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Can new residents in France obtain a property renovation grant?

‘MaPrimeRénov’ grant programme was launched by the French government to improve the energy efficiency of homes. We explain eligibility for new residents

Man installing insulation in roof

House must be over 15 years old to be eligible for a grant Pic: Arturs Budkevics / Shutterstock

Reader question: As new French residents living in our unrenovated stone longère in Brittany, we thought we could obtain a MaPrimeRénov renovation grant but we face hurdles in that we only became residents in December 2021 and so have no tax details yet. 

We also only have five-year cartes de séjour. Is it true you must guarantee you will live in the home for more than this? 

From our inquiries, you are right that if you have only just moved to France, it is not possible to apply for a MaPrimeRénov grant towards the costs of renovating the home.

This is because you need to supply a French tax number (numéro fiscal) and the reference number from your last tax return as part of the initial application at maprimerenov.gouv.fr.

Read more: How to apply for a renovation grant for your French home

If you moved in 2021, you should make your first declaration this spring and you will receive an avis d’imposition income tax statement in around August.

This should allow you to apply for the grant. The référence de l’avis code can be found at the top left of the first page.

As new residents, normally you would also wait for your avis to obtain your numéro fiscal, which is just above the référence de l’avis, though it might be possible to speed this process up by contacting your tax office by letter or in person at the centre des finances publiques to request one. 

Read more: How to apply for a ‘numéro fiscal’ for your first French tax return

The service will need personal identity details (passport, for example) and proof of your address, such as a utility bill.

An adviser at your local France Rénov renovation help body confirmed this. 

He said the online application, including the relevant tax details, allows a cross-check with data held by the tax authorities to check your entitlements. 

There are four income categories that affect how much you can receive and for what kinds of work.

The office of the Housing Minister told The Connexion there is no obligation to live in the home for more than five years. In fact, owner-occupiers only have to promise to continue living in the home, as a main residence, during the year following the one in which the grant is obtained. 

However, people who rent out a property must promise to rent it as a main home for five years. Even so, they are free to sell the property during this period, if they wish.

The France Rénov adviser said that some other grants, such as from local councils, require five years. 

However, he did not consider the five-year card (which in any case is usually renewable) should be a bar to any of these grants, though he said if you sold up early, there would usually be a pro rata amount to pay back.

Other conditions for the France Rénov grant include that the house must be at least 15 years old.

To get in touch with France Rénov for more advice, visit france-renov.gouv.fr. Click Particuliers and Je souhaite faire des travaux et j’ai besoin de conseils.

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