French housing expressions and classified abbreviations


Reading French housing classifieds is sometimes a difficult task for someone who isn't fluent in French. The following list gives you an overview of the most important expressions and abbreviations you will encounter.

Most common French housing expressions

aménagement = usually furnishment
ANIL(Agance Nationale pour l'Information sur le Logement) = a national agency for information about accommodation
appart = shorter world for an apartment or flat
APL (Aide Personnalisée au Logement) = one of state financial assistance for accommodation
APS (Allocation de Logement Sociale) = one of state financial assistance for accommodation
ascenseur = lift
assurance d'habitation = household insurance
bail = leasehold (the)
CAF (Caisses d'Allocations Familiale) = state assistance fund for families
caution = deposit
cave = cellar
chambre = usually refers to a bedroom
charges = community and utility expenses, which are not be included in the monthly rent
chauffage central = central heating
cheminée = fireplace
CHRS = Social Readjustment Centres (emergency housing)
claire = bright, well-lighted
climatisation = air conditioning
concierge = man or woman who takes care of the building
coquette = cute, or very small
cuisine americaine = breakfast counter kitchen or integrated kitchen (generally in salon)
cuisine équipée = fitted kitchen
DDE (Direction départementale de l'équipement) = French administration body responsable for accommodation
dépôt de garantie = deposit
double vitrage = double-glazed windows
durée du contrat = rental period
ensoleillé = sunny
entrée = entrance
étage = floor
état des lieux = Initial and final inventories
exposition = light exposure
FUAJ (Fédération Unie des Auberges de Jeunesse) = the French branch of IYHF, International Youth Hostel Federation
gare = railway station
haut standing = high quality
HLM (Hébergement à loyer modéré) = state social housing
immeuble = building
immobilier = property
ISMH (Inventaire Supplémentaire des Monuments Historiques) = a historically classified building
IYHF = International Youth Hostel Federation
jardin = garden
kitchenette = little kitchen
lavabo = sink
lettre recommandée avec accusé de réception = registered letter with acknowledgement of reception
LFAJ (Ligue Française pour les Auberges de Jeunesse) = French Youth Hostel Association
locateur = tenant
location = renting, rent
loyer = rent
maison = house
mansarde = usually a small under-roof service room
meublé = furnished
niveaux = levels
pièce = room
placard = cupboard
porte blandée = armour plated door
proche, prox = close to
propriétaires = landlord
rafraicheissement = repairs
rez-de-chaussée = ground floor
rénové = renovated
responsabilité civile = third-party liability
salle à manger = dinning room
salon = living room
à vendre = to sell/for sale
sous-sol = basement
studette = little studio or a service room
sud = oriented to South
taxe d'habitation = local taxes
UFJT (Union Nationale des Foyers pour Jeunes Travailleurs) = the Association of Hostels for Young Workers
véranda = veranda, terrace
vide = empty , unfurnished
voisinage = neighborhood

Most common abbreviations in announces

The indicated number of rooms (pièces) in an advert includes bedrooms, living & dining rooms, salons and studies, but excludes kitchen, hallways and bathrooms. 4 pieces could be, for example, two bedrooms, a living room and dining room abbreviated as T4 or F4. A studio is usually one-room flat with a kitchen area.

amén. (aménagement) = usually improvement, transformation
appt (appartement) = apartment, flat
arr (arrondissement) = expression for quarter in Paris (there are 20)
asc (asanseur) = lift
bns (salle de bains) = bathroom
box = garage
bur (bureau) = office
CC (charge comprise) = rent including community and utility expenses
CC (commission comprise) = including commission fees
ch, chbr (chambre) = bedroom
cuis (cuisine) = kitchen
cuis amén (cuisine aménagé) = fitted kitchen
cuis. amér (cuisine americaine) = breakfast counter kitchen
ent. (entrée) = entrance
ét (étage) = floor
FAI (Frais d'agence inclus) = includes agency expenses
gge (garage) = covered parking
HSP (hauteur sous plafond) = high ceiling
imm (immeuble) = building
jard. (jardin) = garden
larg. (largeur) = length
ling (lingerie) = linen room
nbx (nombreux) = many
p (pièce) = room
park, pkg = parking
PdT (pierre de taille) = free stone building
pisc. (piscine) = swiming pool
prof. (profondeur) = depth
pte (porte) = door
px (prix) = price, rent
quart (quartier) = quarter, suburb
rdc, RdC (rez-de-chaussée) = ground floor
rés (résidence) = residence
s. d'eau (salle d'eau) = shower room
sdb, SdB (salle de bains) = bathroom
sdd, SdD (salle de douche) = a small bathroom without toilet
séj (séjour) = living room
sép. (séparé) = separate, usually for WC or kitchen
SH (Surface habitable) = surface of living space in metres sq.
s/terrain (sous terrain) = under ground
ss, s/s (salle de séjour) = living room
TBE (très bon état) = good condition
vd, vds (vends) = selling
voit (voiture) = car

Further reading

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