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Everything posted by Angie

  1. Last summer we rented our house to a young family for 2 weeks, not something we had done before, but their holiday seemed to be ruined by the number of unsolicited tradesmen that called asking if they wanted the chimney swept, moss removing from the roof, etc. A total of six men called over the fortnight none of which had been "invited" so can only assume some at least were a bit dodgy. From what they told us some were OK and just went away. Others insisted on pushing their service and despite the young couple telling them they were on holiday and that it wasn't their house they asked to come in or leave information for us. Is there anything we can put on our gate, a sign etc. requesting no callers? We had hoped to let the property again this year but have decided against it for this every reason as I can imagine its very annoying with very young children around when large vans come roaring up the drive. Thank you
  2. Hi there, has anyone ever driven this route from Spain? Is it a good road - gather it takes about 6 hours. Thank you!
  3. We received an Avis de Degrevement and are due a refund of TF in the princely sum of 12 euros. What is confusing me is the reason given on the form for the refund is “for loss of harvest and damage to grasslands as a consequence of drought in 2015”!! We have a large plot of land, 6 acres in total with 1 acre being building land. Surely they are not assuming that we are using the other 5 acres for agricultural purposes? When we purchased the plot it was sold as farming land with no building permits which we subsequently obtained for the 1 acre portion. Would our taxe fonciere be assessed higher or lower if the land was still considered farming/agricultural land and they assume we are making money from it (it is just used as our garden). If the former, should we contact the relevant authority and tell them so. Or maybe the meaning of “harvest” has just got lost in translation. Thank you
  4. Good grief Chancer this sounds like an absolute nightmare. Thank you for sharing your experience.
  5. Hi all We received one of those exchange of information tax forms between the UK and France to complete some 4 months ago. This was sent to us in UK via our French bank. We completed this and returned it by post in the self addressed envelope. 4 weeks later we received a letter from the bank saying they had not received it. I scanned and emailed the documents to our bank manager who apologised saying “this is sufficient, thank you”. At end October we again received another letter from the bank saying the form hadn’t been received so in November I took the document into the branch and also sent a copy to their head office (from where the original letter came) by registered post. This was delivered and signed for some 5 weeks ago. Today we have received yet another letter saying we are in default because, despite them sending the letter "via different postal methods", they still have not received any response. Honestly, I am tearing my flaming hair out. I have scanned this latest letter to our bank manager but seriously, what are there consequences for us if they continue to say we haven’t provided the information? Thank you in advance
  6. Thanks all for your very amusing comments and stories! Glad its not just me that has had bad experiences. We do have a soil pipe fitted in our other bathroom which is where we want the work done. Its the en suite that the plumber refused to fit a toilet, hence the electric one!
  7. Moving a toilet and bath may not be rocket science but when we had our bathroom originally installed the French plumber either shrugged his shoulders at everything we asked saying he didn't understand or just said it wasn't possible. Three times we asked him to put a toilet in our en suite. His reply was that they didn't do that in France, it was unhygienic! Came back after a week to see that he had totally ignored us and the bathroom was fully tiled and no toilet fitted. Because he had not installed a soil pipe either we have been lumbered with an electric macerator toilet. That's why I would prefer either an English plumber or one that speaks good English.
  8. Hi, anyone know of an English speaking plumber near Quillan please. Need toilet moved and installation of replacement bath. Thank you
  9. Well good on them, what an enterprising bunch they sound. Glad they are kept busy and earning a good living. 50 - 60 euros sounds about the going rate. Yes, have used the local yellow pages - only local chap I can find is booked up, so shall keep looking. The woodburner is only just 2 years old and has probably only been used for 6 weeks in that time so it could actually wait until after winter when hopefully the local chap will be less busy.
  10. Hi Norman, you need to get your son over here asap - sounds like there would be more than enough work for him. Telephoned two companies in Carcassonne, they only operate within a 50km radius. Still after recommendations of specific companies/individuals if there's anyone out there!! Thank you
  11. Hi, can anyone recommend a chimney sweep near Quillan or who covers that area please? Have checked pagesjeune but the majority seem to be either Carcassonne or north of Foix and I would guess that's too far for them to come. Thank you
  12. Angie


    Appreciate that, thank you both very much
  13. Angie


    Hi there, can I buy topsoil by the lorry load? Have asked at various garden centres but they only sell the bagged stuff and we need quite a lot. Aude area but if someone could tell me what to search for then that would be great! Thank you
  14. Hi all, not sure if I am in the correct section but on returning from holiday yesterday have received a water bill from Saur dated 11 August but payment due by Saturday this week. Have logged on to their website and I do have a password to view bills etc. but can't find out whether I can pay online either by using bank details or by credit card - although it does say on the back of the bill this is possible. Did send an email to them but this so far unanswered. Too late to send a cheque - can anyone advise how I pay online if indeed this is available? Thank you
  15. Thanks all. Have finally received an email response, it reads: ""Depuis le 1er janvier 2016, la REOM (Redevance pour l’Enlèvement des Ordures Ménagères) remplace la TEOM (Taxe d’Enlèvement des Ordures Ménagères). Pour rappel, la TEOM était prélevée sur la taxe foncière. Ce n’est plus le cas depuis cette année. Il ne s’agit en aucun cas d’une taxe supplémentaire, le service est payé différemment. Vous recevrez une facture. Pour rappel, la REOPM permet de financer le service d’élimination des déchets (collecte, camion benne, personnel, déchetterie, traitement …)."" So it seems we have to pay it. Thanks all for your responses, much appreciated as always
  16. What I don't understand is how the system is going to work. Our village is quite touristy and there are rubbish bins provided in the centre; assume the tourists will just put their rubbish in the bins free of charge whereby we have to pay extra. I don't think separate households are going to be provided with lockable bins but I do think there is a connection to recycling as several new bins have popped up around the commune recently but how charging people to recycle is going to encourage it is beyond me.
  17. Thanks everyone. Hi Norman, the title of the form we are being asked to complete is Contrat Abonnement Service de Collecte des dechets menagers and we are in Aude (11). The front of the document does have the Communaute de communes des Pyrenees Audoises (based in Quillan) stamp on it but as I say, its pretty vague and doesn't actually say whether its compulsory or voluntary (I would absolutely have no problem with a pay as you use scheme). However, I have just noticed that further down the "contract" it is saying that this also applies to household rubbish and what we are being asked to pay for is the collection of such rubbish from our commune and grants access to the dechetterie. As I said previously, surely this is already covered within our current property taxes and I doubt very much they are going to reduce these by a similar amount? I did try calling the number on the letter but this goes unanswered as have my emails.
  18. Hi, we have received a letter, not an actual bill or addressed to us personally, asking us to register in order to pay 128 euros a year for the new recycling tax that our small rural commune has agreed to. Can someone tell us if this is compulsory as the letter itself is a bit vague, but asks that registration should be made within one month. We already pay almost 4,000 euros annual property taxes and as we spend only 5 weeks in France a year am really annoyed at being asked to pay yet another additional amount for what I thought was already included in the 4,000 euro bill. To add insult to injury, the new proposed recycling bins are actually too far away for us to walk and we shall have to get the car out in any case!
  19. This is great, thank you both, much appreciated
  20. My daughter in law and her two small sons are currently staying in Puivert, Aude for a month on holiday. Could someone let me know the nearest A&E to this village as the owners of the property they are staying in haven't left any local information. Being as the boys are into everything I am worried she is there on her own with no internet and no way of checking this out for herself. Thanks in advance
  21. Thanks all for the advice. It does actually on the instructions that its possible to replant in the area after a week; according to info it doesn't stay in the soil so can't be used as a preventative weedkiller only directly on the weed itself. But as you warn, the chemical company that makes it is questionable. We have used the gas burner things and frankly they are useless on even the smallest weeds and come back in no time. At lot of effort (expensive too). We have used the carpet idea on a large patch of weeds to clear it and this method worked well but as you surmise, not suitable for our driveway. Will have to go back to the long knife method!!
  22. Has anyone used this weedkiller? Have seen mixed reviews. We have a row of hefty, extremely long rooted weeds at the top of our drive. We have even had a local chap dig them out with a mini digger but they have returned within a few weeks. They are extremely hard to get to with a shovel and am sure they are going under the concrete. Someone recommended using Glyphosate and would appreciate this or any other recommendations. I realise that this product needs to be used carefully and comes with detailed instructions go my guess is that it might actually work. Thank you in advance
  23. Thanks all for your informative and interesting responses. I will definitely go down the "legal" route (there are several French villagers driving around in UK registered vehicles, one guy having had a range rover for 3 years and it still has UK plates!!). Our van is properly MOT'd and insured and we do not currently live in France. The cost of taking it back, petrol, tolls, ferry crossing etc. outweighs the cost of sorting our proper French registration so shall do that.
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