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Tess

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  1. Hello all. I don't really know where's the best place to put this, so if here is not the right place, can you please suggest where it should go!

    I’m looking for thoughts – if anyone has any, please respond!

    I’ve owned a house in the Tarn-et-Garonne for over 30 years, spent 3 years there full time and had several hols, but I’ve never been able to afford to do the renovations. I’ve done some work over the years and it’s kind of semi-habitable (in summer, anyway!), but needs lots and lots of work.

    I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to sell it but am reluctant, as it’s a lovely building and could make a really good b&b or similar if the work was done (it’s quite large, and in a pretty hamlet where there are plenty of activities around for tourists and local markets etc. at driving, and even cycling distance). I don’t want to live in it full time myself, only to have the odd holiday.

    So …I’m wondering whether it might be possible to team up with a business partner who’s experienced at renovation and would be willing to live there rent free and do the work (perhaps with my help on a regular basis) and then continue to live there and manage the guests – I’d deal with advertising and marketing it and organising bookings from the UK, and I’d also be able to go down to run courses from time to time, such as teaching English to French visitors (there are some companies needing ‘homestay’ for French students, as well) and other things I’m qualified and experienced in.

    I guess we’d take a proportion each of the profits, but I’m not greedy about getting loads of money in, the most important thing for me is that the house deserves a sympathetic renovation. So we could talk over how much the other person felt they were entitled to. If it was felt that it wouldn’t be worth their while unless they had a stake in the actual building, I might have to do that, although I’d rather they took all the profits and I kept ownership of the house if it came to that.

    This isn’t all set in stone – it’s just the ideas I’ve been musing on and wondering if any of it could work and if I could find a person who might see it as attractive.

    Do any of you know of any sites where I might find people who are looking for things like this? Can you suggest where I might look? Have any of you been involved in anything like it? Do you have any advice that might be helpful to me? I don’t really need to discuss the legal position, taxes, etc. as I will do my own research on that if it seems like a possibility. But at the mo I don’t have much idea where to start. Any ideas would be helpful.

    Thanks!

    Tess

  2. Thanks for that, NormanH. I read through it, but although it talks a lot about why you shouldn't do 'black' work (they'd be interested to know that almost all the French residents of my village in France do, though! lol) it doesn't actually point me in any direction where I could find out how to ensure I do pay my dues if I should consider doing something like this. Interestingly, the 'workaway' arrangement that's been mentioned here doesn't seem to fall foul of the authorities, and this works on the same idea - in this case, hosts provide accommodation and meals and workers work up to five hours a day for them - but it's a shorter-term thing, from weeks to months usually. I wonder if the relevant bodies will crack down on it at some point.
  3. Thanks for your reply Mint! I take what you've said on board and I would intend, of course, to get proof that the person I took in was experienced and could provide examples and refs re work they'd done in the past, and get a CRB check (called something different now I think). You can never be absolutely sure someone is honest, I know, but I suppose with the right checks I could go some way towards it. It would be handy to know what are the legal and other implications, too - I can't seem to find any info on this at the mo. Well, will keep looking!
  4. Thanks Nomoss - actually I have already registered myself on workaway, which seems v interesting - but the stays listed on there are more short term, whereas I was thinking of a longer-term thing. It might be better to stick with short term, though, as perhaps less likely I will end up with a squatter who does nothing! I think I need to look at it again.
  5. Hello all,

    I have a house in the Tarn-et-Garonne that's semi-habitable and try as I might, I've never managed yet to earn enough to pay artisans to do the work it needs, although I've slowly improved it a bit over the years. I'm wondering about trying to find someone who is familiar with building work/roofing and who's willing to use earth/lime mortars, straw bale and such things who might want to live in it for free during the summer in return for doing the work on a bit-by-bit basis, and possibly stay long-term if they want to and oversee it as an airbnb when it's in a more appropriate state, Can any of you see pitfalls in this idea or do you think it would be a reasonable exchange? Is it the kind of thing any of you would consider? I also have a feeling I might have to pay tax on the non-existent income as it would be payment in kind. Does anyone have any info, ideas, suggestions or warnings?

    Many thanks,

    Tessa
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