Need some advice about starting a gite rental

Morning All

I have a friend who lives in the UK, that owns a maison secondaire in my commune.

Due to the hassel about long term visits, 3 month limits etc. He is thinking about renting out the property as a holiday let.

I am worried that this could be a minefield, insurance, maintenance, business registration ? etc

Can anybody out there give me any idea of how to start this process and what might be involved.



  1. Go to the Marie to fill out a registration form (free and easy)

2.Tell the house insurance company (may be small supplement)

  1. Apply to the greffe for a Siret number (free and easy)

  2. Gîte’ify the house (is any pool properly secured, carbon monoxide alarms, personal possessions locked away etc) and decide on your marketing, prices etc

  3. Find someone to do the changeovers and maintenance

  4. Sort out paying taxe de séjour (good idea to register with tourist office)

  5. Talk to tax office about paying CFE (cotisations foncières entreprises)

  6. Keep careful records so you can declare for tax. There are various different ways to declare the income once you have decided to do a gîte but essentially if your turnover is under 23,000 you are non-professional and it’s quite easy.

  7. Optional is to get house classed with a star rating which gives you tax advantages, A bit off a faff, and costs around 200€ plus whatever you have to do to get house to meet the 112 criteria (I’m not joking).

Most difficult bit is probably finding someone to do the on site management

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Decide who is going to use the gite. Is the market France/Europe and/or UK? Families? Couples?

And equip and style the gite accordingly.

Take photos - inside / outside / surrounding countryside / attractions.

Write text about the gite and why people should want to stay there. Does the text need to be translated?

Decide whether to have your own website / facebook page and/or go onto the gite booking platforms.

Read everything you can written by other gite owners, on here and on Laymyhat.

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If you put the house on certain sites the taxe de sejour is automatically taken.
So is your deposit and you do not get paid until the people actually turn up and then they charge 3% to pay into your bank account.
The clients pay extra for so called ‘insurance to call out tradesmen etc’. Trying to do that round here will get you nowhere unless you are personally known.
This any site covered by Expedia.

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Without going onto one of the booking platforms you may struggle to get the business. It can take several years to build a reputation and get enough repeat business to raise two fingers to the likes of Vrbo.

The alternative is to spend a LOT of time actively marketing / keeping the website / facebook up-to-date / dynamic so that the “bots” find you. Does he want to be doing that from the UK?

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Strangely we only use a teeny, tiny portal and find that brings us enough business to fill up one gîte, along with the tourist office.

Although this and last year have been very odd as we are getting requests coming in not via these routes which we finally discover are down to us being shown on google maps! We never asked for this and not 100% convinced as not our usual clients! (The booking we got today it totally novel for us!). And “talking” to other gîte owners a lot reckon that this will replace the online portals so for the moment we’re just seeing what happens…

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We are on google maps as well and we have had bookings from that.

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Sensible bookings? What concerns us slightly is that without having had full info in advance people may not be expecting what we offer, and then be dissatisfied as its not what they wanted.

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We ventured from UK just to be in France in the hospitality sector,
Our restaurant in London was well respected for acterful propertyfine cuisine but it was notlocated in the posh part of London and we had limited funds for decoration and PR
When we sold the property we came to a fairly grand house in a great wine region and we added lots of colour and style to the characterful property,
There are 2 ways to go I suppose cheap and cheerful with bookings galore or put your heart and sole into the project and reach a different audience. We have developed the garden which looks splendid just now. But take into concideration all the energy needed to keep the property youthful and beautiful and remember that youth slips away with the wind the rain and time.
After 14 years we probably are moving on.

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We are slowing down too Barbara.

Not sure it is either/or these days. People wanting gîte accommodation are no longer satisfied with the cheap and cheerful things we used to book in years gone by. Everyone expects quite a high minimum standard, which of course has a cost attached.

What I have seen much more of recently is tiny places (65m2 for 6 people :scream:) finished to a very high bling standard and charging very high rates!

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Morning all

Thanks for all the responses.

It will give my friend some food for thought


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