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Régime social CdH et Gîtes

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Most of what I learn about B&B or  Gîtes, tends to come mostly from

experience or as now,  from the local big bod or from a French

B&B forum. There have been rumblings for a few years now about who

should register, who doesn't need to etc etc. The regs are in place but

as ever, different departments (and of course the people within the

bureau !!) will have their own way or deciding the way they wish to

view any regulations.

Anyway, today we got our Spring edition information magazine from Gîtes

De France this morning and there is more news to ad to the titbits

gained in whispers !.

To cut it short a little, as some of it will take some while to come to

fruition and it is just repeating what they have said in earlier

magazines. The Parliament are looking to get a law together and see if

they can define a new socail regime, specifically for B&B

owners.They wish to convey that the Federation (GdF) will ensure that

whatever happens they will fight to ensure that it is their members

interest. That will of course help none members alike.  

What has caused a lot of matters to change, is that there is now a

massive increase in B&B's (and gîtes) in France but many have not registered, either at the

Impôts or with the Maire (now top of the regulations for opening a

B&B is informing the Maire, he can say Non !) and of course,

whichever way one looks at it, some folks do actally require

inscription at the Ch de Com.

Gîtes are also being looked in to in the same way, a court case earlier

in the year decreed that a couple were hiring out their cottages in a professional manner and thus should have been with the C de Com.

And all of it is being seen as finding a way of stabilising the sudden

upshoot of unclassified places, which they and the govt believe may

well harm tourism. Sounds a bit like they mean business but we shall

see how long it might take! And how they propose to find all these

unregistered places, many no doubt run by some poor folks only after a

bob or two to complement a meagre income. You can bet the hotel

asocciation are behind it all somewhere !!

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I have not seen that, nor has it been made available through the emails we recieve to update us on anything.

6 bedroom B&B's have always been some what different though, as

they will be inspected in the similar style of an hotel, fire regs etc,

which 5 or less do not have to go through. It is a peculiarity and I

have often wondered how 6 was let through as a B&B but require

different inspection to B&B's with a lesser number.

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Miki - I'm off to the regional annual tourist 'bilan' where some member of the great and good who knows nothing about the region usually comes and pontificates and then tells us all about any new scary rules which come up to make life yet a bit more complicated.  It is next week so will let you all know if anything interesting is said.

I'm all for everyone being declared and so forth - but I fear that if a new regime is introduced with too high cotisations then there will be less decent B & B s but more people working 'on the side'.  After all - theoretically - if I stopped working legally and just had lots of 'friends' to stay in my big 6 bedroomed house (who paid me cash) I feel there is little anyone could do about it.  There are a number of people round here (both French and foreign) who seem to have 'people staying' all summer.  Now they may just be incredibly rich, generous and popular but somehow I wonder? Cynical - moi??? 

In the north and the more popular seaside areas this may not happen, but realistically in many areas the season is quite short and even those doing a really good job find it hard to make a living - if even more of what little they manage  to make is taken away I feel quite a few may not think it worth the effort.  We are actually pretty short of decent accommodation round here in the summer, but the problem for anyone who opens is that they are only likely to make any money for about 4 months of the year and many cannot find another job to supplement that income. 

Incidentally, one local member of GdF who has a perfectly nice place has NO reservations at all for this year.  They are English and were under the mistaken impression that if they joined such an organisation they would not need to do any other advertising.  Nothing against GdF as they are advertising their place like any other, but just proves you need to have lots of irons in the fire and keep on top of the advertising.  Generally speaking, booking and reservations have dropped off fairly badly here (Midi Quercy) this year.  We are quite quiet this month (World Cup?)but have lots of advance reservations for September and October so will be interesting to see what the year brings.



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Hi Maggi,

I have sent you an attachment (or tried to !!) with the piece in our regional magazine.

Yes, for sure, the govt will no doubt make the wrong move and make it

worse for those who are happily and legally going along nicely already.

I think it is more, trying to invent a new regime, solely for us and

gîtes. It is kind of covered now but probably nowhere enough paper work is involved yet!!

Have no fear, we have several Brits or otherwise, around here, who

simply open their doors and have hand written B&B signs ouside in

high season, so as to try and make a few quid with the passing trade. I

fear what might happen, if one day, a case is brought against someone

(any nationality) where an accident has happened and which proves

very expensive to defend for the patron and during said process, it is found

that this person has no legal right to even be open to the public?

I too am surprised by people who put all their advertising in one

basket, so to speak. I am a bit sloppy when it comes to knowing who

comes from where (I kind of got fed up with people just replying,

"Internet" and with quite a few to ask, it gets a bit repetetive. I

know I should ask for the sake of possibly saving on annual outlay


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Thanks Miki - it arrived safe and sound.  Very good photography (if slightly at an angle)  Have sent you an e-mail but the FBI or CIA or spam checker someone sent me a very dangerous seeming thingy asking me to verify myself - so now I have done so will you have to have me killed?[:)]
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Hi Maggi,

I got your email thanks.Yes I only took 20 to get it that angle ! You should have seen the others !

So what happened with your emails ? You have me interested. We are with

Zone alarm Pro and you say they asked you to verify yourself ? We still

get loads of spam, although one has to wait a while for them to be

deleted as they arrive. First time enquiries get sorted out as

challenged emails, which if I am not careful could  get deleted.

So I think I need to look at how it is set up !

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Hi Miki - sorry everyone else this is off topic - yes Zone Alarm Pro sent me almost immediately an e-mail asking to verify that I had e-mailed you by clicking on a link.  I did it, but it does look a bit like the sort of thing that could be spam itself - whereby if you click hundreds of people ask if you want Viagra or somesuch.  For anyone not to used to the net who sent you an e-mail and received it could be offputting I think.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, local meeting didn't throw up much that we didn't know.  There was much emphasis on the fact all CdH now have to start off by registering with their mairie (as Miki said above).  Interesting, in view of the fact that some people locally starting out went to their mairie to do just that and the maire said 'What are you asking me for?'.  The possible new régime/rules was touched upon but it was simply said that Gites de France/Clévacances will be consulted and it will be awhile before anything is decided.

What was quite interesting (and probably a bit worrying for those of us with CdH or gites) was that the total number of tourists for SW France had fallen very slightly but the number staying in accommodation for which they were paying (officially) had fallen dramatically by about 25%.  There was a fair bit of - fruitless - discussion about this, but in a nutshell they were talking about the fact that most second home owners are now 'renting' to their families, friends, and colleagues on a cash only unofficial basis.  Think this is probably true based on my own experience of running into some former customers (who had said they would return) and finding they were staying - as "friends" - with some people they had met here on a previous visit.  Now this may be true, or the people may not want to stay here again, but I find it a bit suspicious that these folk who are in a village a few km away have 'friends' staying virtually all summer.  My guess (though I can't obviously prove it) is that they snaffle people in the cafe they frequent and offer them undercut prices as 'friends'.  Interestingly, 2 local gite owners have also told me that previous customers of theirs are also 'friends' with these folk.   Nothing, of course, that anyone can do about it  - but irritating none the less and I can't help wondering if I wouldn't be better off doing the same thing myself[:)]

One thing I couldn't get to the bottom of was where the statistics come from - but I think they are based on visitors to Tourist Offices who are asked whehter they are in gite/hotel/camping/friend & relatives. 

Only other interesting thing was that one of the regional Tourist Officers said that French people suveyed has said that they found the 'accueil' better when staying in foreign owned (i.e. English & Dutch) gites (which included CdH) than when in French owned.  Outpourings of protest from local gite owners obviously, but wonder myself if this is based on cultural expectations as my own French visitors seem to have less expectations than my English guests.


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Yes, it is continuing through parliament in consultation with G de Fr and will take time to see a result, well it is France.

Now there is talk of fire/smoke alarms being made obligatory !!

What you mention about people disappearing in to accommodation without a

known status, is one of the main reason why certain bodies

want checks to be done on all places that take paying guests. Their

guise is to say, it is to guard our tourist visitors from poor

accommodation, thus protecting the genuine B&B, Gîte owners etc

from being tarred with the same brush as those who let inadequate

properties and thus protecting French tourism.

We get sent a  questionnaire from G de Fr every year with varying

questions asking us for our statistics etc, it can be a bit long

winded, so I fill it in when, there is no sport on the TV !!

I can well believe that some British run B&B's offer better

welcomes and indeed often better dinners, a generalisation of course

but none the less often a genuine point. We aim to put a smile on 

folks faces and if we can't, tant pis, can't please 'em all, there's

awlays one and for us, it generally comes right at the end of the

season !!

French attitudes of expectation, can come back again to the thoughts of

tea and coffee facilities being in rooms. The French genuinely don't

understand the concept, you are in someones house and how many friends

do you have, that keep a kettle, tea bags, coffee maker, milk and sugar

in their bedrooms ! Again, it does not bother me who does do it but the

French really will not expect it. I personally, over many years, cannot

remember more than a handful of UK clients asking me if we had

facilities in the rooms and as for the French, never.

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"One thing I couldn't get to the bottom of was where the statistics come from - but I think they are based on visitors to Tourist Offices who are asked whehter they are in gite/hotel/camping/friend & relatives."

Here in the Limousin we're (well CdH, but I guess gites too) are sent a return to complete every month, with, wonder of wonders, a reply paid envelope!  I've no idea what percentage bother to return them, but we do and at the end of the year get a break from them of our guests and regional totals too.

The Qs asked are simply how many guests we have in each room, their nationality, whether they ate dinner and, new for this year, we have to indicate whether people stay several nights by whizzing a circle around the entry.  It really takes no time at all to complete.


PS Can't get my head round this quote thing and have no time as we have diners this evening!

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We are in the South Burgundy region and opened officially at Easter. Our local tourist office manageress insisted she saw my papers showing that I had registered with the Ch d C. If not she wasn't prepared to see me or promote me.

We have been told all along that we had to be registered as a chambre d'hote. We informed our Mairie about our intentions but they were pretty clueless about what we had to do which just proves they may not have had other people doing the same!  We have had to pay the Chambre de Commerce registration fees, have had to acquire the two licenses to serve breakfast and drinks with meals and are now receiving bills from URSSAF and have been registered for monthly cotisations for our sociale payments. These we are having to pay monthly whether we have clients or not. Also Sired (waste disposal) has upped our bill.

I now wish we hadn't registered as we only have two rooms and have only just opened and as yet have few clients. This is our only source of business and it strikes me that the French government are not interested in supporting their tourism industry. As a new customer you would think they would be lenient with the fees and cotisations and give us a chance to get going before hitting us with every bill possible.



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Having been down this road,and in several different directions untill the rules where made a little easier to understand,[mostly by the authorities ].I hope you will find that after the first year when you have to pay the top charges for everything,Ursaff,extra health/accident cover etc etc, you will have your payments adjusted to suit your income. When we completed our tax return on what is basically pocket-money and then advised the relevant bodies of our turnover,most of the charges were greatly reduced. The first year being the hardest.

If you think that you would have to pay tax habitation/fonciere/water/electricity/.house insurance and then compare the total with what your outgoings were in the UK, you will probably find out that things aren't so bad. When you have to use the health service you will also realize that the service is as good as,if not better, than having a private health insurance in UK.The main difference with the Health cover is that, I believe, the rates are based on age when joining, unlike UK where if you have any ongoing illness, the private health companies don't want to know.

At least you have the benefit of being in the system,not being on the fiddle and being able to sleep at night.

Bonne Chance.

Regards. B&B St Malo.     ourinns.org

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