top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

‘We plan to sell our French second home due to the 90/180 day rule’

British couple say they miss the flexibility of visiting as they want as they had done  over the last 30 years

Richard and Susie Thornely have owned their French second home for over 30 years Pic: Richard and Susie Thornely

A British couple who own a second home in Brittany say they plan to sell their property because of the effect of the 90-day stay rule on their freedom to visit. 

Retirees Richard and Susie Thornely have had their house near Saint-Cast-le-Guildo for over 30 years, “and we have been going out there nearly every month,” they told The Connexion. 

“If we look at a year, we would probably do a week in January or February, a couple of weeks in March, a couple of weeks in April and May and then probably about six weeks from June to July. We would then go for another couple of weeks in October to November.

“However, on top of that, we would probably normally go to Italy or Spain for two or three weeks, as well as maybe going elsewhere in France.”

Mr and Mrs Thornely had originally thought that the 90-day allowance in every 180 referred to a set period of six months, but then realised that it is a “count-back, a rolling 180 days.

Read more: Brexit: If I spend 90 days in France how many days until I can return?

“So when you actually look at our year, come the beginning of September we have to start waiting for weeks to drop off the beginning of those six months before we can go into Europe.”

Pic: Richard and Susie Thornely

The couple would not consider applying for a visa because they do not wish to spend extended periods of time in France at any one time, but rather miss the flexibility of being able to travel there and to other European countries whenever they liked.

“So the spontaneity of thinking: ‘Let’s go over to France this weekend’ has been lost because we have now got to calculate; we virtually have to plan our whole year at the start.”

This, paired with the way in which “British residents just couldn’t come to the country” when the Omicron Covid variant emerged last December, means that “the French government’s attitude hasn’t impressed us.”

“We have spent a lot of money on this house and had planned to spend much of our retirement there, but as it stands this will not happen,” Mrs Thornely said. 

“The 90 days has a real impact because we still have the taxe d’habitation and everything else to pay,” Mr Thornely added. 

These factors have brought the couple to the decision that the best thing would be to sell their second home. 

“It’s devastating. Our children have grown up in that house, as we’ve had it for 30 years. We’ve had weddings there, the children have been going out with their friends. We’re saddened by the whole thing,” they said. 

Related articles 

Brexit updates: residency cards, passport stamps, UK-France deliveries

How do I apply for a French visa if I live in Northern Ireland?

How do French long-stay visas work with the 90-day allowance?

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Visa and residency cards for France*
Featured Help Guide
- Visas and residency cards (cartes de séjour) for France help guide - Understand when visas and residency cards are required to move to France or come for an extended stay - Applies to Britons (post-Brexit) and to all other non-EU/non-EEA/Swiss nationalities - Useful to anyone considering a move to France, whether for work or otherwise, or wanting to spend more than three months at their French second home
Get news, views and information from France