New Regulations regarding inspections

We have come across the change in inspection of gites etc. whereby the Prefecture licences independent companies to award your accommodation a star rating.

We do not want a star rating as we are not going to advertise our accommodation via a website or any other form of open publicity.

We have also heard that you need a star rating before you can register as a micro-enterprise/auto-entrepreneur.

Is this correct?

Hi Clare,

We too are going to promote our gite through our personal contacts and their friends. We are looking at the AE classification as it seems to be the simplest way of doing things. We are not worried by a classification, but need to have the inspection if we want to use AE. We are still in the throes of putting the finishing touches to our "Little House", my husband is making a hand-built kitchen and we have to put down the oak parquet in the bedrooms and salon, so we have a way to go yet.

Hi Wendy, thanks for the info and links. As far as I can see these are for people who register directly with impot and not through the AE system, so mainly as professional landlords,and my issue is around the auto entrepreneur system. One thing that is clearly says is that classification is by choice only and not compulsory, so that is good news. We don't need to be classified, we do not advertise here or with agencies to get our business we do this through an independent source and by word of mouth and we have NEVER been asked if we have a rating. If there is anyone else out there who is AE, i would love to know how you work.

Our accountant has set it all up for us. We are micro BIC and have just had the classification done for the 71pc.

Best thing I can find:


Hello everyone. As I am new to this forum, I have only just come across this thread. Was there any further developmental on the classification of gites. I was told just recently by a business advisor and the chambre of commerce that it is NOT compulsary to have you gite classified and my accountant said that under Auto Entrepreneur the classification applies if you want the 71% abatement and not the lower 50%. I believed also from the AE guide, the impot office & adviser that under AE you declare under "vente de marchandises" with 12% cotisations and 1% tax, total 13% but my accountant is saying if you are not classified you have to pay under activités de prestations de services à caractère commercial ( dont la location meublée ) ou artisanal attracting 1.7% tax and 21.8 cotisations total 23.5% I can not find anything in writing anywhere to clarify this and wondered if anyone else has had this experience. We pay the higher rate because of the advice from the accountant but am starting to worry that she is wrong and I am frightened to change this in case she is right. HELP!

What's the betting that they would choose a non-french owner as a test-case?

It was a consumer group that inititated this case and, forgive me, they can be like a dog with a bone!

Our Mayor says, of course, you can say no, it is your house and when I mentioned the ruling to a french gite owner the response was "tant pis".!

>>>>>>>> welcome to France! :o)

Hi Danny,

I have read this ruling and it is interesting to note that there is accommodation advertised on Gites de France which clearly states no animals.

I am asthmatic and have problems with some animals, so would probably be allowed to say no for reasons of health, but I do not want to become a test-case!

It seems to have gone very quiet on this front, I think people are hoping that Gites de France and Clevacances will be able to bring some common sense to this ridiculous situation.

Our Mayor says, of course, you can say no, it is your house and when I mentioned the ruling to a french gite owner the response was "tant pis".!

I also have a relocation agency looking for rentals long and medium term for people coming to Montpellier... VERY few landlords will allow dogs... law or no law....

Also the gites I run are aimed at small children, who often don't like dogs... friendly or not, a very waggy lab is not great for a toddler...

Plus as I'm not on site, you cannot police people who come who have been told not to exercise their dog around the pool area or the play park... who constantly ignore what they are told... I don't blame the dog, I blame the owner.

And yes I adore dogs...

Interesting viewpoints on the pet 'law' here.

Re your dog situation - you can always be fully booked when you have a request for dogs.

If we are still open you could always send them to us - we take dogs.

Update on the story so far... sent all paperwork to accountant more than a week ago telling him how urgent it was - RSI looking for payment by November and I have to return to UK this weekend for problems with my mother - have phoned, no reply. Wrote to Chambre de commerce, they got someone from jurisdique to contact me, sent them paperwork last week, monday he phoned and said he would phone back Tuesday, two days waited in for him to phone. Have since sent him 2 emails only for him to write back saying he is now on leave and will I send papeerwork to his colleague.

Today I am going to see RSI to plead facts, if they dont listen and insist on payment - 10K is a lot and since we are now closed for the winter and for me to return to UK to sort problems there, that much is impossible and so off to the Chambre de Commerce we go to get us officially closed.

Sods law we had more than doubled our takings on last year - this is our fourth year of trading - and our website has been so successful that we have people from north, south, east and west of globe visiting this year.

No afraid it is UK first and not sure how long it will take to sort problems there - had to fly back for 3 days in September. Not sure definitely not back to Vienne - loved living in Brittany officialdom there is so polite and helpful - here they are just totally rude and they dont know what helpful is - well not in our experience.

Sorry to hear that the ba****ds have ground you down, will you still live in France after your world tour or go back to UK?

Hi Wendy,

I don't think that Euro 100 would put people off. There are people who would just want to bring their pets and look at that as cheaper than the kennel fee.

I don't think that our commune has a tax de sejour, but I will have to speak to our Mayor again.

We are aware that we can declare our rental income on our personal tax return and we are looking into the pro's and con's of all the various classifications.

We have found the requirements for the different star ratings and like you would probably be a 4 star, one bedroom may just not be big enough, but many thanks for your kind offer.

We are going to make enquiries from "Start Business in France" and also at our local Chamber of commerce.

Let's hope that now all the countries using the Euro will have to balance their budgets, there will be less fonctionnaires causing trouble for people who actually work and that the Germans will instill a work ethic into the community.

Everywhere in France - you have to be registered with the mairie.

You can do gite and declare as personal income on your tax return if you wish without having to do the classification.

The classification is only obligatory from NEXT year... and we have only done it to get the tax break via micro BIC

For pets - why don't you just put a very high price on having dogs stay... ie EUro100 for cleaning after a dog stay to put people off?

Our village does not have a tax de sejour... depends village to village.

If anybody wants the papers / reguirements for star rating I'm happy to email them to you... let me have your email address.

The regulations seem different in differnet areas. We were told we had to register - Mairie, chambre de commerce, douanes and receive a siret and that was the only way to be allowed to open! Although we do have friends in the next village, which believe it or not is in the next area too, they have gites and are not registered.

France and its regions seem all to have their own laws and I think if setting up you need to look at each area to see what is required. For instance I have had other business owners nag me and say you should be charging taxe de sejour - no queried that one and definitely not - but next we do have to, it starts for us in Janurary 2012.

We were originally micro bic - which is what we had when we had our gite in Brittany. But as soon as the AE started we swopped over to cut the size of the bills.

Agree with you on the one about France making it difficult.

Still did not find the link on Laymyhat re the new regs. Not sure I want to be bothered anymore. We are now up for sale and think might take a huge drop just to get rid of it and go on a world tour somewhere, just to get rid of my headache.

Because if you want to be legal and want Auto-Entrepreneur status you have to be registered, ie. have a rating status. How you advertise your business is up to you.

It looks as though a visit to the Chamber of Commerce would be a good idea!

I am not surprised that France is in such dire straights, when they make it so difficult for people to be honest and set up a business.

We are bed and breakfast not gite - but don't suppose that makes a difference. We have also been AE since the beginning Jan 2009 and pay no tax. However that is not to say the RSI have not tried to bleed us dry - at this moment in time we are fighting a 10K request for monies that we do not owe them - I believe the legal department at the Chambre de Commerce is looking into it for us. As you know AE is similarly to PAYE and we pay quarterly on our turnover. If they insist or even take it and reembourse later - it will shut us down as that will definitely take all our advertising funds, payment for bills and very much plus some.

How can you rent something out, even without publicity and not have to fall in with the legal requirements?

We are also to take on Taxe de Sejour in the new year which we have never had in this area before and if they top it with insisting we pay for inspection - I think we should give up now.

I believe that it is compulsory if you want to keep your tax-status as an Auto-entrepreneur, see Wendy's post. I picked this up when I was looking at the Lay my Hat forum for gite owners.

We are in the process of finishing off our "Little House" and already have people interested in helping us advertise directly through their friends and contacts. We now need to be up and running for next year, so are dedicating the winter for all the jobs we have to do ourselves and the officialdom we have to go through!

I am not totally aware of this new concept. It's not complulsory to have the rating undertaken is it? We are already Auto Entrepreneur. And Like you Jane we are not interested in star rating - we have our own website and already have regulars and bookings for next year.