A Major Blow to Second Home Owners in France!


I have taken the following narrative from an article by Craig McGinty posted in “This French Life” yesterday 17th May 2011:-

QUOTE: “A new tax on second homes owned by foreigners has been announced. From January 1, 2012, non-residents who own a second home in France, but do not let it out, will be charged an annual tax of 20% of the cadastral value of the property. This is like a second taxe foncière.

Expatriates overseas for professional reasons will not be affected.” UNQUOTE

The repercussions will be IMMENSE with the knock on effect considerable to many SFN members, ourselves included.

Personally, my immediate gut feeling is that the French Government will have scored an own goal in this matter, or at least handled the ball in scoring a “goal”…eh Thierry?

Yes, initially they may well get much needed revenue from the 20% tax, but there will be a lot of houses on the market in the very near future…perhaps that too is part of their end game …only time will tell?

Phil Espley

The proposal’s been scrapped. No new tax on second home owners…


Transfer ownership will cost you 10% of the value in legal fees.

Transfer ownership to someone who doesn’t own a house? I don’t mind owning yours!

I think it’s the body inside the lycra clothes that dictates whether it’s “acceptable” to wear or not! a fit 40 something or une grosse qui a la vingtaine… :wink:

Pornographic… us :open_mouth:

what a blow!

Hi Stephen, No we’re all in very tight lycra if that appeals more! just got this seasons new kit but I have to admit that at the end of most rides you don’t want to get to close to each other!

I think carcassonne is pretty much british now - I don’t live there though, I’m in the Aveyron (my other half’s sister and brother-in-law both aveyronnais live there).

Yes the French haven’t lost out, those that have sold up that is, it’s always the same old problem - it’s the following generation that pays the price! I’ve come across several french people who “are holding out for an english buyer” - crazy I know but there was a period when the difference was so great, as you know, between the UK and France that everything seemed like a bargain and Brits paid whatever was asked, a lot don’t haggle as they’re too polite or can’t speak french either!

I can see and understand both sides of this one… we could go on for ages on this one :wink: can’t continue the kids are playing up…

I think that those who want a second home would stay anyway and still renovate etc, just yet another French tax to pay - love em or hate em, and yes I hate paying them, you get used to it in the end… or you go back to the UK or buy elsewhere… heard about someone who bought a whole village in Bulgaria recently, hey the French are at it too - farmers buying up everything they can get in eastern europe, the soil’s fantastic, labour’s cheap… Good being a European!

srtisans’ major sources of income - depends where you are, a lot of my cycling club mates are artisans who have never worked for British people… they won’t be complaining!

Julie - the argument i’ve always used when working in Business here is that the money comes from the UK and the Brits pay the local artisans so France wins on both counts…yes most, but not all by along way as attitudes are changing, French want new, for very good reasons, and so it means that the the heart of a lot of villages get renovated. but having said that, I used to live and work in Devon, and Cornwal for a while, where demand for second homes has put housing prices out of reach of locals and created a lot of bad blood. Seen the same thing in France, not just Brits but Parisiens too. depends where you are - the Tarn, Like the Aveyron isn’t too over run but I have farming friends who gave up trying to buy a farm in the Tarn because every time they found something, a brit or belgian couple paid well over the going price… they’ve had to leave the Aveyron, family and friends and are in the Vienne!!! - you can imagine what they think of foreign buyers!

We have a neighbour living in sub-standard conditions, no sanitation at all. This is because one of the children who own their dead father’s half of the property refuses to allow it to happen! Our neighbour has had an operation on her heart and a serious stroke, but still prefers to live in her own home. Putting a tax on second homes will not affect her in the slightest. I agree with the comment that people who have no vote here are easy meat! We are wondering what part the artisans will play in this discussion as they realise one of their major income streams may dry up.

agree with you Stephen, even if you can’t manage the menopause red hair do… and in any case, taxe foncière and an additional non-residents tax should still work out cheaper than council tax on a uk second home…? it maight also reduce the "putain d’anglais qui ont fait flamber les prix…ya plus rien pour nous, les français…!

as ever, with you on this one Finn :wink:

I’d like to think so but they manage to tax houses twice for entrepreneurs quite legally - taxe foncière and what was taxe professionnelle and what is now CFE/CET! they never car much about European rules - France is the country that pays the most in fines to the European union for not respecting the rules… à suivre !

Having talked to a solicitor tonight - this is complete and utter unenforceable bollocks as such should not be taken remotely seriously.

Dear Sextant & Finn,

Thanks for your expert feedback. Your reassurances & comforting words have downgraded my levels of depression from “Suicide Alert” down to “Where’s the Corkscrew?”



My French lawyer told me that it might be cancelled because it doesn’t respect European laws. It hasn’t been voted yet, so it is better to wait for the moment.

In worst case scenario this tax will represent about 480 euros/year for a 250,000 euros property, so for a 100,000 euros property it will be only 192 euros/year. It means you only need to rent your property for 1 week per year!

Don’t you just love French taxes - I’m an auto entrepreneur and from next year I’ll be taxed twice on my taxe foncière with the new CFE/CET that replaces the taxe professionnelle…so if i were still living in the uk, had my house here and worked in france under the same status… I’d be taxed three times on the same house!!!

Despite all this… I wouldn’t go back to the UK :open_mouth:

Hi Phil,

It is not copper-bottomed, nailed on, definite, 110% just yet - it is part of the finance bill and it has not yet gone through parliament.

There is also questions about the free movement of capital within the EU, although they do seem to go very slow when it comes to a Member State’s tax plans.

But it is possible to calculate the amount of tax you may face by taking a look at the back page of your last foncière bill, under Taxe foncières - Détail du Calcul des Cotisations.

In the second row down, next to the word ‘base’ should be the rental value of your home, take 20 per cent of this figure.

It will be interesting to see if people decide not to buy, attempt to sell up or just bite the bullet if the new tax comes in.

All the best,