Western France is recovering from the damage caused by Storm Ciaran, it’s tax bill time for second-home owners in France, and we’ve got the answers to your French visa and residency questions. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. Storm clear-up continues
Storm Ciaran and Storm Domingo swept the west coast over the weekend, causing damages and disruptions throughout western France. The Normandy, Brittany, and Hauts de France regions were among the worst hit, with record-breaking winds of 193 km/h recorded in Brittany, but almost all of the west coast was affected. Power outages affected some 1.3 million properties across the country, and around 126,000 homes were still without power yesterday morning (Monday). Many schools in Brittany also remained closed yesterday due to damages.
The storm’s devastating effects also sadly claimed three lives, including an Enedis engineer in Brittany, a truck driver in Aisne, and a 70-year-old man in Le Havre. Homes were also evacuated in Brest when a nearby crane was broken in two during the storm, and there remain many incidents of damaged buildings, uprooted trees, and train cancellations due to debris on the tracks.
Thankfully, the worst of the weather looks to be behind us, but eight departments (Pas-de-Calais, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Dordogne, Corrèze, and Gironde) remain on high alert for flooding.
2. Taxe habitation bills sent out
If you’re a second-home owner in France, then you should receive your annual Taxe d’habitation bill today. The tax bills will be available online from Tuesday, November 7th for those who pay annually or November 20th for those who pay monthly, while postal bills will be sent out tomorrow (November 8th) for those who pay annually or from November 20thfor those who pay monthly. The deadline for payment is December 15th.
From this year, the Taxe habitation is no longer payable on any properties serving as a primary residence. Homeowners were asked to submit a mandatory Declaration d’Occupation earlier this year stating whether their properties were being used as a primary residence or as a second home.
3. Armistice Day
As the Toussaint holidays come to a close (schools reopened across the country yesterday, November 6th), it’s time for the penultimate jour férié of the year. Armistice Day, also known as Remembrance Day or Veterans Day in anglophone countries, marks the end of World War I and is commemorated on November 11th. Unfortunately for French residents, it falls on a Saturday this year, so there’s no day off work, but the event will be marked by wreath-laying ceremonies, most notably the grand ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris.
Read more about Armistice Day in France.
4. Ask us your visas and residency questions!
Don’t forget to send in your questions in advance for next week’s visas and residency webinar! I’ll be joined by Richard Hammond, founder of French Connections HCB, and Fabien Pelissier, founder of Fab French Insurance, on Thursday 16th November, at 2pm (London time) or 3pm (French time), and we’ll be devoting as much time as possible to answering your questions, so now’s your chance!
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