Renting Long Term in France
Renting Long Term in France
If you are planning to rent a place in France for several months or more, it may be worth considering renting out your existing home, depending on where you stay and the time of year. This could cover your monthly rent in France - you may even make a profit. Bear in mind however, that you will need your mortgage lender’s approval, appropriate insurance and some allowance for wear and tear. There will also be a loss of flexibility in that if you decide to return early, you may have no vacant home. The option of trying to rent out your home for shorter periods could actually end up costing you money, as many agencies charge for site visits etc - if your property does not let, you are left with the bill.
Remember to contact the postal service and arrange to have your mail forwarded to France or to some other address. The cost is generally nominal.
If you decide to leave your home unoccuppied do remember to notify your home insurers. Many Insurers will cover your home only for a maximum of 30 consecutive days if it is unoccupied. One possible solution is to ask someone trustworthy to stay in the house for a time before the insurance window closes and this will reset the clock. Ask them to use the phone (land line) from the property on different days so that their presence is registered and you can prove to the insurers that the property has been occupied during your absence. Confirm with your insurers that this is acceptable to them well before you leave.
When budgeting for your stay in France do remember to take into account the ongoing costs back home - property taxes, electricity and telephone subscriptions etc.
Whatever your reason for wanting to spend more time in France, renting furnished as opposed to unfurnished accommodation can be the best choice for many. Leases for unfurnished rentals tend to run for three years whereas a furnished rental can be much more flexible. Many of the furnished rentals we see average 3 to 6 months.
Deciding where to rent in France can be daunting. If you are unsure and can afford the time, why not rent several properties for two or three months each in different locations? We did exactly that before finding our permanent base.
Do ensure the property is large enough and the facilities are adequate for your needs. You may be able to live without certain comforts if necessary for a one or two week holiday but for longer periods, however, items such as a washing machine, television and internet access become more of an essential. Ensure the property is adequately heated and check what is included in the rental price.
The rental price will normally be per month or calendar month. Some owners offer an all inclusive price but most properties charge extra for utilities and logs etc. A deposit is generally required to reserve the property and act as a security against damage.
Ideally, you should try to view the accommodation first if at all possible, especially for longer rentals of 6 months to a year.
Careful and thorough initial research can help secure a successful and enjoyable long term rental in France. And beyond that who knows - a new life in France?
(Published September/October 2010)