Jump to content

Ever wanted to move but not sure if it's the right decision? THis could be your answer ...


AF
 Share

Recommended Posts

This is a long shot but ... would anyone fancy trying out life in France near Carcassonne for up to 6 months (or more - could be flexible!) in a very pretty popular village for FREE?!?! Instead of rent (bills e.g. electric would have to be paid though ...) we are looking for folks who fancy working on a house project: something simple like painting shutters and windows or more complicated such as dry-lining, plastering and rendering ... house is habitable at the moment for 2, but would need work doing to it to access a very nice children's room (sleeps up to 5!). Please contact for more details or advice on this sort of project ... thanks x
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a few international organisations that allow people to trade help (on various projects) in exchange for accommodation.  However, as far as I'm aware, France is the only country worldwide that has prosecuted the recipient of said help (and the volunteers).  So be careful - France is a socialist / protectionist state that doesn't recognise volunteer schemes...and neighbours will readily shop you.

The couple concerned were Americans helping on an organic farm for a couple of days via www.wwoof.org scheme.  The French hosts were fined €1,000 (potential penalties are up to €5,000 and 5 years in prison) and the US volunteers were deported and banned from visiting France for 4 years.

There was a lot of publicity about the case as no other country has taken this sort of action against WWOOF / HelpX guest / host arrangements.

Mrs R51

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow - thanks for letting me know. It hadn't dawned on me about legalities, as it would be a mutually agreeable arrangement done on trust etc. Also, I have a friend who uses volunteers absolutely loads and has done for a long time. Their organisation has had government funding in the past and I presume that all concerned knew about volunteers - I really didn't imagine that it was a problem. I'll do some checking out ...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard51:  Could you post a link or whatever to the report on wwoof employer being fined? Or if not tell us when it was and whereabouts in France please?  We have a farmer friend who has had a "woofer" and we wonder whether he knows this is illegal.

Many thanks

H.,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I seem to remember this has come up before as part of another topic but I can't remember which one and there was a link to a French newspaper article. The more cleverer of you might be able to find it via 'Search' (wheres Clair when you want her).
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Quillan"]I seem to remember this has come up before as part of another topic but I can't remember which one and there was a link to a French newspaper article. The more cleverer of you might be able to find it via 'Search' (wheres Clair when you want her).[/quote]

Here!!

This has been discussed in these threads:

http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1577936/showPost.aspx

http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1049832/ShowPost.aspx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="zarathustra"]Wasn't there a Grand Designs episode where somebody bought a place in the north of France (if memory serves correctly) and got lots of free labour from students who were housed in tents on their terrain?[/quote]

If it's on TV, it must be just fine! [:P]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Clair"][quote user="Quillan"]I seem to remember this has come up before as part of another topic but I can't remember which one and there was a link to a French newspaper article. The more cleverer of you might be able to find it via 'Search' (wheres Clair when you want her).[/quote]

Here!!

This has been discussed in these threads:
http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1577936/showPost.aspx
http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1049832/ShowPost.aspx
[/quote]

Thanks Clair I knew your legendary ability to 'Search' through our forum were others would normally fail would come up trumps yet again. [:D]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Clair"][quote user="zarathustra"]Wasn't there a Grand Designs episode where somebody bought a place in the north of France (if memory serves correctly) and got lots of free labour from students who were housed in tents on their terrain?[/quote]

If it's on TV, it must be just fine! [:P]

[/quote]

I wasn't for a second proposing TV tells the truth, merely that they did it, and got away with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...
Hmmmm. an interesting take on this.

We have never considered looking after someones house, gite business, chateau, farm in return for a bit of gardening, feeding the animals and putting a lick of paint on the shutters as illegal.

But hey...maybe you are right? In the meantime, life is zooming past and we will cross that bridge should it arise. Thanks for your reply.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Housesitters, life may be zooming past,

Firstly what about healthcare.Say someone hurts themselves and ends up in hospital, who pays, have you any idea how expensive french hosptials are. I was in for 10 days three years ago, no operations or major tests and it cost over 7000€.

What if you had a controle by the gendarmes, you could end up in prison, maybe your property confiscated?

You will ofcourse do what you want and would it be, to hell with whoever you take on?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all... Not sure where all this is coming from. Let me answer the 1st point. What happens if someone gets hurt?

I have visited French hospitals twice in the past 2 years. Once for a cut foot and it required 5 stitches and an injection. Cost to me €77.

My last visit was 4 weeks ago when I collapsed. Spent 5 hours in Urgence being checked out. We are still waiting for the facture.

We both have travel insurance and an EHIC.

Car is insured/taxed and MOT'd in the UK, all above board. Last time I was stopped by the Gendarmes...nothing was confiscated.

My tax accountant tells me my Tax situation is all above board too.

Still not sure what we are doing which is illegal, but always willing to learn. Can someone elighten me/us what we are doing that is wrong/illegal and why?

Might be wrong here, but there seems to be a lot of hostility when all we are doing is having an extended holiday in exchange for turning the lights on and off in someone elses house for a few weeks? LOL
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 From an earlier post

Here!!

This has been discussed in these threads:

http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1577936/showPost.aspx

http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1049832/ShowPost.aspx

and here :

Helping a friend on a occasional basis is fine, but what these ads are

offering is unpaid work in exchange for board and lodging and that is

illegal.

As soon as the help becomes regular, there is a risk of the house-owner being prosecuted for employing "au noir"

Should

any "helper" have an accident, the house-owner would be liable for all

the hospitalisation costs as well as the fines associated with

employing undeclared workers.

Some aspects of this were covered in this thread a while back.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Whatever your personal attitude its better to be aware of any possible pitfalls

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Housesitters, if you are doing this, looking after other people's property like this, and you are prepared to take the risk then that is up to you. Can't help wondering if the people who take you on realise that they could be in real trouble and that could mean them losing everything.

Ignorance of french law is not an excuse under french law.

Here are a couple of things from the Riviera Reporter

http://www.rivierareporter.com/content/view/748/46/

http://www.rivierareporter.com/content/view/235/46/

including this bit in the article

Then there was the case of the retired couple in Vence who took on an undeclared English gardener who had misled them into thinking he was legally self-employed. When he severed his thumb while pruning a tree the elderly couple were hit for the enormous medical costs for sewing it back on. The expenses were more than the value of their home which was seized and sold at auction. They lost everything. A similar case involved an undeclared party chef who set fire to himself and to the kitchen of his unsuspecting client’s home. Some birthday party that was.

Can't help wondering 'where' your accountant is and why they are giving you this advice.

A further few words of wisdom from the Riviera Reporter;

As local lawyer Robert Floyd pointed out at a recent meeting of the British Chamber of Commerce, “When you trade in France, you pay in France.” This is a fact than seems to have escaped some in the Riviera’s anglophone community but the BCC is looking at ways to combat the “black tide”. When the dung hits Blackie’s fan I often get a plea for help. “But my accountant in England told me I could do it.” Sorry, he was wrong.

If you are going to work in France, do it properly.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the links Idun.

I have read them both and see no similarities to what we are and have been doing. In fact, both articles (one of which refers to Francs and not Euros!) seems to be about people working "on the black" and bucking the system. Both of which are not recommended or advised.

I sincerely hope you are not implying we are doing anything of the sort!

Perhaps a read of the Living France article from 2 years (ish) ago encouraging Housesitting as a good way to see France might enlighten you?

To think we come here to get away from this sort of stuff. LOL

Quel dommage encore.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to see the article on House sitting. I haven't seen it. Curious as to how it is worded.

And getting away from what sort of stuff.

There is nothing like a french person for 'rale'ing' about 'life' 'the weather' 'anything on the planet', it is a national pastime, and an argument is more often than not ended with 'portant c'est vrai!' as a head is turned away in a haughty manner. It is wonderful and magnificent.

I obviously do not know your France, I like mine warts and all.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
I spoke to my Marie in the summer about this as I have some offers of help from friends to do jobs that I cant do ...I said to him I didnt want them to get into trouble nor did I ...

He told me that as long as you are up front and let the correct people know IE him...

Then it would be OK , he says it is different in each location but the first call must be your Marie and he will let you know how to go about friends helping each other out.

The thing to do is not hide it as that leads to suspicion ...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

{template="widgetContainer" group="global" app="core" params="'footer', 'horizontal'"https://www.frenchentree.com/}
×
×
  • Create New...