I've just arrived in France, and I'm looking to rent somewhere for the few months that I'll be here. Based on the answers in Finding short term shared accomodation in France (not Paris), I've managed to find a number of possible places to rent.

While I sort out a caution cheque or equivalent, the next thing I need to do is put together a dossier. For that, I've been asking some agents and landlords what they want.

When they run through the list of copies of documents that they expect, almost all of them are either 1 or 2 pages long, and not a problem for me to get. However, one thing they've asked for is my contrat de travail, which from the way they say it I gather is a fairly standard but also fairly short thing. (They didn't seem phased by the fact that I said I was employed in the UK, but they didn't change what they asked for when I said that was the case)

The problem I face is that my employment contract with my English employer is about 20 pages long, so not the few pages they seem to be expecting, and lists my starting salary rather than what I'm on now. I therefore don't think a copy of that would be what they'd be expecting, nor what they'd probably want information wise.

Next time I'm visiting my company's head office in the UK, I'm fairly sure if I went and asked HR for a "French style contrat de travail" I'll get some blank looks and a polite refusal. However, if I turn up with some French pâtisserie and a template letter, I'll have something completed with all the required details on it within the hour!

So, what information is the agent or landlord expecting to find about my employment on a contrat de travail, and are there any templates I can use to make producing a equivalent document about my employment status easier?

  • 1
    Not sure what you mean or have been told but “contrat de emploi” is not proper French. Do you mean “contrat de travail”? I suspect they mostly want to know if you have a stable contract (“contrat à durée indéterminée” or CDI) or a fixed-term contract (CDD or “contrat à durée déterminée”), maybe also how much you make. The distinction is not as sharp as it used to be but it's still important in France.
    – Gala
    Apr 26, 2014 at 11:36
  • It was said in high speed French an hour before I wrote the post, so I can't be certain... Please correct it to the thing like that which landlords ask for!
    – Gagravarr
    Apr 26, 2014 at 11:50
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    A “contrat de travail” is indeed a work contract. An “attestation de l'employeur” would be the type of free-form letter you have in mind and should be fine as well. I have not done it recently but my best guess would be that a letter on company letterhead specifying your monthly salary and the fact that you are on an indefinite/stable contract (if that's the case) as <your job title> since <some date> should be enough.
    – Gala
    Apr 26, 2014 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


An “attestation d'emploi” or “attestation de l'employeur” should be enough, if producing your work contract is not practical. Here are a few templates from various real estate agents (PDF) that seem pretty typical. One of these agents seems to insist that clients use their template and nothing else so yours might have one as well.

What they all ask for is the name/details of your employer, since when you work there, your salary, and your job title. Something that is possibly a bit more peculiarly French and probably quite important is the “type of contract”. Having a stable/indefinite contract (“contrat à durée indéterminée”) is well-regarded, a fixed-term contract (“contrat à durée déterminée”) less so. Finally, the last thing on these template is whether you are currently in a trial period, handed in your notice or in the process of being fired.

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