they will probably never come and occupy your room. Once in possession of your registration number provided by the Mayor (and if the declaration to the town hall is compulsory in your case), you can start posting announcements on certain specialized websites. Word of mouth also works very well as well as notice boards made for this purpose.

For several years, however, tourists and people passing through an unknown municipality have tended to seek out the best places to stay on the internet. You are likely to have a much better chance of finding occasional residents by posting your ad online.

Airbnb is considered today as the number 1 specialized site for sharing its temporary rental offer and enjoying perfectly secure payment. There is also Wimdu or Sejourning which offer a similar online service, but also classified ads web portals such as Abritel, Papou or Homelidays.

Specialized sites make it much easier for you, because they will help you to be sure of receiving your payment, with a variable commission which will not exceed 16%.

These online partners must also transmit to the municipalities and by their own means the number of rental days that you register, under penalty of very heavy fines. Other practical offers exist at certain sites, such as the issuance of lease contracts and damage insurance for example. It's up to you to find out which online rental platform is best for you! Also remember that the signing of a lease contract becomes mandatory as soon as the rental exceeds 3 months.

Declare your income to taxes

After having accumulated income, you must also declare it for taxes with an integration of this income in the category of industrial and commercial profits, which is also called the BIC category. If you get an annual income of more than 23 euros from renting your room, you will have to register for social security for the self-employed and pay social security contributions. Below 000 euros, you will be able to claim the status of microentrepreneur, and that of self-employed worker if you touch an amount between 70 and 000 euros per year. The calculation of contributions will still vary according to the income received and will be paid monthly or quarterly, as the case may be.

With less than 23 euros raised, the declaration of rental income can be easily accompanied by that of your usual income. A contribution of 000% as a social security contribution will then be levied on all of this heritage. On the other hand, no tax will be paid if the rent received is less than 17,2 euros during the whole year.

How to protect yourself from the disadvantages of an occasional rental?

The advantages of occasionally renting a room at home are numerous. It is not by chance that more and more individuals are embarking on this activity, and that they post beautiful photos and details on specialized sites, for example Airbnb.

To avoid cases of theft, non-compliance with payment, cases of damage to movable property, you must resort to a lease contract even if it is not considered compulsory in your case. Without the lease, you will have no legal means of proving that your room was indeed occupied by a third party, and you will not be able to engage their responsibility either. This will not be possible either in the event of violation of your property, your privacy, or in the event of an accident for which the tenant is at the origin.

Think about preventing the inconveniences of the rental thanks to a lease contract and at the same time make sure you take care of the insurance if necessary. Websites specializing in seasonal rentals are also an excellent solution to guard against disputes relating to the payment of rent. There, you will have a modern payment system where the tenant will be required to pay at the risk of having to report not only to you, but also to the site that has put you in touch.

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