Location saisonnière

We operate a gite that is principally let out through one of the major internet platforms. Recently, however, I was approached by a guest who is looking to settle in our region and enquired about the possibility of renting the property for six months while they looked for something permanent.

My question addresses those who have had experience renting out for a similar duration. From what I have been able to find on the internet (language is not an issue) the location saisonnière rental agreement can only be used for us to three months and the other lease forms start at one year duration. Is this correct?

I am also looking for an appropriate model lease agreement that does not involve providing my particulars to a online estate agent. Unfortunately, the only post that I found on this site that could be useful sent me to a Home Away link that is only accessible to members. I recently cancelled my Home Away affiliation after a number of bad experiences and have no wish to renew it to access the link.

Thanks in advance.

Models for most if not all rental contracts are provided on the govt website.
https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R48468 may be the one you want?

Thank you, but this model is explicitly for one year or 9 months depending on the circumstances.

As said - the govt website provides a model for each rental contract variant. But AFAIK there is no specific 6 month rental contract if that’s what you’re after, it’s neither one thing nor the otherAs you said in your first post, contracts other than seasonal normally start at 1 year. Six months is too long for seasonal (legally, visitors only have the right to stay in France for 3 consecutive months), and doesn’t give the requisite tenant protection for a permanent let. I guess you’d have to make an unofficial agreement with your tenant not to overstay 6 months but I don’t know how enforceable it would be under French law…

We’ve only rented out our gite once for a longer let over winter. Never again. There is a huge difference in people’s attitudes if staying for a holiday week or two in a gite they are paying the full price for, and somebody using it a rental. The wear and tear over the 12 weeks was hugely more than the previous 2 years. And it took us four days to clean it after they left. Since we couldn’t charge full price we basically didn’t make much money from it either. We used our normal location saisoniere contract, and even so they overstayed by a couple of weeks (with agreement although also frustration).

So do be careful to set out your expectations. I would suggest you offer a max of three months to be reviewed.

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you can always make several contracts…3 months or 1 month each

Don’t forget that you cannot throw anyone out in the winter, no matter how bad they are or have not paid the rent.

It is just a minefield ! often better to leave a property empty ,and wait for the next ’ gite’ letting .

Had to call in at our ‘local garagiste’ today, run by super hardworking people who have ties with the UK and Belgium.
Large modern house and gite adjoining the property that they have run for a number of years. Sadly they are thinking of closing the gite after having several lots of different British stay this year who left the place in a poor state.
They have various nationalities stay there but have said that sadly the British are the ones that show least respect. I find this a sad reflection :disappointed:

It is sad, but so true.

This is what I have found, but never used. The maximum 80 day limit stated in the durée de location clause can actually read 90 days according to the law, but it otherwise, as far as I can determine, seems to cover the minimum. One of the other members of Survive France has provided a link to a Home Away site with a model contract, but you have to be subsribed to access it. Other than that if you are willing to surrender personal details to an online estate agent there is no end of choice

Anna has answered your question at post number 8. You are looking for something that doesn’t really exist in French standards. If you really have confidence in this person then use a rolling contract, and cross your fingers.

Even if you do find an online estate agent willing to cobble together a 6 month rental contract for you, I would be wary. French rental law has very clear categories, with specific rules to cover each. If your agreement doesn’t fall into any legal category and a dispute arises, it will be messy.

There’s also the issue of how you will declare the income and what allowances you claim - the rules for the holiday let category are different from and in fact more generous than for permanent furnished lets, so again it’s important to be clear which category you are operating in, and make sure that the contract and the way you declare the income etc all match up.

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Thanks Jef. I found one which had a good explanation. It does want details so I will hold back on that for now but very useful to know this is a possibility.

@Jane_Williamson. Yes that is the big difference between a holiday let with a max 3 months limit when you can get people out as the basic principle is that this is not their permanent residence, and a longer let where you are providing housing,

I just use a basic 2 page contract, modified to my usage, of which there are many on the internet. French law does recognise that any document signed by 2 persons is a legal document. Of course any bad surprises after that is down to the people you rent your place to.

Thank you all for your comments and advice. I was aware of most of the principles, but thanks to your inputs I now believe I understand the reasoning behind them. This exchange has been very useful.

Having had a dreadful experience with long term rental, we moved to holiday lets. I would honestly stick with that, sad as it may sound. You could end up with tenants there for YEARS without any payment and with no rights to throw them out… I don’t like giving this advice, but the lovely French lawyer who helped us sue the sitting tenants said when friends asked him about investing in rental properties, he told them under no circumstances to even consider being a landlord and to find another investment. That says it all really, the potential downside is simply so horrendous not worth the risk?

Was your rental Non- Meublé? We have had a meublé rental flat for years now, which is on annual contracts only and has been fine. We decided not to go for non-meublé for the very reason you cite.

Our rental was Non- Meublée (unfurnished) - but I do know of friends with similar problems with people who have rented furnished. I have also seen properties trashed when they finally do leave. The law in France is changing slowly to give those renting furnished accommodation the same rights of tenure as they would have with an unfurnished lease, so the advantages to the owner become less as time goes by.

How people can behave like this is beyond me. They must be in a very sad place.

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