Reader question: I have a small outbuilding at my French home that has been converted into a guest bedroom. Can I rent it out to a student?
The answer is yes and in most parts of France this is being encouraged by tax breaks as a way of getting more student accommodation on the market.
In the Paris region, for example, rental income of less than €191 a month is tax-free. This falls to €152 in Orléans.
Rents must be declared as revenue each year but no tax will be claimed within the limits set by regional councils.
As with all rentals, the accommodation must be ‘decent’, with a window looking out, insulation, heating, electricity and such like.
You can ask for two months’ rent as a guarantee against damage.
It is possible to have a nine-month contract if renting to a university student.
If they are a student alternating work and study, or if they have an apprenticeship agreement, they are considered salaried, and the contract has to be a standard 12-month one.
Empty rooms can only be rented with a three-year contract and must be at least 9m².
In all cases, it is a good idea to have the contract drawn up and signed in the presence of a notaire.
The contract for rental in an outbuilding will be similar to those if a room in a house is being let to a lodger.