Irish citizen running a gite in France

Looking for some guidance.
We bought a place in France just before covid hit. We bought it as a secondary home, with our permanent home being in Ireland. We’ve been paying the tax habitation etc over the past few years. I retired a few months back and one thing led to another and I registered to do airbnb here in France. The airbnb is more by way of keeping busy rather than depending on it for an income as I have a pension.
What I need to get sorted is was it ok for me to do so…how does it affect where I pay tax and where do I go to get informed and up-to-date advice?..I would really appreciate any suggestions?


Welcome to the site.

I think you might find this article helpful…

In particular…

You need to get a Siret number from the INPI site, and as the post above do the declaration at the Marie (unless you are in certain areas where you need actual permission). AirBnB should have checked that you have a Siret nu,ber and should take responsibility for collecting an paying the taxe de séjour.

The simplest is to declare as micro-foncier on your tax return. If you are not classified you just give the turnover, and then you will be taxed on 50% of this (due to change soon).

Isn’t this the rental scheme that the spanish are up in arms about and also some of the french?

I replied in a rush yesterday as it was 19.55, so wanting to go and watch news.

The house is in France so you pay tax in France as a non-resident. You will have a tax number through paying your tax d’hab and taxe foncière, so setting this up should be straightforward. Taxes are paid in arrears, so your first return for money you take in during 2024 will be declared in May 2025.

A lot depends on how much you make as there is another option, called regime réel, which means you can off sets certain costs against the income so declare your real profits. It is mor complex so only worthwhile if your costs are very high. We do it because we live in the mountains so heating is a big cost.

Do be aware that if you also need to register for Cotisation Foncière d’Entreprise - a business tax. You won’t be charged in first year and if you earn less than €5k will be exempt. It requires you to open a pro page as well as the normal particulier page in your tax account. The first we knew of it is when we were chased for not paying! It is all online, they never send you anything, and we hadn’t ever looked at our pro page!

And even tho’ Air should sort out the taxe de séjour do go and register with tourist office anyway, and make sure. Personally I can’t stand Air and we won’t use it or Booking - not just because they take such as high % but also for their policies.

Yes, Air has an increasingly bad reputation in many areas for having over promoted short terms rentals. And the effect is that there is a huge lack of affordable rentals for local people. And this has caused new controls - in areas of the Basque county you can only have a new holiday rental if you also have a long term rental for example. The problems are mainly in urban areas, but not exclusively.

If the new Government continues the proposals that are underway the holiday rentals will loose the fiscal advantage they have at present, and if enforced will make it far less profitable to run a holiday let.

Air is just a booking portal with aggressive marketing, so it will be a shame as their bad behaviour will hurt a lot of people who use all the other portals (there are many) and operate respectfully.

Amongst traditional gîte owners they have the reputation of attracting the worst clients. How true this is I don’t know as we don’t use them. However a new gîte locally was in the papers for having been totally trashed by Air clients who rented it for a party ( they obviously didn’t tell the owners that they were planning a party).


Interesting to hear that gite owners don’t like Air B’n’B. I’ve rented gites in France through them each year for the last 3 years and my experience has been excellent from the customer side. The website search works well and the whole process has been efficient and easy.

Some of that is down to the very good hosts that I’ve dealt with, of course. I do read the reviews of any place I rent and of course choose the ones with high ratings.

Air B’n’B does have ratings for guests too so perhaps hosts might want to pay more attention to those when accepting bookings? I appreciate it’s not an infallible guide of course.

We never used air b&b or any other platform that would take away our control of who we would rent to, e.g. those 2 night new year party bookings, people who’d stayed before and we said never again. And i didn’t want to pay for something i could easily do myself


I have a lot of sympathy with that. I loathe Vrbo because they use my terms and conditions - 25% when booking, (which often is January for a July slot)and remainder 6 weeks before arrival - and do not let me have MY money until after our guests have arrived. :angry:
But, I stay with them - because of their reach. There is no way I could market myself in the same way. They bring me one or two new guests each year which refreshes the returners pool. During Covid they kept me going with Dutch, French, German guests when no one was travelling from the UK (my main market). This year, they are bringing me Belgians and two British families who are all new.
The guests who come via Vrbo like the convenience of paying by credit card (whereas I ask for a bank transfer) and somehow just accept the appalling charges Vrbo apply. I litter my site with the name of my gite in the hope that they google me and find my website (Vrbo bans owners’ own site details) and come and stay for less money, but they seem not to notice (or care?).
I am fortunate - ours is not a “party” type gite and I allow a maximum of 4 guests and minimum of two weeks stay in high season. I wouldn’t dream of being open over Christmas/New Year - impossible to make money with the cost of heating set against the fee I could charge.
Airbnb holds no attractions whatsoever for me as a gite owner.


I hate them and avoid them where possible. I’ve seen the effect of their iniquitous fees on the price of rentals: an inexorable rise which prices local people out of the market, and loads of bought-to-let houses standing empty for a lot of the time (which harms local businesses). It’s a particularly sore point for those of us who live in university cities, where there is already an effect on rents.

I agree they make things easy for the customer.

I’m sure you are a great customer. The problems seem to be more with places where they accept late bookings for just a few days (which we would never do), and particularly where they don’t live on site. And seem to get clients who are disrespectful.

We did end up having to rent an Air BnB in May as went to meet up with friends in a tiny place and there was nothing else available. The place was as described, but the communication with Air/host was awful. Texts saying we would be told the address and how to access the place once the previous guests have left are really not reassuring when you have a long journey to get there! We were due to arrive at 16h, and got the message with details from a Swedish number at 14.30h when already well into our journey.

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Yes I agree that’s not ideal. The place I stayed in Charente in June was a bit cryptic as to its exact location - I only got that (and the lockbox code) the day before I arrived.

I understand why owners may not want the exact location to be public, but equally I like to check out the environs on Google Street view if possible.

All was well in this case, I met the owners and they were very welcoming, and the Gite was very nice.

I do sympathise with Gite owners who have to deal with all kinds of clients, some of whom are not respectful of their property, and I can see why Airbnb may cause issues due to its very success.

We have booked some through, and we always try to find if the owner has a website of thier own to book direct, but these days few do.

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Same here. We also look on the area’s tourist office website.

I don’t know what Booking or AirB charge owners as fees, but I could imagine running your own modest website would be cheaper.

Probably wouldn’t have the reach though, that’s the trouble. The handy thing with AirBnB is it covers a huge area and lets you search by price, type of accommodation and number of bedrooms etc.

But having stayed somewhere I liked I would definitely go direct if I could - in fact I wanted to do that this June but the folks I stayed with in Charente 2 years ago had closed down that particular gite, and their remaining gite was too big (and hence too pricey) for just me.

13 -15%!

That’s the whole problem - there are millions of modest websites and Facebook pages that never get anywhere near the top of the list. To do so takes a huge amount of effort. In the days of Owners Direct life was delightful - they had the marketing and reach but allowed gite owners to have direct contact with prospective guests. That world has gone.

Even putting just “Lot et Garonne” into Vrbo dozens and dozens of different gites come up - I’m always amazed (and grateful) that people find us.

Lots just use Facebook these days - rubbish way of advertising!

For me, I would never expect someone to find my website by just googling me. I hope they find me after having located me on Vrbo as my website has much more info better described than Vrbo will let me have these days.

Sue it should be possible! I am no SEO expert, but there are couple of things I spotted immediately about your home page that could help Google notice you.

One easy one is your site description on your home page:

Beautifully restored spacious cottage comfortably sleeps four in the lovely countryside of Lot-et-Garonne in South West France

It’s descriptive of what you offer, but you haven’t used the words “gite” or “rental” or “holiday” in the page title or description metadata for that page - nor do the words “gite” or “rental” appear in the body text of the page - “holiday” appears twice, but one of those is in a link to a different page. I would imagine that those are the sort of keywords people are likely to use in search.

You also want to avoid “filler” words like “in” and “the”.

I would maybe try rewording that as:

gite holiday rental Lot et Garonne South West France - comfortable cottage sleeps four - lovely countryside

When creating content for websites you need to start with likely search terms that someone might type in to a search engine and work outwards from those - making sure that the targetted key phrase (for example “gite rental Lot-et-Garonne”) appears in the page title, page description, at least one heading or subheading, and also within the body text.

This applies to all pages on your site but especially to the home page. getting links to your website from other websites (e.g. local tourist organisations) is also important - you may have already done this.

if I search for “gite rental Lot-et-Garonne” it’s the big boys that come up first naturally (Airbnb, Vrbo, Simply Owners), but surprisingly there are zero invididual gites that come up for that search phrase, which kind of suggests to me that owners are either not bothering with having their own websites, or are not doing the SEO thing with any success, in terms of mainstream Google listings.

Fortunately Google Maps is a different matter - that search term on Maps throws up lots of individual listings with prices etc - just what most people will want to see.

If I type in “Larrival” it does find you (one of 2) but only as a place name near Varès - there is no mention of your business or a link to your website.

So as well as beefing up the relevance of your text on your key web pages, relating to common search terms, i would get yourself listed on Google Maps ASAP:

So you can see how this works, here is a link to my business listing on Google Maps:

PS once you’ve got your business listing, ask your past clients to give you some nice 5-star Google Reviews - that helps too!

ETA: PPS : I use a WordPress plugin called RankMath to help with adding keywords and making sure they appear in my page text. Yoast SEO is another popular one.


Hi all,

Sorry its not in relation to the original post but here is my tuppence worth on the ensuing discussion:

After 10 years of experience and 5,000 people hosted, we prefer Airbnb clients to any other.

They are generally very friendly and respectful, communicate the best in advance. We rent by the night and have only had a handful of problems across the 10 years. Since they know they will be given a score by us, if they want to stay on the platform, they have to behave! If not, Airbnb has the best garantee on the world, up to 1m€, we made a claim for 80€ ruined bedding once that the client didn’t respond about and it was promptly paid by Airbnb with no quibbles.

We have always been on and Airbnb (with a 25% markup to cover commission) and all integrated by Amenitiz which act as channel manager and provide SEO optimised website all for 60€ a month with no commission. A bargain for the amount of direct business it has driven to us!

We have gone from 50% of bookings coming via who typically bring us the worst clients and provide the worst customer service, to well over 50% of our customers coming directly to us. They can book via internet or contact us to make other arrangements, it manages contacts, bookings and contracts easily and saves us a huge amount of time and money.

There is a parrainage system available if anyone wants to try it and save some extra money in the process :grinning:

Being listed on Google maps with good SEO definitely helps people to identify us on or via a search engine and then book directly with us.

More revenue, happy customers and less money in the pockets of the reservation giants… happy days.


It’s good that it’s working for you! I think most of the problems may well be when the owner does not live on site, and in more urban areas.

For us the commission would be the killer. We are not in an area where high prices are the norm, and our profit margin is small with the costs of electricity in particular. High season would be ok, but we may well get no bookings if we added 25% to our price in low season!

I’m sure you do, because AirBnB is great for owners.

It’s just cynically overpriced for guests.

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