Tourist lets, ‘cheap’ chateaux, gutter rules: French property round-up

Our recap of recent property articles that you might have missed

We look at new mortgage rules, a potential change to short-term let taxation, and a court ruling over a controversial property extension
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More changes to short-term lets?

The French parliament is debating a bill which would see tax breaks for many short-term tourist lets severely reduced.

Current rules mean that often the income from short-term rentals sees a 71% reduction before tax applies but the bill would see this drop to 30% in some cases – lower than the reduction for classic long-term furnished rentals.

These changes would mostly apply in areas facing a housing shortage (zones tendues), however other proposals including mandatory energy checks and rental quotas would affect all communes.

Read more: MPs propose further crackdown on short-term rentals on France

Châteaux – and a bunker – on the market

This first article covers a list of bargain French châteaux on the market, all costing less than €500,000.

Scattered across the country, the buildings range from former hunting lodges to luxury retreats for the aristocracy, and with a little TLC (and DIY), could see their values skyrocket.

Read more: Less than €500,000: five bargain chateaux for sale in France

Another article in the same vein covers the sale of a historic bunker used by French forces in World War One.

It was the site of numerous battles, and whilst not fit to become a habitable residence, would allow the owners to preserve a visceral piece of modern French history.

Read more: PHOTOS: World War One frontline bunker for sale in the Somme

Gutter management rules

We cover the rules over gutter maintenance including who is responsible, what can be changed, and whether guttering works require declarations.

We also provide a reminder of the rules around using rainwater, including that collected from gutters, at your home.

Read more: Rules for guttering and collecting rainwater in France

Changes to mortgage rules announced

Tweaks have been announced to a number of mortgage rules in a bid to kickstart movement in the property market.

One major change is an extension to the number of people who can benefit from 27-year mortgages.

Other changes were on the side of banks, allowing them greater flexibility to derogate from rules without facing sanctions, which will particularly benefit first-time buyers.

Read more: France eases mortgage rules to allow more loans of 27 years

Watch out for ‘protected view’ clause in property deeds

France’s highest court recently ordered that a newly constructed swimming pool must be demolished because of a clause relating to blocking a neighbour’s sea view.

The property was subject to a servitude de prospect clause, stating that renovations could not be made as they could impact the sea view of a neighbouring property.

The new owner ignored this clause – despite being warned – and went ahead with the construction, leading the plaintiff to bring the case to the courts.

The ruling found that, due to the clause, the swimming pool and terrace had to be demolished even if they did not directly block the view of the sea.

Read more: New pool must go due to neighbour’s ‘protected view’ clause in France