Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Furnished lettings

With the approach of autumn, now is the time to think about and to prepare for letting your property as a short-term furnished rental.

Short-term furnished rentals are designed for a minimum of twelve months (nine months in the case of a student rental) as opposed to three years for non-furnished rentals. You can also ask for a generous deposit against unpaid rent and damages, and a guarantee from parents.

There is an obligation (under the recent loi Alur) to provide a minimum of furnishings - including a bed and bedding; a hot plate for cooking; oven or microwave; chairs and dining table; basic cooking and eating utensils; adequate heating; sufficient and appropriate storage for clothes, books etc; and the tools to keep the rental basically clean.

You can advertise your property through local newspapers, student magazines (and/or get on their housing list), and specialist magazines such as LeBonCoin.

If you are considering letting a larger property you might considered letting it as a 'co-location', where each tenant signs the lease, and seek appropriate guarantees for example from parents.

The student rental market is relatively easy to enter as there is a shortage of university accommodation and those who do not live at home have to rely on the private sector. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

When does my property become my principal home?

If you decide to move to France and live permanently you should ensure that your French property is classified as your 'main and principal home' - if only to avoid paying capital gains tax if you decide to sell.

By declaring your presence and completing an annual French tax return, your new home will normally be accepted as your principal place of residence within 12 months of occupation. Any additional checks - for example, if you decided to sell within a few months of your arrival - might include checking electricity and water consumption, possession of a French driving licence and a 'Carte Vitale' which provides access to the French healthcare system.

French tax returns cover the period January to December and are issued in March/April for completion by the end of May/June. In your first year of arrival you should obtain the necessary forms from your local tax office (or perhaps the Mairie) and in future years they will be automatically sent to your French address. They can also be completed and submitted on-line. 

Bâtiments de France

Just to remind readers that an organisation called 'Bâtiments de France' - similar to English Heritage - can intervene when building or renovations are planned for a property classified as 'historic' and/or sited within an conservation area - normally close to a historic building such as a church or public building.

Their local architect should be contacted as early as possible at the planning stage and his guidance sought about what is or is not allowable under their regulations. Most rules refer to external changes and can include paint colours, windows and shutters, roof lights, type of bricks or tiles etc. Early discussion and agreement will save costs in the long run.