The Enormous Golden Key

keyOfficial move-out day has finally arrived.

Tonight we’ll be doing what they call the Etat des Lieux and giving the keys back to the owner at our old apartment.  When you rent in France you have two important pieces of paper: Contrat de Location and Etat des Lieux. The first is easy- it’s your contract.  The second is a sort of checklist of the state of the apartment (walls, ceiling, floor, electricity, plumbing, furniture…) and should be filled out with the owner both upon entering and exiting.  After the final walk-through, you’ll (hopefully) get your dépôt de garantie, or caution, back- that’s the required deposit and usually corresponds to one or two months of rent.  Then, with either a sniff or a wahoo, you’ll hand in your keys.

Of course, there are things I’ll miss about our old place- especially the view over-looking the park and the eccentric mish-mash of rooftops and chimney pots.  I’ll also miss the enormous golden key that opens the front door.

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