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Everything posted by cheminot

  1. I intend to buy a ride on mower/garden tractor when we go down to our house near Cognac in March/April. I know that the brico's do a good selection of them but if anyone knows of any other sources in the Cognac area, new or used, I would much appreciate any leads you can give me. It will not have to work too hard as our garden is only about 1600 sq m so I dont want to spend a fortune on one. Many thanks in anticipation cheminot
  2. [quote user="Teamedup"] On the back of this bill it is quite clear that the government says that the person owning the property on the 1st of January is responsible for the bill for the whole year. [/quote] The above is certainly true of the tax d'habitation (much to the annoyance of our seller as we completed in january) but it was made clear to us by our own uk-based solicitor, the agent and the notaire that we would be liable for the portion of the year from the date we took over the property. Whether this has legal force or not it was certainly the impression conveyed to us. Perhaps we were lucky to be kept so well informed, but even if we hadnt been I doubt if it would have released us from our obligation to pay our share. Cheminot
  3. Apologies if this is 'hijacking' this thread but when I retire ( in a few years) we are going to live permanantly in France and like Gilles are considering buying another property to rent out to supplement our pension income. We dont want to use the second property as a holiday let because of the work involved, but would like to let it on a long term basis in the same way that Gilles is thinking of. Our neighbours in France have said that we should avoid it at all costs because of the difficulties in obtaining rent or eviction if a tenant defaults. We realise this can happen but can anyone tell us if this as big a problem as our neighbours seem to think? Cheminot
  4. I am on 'heures creuses' in my french house and with Atlantic electricity in the UK. I find that the cost per unit of electricity is almost identical between heures creuses peak time and Atlantic. The hc off-peak is thus cheaper than my uk supplier.  The main difference is in the standing charges which are far higher with edf than with Atlantic. Overall though, with judicious use of energy hungry appliances in France ( I have fitted timeswitches to washing mc and dishwasher etc) I believe that in my case at least the difference is negligable. Cheminot
  5. Regarding the bike, (I am assuming you have a 'new for old policy'), get a price and the specification for the model which matches the one you lost, send it to the Insurance company with a letter explaining that this is the equivilant to the one you lost and thus unless they can find a cheaper equivilant this is the sum you want to claim.  It worked for me. Regarding the door and shutters, get a quotation for renewal/ repair of the original pattern. submit this quotation to the insurance company.  You can then make up the difference as required, If you try to claim for a different type of door etc the insurance company are likely to delay paying out until they are satisfied you are not getting more than you are entitled to. Again this worked satisfactorily for me. Good luck Cheminot
  6. [quote user="Iceni"] But why is Friday 13th considered to be unlucky ? And by whom - other than some Brits [/quote] On Friday the 13th of October 1307 the French King Phillip the Fair (or unfair depending on your point of view) sent troops to arrest all the Knights Templar in France and to seize thier assets as he was a bit short of cash and the KT's were wealthy and immune from taxes by papal decree. Since then Friday the 13th has been traditionally regarded as unlucky, particularly if you were a Knight Templar and living in France! If you're not then you should be OK. Cheminot
  7. I have noticed that it is possible to buy copper pipe of up to 16mm in coils (25-50m long), I have used 10mm pipe in coil form but wonder how easy it is to use in the bigger sizes. It is considerably cheaper in this form but I wonder how well it copes with being straightened and formed into tighter bends. Has anyone any experience with this and if so any tips on its usage? Cheminot
  8. Can I ask those who have used HIFX how long the money took to transfer? The last time I sent some via them they held it for six weeks before putting it in my CA account and the rate was nothing special either. I know it is common practice for 'no-fee' exchange or transfer companies to hold on to the money for a while to gain interest, but in this instance I can only conclude that they did not feel that my continued custom was to their advantage. Cheminot
  9. ''16mm isn't compatible with 15mm, but you can buy various converters. If you have a peep at the sticky "Oil Heating blah.." there are a couple of examples. You can buy 15mm copper connectors here too. At a pinch, it is sometimes possible to use a 16mm 1/2" BSP compression fitting or rad valve with a 15mm BRASS olive. I wouldn't recommend this course of action since it is dependant on the machining of the fitting somewhat''. Many thanks again Opel Fruit.  I think I will stick with the normal french size fittings for the sake of simplicity and availability. It will not make that much difference to the overall cost of the job. Cheminot
  10. Many thanks Opal Fruit for the information. Comprehensive beyond my expectations! I note that the pipe sizes you listed are 22, 16 and 10mm. Are these compatible with british sizes? on the face of it the 22 and 10mm are but is the french 16mm compatible with british 15mm? ( I appreciate that this sounds daft but I wonder if the measurements are OD or bore sizes and I've got a stack of 15mm stuff from a previous job) Cheminot
  11. I intend to fit oil-fired central heating in our house in the Charente.  Has anyone got any recommendations on makes/types available in France and the best place to buy one?
  12. It has taken HIFX six weeks to transfer some money for me. I can only conclude that I have had personal service in that someone has walked to my bank in France from here to deposit it! Cheminot
  13. You would be looking at about £1000 unless it is an unduly complex process, this should include advice on the inheritance aspects as well. cheminot
  14. We used Christine Collier in Plymouth. She is French with both English and French legal qualifications. Very efficient and thorough, not expensive either for the service given. Her phone number is 01752 666972 Cheminot
  15. We spent many hours searching websites for immobiliers in the Charente. We wanted a house in the Cognac region.  We then went to 'Pages Jaunes' ( Frances yellow pages) typed in 'Immobiliers' and 'Cognac' in the appropriate places and got a list of all the immobiliers in the area and links to their websites. From this we found the house we wanted quite quickly. If you know which area you want to buy in we can thoroughly recommend this. It takes you directly to the local immobiliers and most of the websites seem to have english pages if you need them. Cheminot.
  16. It depends on your circumstances. Do you have a mortgage on your UK home? If so then will you be able to raise enough capital from your UK home to finance a property in France? If the answer to both these questions is yes then your best option is likely to be extending your UK mortgage, you will then have one property freehold and no worries about currency movements except for running expenses which are comparatively minor. If the answer to the second question is no then you will have no choice but to apply for a french mortgage. If you have no mortgage at all on your UK home then you can you can go either way. My personal preference is for a UK mortgage because of the potential currency fluctuations but the more favourable french rates cannot be ignored. It depends on your attitude to risk! Good Luck! Cheminot.
  17. I have been told by my French bank that as I am resident in England the law says I can only get 1.75% on a deposit account in France. Hope this helps, Cheminot.
  18. I have read this topic with much interest as my wife and I are planning to buy a house in the Charente area. We both have children by previous marriages who are now adults (if that makes sense!). The situation we want to avoid is that on the first death that the survivors child(ren) do not inherit everything to the detriment of the others. I understand that it may be possible for my wife and I to legally adopt each others children even if they have reached majority thus if combined with the CU enabling them to share equally in the estate on the surviving spouses death. Can anyone throw some light on this? Regards, Cheminot.  
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