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Price drops, taxes, insurance issues: French property round up

Our pick of property articles you may have missed

Our round up also looks at a court case involving a chimney fire Pic: defotoberg / Backgroundy / Lubos Chlubny / M Gl / Shutterstock

Breton town goes without insurance

The mayor of a town in central Brittany has revealed that insurance companies have refused to offer cover for schools, service centres and other buildings owned by the commune due to flood risk.

The commune of Guipry-Messac is situated on the Vilaine river and frequently faces flooding, including a number of incidents in 2023.

It means that as of now, any potential damage to these buildings is not covered and costs will need to be paid by the commune from its budget. 

A nearby town has seen its insurance costs rise by over 200% after only one company offered cover for its buildings. 

Some estimates suggest that hundreds of communes could soon be without insurance as the cost of repairing buildings destroyed by natural disasters has more than doubled, leaving insurers unwilling to foot the bill.

Read more: Insurers refuse to cover properties in ‘flood risk’ Brittany town

‘Garden shed’ tax sees rise

France’s taxe d’aménagement – often known as its ‘garden shed’ tax – which is levied on certain property extensions, has risen again. 

The tax is collected by both your local commune and department (and around Paris, the region too).

We review the rules, new price rises, as well as potential exemptions and reductions.

Read more: ‘Garden shed’ tax in France: what rises in 2024 and what exemptions?

Chimney sweeper not found guilty for fire 

We covered a recent court case heard at the cour de cassation, which overturned a ruling that found a chimney sweeper at fault for a fire not long after he cleaned it. 

The original ruling stated he was liable for not spotting the faulty nature of the chimney’s insert, however the cour de cassation said he was not ‘directly responsible’ for the fire and thus did not have to pay damages to the insurance company. 

Lawyers were quick to point out that this was an anomaly, and usually cases of this nature find the professional at fault.

Read more: Chimney sweep not at fault for later fire in French home

Are French property price falls coming? 

We conclude with an overview of the property market from experts who believe falling prices are both expected and required given France’s flailing market. 

Around three-quarters of property experts agree prices will need to fall, with would-be homeowners having less purchasing power. 

Price falls of up to 5% could be seen in the year, they say.

Read more: 3, 4, 5%?: what drop in French property prices is expected this year?

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