Somehow money seems to be getting scarcer for many of us. For those people lucky enough to have a holiday home in France it may be worth considering renting it out to other holidaymakers when you are not there. It’s a hard decision to make as it will inevitably impinge a little on the way you spend your time in your French holiday home but it can make your home pay its own way in terms of running costs and even give you an extra income on top.
If you are still planning to buy a French property then it’s worth giving careful thought to whether you would like to let it out when you are not there as this may affect the type of property you are looking for. Luckily there are many French properties for sale that have more than just the one house. Maybe you find a property with two houses, which means you could let one out and still keep the other for your own use with all your personal possessions in it, or other properties have workshops or barns where you could store your personal possessions when letting out the house.
Once you start looking at French property with this in mind you may be pleasantly surprised at the low prices of such properties.
Handy Hints For Letting Your Holiday Home
- Remove personal items. Holidaymakers do not like to feel that they are living in your space. That does not mean that you should strip the house of everything but rather that your clothes, food, toiletry items etc need to go leaving decorative items, books, games etc, if you are happy for guests to use them. It’s a fine line between making a house feel homely and welcoming rather than somewhere where your guests feel they are invading your domain.
- The best pics. Once you have your house prepared for letting then ensure you take really good photos of every room. You can also add extras like laying the table ready for breakfast, or wine and glasses on the garden table. What you need to achieve is to tempt anyone searching on line to feel that your home is somewhere where they would like to spend their holiday.
- Market carefully. There are many web sites on which you can advertise but it is also a good idea to have your own that people are directed to. This saves you being restricted by the formats that company run websites offer. The description you prepare is important, with good photos you do not need too much text describing the property, it is better to focus the text on the area and how you imagine your guests will want to spend their holidays. Distance to the boulangerie and bars is information always wanted and, of course, all leisure activities they can enjoy in the area plus basic tourist information. Try to get real warmth into your description and have a photo of yourself and family or friends enjoying your holiday home.
- Administer well. If you are using more than one form of advertising ensure that your calendars are all kept constantly up to date. There is nothing more annoying formprospective guests than spending ages choosing a holiday home only to find that despite the fact it stated it was available the owner contacts you to decline your booking! Have good directions and arrival instructions that are clear and easy for guests to download. Maintain good contact with your guests before they arrive, it’s so much easier when you feel you know each other even if you are never going to meet.
- Be strategic. When it comes to pricing make sure you check out local rates (not only of those properties still available, as the high price may be a reason for this). Also consider special offers for out of season stays, discounts for recommendations to future guests, etc.
- Be flexible. It has become more common since the growth of air bnb for holidaymakers to look for stays of less than or more than the traditional 7 days from Saturday to Saturday. In high season it may well be possible to stick to this letting period but if you find you are not getting as many lets as you would like then consider being flexible about the length of stays.
- Offer something special. Its amazing how something as simple as providing bikes or a hammock in the garden can make people choose your property over another one. Think of inexpensive extras you can tempt holidaymakers with.
- Special events. To get off season lets it’s worth trying to add into the description something about why someone would want to come to your area at that time of year. Maybe a mushroom festival, truffle fair, winter carnival, wine fair etc. These are good things to promote and easy to do if you are using social media to promote your holiday home.
- Underpromise and overdeliver. It is always so good for holidaymakers to be pleasantly surprised by just how wonderful your home is. Whilst it is tempting to ‘beef’ it up in the description it really is better to underpromise and leave your guests with the warm glow of things being even better than they had expected.
- Don’t forget. You will need to have someone you can trust implicitly to sort out the changeovers, to keep the garden tidy and to greet your guests and be on hand if they need help. You will need to register with Chèque Emploi Service Universel to ensure that you are employing whoever you use legally.
You must register with the French tax office to declare the income and if you are tax resident in the U.K, you must also inform the U.K. tax authorities of the income you are receiving from the property. You will not be double taxed!