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  1. Hi Michelle, If you go to the website www.ces.urssaf.fr/cesweb/home.jsp you will find all the information you need.  We have used the system for a couple of years now and once you get started it is quite straightforward. If you have any other queries you can PM me and I'll help if I can.  
  2. Skye, I think that the occurance of saltpetre is a sign of a previous damp patch that has since dried.  Has something been done to resolve the damp that caused the saltpetre?  If not, it seems it will probably recur.  I don't know of any treatment for the saltpetre itself, sorry but if you use a sealer you may cause more problems elsewhere.
  3. Gay, As we are putting our French house on the market (as we speak) in the hope of buying an apartment instead, we may well visit the Vive La France exhibition in January.  If we do, we would love to meet up for a coffee. We did attend the French Property exhibition at Olympia and it was good to be able to get around without the hordes of people we've had to fight our way through at the Vive la France.  
  4.   You sound a bit tetchy Ron! I am sorry if I didn't make it clear- I thought it was as I mentioned our maison secondaire and needing to do a UK tax return but I suppose that could apply if we were resident in France.  My only defence is that it was at 4 am and even though I could not sleep I was tired! Our understanding is that we need to do a tax declaration to the French authorities first to the end of 2004.  They tell us what we owe. We also have to declare our income to the UK tax authorities and they will charge tax at our marginal rate less any tax already paid to the authorities in France. Am I wrong anyone?  
  5. Well clearly we are not going to be able to have the required information in time for 30th Sept as we have now finally received a response to our email from the French tax office (Non-resident dept) to say that they never received our declaration. Mind you - we did not send it to Nottingham first, nor did we have it stamped by the 'local' tax office.  We are indeed resident in the UK and this is the first we have heard about this requirement. Has anyone else sent theirs directly tp Paris with no problems as we are going to have to start from the beginning again?   
  6. I can give you details of someone in Villedieu les Poeles if that is any good.  PM me if you are interested.  
  7. We completed our declaration of income from renting out our second home in February but have not heard a word from the French tax office.  We had hoped to have the information before we send off our UK tax return (before 30th Sept).  We contacted the French tax office in July and they assured us that we would hear shortly.  However up to now, despite numerous telephone calls where the line rings and rings then goes dead and emailing, we haven't had any response. Has anyone else heard back yet or is it just us?  
  8. It's funny that you should do a breakdown of this year against last Boiling a Frog, because our last year's guests were much better behaved.  On that basis though, I dread to think what next year's guests will do! Catherine S - my suggestion for Lay My Hat was for general information and not specifically targeted at you.
  9. We have had more than our fair share of difficult customers this year.  One lot (who were return visitors from last year) asked for a bigger barbecue which they only used once despite good weather. They left beer bottles all around the bottom of the hedge and cigarette ends all over the drive (our house is non smoking) , the inside of the house in a mess and left the electric heaters on in one or more of the bedrooms.  When we deducted a small amount from their security deposit they complained about having to fight their way through chicken poo (hardly - we have over 2000 sq meters of land and the neighbours (who own a lot more land than us) have only  4 chickens).  Another lot rang to book 5 days before the commencement of the holiday so I told them the house wasn't available.  The chap asked if it was actually booked as he had his own house in France and needed to be there to oversee some work of a nature which meant he couldn't take his family there.  I took pity on his situation and offered to accept a booking provided he paid cash to our caretaker on arrival.  Despite me explaining that the cleaner would need around 3 hours to clean before they 'moved in' and the previous guests weren't due to leave until 10 am he nevertheless arrived at 9.30 and when given access spread belongings all over the house.  He then promptly left, leaving his children behind, making it impossible for the cleaner to do her job.  Luckily the previous customers had left the place spotless.  When we charged a minimal hour's cleaning and some electricity costs from his security deposit he had the cheek to say that the bin had rubbish in it when he arrived! He claimed he'd left the place clean even though our cleaner had to vacuum chocolate cereal from the bedroom carpets and deal with stains on the sofa,etc.  He claims he's reported us to our advertiser of our officious manner! We're thinking of packing it all in - it's not worth the grief      
  10. Two and a half years ago, we were presented with a bill for the translation carried out at our signing of the Acte.  It was approximately €100 from memory and, as we hadn't asked for, or been advised of the need for a translator, we referred the bill to the immobilier and they settled the charge.  4,000 is just too much.
  11. You will find some interesting comments on www.laymyhat.com - a site for rental property owners.  If you have had 0 problems in 2 years you are indeed lucky, although it is all relative according to your own perception of what constitutes a problem!  
  12. There was a post recently about damp to which I contributed but as per normal I can't trace it now.  A friend who also has an old property in France took a large drill and made holes all round the interior of their stone cottage at 6" intervals at a height of about 12 - 18" and pumped it full of goo (dpc).  Has anyone else tried this and did it prevent damp problems?  Our friends still have a rogue damp patch even having gone to this trouble and expense. We already have a VMC running all the time ( mechanical ventilation).  We have a dehumidifier running all the time the house is empty and we have (for better or worse) had a thin layer of polystyrene put under the wallpaper up to about 3'.  If anything our damp problem is worse than before.  We have not yet ripped out our lovely tiled terrace that runs the whole length of the house as that is a bit drastic. Basically, we are getting desperate as we rent the place out and black mould on the walls is not very inviting.  We are going to have to redecorate anyway but really need to resolve the damp problem first. Any advice welcome.    
  13. This post should follow your previous one above Dick.  Thanks for pointing out the obvious - I hadn't read Ron's letter that closely and irony is not my strong point.  
  14. Miki, The Maire is the man (or woman) and Mairie is the place (The Town Hall) or have I missed something.....
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