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Squatters, taxes, DIY: French property round up

Our recap of recent property articles you might have missed

Stories include a squatter who spend six years in a flat, and a potential new tax backed by French mayors of all political stripes Pic: Mr Doomits / sylv1rob1 / Ground Picture / Denniel Immobilier / Shutterstock

DIY renovators responsible for post-sale faults 

Homeowners who engage in major renovation projects should be treated as having the same expertise as professional contractors, and thus able to spot defects in their works, France’s highest judicial court has confirmed.

In practice, it means that the usual waiver on damage from hidden defects (vices cachés) that is part of a property sale does not apply to works done by the previous owners themselves – who could be liable to pay compensation to the new owners.

In the case in question, an SCI was charged to pay €3,000 compensation for a problem caused by their DIY work on the property.

Read more: Sellers responsible for DIY defects in French home after sale

Squatter on €6,000-a-month salary evicted after six years 

A squatter and his family were evicted from a property near the Swiss border that had been used by squatters for six years, after France’s highest appeals court overturned a local decision. 

The man was earning the equivalent of €6,000 a month from a stable job in Switzerland, which the court deemed sufficient to provide a home for himself and his son, aged seven, after eviction.

The local courts had ruled that the man, his son, and the other squatters (a woman and at least one more child) could not be evicted due to safety concerns over the time of the eviction. 

Read more: Squatter in France who earns €6,000-a-month evicted after six years

Loire island for sale for €700,000

A 33-hectare island and its buildings are on sale for only €700,000. 

Situated in the Loire river, the island can be reached by a ford during the summer months, but at other times of the year a boat is needed. 

The island hosts a hunting lodge (to be restored) and two barns and is close to the town of Saumur. 

Read more: Chance to buy private island in the Loire - you will need a boat too

Mayors call for new residential tax

Mayors in France are looking at introducing a new ‘residential tax’ payable by all residents as a way to partially compensate for lost income from the taxe d’habitation, which is no longer levied on main homes.

Although second-home owners still pay this tax – and the government says the equivalent loss of funds from the end of main homes is paid directly to authorities – mayors cite the reduction in autonomy as a key issue.

The tax would be collected locally and used to finance local schemes. The vast majority of mayors back it. 

However, it is unlikely to come into force before 2027 as mayors believe President Emmanuel Macron would be unwilling to bring in a tax so similar to the (mostly) defunct taxe d’habitation

Read more: Mayors push for a new local tax in France

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