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Long-term letting


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Hi there,

We are considering letting our house in France out longer-term for 6-12 months. But there seem to be lots of scary stories out there, for example, that you may not be able to evict someone at the end of the rental period if they have no where else to go.

If we do rent it out, we want to go in with eyes open. Any tips/ideas/experiences anyone?

Many thanks
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[quote user="Mishtoon"] Puts you right off the idea of renting it out, doesn't it?[/quote]

But there are also totally genuine renters out there - decent people with no idea of ripping anyone off. Amongst these are people who are saving up to buy their own place, families who have bought their plot of land and are waiting for their house to be built, couples, like my OH and I, who are renting whilst trying to find their affordable 'coup de coeur' in an expensive area.

If you decide to rent out then you can choose the couple/family who will rent your place; you don't have to accept anyone you don't like.


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[quote user="Mishtoon"]Hi there,

We are considering letting our house in France out longer-term for 6-12 months. But there seem to be lots of scary stories out there, for example, that you may not be able to evict someone at the end of the rental period if they have no where else to go.

If we do rent it out, we want to go in with eyes open. Any tips/ideas/experiences anyone?

Many thanks[/quote]

I don't think that 6-12 months is an option.

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I assume you are considering letting furnished. If you do, you have a better chance of getting your house back, if not all that was in it..

12 months Furnished, but you run the risk of damage or theft of your possessions, and you can't have an insurance against non-payment of rent.

The tenant can give a month's notice, but  the landlord must give three months, and if this is not given the contract is considered as automatically renewed.

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[quote user="Clair"]Mishtoon
I'm sure there are owners with nice tenants. It's just that they don't post [:)]

Barrister? [8-)]

Yes, because you always know your brief and you always have all the facts at your fingertips and anyway, if you were a barrister, I'd rather you were on my side!

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Hi; we have successfully let our property via www.rentaplaceinfrance.com

They advise how to set up a contract so that you can legally operate under one year. Basically you get the tenant to sign for a year, but then they give notice almost immediately. They advised where to purchase a French contract as well.  At the outset we chatted to our prospective tenants by email and then when it felt as though it could work for us all we had several phone conversations before agreeing terms.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi, it is our first post on here although we have been lurking and are amazed at all your knowledge and experiences. We are quite interested in this post as renting long term was one of our options, the others were buying a motorhome or caravan or staying with friends in Calvados region and travelling to seek out any properties. If we were to rent out 'longish' term I think we would like to opt for 3 to 4 months and would be prepared to pay half up front with the rest halfway through the rental period with a view if we liked the owners and the owners were satisfied with us we could perhaps rent for another period. Would this work with the majority of owners? what would be the ideal situation do you think? It seems such a shame that there are so many dishonest people out there, I know because I seem to attract them [:$] Just for the record we are early 50's and could provide proof of incomes. I would like to know your opinions. 
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The rental market in France (like the job market) is much more highly regulated than that in the UK, and more to the advantage of the tenant.

This means that the sort of friendly arrangement you might make with someone in the UK who knows that you can be made to leave is much harder to find here.

You might find it among British owners of second homes who will let to you over the winter, but I doubt you would find it among  the French.

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Hi there,

Most people like me who are letting their home would want to know that you the prospective tenant are serious and therefore prepared to commit to a specific length of time, whether that be 3 months or more. They would want the rent to be paid on a monthly basis by standing order.  It is a big risk on both sides, particularly where, like us the owner is not living in France and therefore has no idea that the propery is being looked after appropriately.  We have been very lucky and know that we have some excellent current tenants.  We communicate regularly. I would urge you to go through a letting site; people who have taken the trouble to advertise publicly on a site are possibly more likely to be taking the whole business seriously and by advertising have a reputation to live up to.  It will certainly be easier to find a long term rental through the winter; summer rental income is very much higher than winter let income and most owners would want to take advantage of this.  I wish you all the luck and a positive experience whatever you decide. [:)]

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Hi, it seems that a lot of people have had some bad experiences, I just hope that there are more positive examples. I can see that this is going to be a bit of a roller coaster ride but we are taking any advice we can and hopefully be a little bit wiser when we make our decision. I read somewhere that for every 4 or 5 Gites there is only one rented in the summer months so would assume a reliable income would be very handy, if that were to be the case could an ongoing contract be drawn up with specific times ie 6 months then renewable if both parties agree? or as Karrie suggested 'go through a letting site' to arrange this. Would be the best way to go if you were not resident but if you lived in the close vicinity of your rental has anyone achieved a more flexible personal agreement, looking like Motorhome or tourer for us at the mo! anyone with a piece of land to rent [I]
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Hi, when I mentioned renting some land it was a bit tongue in cheek but I take your point Leo and thanks for the advice. Mrs APM has always preferred the motorhome plan so that we could make it more like an extended holiday and also visit friends and relatives in neighbouring countries, I would not want to pay out many £'s and be stuck in one place anyway and have done a little bit of research on your suggestion of stopping on an Aire for a night or two, that way we could juggle official sites with facilities and perhaps the odd B&B etc, Thank You.

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  • 1 month later...
I’ve been avidly reading the postings for long-term

lettings, most of which recant negative experiences.

Here’s my side of the story. We have looked at many, many British owned

properties up for rent, most are absolute dumps and I wouldn't stable a

horse in them. I'm not alone in this

discovery, have discussed the problem with others who actively look for good

rental houses and who I know would make admirable tenants. Perhaps I’m the only

one with guts enough to state my case, but as many postings seem to malign the

renters, I feel someone should make a statement for the renter!

Deluded owners seem to be the order of the day. I have seen ceilings falling down, roofs that

should have been replaced years ago, filthy dirty toilets and floors, flooded

floors, drains and fosses that do not function and were installed by DIY

enthusiasts (the ones who were car mechanics or car salesmen in another life).

Electricity installation that is a nightmare - can't have one appliance on when

the refrigerator is running. Wet walls, mould, exterior walls that have holes

in them – the holes plugged up with plastic bags, wood burners that have

handles that fall off, bathtubs held in by a prayer, Showers installed with

microbore plumbing, and which require constant plunging, drainpipes held up

with one wood screw (fell off), gardens full of slate (the owners think this is

good drainage). Gardens overgrown into the state of a jungle. And the heating

systems are a joke! One deluded owner had an AGA in the kitchen - connected to

nothing (a little heat came from the thing).

Some people even go so far as to advertise their property

for example, as a 'Beautiful Longere'. This place was full of dead flies, the

doors didn't fit (the front and back door), and the roof leaked. Another owner

declared there were no mice, but later an unlucky tenant discovered a saucer

full of mouse pellets was stashed on a beam, and mice droppings were on most of

the beams and the floors.

Then there are the people who wax lyrical about their hovels 'we have spent

many happy times in this lovely house, enjoying the peace and tranquility of

the countryside and we know you will fall in love with our home away from home'

- this one was down a rutted cart track with an overgrown garden full of detritus

and weeds - that had not been cut for months. The ceilings in this place were

falling down from a recent leak and pieces of plaster board were in a large soggy

mess outside the house. The roof was awful!

I suppose there are some British-owned rental houses that are good, but where

are they? Some look good, but look closely, the cabinets probably don’t fit too

well, there may be a gap under some cabinets, stains on the carpets seem to be

normal. French rental property in our experience is of a much higher standard

(even though some décor is grim), probably because the French aren't so

concerned about  'getting the tenants out'. If you have a very good

tenant, the French value such a jewel, they don't nit-pick about leaving pieces

of appallingly awful furniture in a house, or someone taking a lousy print off

the walls. For Heaven's sake wake up, provide a decent house that a good tenant

can make into a home and perhaps leave some improvements for you (such as light

fixtures and a pretty garden). Just imagine, you could have a steady income per


For the generally uninformed, a three year lease is legal. After three years

the owner can decide that he or she needs the property for a relative, or

wishes to sell it. If the owner does not notify you that this will happen, then a further three years is implied. You

can't stipulate no pets. You must provide a good, sound house, and repair items

for which you are responsible - such as plumbing, electrics. Anything that is

misrepresented can take you in front of a magistrate, might take time, but hey,

we have oodles of time now we are in ‘laid back’ France. Your tenant does NOT

have to give you three months notice, two months can be written into a lease.

And be aware that if a tenant has a medical condition that tenant is only

legally required to give you one month's notice.

And don't expect anyone in their right mind to pay a rental price such as you

might get in the United Kingdom. If you try this on, you will find your house

will be occupied for only a few months (at which point your tenant will have

wised up and discovered that a three or four bedroomed house, with two bathrooms,

garage, good heat and good location will be offered to French prospective

tenants for 500 to 550 euros a month, or maybe 620 euros for a spiffy place).

There are cretins out there who will try to scam you, but

don’t be desperate, get references, bank references too, be canny and telephone

around at the last address where these people lived. Take out insurance in case

the tenant defaults on the rent – which could happen in the current economic

climate, even to good tenants. Try not to be as mean as sin, and imagine

yourself in a similar situation, open your blinkered eyes, if your house is a

dump, fix it, sell it, or let it rot away, don’t expect some poor cluck to pay

money for an uninhabitable dump.

I’m not a lawyer, just someone with university level courses

in the law, and much experience as a renter and as an owner of a couple of

rental houses, both of which were beautiful, and clean and one even sold to the


We are currently looking for a very good large house to rent in the

country, for myself and my partner, near to Josselin, or Taupont. With an

enclosed garden, oil heating (forget electric, cost us over a thousand euros

for a two month bill). For a reasonable rent. You’ll get a very good tenant, non-smoking,

who pays the rent on time, takes care of a property, plants flowers, gardens,

and likes a quiet life and a decent house. I have sufficient good furniture,

paintings (not prints), and treasures of my own so that I won’t be tempted to

run off with your car boot junk.

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What a post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two posts in 5 years plus, looks like you have had some very bad experiences.

Just a point or two, if you want to ask a tenant to leave under a 3 year unfurnished lease, it is necessary to give them notice 6 months in advance of the termination of the lease via a recorded letter or by a bailif. To give one months notice because of medical grounds is very restricitive. Generally in dept 17 rental of a new t5 will cost €750 to €850 plus charges per month. The main reason an owner wants to ask a tenant to leave generally relates to the stupid law that gives tenants over 70 years of age the rights to say in the property forever or be rehoused at the owners expense in a property of equal status. The logic behind the regulation is sensible, so as to protect the elderly, however it does the opposite and ensures that elderly tenants have great difficulty in renting a property.

Good luck with your hunt.

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I must be one of the very, very lucky ones!  I have a beautiful house, which I have managed to let to perfect tenants and  haven't even met them!   Our house is relatively new and in good condition. Unfortunately it isn't anywhere near where you are looking otherwise we could have had a deal!  The website I used to get my perfect tentants is wwwrentaplaceinfrance

It's an excellent site full of useful information for both tenant and owner.

Not sure why your rental cost all that money to heat?  Can only assume you had a very cold winter in a very old and uninsulated house without double glazing?  Our electricity bill for an all electric house is about 100 euros a month. It's a four bedroom house with very large lounge. It will probably cost a bit more as this is the first winter anyone has lived in it right through, but I can't see it coming anywhere near what you have paid.  We've also included the services in the rent, so if we have miscalculated we will be seriously out of pocket.

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