Renting a Property in France – (part 3)

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Renting a Property in France – (part 3)

In part two of our property rental guide we tackled the initial costs involved in renting a property in France, the ins and outs of the tenancy agreement, the conditions attached to holiday lettings, the rental deposit and the rent. In part 3 we will be explaining what rates are payable on French properties, what’s involved in sole/joint tenancies and what insurances you’ll need.

Rates

In France there are two local property taxes:

Taxe d’habitation – Residence Tax, paid by the tenant.

Taxe Foncière – Property ownership tax, paid by the landlord.

Taxe d’habitation/residence tax is applicable to both furnished and unfurnished properties. Tenants are only liable to pay this tax if they occupy the property on the 1st of January every year. Although the tenants of holiday lettings do not pay residence tax, any tenant occupying the property on a semi-permanent or permanent basis on January 1st is responsible for paying it.

The tax level is lower in the country than it is in towns, and the amount payable can vary significantly between local tax authorities.

As each year comes to a close the tax demand is sent out, giving an end date for payment. Payment can be made by cheque or over the internet, although you can choose to pay on an annual or monthly basis by direct debit.

Remember, you are not legally responsible to pay the residence tax if you move into a property mid-year – the former occupant should make the tax payments for the whole of that year (although private agreements can be reached on this issue).

La Redevance Audiovisuelle/TV licence

If you have a television you must pay for a TV licence. Payment can be made with the residence tax and it will cost you roughly €125 – this price is subject to an annual increase.

Sole and Joint Tenancies

In sole tenancies, if the occupant should abruptly depart or die their spouse or civil partner takes over full rights to the tenancy and all the responsibilities attending it.

If you enter a tenancy agreement jointly then it is important to remember that both parties named in the agreement have equal responsibilities and equal rights. In joint tenancies the named parties are equally accountable for issues to do with missed rent payments etc.

Insurance

There are two main types of insurance affecting those renting property in France.

House insurance

All tenants renting unfurnished accommodation must take out house insurance. This type of insurance will cover damage caused by natural disasters and fires etc. The more comprehensive levels of this insurance will cover damage to personal belongings and theft.

The minimal level of home insurance cover required is known as assurance risques locatifs.

Assurance multi-risques d’habitation is the more comprehensive level of cover.

If a tenant fails to take out an appropriate insurance policy the landlord is within his rights to end the tenancy.

In the case of furnished accommodation (or holiday lets) the tenant is not required to take out home insurance, though some do as in France the tenant is considered responsible for any damage caused as a result of their own negligent actions.

Rental Insurance

Rental insurance is a policy taken out by the landlord which protects them against the non-payment of rent. The landlord is responsible for the insurance premium. These policies are known as l’assurance contre des loyers impayès and as the tenant’s personal/employment details are needed they can only be taken out with the tenant’s cooperation.

Although not all landlords implement rental insurance some will insist on it as a condition of the tenancy.

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