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Everything posted by Eslier

  1. If the agreement is for up to six months maximum then, in order to provide protection to the owner, this will surely be, by definition, a "holiday rental".  As such it will probably not be sufficient to show ressidency in any case. If your friends enter into a fomal residential tenancy agreement then the tennants will almost certainly have the right to remain in the property for a minimum of three years if they choose to do so and it could be very difficult for your friends to get them out.   I would say it is safer to stick to the holiday let contract and if that doesn't help the tennants then that isn't really your friends' problem.
  2. I think you may have been reading too many forums about living in France ! If there is anything obviously wrong with your electrics - i.e. you can see that English 13A sockets have been installed or there is evidence that twin & earth cable has been clipped along the walls then you should simply call in a French electrician to get a quote for putting it right. If there is nothing evident, and you have no good reason to believe that there is anything unsafe about it, then I really wouldn't worry. No insurance company is likely to hold you responsible for any work that was done before you bought the house in this case. If you have any doubt about it whatsoever then the first people to talk to would be your insurance company. Call into their local office and ask them their advice. You'll probably find your question will be met with a shrug and a look of bemusement but at least you will have asked the question.
  3. [quote user="Fumanzoku"] 'Pun', 4) I don't recall asking asking for a lecture on the differences between being a Landlord and a Gite owner, these people are now in someone's Gite - get it? [/quote] I think that's a bit unfair. My understanding of the *definition of "gîte" is that it refers to a holiday home. By letting your property on a long term basis therefore it, by definition, is not a gîte. Given that this thread is within the gîte owners section, I can understand why Pun made his comment. The information provided by Pun is relevant and may well be valuable to some others who read the thread, even if it isn't to you. *see Wikipedia entry for gîte: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%AEte
  4. They're not as good as having it vented to outside but are much better than just letting it vent into the house.  As long as you empty the water container after each use and clean all the muck out of the condensor regularly then they are quite good.
  5. Dan, I too am sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience. As JonD says, this sort of thing does no favours to those of us who take a responsible attitude to holiday property rentals. Dealing with your points in order: The road is a tricky issue and whether or not misrepresentation took place will depend very much upon the information that was provided to you. If the website or brochure speaks of a quiet or peaceful location then you may have good reason to ask for compensation  but, on the other hand, if the advertising simply fails to say that the road can be noisy then you probably have no claim. Unfortunately you can't do anything about what you weren't told, only if what you were told is incorrect. If things such as noise are important to you then it is important to ask the right questions before you book. There should have been parasols around the pool if they were shown in the brochure photos. Assuming you left the ones you purchased behind when you left then I would say it is reasonable to expect the owner to reimburs you the cost - upon presentation of the receipts. If you took them with you when you left then it might be more difficult to justify a claim. Dogs in the boules court - welcome to France !  I agree this is very unpleasant but roaming dogs are a real problem all over France. Although most annoying there is probably very little the owner could have done about this. Cleaning - there is absolutely no excuse for this, but sadly I am not surprised. We often hear from people who have a very strange idea of how long it takes to clean a house. From personal experience I can tell you that it takes around ten man hours to clean a house that will sleep twelve people properly. You really should have brought this to the attention of the owner as soon as possible after your arrival. Unsafe electrics - again this is not acceptable but should have been brought to the owners's attention when you arrived. The fact that you put up with it for your two week stay might appear as if you were happy to accept it. Nevertheless, you were right to bring it to the attention of the owner even after your stay  but as no one in your party  was injured and it did not prevent you using the house then it is difficult to see why you should be compensated. A peak season rental charge of £1500 per week for a house sleeping 12 with a private pool isn't a particularly high amount. You could probably find similar properties at up to 25% to 30% more than that.  It is quite possible, especially if the owners are resident in France, that the contract that exists between you is subject to French law in which case you might be wasting your money speaking to an English solicitor. If the owners have a UK address and you paid the money to them at this address then it might be worth making a claim under the English small claims procedure. Realistically however it would probably been seen as unreasonable to claim much more that the cost of the parasols plus around another couple of hundred pounds for compensation for the cleaning  etc. In the end you have to decide whether it is worth all the effort. It might just be better to put it down to experience. If you have photographs then you could setup a web page entitled "my holiday at ???????" (be careful only to include the photos and leave viewers to draw their own conclusions - you mustn't say anthing that could be libellous). You could get satisfaction by emailing a link for the page to the owners and tell them that you have submitted it to the search engines so anyone doing a search for their holiday property may well come across it. This might be enough to get them to agree a compromise with you in return for you withdrawing the web page. I sincerely hope that you have a much more pleasant experience next summer.  As someone else has already said, seriously consider choosing a place where the owners live on site or very nearby.
  6. CA state that mortgages must be repaid befor your 70th birthday. Whether they would be prepared to give you a ten year term mortgage or not is another matter. If the lender insists upon a life assurance policy then at age 60 this might be quite costly so would also be worth taking into account if you are shopping around.
  7. Ron, you did not have the function enabled in your private settings. I have now done this for you so it should work ok for you now.
  8. Spg, this is another example of those lovely people at FT/Orange/Wanadoo not explaining properly to people what to do or more importantly what not to do. If you upgrade your Orange account from dial-up to ADSL then you still have an Orange account even during the interim period and you can still connect via dial-up until your adsl line is activated. There should never be a time when you can't connect, it's just that they're not good at telling you how ! The problem is that Orange will swap your account over from the date that they ship you the adsl modem (or, heaven forbid the Livebox). At that time, you will lose the ability to connect to the free telephone number that you have used up to that point to connect to the internet. The problem is that FT will then take anything from another few days to another few weeks to activate the adsl line so you won't be able to connect via that either.  What you need therefore to do, is use one of the standard call rate numbers that Orange have to connect to your dial-up account. If you have been foolish enough to load the Espace Wanadoo/Orange software then it is possible to reconfigure this to enable you to use the alternative dialup number. If you are setting it up manually then you will need to find out what number you need to use from Orange.  It is rather annoying that during this period you are paying for an adsl connection that they haven't yet provided and then having to pay call charges on top but I suppose that's something that you just have to put up with. If you then plug your modem in a couple of times a day you will see from the adsl light whether or not you have been connected. Once the led indicates that adsl is connected, then, and only then, should you reconfigure your pc to use the adsl line.
  9. The following is quoted from the Credit Agricole Britline website: A BRIEF OUTLINE OF MORTGAGE A LA FRANCAISE Purpose and amount of the loan Purchase, renovation, construction, leaseback (80% of HT), equity release (for a purchase made in the last six months) A maximum of 80% of the investment cost in Euros (excluding Notaire’s fees). Currency Euros. Interest rates A choice of a fixed rate or a variable rate. Term Maximum term 25 years. Minimum term 2 years. Loans must be repaid by the borrower’s 70th birthday. Conditions Borrowers are required to take out : ·  Loan repayment insurance through the bank, providing life cover. ·  Buildings insurance. Proof will be required that the building is fully insured. This can also be done through the bank. Income criteria Your total monthy loan, credit commitments (including the new loan) and any rent should not exceed 1/3 of your net monthly income. Type of mortgage A capital and interest straight repayment mortgage secured on the French property. Mortgage procedure The procedure takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks until the funds are released. Arrangement fee A fee of 1% is charged; this amount is payable from your Britline current account on release of the loan funds. Repayments Monthly repayments are debited automatically from your Britline account. Early capital repayments can be made, but this will incur a penalty of 3% on fixed rate loans. Variable rate mortgages offer an annual early repayment option without penalty at a set date fixed by the bank. Please note : ·  Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loan secured on it. ·  The Sterling (or other currency outside the Eurozone) equivalent of your liability under a foreign currency mortgage may be increased by exchange rate Source:   http://www.britline.com/g1/pdf/mortgage_application_form.pdf
  10. Thank you, Miki, for your interesting post. It is interesting to hear of your experiences. As I said, I can't really speak from personal experience as I've never managed to make a 10litre BIB last more than five or six weeks at most. My suggestion of three months was based upon information given to me by a French winemaker in the Anjou region, but perhaps it was just part of his sales pitch. I haven't heard of the bag in a bottle but it sounds as though there could be some benefit to it. I agree it may take some time to catch on - a bit like screwtop bottles which are now very popular down under.
  11. Almost certainly not - you should read THIS THREAD to gain more information about the Livebox. You should ask for a simple adsl modem instead.
  12. Miki, you should find you are ok keeping the larger BIBs for longer periods. I can't say I've ever had one from a supermarket but regularly get them from wine caves or makers and guess they must all be the same.  As a general rule, the box will keep up to six months, unopened, from the date it is bagged up. Once open it will be ok for up to about three months. I've never managed to keep one that long but often it can take us around six weeks to finish and it is still good to drink. It is oxidation that causes wine to go off but with a BIB, the bag simply contracts as the wine is used up so no air enters within the bag to cause a problem and the wine never comes into contact with the air.
  13. I'm sorry to hear you had difficulty setting up your network Ron. Just to be clear, I have set up Liveboxes and other adsl modem/routers successfuly. There is no question that the Livebox does work - it's just that, in my view and it seems in the view of many others, it doesn't work as well as some of the alternatives.  If you know what you are doing with computers etc. then there is no reason why a Livebox won't do a fairly simple job for you, although I would still advise against installing the Espace Orange/Wanadoo software. My big gripe is that FT force it upon users without making it obvious that there is another option (they want the extra 3€ per month so good selling tactics). Many of the people that end up with a Livebox don't have the knowledge that is often needed to set it up (which is not as simple as many of the alternatives) and certainly don't have the knowledge to troubleshoot when a problem occurs. Many of the problems that people experience setting these things up are relatively simple - such as country settings, firewall settings, or even enabling the wifi capability on a laptop - but they are only simple if you know what you are doing. The simple modem that FT/ Orange offer for a one off 1€ fee is much more simple to set up and more reliable. This would be a much more sensible option for many people who have struggled with a Livebox. I use a Netgear DG834GT and at times this year have had at least four computers running through it. I get wireless signals through 60cm granite walls and with the help of an add on aerial get a signal up to 100m away also the other side of a thick wall. We have had guests staying in our gites all summer who have brought their laptops with them and have hooked up to our open network with no difficulty. The modem/router has been plugged in and connected to the adsl line for 24hrs per day continuously since April (apart from one brief occassion when I unplugged it during an overhead thunder storm). It hasn't needed a manual reset at any time. I recommend Netgear products to others because: they are readily available in France, the instructions are simple to follow and can be downloaded from the Netgear website in English if you wish; they have an efficient helpline and you can phone the UK number and speak to someone in English if you prefer; you can download the latest firmware from the Netgear website to ensure you have the most up to date problem free system; if you have a Netgear wifi card in your computer then thet two units can communicate at up to 108Mbps which is twice the normal speed; and, above all, they are reliable. I'm sorry I shouldn't have said the Livebox was "junk". Perhaps it would simply have been better to liken it to a 1970s Skoda !
  14. 1) unplug Livebox. 2) take Livebox to FT shop 3) tell them it's a heap of junk, you don't want it any more and please stop charging you 3€ per month to rent it 4) go out and buy a Netgear adsl modem/router 5) follow the clear installation instructions 6) open a bottle of wine and pour a glass to celebrate sorting out problem 7) wonder why you didn't do all this long ago This is definitely the quickest and simplest way of sorting out your problem !
  15. A Yamaha AX-475 should do the job. Details at: http://www.yamaha-uk.com/hifi_components/index.cfm?product_id=131
  16. Yes, I agree.  Bookings for 2007 are very good and well ahead of this time in the last couple of years. Not just repeat bookings either - many new clients.
  17. I am sincerely pleased that everything is working out well for you Dotty. The younger the child is when moving to France the easier it seems to be.  I am sure that, at age 13, the effort you are obviously happy to put in more than makes up for your remote situation. I am sure that there are, of course, many who find that a remote rural location is not a problem for their teenagers - especially, perhaps, those who have spent much of their life growing up in France. It can be , and is, however, a major problem for many when their children reach fifteen, sixteen or so. The acquisition of a mobillette is often one way around this problem but this in itself brings other dangers and much worrying for some parents. There are no hard and fast rules or predetermined outcomes. Every family is different and each child may react differently, and sometimes unexpectedly one way or the other. All you can do is read as much as possible about the experiences of others, make informed decisions and be prepared for some of the challenges ahead.
  18. ADSL is the correct univeral name for what, in the UK, is known as "broadband"  (I'm not sure where the name broadband came from - probably an invention of BT !) ISP is "internet service provider" i.e. Orange, AOL, Alice etc. etc. ORANGE is the new name for Wanadoo - both names are owned by France Telecom and nothing has changed except the name and logo. As Ian has explained, if your problem is with the line from your house to the exchange then it makes no difference which ISP you sign up with, the same problem will exist. Here are a few things you can try - not necessarily in this order (in fact you may be best starting from the bottom up): 1) Check to see what "speed" internet connection you have signed up for. If you've been talked into 8Mb then this may be part of the problem. Phone Orange/FT or call into your nearest FT shop and ask to change to a 1Mb speed. This should be more than adequate (unless you intend downloading lots of films) and your line may cope better with it. 2) Check to see if the ADSL indicator light is illuminated on the Livebox. If it is then your line is connected for ADSL 3) Make sure you have plug in filters on all your telephone connections - both phones and Livebox (no more than three in total). 4) If you have a firewall running, temporarily disable it and see if that enables you to connect to the internet - if it does then get help straight away from someone who knows what they are doing but don't leave the firewall disabled.
  19. What you are proposing will be a huge challenge for your whole family. Moving to France with a child of this age is certainly not easy and whether you achieve success or end up with a complete disaster will depend very much upon both yours and your daughter's commitment to living in France, becoming fluent in the language and your choice of location. A remote idyllic farmhouse is not the place for teenagers to integrate with their peers.  Forget about English schools unless you only intend to live in France for a couple of years. Your daughter needs to be ready to make a full commitment if she is going to enjoy life in France and will need to play a critical part in your decision making. There have been many articles written on this subject but one of the best I have read was in the March 2006 edition of LIVING FRANCE entitled "Bad Move". The title of the article may sound negetive but it does provide lots of constructive information about the pitfalls that you may encounter. The writer moved to France with an 11 and 13 year old. You can order back copies of Living France at: http://www.livingfrance.com/lvfra/content/backIssues.asp?year=2006
  20. Creme Fleurette Entier sold in small cartons in the chilled section (usually just above the milk) in supermarkets is fresh cream.  It takes a while to whip up with an electric whisk but if you add a little sucre poudre it goes eventually with a good end result.
  21. Firefox 2.0 was released yesterday. Having downloaded it (manually as the auto update didn't work) I am pleased to say that it appears to support all the features of this forum site.
  22. All commercial DVDs are either  PAL or NTSC, I don't think there is such a thing as a SECAM dvd.  I wouldn't mind betting that French dvd recorders play back in  PAL anyway.
  23. I agree with Angie. If you are aiming your marketing at families then there are at least as many who would see having other children around an advantage as there are those who prefer to be on their own. Providing the pool is a decent size and you are there to look after it and tidy up after your guests then it should work well for you having a second gite of at least two bedrooms. The only problem would be if you aren't on site to look after the pool yourself. With a shared pool you can't expect the guests to take on the responsibility of putting the cover on and tidying up after each other. If you are offering quality accommodation, a heated pool and are situated in a popular tourist area then don't be frightened of charging higher prices if you are aiming at the UK market. Take a look at the Cheznous website and have a look at what  is being charged for similar  gites in your area.
  24. Unless your dvd player has an RF out connection (aerial socket) then you won't be able to connect it straight to the tv. If, however, your vhs player has a scart input on it - which it probably has - then you should be able to connect the dvd player to the vhs player and the vhs player to the tv which should work.
  25. Firstly, old lady doesn't need a Livebox and shouldn't have been rented one in the first place. I'm sure she could find better things to do with the extra 3€ per month she is paying to rent it.  Get back on to FT/Orange and tell them she doesn't need it and would like to exchange it for the simple adsl usb modem - for which they make a one off charge of just 1€ and no ongoing monthly costs. Once you have this, the next thing to do is delete all the Orange/Wanadoo software from her computer. Install the driver for the modem manualy and then manualy configure the computer to connect to the internet. Whatever you do, don't install the Orange software. Good luck. PS when you've done that then see if you can get her to buy a satelite kit for you to instal which,if you point it to pick up UK TV, will work fine with her old UK telly.
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