Owning a second home or holiday home in France will remain the dream of many British people even post-Brexit. Spending time in a property in France has not lost its appeal since the advent of the Withdrawal Agreement but the impact of some of the logistical changes needs to be understood.

Maintaining Your French Property in Your Absence 

All owners of second homes who are UK residents must now face up to the fact that they cannot stay in France for more than 90 days at a time unless they have a French long-stay visa permitting an extended stay. This will result in a subsequent period of at least 90 days during which time the owners need to consider using someone to assist with the following aspects of maintenance:

  • Swimming Pools

Once the temperature rises enough the owners will need to ensure someone commissions their pool and then maintains it on their behalf and maybe even de-commissions the pool at the end of the season?

  • Garden

The garden will come to life in Spring regardless of whether an owner is there to see this or not! The garden will quickly become overgrown. As well as being unattractive to any neighbours this presents an increased security risk because an overgrown garden is one of the clearest indicators to burglars that the house is not occupied. It is likely that many owners will choose to find someone to help maintain their gardens and patios, etc.

  • House

Owners may want to have their house visited periodically when it is not occupied.

Should You Rent Out Your Second Home?

Because of these increased maintenance costs that will be incurred by many owners, they may consider recovering these costs by renting out their property to holidaymakers for some or all of the summer season and only visiting the property themselves outside of “high season” so as to maximise their rental income.

Most properties that are suitable for letting out can command sufficient rental income to cover the costs of someone to look after the house, garden, pool, changeovers, linen, etc.

It is important that anyone that the owner pays to carry out these services is suitably registered, insured, and preferably Police Checked. There are heavy penalties in France for people hiring anyone not registered.

With the advent of COVID and the many cancelled reservations from British guests because of their travel restrictions, owners now need to target guests from mainland Europe – especially the French, Dutch and German. Early evidence suggests that French guests will be the predominant guest nationality this year with many bookings being made at the last minute – as is the way in France!. Reaching out to the European guest audience is one of the key features of the Marketing & Reservations service offered by Prestige.

Prestige

Prestige can also supply owners with a financial model to help calculate their likely Rental income and associated costs/ overheads.

Please direct any enquiries about Prestige’s services to [email protected] or by phone to +33 (0) 2 97 22 99 12.

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