Living in France part time and Managing a Gite or two = No Brexit Responses Please!

My partner and I are considering buying a doer upper in France, preferably Charente or Dorgogne, a smallish place with a couple of buildings to be turned into Gites. One to stop in and others to let out. Initially we plan to stop in the UK (my partner has not retired yet). We also would like to test the waters first , (and help my grown up daughter get used to Mum moving to another country - lol) . We would ideally like to spend some months in France and some in our home of Wiltshire.

We are wondering how that can be done in that we would need a management company or similar to handle guest arriving at the Gites when we were in the UK and we would like to know the pit falls etc…
How to go about getting a company and so on. This is all in the early stages, we have not secured anything yet, but feel we need to plan ahead. I have always wanted a little something in France to chill out in .

We also have two dogs, I am assuming they can have passports to travel between France and the UK

Hi Elizabeth

If you check out the various forum threads under “Gîtes & Chambre d’hôtes” … you may find some useful information.

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It sounds as if part of the plan is to eventually move here full time, is that correct?
If so, in normal circumstances planning ahead would be exactly what to do, but Brexit muddies the waters. Unless you have Irish passports (or another EU passport) it’s not really possible to plan far ahead as regards a permanent move with any certainty, when you don’t know if freedom of movement for Brits is going to end next February, or at the end of December 2020, or (if pigs fly) if it will continue for the forseeable future. It’s entirely out of your hands so all you can do is keep an eye on what’s negotiated and be prepared to change your plans accordingly. But basically, if you’re not resident at the point when freedom of movement ends, you would lose the automatic right to work or run a business in France, and you would need to satisfy immigration criteria in order to be allowed to move here permanently. Sorry if that throws cold water over the plans but it has to be faced and built into the plans I think.

Thanks Stella

To Anna Watson

On researching this, and it is my belief also, I found this online. I personally dont believe much will change in regard to being able to buy and live part time in France. We are only in the process of planning/researching at the moment, and dont plan anything until about 18 months to two years . With respect i dont want to get into a discussion regarding Brexit, as many find it emotional at the very least.

…Q. I’m buying a holiday home, how will things change?

…A. We see little or no change whatever the outcome. The cost of purchase is the same regardless of nationality and remains amongst the lowest in Europe (Notaires fees are around 7%). There would be no difference to Capital Gains Tax which currently has a basic rate of 34.5% (19% + 15.5% social charges) regardless of nationality.

…The annual taxe fonciere (paying towards local services) and taxe d’habitation (paying for residency, including TV licence) will not be affected – these are usually well below the cost of council taxes in the UK.

…Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) would also give you state healthcare at a reduced rate and sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions.

…If Britain remains outside the Schenghen group then border controls will remain. Technically the French Government could impose some kind of time limit spent in the country but with 400,000 French citizens in the UK this is beyond improbable. …

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We sold our first house here to an English couple who split their time between here and the UK, in the summer months the house is rented out and we deal with the rentals (house, garden and pool). As far as I know the couple declare the income correctly and have notified the Mairie so that the TDS is also accounted for. There are many management companies in the Charente and Dordogne so you shouldn’t have a problem finding someone suitable.

As for buying a ‘project’, don’t do it unless you have pots of money.


Thanks for that Timothy. It all sounds very hopeful to me :slight_smile:

No I absolutely agree - that’s why I started off by saying

Obviously it wasn’t correct. I misinterpreted your intentions and you can totally ignore everything I wrote :grin:

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Anna, I am not sure what I am doing but other research has said things that I find quite reassuring.
On this link it explains a lot, which I believe is quite accurate and away from political hype from the media and the politicians (EU and UK) .

The information seems balanced and laid out well. I would believe that France will not hold Brexit against us, and that the people are more well balanced and laid back than the media would claim. We would be bringing some money to the local economy and paying any fees taxes we would be expected too…

Before you decide that the 400,000 French people in Britain, most of them working, will protect your back after Brexit I suggest you read a few forums where Americans, Australians and the like share their frustrations about dealing with Visas. True, after Brexit it will be fairly straightforward for British citizens to move to and work in Europe but the freedom for those who come and go as holidaymakers using their second homes freely is likely to be severely restricted. Many people get away with ignoring 183 day rulings and stay longer knowing that they will never be checked up upon. Moving to a system that might allow no more than 90 days in 180 is something else altogether.
Nobody knows what will happen after Brexit because the negotiations have not got anywhere near that point but betting that nothing will really change might be unwise.


Brexit won’t be held against us, but whatever agreements are made will have to be respected. You don’t need to rely on other people’s interpretations, you can go straight to the horse’s mouth and see for yourself what the state of play is, the EU is as transparent as possible about everything and all the documents are made available. This document sets out the latest position on citizens’ rights and covers just about everything:

David Martin Please Note that I am not interested in Brexit thanks!
Please respect that. It is an emotive subject and I can see that you are already emotionally charged by your first sentence.



Elizabeth… why not move to the Chambre d’Hote link I suggested and discuss with folk who already run gites etc… :slightly_smiling_face:

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I am looking to do that, but just thought i would post a question Stella… thought I had posted it on that one too, getting used to this set up… I am not Computer capable, lol

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Ha ha… Elizabeth… it’s a bit late to alter the title… when you yourself have posted a link about Buying after Brexit…

You’re new here… so we’ll all just take a deep breath and chuckle in friendly style… :wink::wink::wink:

cheers… :relaxed::relaxed::relaxed:

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I posted that long after my initial question as people are getting stuck on Brexit Stella. I want info at the moment. It is too emotive a subject, we all have our own opinions on it, and I just want to know about running a Gite whilst living in the UK, What happens after Brexit is another subject completely and way off what I am looking for info on. I am just researching, and what I have found so far is good.

What a bizarre response. You have posted that in your opinion nothing will change after Brexit, I think that is an unwise point of view. I am not emotionally charged, I don’t need to be, I am in a position where Brexit will not have a huge effect on me whatever the outcome. I am not considering buying a house here, possibly moving to France after March 2019 or thinking of living in Britain and running a business in France. If I was considering any of those three things I can assure you I would not be cherrypicking rose tinted articles from the Internet and putting all of my faith in their thoughts. As I wrote before see how easy it is for third country residents, their experiences are so very different from those of British citizens.

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Hi - just a couple of reality checks…

Purchase fees are around 8% (notary fees ,state taxes, vat)
Estate agent fees currently average around 7% + vat (sometimes negotiable)
There are other considerations as far as CGT goes for non-residents but that hardly affects you right now!

Not sure where that comes from but…it’s important to compare like for like in terms of the location of the property. The sum of Taxe d’Hab. + Taxes Fonc. can mount up - especially for non residents.

As a tip - possibly best to check French sources when conducting ‘research’. Very best of luck with your plans - it will all be do-able even if not in exactly the same way as it is today :slight_smile:

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Thanks all info is helpful. I understand it is probably not all going to stay the same. :slight_smile:

We did just that, well in broad terms in that we bought a house with a derelict annex which we have renovated and turned into a gîte. And we started well before we moved over permanantly, but were spending a lot of time here, maybe 5 months a year.

So some of our lessons learnt. These are sweeping generalisations, and specific areas can be different, but things to think about.

First off, property might be cheap but renovation work isn’t. Building materials and artisans are expensive, so depends whether this is a DIY project or not. (and many pitfalls with DIY if not skilled and knowledgeable about french systems). And many people bring over materials and workers from UK, but if you are not in an area that accepts that then this will cause resentment. And you can’t set off UK invoices against future capital gains. Round here (there are no English) the Dutch are disliked for not using local services. It really depends on whether your long term plan is to integrate or not.

It is also slow. For example we wanted to use a specific local firm for the roof, as our researches had identified them as the best within a 50km radius. We had to wait over a year for a slot in their programme. Even getting estimates can take a while. So double your time estimates.

Our experience is also that the french builders believe they know best. We would spend half an hour carefully agreeing the way we wanted something to be done, only to pop back an hour later and find that they had started on an alternative approach. When questioned about whether they understood what we wanted, they would commonly say ‘yes, but this way is better’! If we hadn’t been here I have no idea what would have ended up with. So doing it from a distance has pitfalls.

And also gîte rénovation and management will not make you rich. Again it depends on how legitimate you plan to be. But take a hard look at your business plan, and think about taxes, social charges, taxe de séjour, cotisation foncière d’entreprise, management charges, maintenance, replacement équipement, initial furnishings, marketing, etc etc etc - the list is very long. Obviously it depends what level & size of gîte you are aiming for, and what the local market is in terms of price, but I would say that it is rare for a single gîte to create a liveable income. For us it’s an acceptable return on our investment, but we are not paying others to do the cleaning, gardening or changeovers, didn’t need to borrow any money and don’t pay commissions to lettings agents.

I could go on, but in summary I would only do it if you are prepared to put time and effort into it, otherwise you won’t be happy with the result and it will just be very stressful.