Suzanne in France

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Renting A Property Out In France

We often get enquiries about renting a property from clients looking to purchase a primary or secondary residence. This can be for a short period or for a longer term. We also have clients who have already sold their French property but wish to have a long stay rental, whilst they are finding their new home.  In addition, some require a French address to assit with their visa applications.

On the flip side of the rental coin, we have clients that wish to purchase a property here in France and rent it out when not in use. Or they may wish to rent it out long term and they either live here already or live in another country eg UK.

Let us address the first set of circumstances, that is, trying to find rental accommodation within France whilst you take your time to house hunt.

Finding Somewhere To Rent 

We should explain that it is not easy to find a short term/medium and even long term rental which is fully furnished when you are a non resident of France. As a general rule of thumb, most landlords will only rent a property for a minimum of 3 years, which in most cases is far too long for our clients. Not only that, it will ordinarily come unfurnished and not include a kitchen! So, there would be costs involved in fully furnishing the property and installing a kitchen.

For most this is not a viable option.  In addition, you would be required to show evidence of payslips from preferably a company (not self employed or retirement income) and if you could not furnish (excuse the pun) this information, you would need to provide proof of income for a period of 3 years. Not only that, you would need to provide a whole host of other information that even French residents find a challenge to gather. So whilst not impossible, it will not be a straightforward process.

France does have a good amount of social housing stock and should a person fall on hard times they can apply direct on the government website.  The rental costs for this type of housing is normally 50-60% cheaper.

You may ask why a rental agreement is for such a long period? France is very pro-tenant when it comes to rules and regulations. This is one of the reasons why a landlord does not wish to change tenancy agreements and is also why the paperwork is stricter than some other countries. They are fully aware, that should a tenant not be able to meet the monthly rental payments, they will not be able to evict them easily.

Did you know that you cannot evict a tenant in the winter months and once the keys are handed over, a landlord is not allowed to enter the property or do a yearly check on the property. If there are repairs to be carried out, the landlord must give the tenant adequate notice of his/her intention to visit.  If the tenant fails to pay the rent, the landlord has to give 6 month’s notice of an eviction and they cannot evict them during the winter months. Winter is classed for the purposes of eviction from 1 November to 31 March. This is known as a winter truce la trêve hivernale’.

So how did this come about, Paris Rental blog post states (full article in the link below):

“Following the call of Abbé Pierre on Radio Luxembourg in 1956,  when France was experiencing an unprecedented cold snap, the winter break protected tenants in precarious situations during the five coldest months of the year.

Since then, a lessor cannot evict their tenant during this period. It is so even if a court has already confirmed an eviction procedure. The same truce operates with energy suppliers, guaranteeing tenants water, electricity, or gas, even in the event of unpaid bills. However, the consumption of these energies during the break remains due, and the tenant will eventually have to pay his energy bills.

This truce applies to residential accommodation, commercial premises, and staff accommodation.”

We hope this explains a little as to why so much information is required should you wish to rent a property.

So what are the solutions to renting a property whilst you look for a home, or indeed, are renovating one and do not wish to live in a caravan?

You can try the many gîte owners dotted all over France and, in particular, here in Normandy there are many, many gîtes available in and around the towns and villages that we sell our houses in. These owners may be prepared to rent out their gîte for a period of 3 months. If you require longer than this, you will probably have to repeat the process again. The gîte owners also have to be careful that they are not seen to be a commercial landlord and affect their own obligations for tax and registration purposes. In any event, both the gîte owner and tenant would need to draw up some formal agreement to cover this.

We have enclosed some Facebook links to Normandy groups below and also some useful French sites to help you search for a rental, which could be for less than 3 years. It may well be that you would have to pay the amount of time you wished to stay up front but like all things, this would need to be negotiated and you may find a landlord that is open to a short term rental agreement. There are, of course, Real Estate Agents that let properties so this would also be a good port of call.

We do have one and soon to be two properties that we can let out on a long term basis for our clients.

We also offer a rental house but it is for short stays only – approximately a week. It is in the heart of Saint Sever and is perfectly placed to search for a home here in Normandy. Please do get in contact if you would like to discuss these options.

Renting A Property Out 

Taking into consideration all of the above with regards to tenants’ rights – you may wish to opt to rent out your holiday home when you are not using it. You could do so via friends and family, create a Facebook page and of course advertise on the numerous platforms eg Booking.com, Air B&B etc. We have clients who have 2 homes here in Normandy and rent out their second to do just that. They use this as a form of additional income. You could also buy a property that has gîtes attached and register yourself for this.

If you are going to rent your property, you will need to inform your local mairie as, depending on the local commune, your guests may have to pay a local tax. You will need to declare the rental income to the French tax authorities and also declare in your home country. France has a double tax treaty with many countries so please do your own research.

If you do not anticipate your income to be greater than approximately €28,000 euros you will pay 20% on the net income and if it is greater than this it will be 30% (2023). There will also be social charges to pay on this at a rate of 7.5%. For non EU nationals this will be higher at 17.5%. Our British clients will need to check that post Brexit the social charge remains as 7.5%.

Always seek independent advice with regard to your tax implications if residing in another country. In any event, you will need to register your intention to rent your property with your local tax office. You will need a SIRET number or a SCI (Société Civile Immobilière) this is a company that provides non commercial activities. Clients can also purchase property in France this way too.  In any event, most tax offices here in Normandy are very helpful and there is always help on line.

You could also ask a lettings agency to manage this for you and take care of all the necessary paperwork if you wished to rent out your property for a longer duration.

To determine the rental value of your property, we recommend that you look at the going rate for your local area. You can search various sites, including the ones we have mentioned above. We have also put some useful links below to help you with your research.

We hope you have found this of some use for both finding a property to rent and for renting your property out here in Normandy, France.

Suzanne’s Short Term Rental Place

Paris Rental Blog – Winter Eviction

Social Housing Government Website

Applying For Private Rental Via Government

Guide To Renting A Property – French Property Com

Taxation On Renting A Property – French Property Com

Government Tax/Impôt Site

SCI explanation French Property Com

Le Bon Coin

SeLoger

A Vendre A Louer

Facebook Group Normandie All Sorts

Facebook Group The Normandie Hub



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