Moving main residence from France to Spain

I have lived in Cantal for 8 years - it is my permanent, and only, residence. I have just bought a holiday home in Almeria, Spain and after staying there for a couple of months I'm now seriously considering changing my French house to be my holiday home and live mainly in the Spanish house. I would be grateful for information on two matters. Firstly the mechanics in France of changing my main residence to Spain ? Secondly, I'd be interested to know what impact it might have on my tax fronciere and tax habitation if my French house now becomes a holiday home ?


I don't come on very often because it is difficult to express opinions without getting uncalled for abuse or even sensorship but I will pass on to you some info about Spain if it helps you.

I have lived in Spain on the Costa Blanca for 11 years. There is more than enough antiquity here when it comes to paperwork. The Spanish Authorities love it! Also don't be fooled about temperatures. This year in particular we have had the longest, coldest winter of my 11 years here. We had temperatures going down to minus 16 at one stage. If your villa does not have central heating I suggest you make that your first priority and buy some hotwater bottles (for day and Night).

The buildings here are designed to keep you cool inside which equals cold in the winter. Spain is a cold country with a lot of sunshine but the temperatures drop like a stone at night. Ian Duncan Smith take note.

It is beautiful and the people are generally helpful and friendly but if you want to start a business here the government make it almost impòssible. Even before you have earned your first sous or Euro Cent you have to start paying NI from the first week. To register the equivalent of a LTD company costs a small fortune and is beyond anyone with limited startup capital.

My wife and I are trying to move in the other direction from here to France. We have the most incredible sea and mountain views here. Indeed they are views to die for and we know we cannot afford to 'buy' such views in France but we are determined to move there even if it is a bit colder and without our amazing views.

We want to start a small enterprise there despite some of the difficulties you and others mention about France and to buy a house WITH central heating! We also want a garden for our Son to play in.

Incidentally, Income tax is higher here than in France! The tax I pay on my pension income will stop once we are living there.

I do hope that this small snippet of information is helpful to you.

P.S Electricity costs are way in excess of France! Sorry.

I don’t know if French Health Regulations differ from those in UK, but there may be EU regulations which should take precedence over the French ones.
Did your trailer come with any guarantee that it was suitable for France?
I would look at Youreuropassistance, which is an arm of the EU which protects citizens of one country living in another EU country and who are having problems with administration.
This is the first stop, they will point you in the direction of any regulations which the French should be applying and are/ are not.
You can then take your case to SOLVIT if you are in the right and they will take up the issue on your behalf and the French will have to comply.
Good luck. It is possible to beat the fonctionnaires!

Nick, I can understand you wanting to leave the cantalien winters - I worked in Aurillac for a year, that was enough for me! Nothing you can do about taxe foncière and taxe d'habitation (you'd have to move all furniture out of the house and have it inspected and get an attestation that it's empty of all furniture and uninhabited on the 1st of january to get out of that one). As for where you're resident - that'll depend on where you spend most of the year and where your economic centre of interest is but if you're not working that won't come into play. And yes at times it's difficult doing business here, everything is way way behind the Uk but after 10 years or so you forget that things can be different...!

Winters in Spain and sumemrs in teh Cantal seems to be a good idea to me, best of both worlds ;-)

Anthony - Thanks for the advice. I'm moving to do with the weather - its bl**dy cold here in Cantal in winter (snowed on us 6 May last year !) so I want the warmer weather as the old bones are creaking and arthritis beckons for my wife. I know what you mean about France being 40 years backwards - however i quite like the old-fashioned way of life - however I can imagine its frustrating for someone who wants to work here.

(i). should be easy as pie. Free movement of people (and capital) from one member state to another is one of the 'pillars' of the EU and is a given, more or less admin-free, freedom. As to notice, a letter to La Mairie (and the Gendarmerie) should suffice. Neither is mandatory. (ii). the French give you no free lunch on tax (quelle surprise). To my knowledge, there is no 'light' version of these land taxes. (I lay myself open to be wrong on this one). So I think you will still have to pay them as they are now.

If you are moving from France, make damn sure all your energy bills and taxes are on direct debit. Also, don't get caught out for a lack of 'real' meter reading for electric and gas over a long period, i.e. a year or two as the energy company can decide to break your supply contract (has happened to a friend on his French home when it was a 2nd home).

I feel like turning my main French home into a 2nd home too ... I am soooo pee'd off with how backward France is. I reckon France is about 40 years in the past. I am trying to start up a food business and DREAL won't register my imported-from-the-UK catering trailer ... that's 3 months now that it has sat there on private land.