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Possibility of letting flat conversation


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Hi all,

Fairly new on this particular site but the forum comments have been really useful so hoped y o u could shed some light on a situation I'm hoping to embark on.

Currently own a holiday let in rural Poitou-Charentes with a large two storey garage attached. Converting this garage into a first floor Completely self contained flat with separate access is something I'm looking to do however, what are the logistics to then renting this space in the long term?

I have experience of letting property in the UK so have knowledge of contracts, deposits and guarantors but is there, for instance, a French equivalent of the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme that we have in the UK? Also for instance, if there is a problem do you turn to your marie or rely on the Tenancy contract to impose civil law or involve a local housing agency?

Also, is it recommended to use an estate agent to let the property for you despite them taking hefty percentages of the rental income for peace of mind or is it feasible to protect myself against possible problems and advertise for tenants myself?

Another issue would be the difference between renting this flat out to a local resident or possibly a long term ex-pat either happy renting or looking to buy locally also. Are there vast differences between the two when it comes to rights and what is expected of them as side from what is written in the contract?

There are a great many issues I have read up about on here and I don't want to be put off from an exciting project, but I also want to proceed with caution.

Any advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
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I have been both tenant and landlord in France. The first thing to say is that is probably best to forget totally about any experience in the UK, since things are so different here that preconceptions  are dangerous.

Such things as the winter trève (where you can't expel  tenant during the winter) or the compulsory diagnostics that you have to provide are different, and the degree of security of tenants might surprise you.

As idun has said there is a lot of good information here:


You won't get any help from the Mairie in case of problems.

If you have used an agent they may help, but even that isn't sure.

Some idea of what to do if they tenant doesn't pay is here:


This sounds negative and it is true that lots of people rent in France with no problems, but you need to have your eyes open.

There are insurances against non-payment, but they don't cover the case where a tenant just leaves despite the fact thet you thought it was a sure bet.

A typical contract is for 3 years, but it is the owner who is held to that. A tenant can leave at any time with 3 months  notice

There have been numerous threads on this Forum so have a search and come back with any more questions..

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Hi James and welcome,

Norman's advice is spot-on (I speak as the owner of a number of rented flats).

All that I would add is that you need to appreciate that attitudes to property, its ownership and its occupancy, are NOT the same here as they are in the UK.   Making this mistake can lead you into all sorts of problems - do NOT rely on your knowledge of how things work in the UK.

Good Luck!


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So have you got planning permission to do this. All we wanted was a terrace and wood store and could not have the size we wanted, as our just over a third of an acre's POS would have exceeded the legal limit in our village. We also could not covert our loft, as for all it was there, the 'space' was used up.

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