Is it Worth It?


(Debbie Kibble) #1

Escalating Costs !



I am being totally honest and have to admit that I am finding it more of a struggle this year than the past 5 years with my taxe d’habitation/taxe fonciere now costing me 5,000€ p/a, my latest electricity quarter was 1,044€ (twice the amount of last year)and that’s only for electric radiators & hot water tank in a modest 2 bed Gite ! Now the hoteliers have complained Chambre d’hote don’t pay as many taxes as them, we are now having more cotisations to pay and the final straw is when I applied to have my Prefecture classification renewed, instead of costing 50€ for 5 years, I was quoted 400€ !!! What is going on ? Do they want to close down all the Chambre d’hotes in France ???



There are more & more rules and regulations (room sizes, access to toilets, minimum amount of bedrooms, etc) and soon Cd’hote will also be classified which will obviously incur another charge and as we all know, the in-comings just go towards paying the bills…and now, they are not what with all the repairs/replacement costs, buying new televisions & new installations to receive English channels, etc.



I seriously wonder how much longer I can keep going and whether I would be better selling up, down-sizing to a manageable cottage, buying a camping van with the profits and enjoy life touring around Europe !



Are there others who feel like me ? Do you feel like you are only working to pay the bills and the pleasure of gardening is just becoming a chore ? And if so, what can we do about it ?



I was told on good authority that I did not need to register with the Chambre de Commerce or Gite de France but I did have to have a classification of my Gite by the Prefecture in order to be legal. I also fill in an annual form at my Mairie declaring the number of bedrooms, I have my Petite Licence from the Police - Declaration de Profession and am registered with INSEE & of course Impot !



Now we are not allowed to refuse any pets be it a dog, cat or snake ! I and my son both have allergies to dog & cat hairs plus the extra cleaning/damage/smell it incurs but I do mention that my own dog, although very gentle with little children, does not like other dogs !



I look forward to hearing other members comments

In the meantime, enjoy this amazing sunshine…but my plants, grass are dying from lack of rain…lol !


(Sholu Pande) #2

Debbie,
It’s raining - yeah! Hopefully my brown grass will turn green again!

Also, I read this today and thought it might make you feel better about living in France:

"As our (the UK) economy has flatlined, countries like France, Belgium, the Netherlands and even Spain have overtaken us while Germany is powering ahead.

“We’ve gone from the top end of the economic growth league table to being stuck at the bottom just above Greece and Portugal.”

Bureaucracy here drives your crazy, I agree, but overall I am glad to be here.


(Wendy Boyrie) #3

Yes all electric. We installed a pompe a chaleur for the heating and pool heating 2 years ago which is super efficient. Is it in fact 3 gites rented as much as we can - we are full Easter to end october usually and I try to rent at least one of them all Winter too.
Our electric bill last year for all year was Euro3500 - it’s just those two cold Winter months which are particularly frightening.

Yep you don’t need to keep the pool going all Winter… our pool system is old so we keep it on all Summer to be sure.

Have you thought about advertising through people like sabbaticalhomes for Winter rentals… and I work for www.totstotravel.co.uk who have 70pc of their bookings outside July and August… so extending your season.
Or having people looking to move to the area wanting somewhere for 3 months whilst they look over the Winter…??


(Debbie Kibble) #4

Hi Wendy

For the first time I didn’t put the filtration unit on constant over Winter not only to economise but as I had invested in a secure pool cover (more expense) and emptied two large cannisters of 19.6% Jarval (from Super U & the most inexpensive & efficient Hivernage product !!) and had no problems with a crystal clear pool in March !

Someone told me that once you are on Tempo, it’s impossible to change back to another tarif although you can ask them to do comparisons for other rates for the same usage. I signed up the day they discontinued it because a French friend said it would save me money, and it has, until now !

With the Winter let, a business man haggled to have an inclusive price as he was fed up renting and being giving a bill for this & a bill for that. I was pleased to have him because this Winter, for the first time, I had hardly any B&B bookings, even if his rent always paid yet another bill ! However, he did contribute 200€ because he knew he had a good deal !

Installing a separate meter is impossible because the main board is in the Gite and I have two other separate boards in the main house so it would cost a fortune to separate everything ! The Gite is only 45m2, the house is 311m2 plus roof space of 137m2. Gosh you have a big house too - are all your radiators electric ???
Is your bill different to the norm or have they just increased their rates by 50% ??
I’m on the edge of a hamlet - my taxes doubled two years after converting half the loft, the pigeonnier at the back of the house and up-dated the gite ! And after I had asked Impot if I had to pay taxe d’habitation on the gite if it was empty for several months and they asked me to bring all the plans in !!!


(Wendy Boyrie) #5

In the gite I manage we use Tempo - the only reason we haven’t changed is that from April - October we run the pool pump 24/24 7/7 and the Summer rate makes it worth it.
Why don’t you change to HC/HP if you don’t have a reason to keep it?

Also for long Winter rentals, why aren’t you doing rate for stay PLUS utilities? (difficult I suppose if you have only one meter.) Incidentally our bill for Dec / Jan for Tempo for a 400m2 house was Euro1300 odd too. Think of installing a separate meter?

Are you near a main town? Our tax d’hab / tax fonciere isn’t half what your is… I’m astounded.


(Sandy Whitehead) #6

Thurbers aunt?


(Debbie Kibble) #7

Talking of which Sholu, I must go and water my strawberries because they are so dry and dying already… even my lawn is turning brown…I’ve never known an April & May like this in France before and only hope that the Summer will not be wet otherwise the holidaymakers will be staying indoors trashing everything…lol


(Debbie Kibble) #8

Thanks Stu - it’s nice to know you are not alone with your worries.
I came over in 2003 when the exchange rate was 1.50 and everything seemed so much cheaper…now it’s all so much more expensive than the UK !

It’s a shame that you don’t really enjoy your work when it takes up so many hours
in the day…is it not possible to change and do something you would like better ?
although having said that people in France can’t change jobs as easily as you can in
the UK…once an insurance guy, always an insurance guy !

Just enjoy the sunshine…that’s still FREE !!
Debbie


(Debbie Kibble) #9

Yes, my house is very large with 6000m2 of gardens, a large barn and several outbuildings and is my only home.



I have Tempo electricity which is 3x normal tarif for RED days, 2x for WHITE days and just below ordinary tarif for BLUE days. Seolis said that I had used twice the amount of electricity for Red days this year.



My 2 bed gite has electric radiators and water heater but the main house is oil heating and water.



I had a guy in the gite over winter for 4 nights but turned off the electricity whilst he was out at work on RED days and turned it back on a couple of hours before he returned plus I turned it off at the w/ends when he was not there.

Last year I had 3 businessmen B&B throughout the winter so I really can’t understand how it could have doubled.

SEOLIS said I either had a faulty appliance or to wait and see if the next bill is high in which case they will investigate. They very kindly said I could pay it in 3 installments !



Great idea about making an extra charge for cleaning and I shall probably wear a mask at the same time !!!


(Debbie Kibble) #10

Stephen - what a horrible experience for your sister - 3euros for a teabag ! I am sure that must have been an EXCEPTION as the French like to say !

Anyway, good news everyone because ! Wrote to the Office de Tourisme in Niort and the Directeur-adjoint said this :

Aujourd’hui votre meublé de tourisme n’a effectivement plus l’obligation d’être classé en étoiles par la Préfecture.
Vous pouvez vous contenter de vous rendre en votre Mairie pour confirmer votre mise en location en remplissant le document Cerfa que l’on vous remettra ; cet acte est cependant obligatoire si vous souhaitez bénéficier d’un référencement minimal de la part des organismes institutionnels dont l’Office de Tourisme.

So, there it is from the Horses’ mouth and what a relief no further expense although they will catch up with us in other ways including these new cotisations !


(Sholu Pande) #11

Hi Debbie,

A light hearted response: Sarkozy wants to get ride of all the foreigners. Sarkozy wants the foreigners to keep him in the lifestyle that he has become accustomed to. Sarkozy is banking on the foreigners being honest and declaring their taxes … I could go on.

Seriously, I do agree with you it is jolly tough. Gardening is certainly hard going right now, but I do love the fresh veg. Also, I ask myself, would it be any better in the UK? I certainly didn’t have the space to have a vegetable patch there.


(Stuart Wilson) #12

Hi Debbie

I am not a gite owner but I wonder how many times I have asked myself and I quote from you:

“I seriously wonder how much longer I can keep going and whether I would be better selling up, down-sizing to a manageable cottage, buying a camping van with the profits and enjoy life touring around Europe !”

I work full time in a reasonably reponsible position and I think life in France is becoming tougher and more expensive in general. I don’t even really enjoy my work, which I guess is probably just as important.

One thing is for sure; there is only one person who can really answer the question.

Chin up.

Stu


(Wendy Boyrie) #13

Goodness why is your tax d’hab / fonciere so much? where is it and how big is it? Is it your primary residence?
What contract do you have for your electricity?
For the dog / cat thing, put on your details a hefty cleaning charge to put people off.