May, 2013

Chambres d'hôtes ©toprural/Flickr

Offering paying guest accomodation, such as running a chambres d’hôtes, can be an effective way to supplement your income. France is a perennial tourist destination but demand will vary widely from one case to another so it is advisable to carefully evaluate the season, location and the competition to estimate a forecast of what occupancy rate you can realistically expect.

The definition of a chambre d’hôtes is a furnished room located in the home of the host, offered to tourists for one or more nights in return for a fee, together with other services.

The chambres d’hôtes must be declared before the Mairie and must respect certain regulations.

  • There is a maximum number of five bedrooms and a maximum capacity of fifteen guests at any one time.
  • The rental includes breakfast.
  • The premises must be cleaned and maintained and conform to health and safety regulations.
  • Each bedroom must have direct or indirect access to a bathroom and WC. Again, all facilities must comply with standards of hygiene, cleanliness and security.
  • As a minimum, towels and bed linen must be provided.
  • Prices and other information must be exhibited on the exterior of the premises, on the interior near the entrance and behind the door of each room, and a receipt must be supplied to the guest.The declarationBefore offering this service he must make a declaration at the local Mairie by completing form cerfa n°13566*02.

    This Déclaration de Location may be made electronically, by registered letter, or by personal delivery to the Mairie and be subject of an acknowledge receipt message or stamp by the Mairie. This document states the identity of the owner, his address, the number of letting rooms, the maximum number of guests and an indication of the dates when open for business. Any changes to this information must also be notified to the Mairie.

    This information is passed on to, inter alia, the Prefect. The list of Chambres d’ Hotes in the Commune is available at the Mairie.

    As regards tax and social contributions, the professional status of the owner varies according to whether or not this is his main or an ancillary activity. There are three categories: those whose entire professional activity is Chambres d’ Hôtes and who must therefore also register with the RCS registre du commerce et des sociétés, those who have other remunerative work and finally those who offer guest accomodation as ancillary to their main farming activitiy and are subject to a separate set of regulations.

    Taxe de séjour

    Certain tourist locations can impose a visitor tax (the amount usually varies between 0,20 € à 1,50 €). The Mairie will be able to inform you if this applies to your Chambres d’Hôtes. If this is the case, the taxe de séjour must be posted in plain view and included as a separate item on the receipt.

    Food & Beverage fall under different sets of requirements:

    If a main meal is also provided,there must be one menu of quality, preferably supplying regional produce, it must be taken at the family table, and the maximum number of meals must be the same as the sleeping capacity of the establishment. If these requirements are not satisfied it is deemed to be a restaurant and that opens en entire different set of rules. All regulations including food hygiene and safety must again be complied with. A license is required if alcoholic drinks are provided (there are three levels depending on the type of beverage). There used to be a license required for non-alcoholic drinks but this is no longer in effect.

    •S. Davis, Property & Living Editor
    Source: Service-Public.fr. This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal, or other professional advice. Please contact us if you found this article useful or if you would like to find out more.

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