Tax cut for landlords to revitalise French towns

People who buy run-down properties in certain towns can get a reduction in their income tax under a new law.

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The Loi Denormandie, named after the minister for towns, applies to purchases of properties between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2021, which are then renovated and rented out empty on long-term leases.

Properties must be in one of 244 towns whose centres are deemed in need of rehabilitation. The amount of tax reduction will vary depending on how long you commit to renting the property out.

It is set at a percentage of total cost (within a ceiling of €300,000) including price, notaire’s fees and renovation work. The rates are 12% (six years), 18% (nine years) or 21% (12 years).

To give an example, if a house costs €270,000 and €90,000 of work is completed and you rent it out for 12 years, you obtain a reduction of 21% x €300,000 = €63,000, split over 12 years, ie. €5,250 per year. Reno­vation work must make up at least 25% of the total cost and it must improve the energy efficiency of the building by at least 30% (20% for flats).

Alter­natively, it should correspond to at least two of the following: roof insulation, wall insulation, energy-efficient windows, change of heating system, change of domestic hot water production system.

Work must be carried out by a certified RGE company.

The tenant, for whom the property must be the main residence, must meet income conditions (too high for social housing, low enough to struggle on full market rates). Monthly rent may not exceed certain limits, depending on the area where the property is located.

The site suggests people weigh up how much return they can get on an investment, depending on property prices and rents in the area and the outlook for the future.

Its analysis found Limoges, Sarrebourg and Corbeil-Essonnes to be good bets.