House swap

We have been living in the Lot for the past six years and my wife now wants to return to the UK.

I think this is the wrong thing to do and that her memories of England are through rose tinted spectacles.

Before we sell up in France and make what I believe to be a dreadful mistake, we would like to swap houses with a UK family for six months to a year.

Does anybody know how I can achieve this?

I have no idea about how to find someone but it seems like an excellent plan.

Hi Michael, rose-tinted glasses? I don't think so, England is lovely, always has been :-) I can understand your wife a little. Sorry no I don't know how you can achieve it but I just Googled the subject and there are loads of websites dedicated to it.

Try a site like Good idea to try before you buy!

It might be worth posting your property swap on SFN, we have a thousands of visitors from the UK every month. I would be happy to give it a plug.


Until our present visit to the UK I felt the same! Crowded motorways, rude mannerless, inconsiderate people, yet to hear an English voice and this is just after three days! I have changed my mind!

England has changed drastically and not sure it is for the better

The house swap is a good idea to get to know the area.

I returned to the UK and had a very poor experience, and it took two years to sell the place so that I could escape.

The house where I lived had windows high up, overlooking a pavement, and people enjoyed banging on these at night, and shinning up to peer in. They also enjoyed throwing rubbish in the garden. The lovely quaint English village was hell on earth.

Hi Michael

we had this happening to friends of mine. The husband resisting the move. Six months after the move he was on the register for mentally affected patients.

You may have to go to a Notary for this to protect yr interests.

Its not unusual for women to want to go back. They want security but UK has changef drastically

The options are: live in France with one partner unhappy; live in the UK with the other partner unhappy.

Hi there

Probably the easiest way to handle this situation, and one which is more legally robust, is to rent out your property in France and then with the rental income you receive rent a house in the UK.

I think the comparative rental amounts (ie, how France compares to England) will in itself give you food for thought...

Best of luck

After 7 years in France with my wife the same happened to me. Our solution was for my wife to provisionally return to the UK and I stayed on in France. A few months later we decided to split up.

Shortly afterwards I met a Frenchwoman...a year or two later we married and my English ex had happily re-established herself in the UK. Now 9 years on I feel almost French.

Its a good idea......try googling....

found this which looks reliable...

Good luck, hope it works out...

Sorry just realised that this is for vactioning...but by posting on this site you may find someone who would be interested in doing this for a longer period....

You could try picking an area to return to and then advertising/ sending a flyer to companies in that area who may have a need for accomodation in that part of France. Do any companies in your area of the Lot have branches/links with places in the UK ?

There is another way which may or may not suit your financial circumstances and depends if you are retired or work at home. If you do manage to sell your house in the Lot and you can afford to buy a house in your chosen part of the U.K you could think about sacrificing something on your house in the UK and buying a very cheap house in France so that you can live in France in the summer for several months. I bought a detached house in Haute Vienne 5 years ago which was just about habitable (initially we looked on it as a stone tent) it cost me around £40000 all in and it costs me about £100 per month to run it for taxes, insurance and utilities. We enjoy staying in France for long periods working on the house and have gradually improved it. I would live in France permanently but my partner prefers to be based in England so this is ideal for us. I don't know if there are similar properties in the Lot that you could pick up cheaply. Avoid properties with gardens or land that would be expensive to maintain and look for a good roof. Our fosse was judged non conformant at purchase but so far it works fine and nobody has raised the topic since the purchase. Also if this might work for you think about your choice of property in the UK as one you can either rent out as a holiday let when you are in France or is a good lock up and leave property. By the way although I prefer France there are many, many good things about England and we live in a stunning and underpopulated part of Shropshire that is very like rural France in many ways.

My friend put her apartment up on and manage to find a renter that will be staying for 4.5 months. The apartment is in L.A. and the other party is from Aix en Provence. Both parties happen to be French, (merely coencidence). Why not check it out? There must be another site just for house swapping though, like in the movie 'The Holiday', or was it just 'Holiday'? I think it's a great idea and that way you will look very carefully, both of you, before you leap so to speak.

My husband wants to move further south because its warmer and I want to move to Bretagne because the summer heat in Poitou Charente is too much for me. I feel your pain. But we both agree that the uk has been ruined by decades of greedy leaches siphoning away our wealth to the Caymens. France has more trees more space and travelling for work here is socially acceptable and economically viable. We also have much better protection from unscrupulous employers. Besides the English weather threw a tree at our van last month. We are not happy there.

I find it very ironic (above) that someone who is an economic migrant in France is upset by the amount of foreigners in the uk.

We rent France and we would not be able to afford anything in the uk. Its that simple.

Tenants in France have more protection. I would check the law very carefully about length of tenancy first.

Swapping with no money changing hands is much less open to legal difficulties here. Once you charge for use of a property the user becomes a legal tenant.

I think trying out the UK before burning your French bridges is a brilliant idea. I had to spend three weeks alone there whilst husband held the fort here, the longest length of time I'd been in England since we moved to France ten years ago.
I was staying in a small, market town in Yorkshire, a town I've known all my life and what struck me like a poke in the eye was that nobody apeared to have any respect for anything or anybody.
There's an etiquette to living in France and where we live, people are still outraged by bad behaviour, which makes for a fairly civilised lifestyle.
My husband sometimes hankers to return to England, but like you, I feel that we'd be giving up the substance for a shadow. I'll certainly insist on trying it out for a year before even contemplating packing up our French life.
I too think we'd be making a big mistake.

I guess it might depend where in England you can afford to buy? In the more expensive areas, no doubt it can be lovely.