OWNING A HOUSE IN FRANCE - WHAT ARE THE RUNNING COSTS?

BUY A HOUSE IN FRANCE HOME FRENCH PROPERTY PRICES ESTATE AGENTS IN FRANCE NOTAIRES IN FRANCE FRENCH LEGAL PROCESS

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A courtyard in Agde, Languedoc, France.
PICTURESQUE COURTYARD IN AGDE, LANGUEDOC, FRANCE.
Carteret, Manche, France.
CARTERET, MANCHE, FRANCE.

FRENCH PROPERTY TAXES, SERVICE & UTILITY BILLS, & ONGOING COSTS

Picture of French EurosIn addition to the purchase price of a property in France, and the various expenses, commissions, and taxes that that purchase entails, there is a further series of outlays that will arise out of your purchase. These are comprised mainly of the utility bills, and the various local and regional taxes that must be paid to the Trésor Public.

If your reason for buying a house in France is to move there permanently, you may wish to compare the costs of services, utilities and taxes in the country you are leaving for those in France.
If you are buying the property as a holiday home, whether to rent out for part of the time or not, then these expenses need to be considered as part of the extra ongoing costs of owning a property in France.

EXAMPLE FIGURES

Because there are so many variables involved in the composition of most of the following outgoings, it is impossible to give an average figure for each.
Instead, in order to supply at least some basis to work from, there is an example supplied at the end of each category where appropriate.
EXAMPLE FIGURES SUPPLIED: Are for 2009, and based on a two bedroomed, stone built, end of terrace house with large attic room, ajoining garage, and garden to rear. Location: Small town, Manche, Normandy.

FRENCH PROPERTY OWNING - INSURANCE

HOUSE INSURANCE

It is not only obviously sensible to have your French property insured, but also actually mandatory, under French law, that you have house insurance in place as soon as the property passes into your name. As with most countries, the actual cost of insurance will vary according to factors such as the size, number of habitable rooms, condition of the building, etc.

EXAMPLE FIGURE: 175 Euros

OWNING A HOUSE IN FRANCE - LOCAL & GOVERNMENT TAXES & SERVICES

TAXE D'HABITATION

Worked out by a complicated formula, this tax is partly based on the notional open market rent your property is deemed to be worth, based on its size and location etc, and partly on the funding needed to be raised for local budgets: i.e. for the commune & the department. The tax is applicable if the house is capable of being occupied: so if you've bought an old barn or wreck to renovate, the tax shouldn't apply until the building is habitable. In theory, the tax is payable by the person in occupation of the property on 1st Jan each year, but even if the house is empty on that date (perhaps because it is a holiday home which you only use for part of the year), the tax is still payable. If you rent the property out on a yearly basis, the tax is payable by the occupier:, i.e. the tenant.
The figure varies from authority to authority, but tends to be greater in metropolitan areas than in rural areas.

EXAMPLE FIGURE: 301 Euros

REDEVANCE AUDIOVISUELLE

The TV license, which is index linked, covers all the TVs in the house and the demand comes as part of the same document as the taxe d'habitation. Even if you don't watch French TV, and use your TV for watching films on DVD for instance, if your property has a TV aerial (appareil récepteur de télévision) you will be liable to pay the tax.

EXAMPLE FIGURE: 118 Euros

AVIS D'IMPOSITION TAXE FONCIÈRE

The taxe fonciére is worked out on a similar basis to the taxe d'habitation but with a proportion of the funds raised being allocated to the region as well as the department and the commune. The tax is payable by the owner of the property, regardless of who occupies it, and, as with the taxe d'habitation, varies from authority to authority, but tends to be greater in metropolitan areas than in rural areas.

EXAMPLE FIGURE: 383 Euros

SERVICE EAU-ASSAINISSEMENT

Paid to the commune twice yearly, this is the equivalent of the water rates in the U.K. Water is metered, so part of that element of the charge is variable, depending on how much water is used.

EXAMPLE FIGURE: 171 Euros

TOTAL OF YEARLY EXAMPLE FIGURES FOR PROPERTY INSURANCE, LOCAL TAXES & SERVICES = 1,148 Euros

OWNING A HOUSE IN FRANCE - UTILITIES

GAS

If your French property is connected to mains gas, it will be on a metered supply and payable quarterly, or through a monthly direct debit, as with the U.K.
As usage is variable, no example figures have been supplied for gas.

ELECTRICITY

If your French property is connected to mains electricity, it will be on a metered supply and payable quarterly, or through a monthly direct debit, as with the U.K.
As usage is variable, no example figures have been supplied for electricity.
If your electricity supplier will be EDF, and your French is weak, the following international English help-line for EDF may be of future use to you: 0033 562164908

SEPTIC TANK

If your French property is in a rural situation, and not connected to mains drainage, you will need to factor in to your ongoing expenses the cost of having your fosse septique emptied: usually about once every four years.

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Acknowledgements: images used on the left in the text area are mainly from morguefile.com, my thanks to biberta, missyredboots, rosevita, doctor_bob, cohdra, mconners, kairily, clarita, scott. m. liddel, and anyone else from morguefile whose image appears here. All the images in the right hand column on each page have been taken by me during my various travels in France and are copyright of buyahouseinfrance.info.