Non-ability to say no to pets in your gite

We are looking to open our guest wing (gite) next year, but are very worried by the new court case, reported in the Connexion newspaper, which was successfully brought by a consumer group extending the right of long term tenants to holiday lets and which now seems to say that we cannot refuse to have pets in our gite.

I am asthmatic and some cats can trigger my symptoms. This means that I may not be able to go into part of my own house if somebody turns up with a cat in a basket!

Also, we are installing oak parquet flooring which we don’t weant destroying by dog’s claws.

Is anybody aware of how this law is progressing?

There seemed to be a thought that Gites de France would pursue this.

Also, if we invite selected people to stay in our guest wing as paying guests, would this still constitute a gite under french law and would there be any tax implications?

Sorry Neil, but this is not pending legislation but a court ruling in the Court de Cessation brought by a consumer group.

So your nightmare might actually happen. In which case, you would have to be full!

However, I can just imagine that if a test case were to be brought, it would more thn likely be against a non-french owner.

Nice one Fiona. It does seem that as long as you don't actively say "No pets" (must check my website), there are ways round it. Charge extra security deposit, perfectly reasonable for the extra cleaning that may be required. Ok, maybe my suggested £5000 per week might be over the top, charging a quid for each pet hair found when cleaning at the end of their stay? Also, how about actually charging extra for pets for the accommodation - why not?

The nightmare scenario is some clever punter hearing about the pending legislation and just turning up with a pet. In which case, could I borrow your Pitbull?

Dear Guillaume,
I have discovered that this topic is being fully discussed in the Gite Owners Forum Lay my Hat. This has a link to the full ruling and it appears that Clevacances and, possibly, GDF have something to say about this problem.

Many thanks for your help.

Kind regards

Dear Jane,

It is difficult at this stage to answer your enquiries without carrying out some searches.

I suggest that we have a preliminary chat about this matter either by phone or email. You can find my contact details on my profile page.

Kind regards,


Dear Guillaume,
Many thanks for your encouraging reply!
Our network consists of one, two en-suite bedroomed little house.
Would my inability to clean in between lettings because of the presence of cats (they are one of my main triggers) count as disruption of usage and, would you be able to exclude dogs on the basis that there is a newly laid and expensive oak parquet floor?
I would like to be able to offer our little house to fellow asthma sufferers, so that they can be sure that they are staying in a house free from pet fur.
This is also one of the reasons for hard flooring, no carpets, and a minimum of soft furnishings, which can harbour dust mites.
Can you point me in the direction of the clause in the ruling which should apply to my situation?
Nobody wants to go on holiday to a place which may make them ill.So much has been done to make places available to the disabled, I was beginning to tink that we asthma sufferers had been left out in the cold. (Perhaps literally).
Kind regards

Dear Jane,

The legislation on which this Court order has been issued includes an exception: keeping a pet is subject to the fact that the said animal should not cause any damage to the property or any disruption of usage for its occupiers.

On this basis, I would be happy to advise and assist you to find a solution with your gîte network.

Kind regards,


Thanks Caroline, the whole point of this court ruling is that you can no longer say no to having pets in your short term lets, ie gites., so you cannot put that as one of your terms in your contract!
We have run a business before, so are up to the accounting side of things and what I am trying to establish is the possibility that there is a difference between a “private” letting and a widely advertised gite that takes its custom from the general public.

Hi Jane, I am Caroline and live in the Midi-Pyrenees (Gers) and am running a gite and 2 chambres d’hotes since 2006.
Steps to follow when opening a gite or chambres d’hotes( not necessarily in this order):

  1. declare that you are starting a gite at the local mayor’s office
  2. check your home owners insurance and see that it also covers when you run a gite in your house
  3. if you want a label of such then Gites de France is one to go or Clevacances or Loisirs d’accueil( Gites de Fr is not selling you but is like a consumers group and will keep you posted on latest legislation and you pay them a fee per year. The other 2 will sell you and you pay commission and you have to have a label (like 2 star or 3 star hotel)by Gites de France. You can do this also as step 1 because G.d F is very helpful in what you must do to get a label (our beds were not ‘wide’ enough to get a higher label!)
  4. Develop a good solid rental agreement with a sollicitor knowledgable about holiday lets. This will avoid any court case in the future as it is a contract signed by both parties but it must be in FRENCH. In this you can stipulate(no animals allowed, deposit for breakage, also that you can enter the property if need be! etc) whatever you want and if the tenant agrees and signs it( LU ET APPROUVE), it becomes a legal document.
  5. Make sure you register all income and that you give each guest a sort of bill. this becomes your bookkeeping. Up to 15 guests is still considered gite or chambres dhotes. Over that it becomes a hotel. We were automatically put into the category micro entreprise BNC (non-commercial) and did not have to register with the Chambre d’Agriculture but it is perhaps good to check with your local one. This Micro entreprise allows you to earn up to about 80000 a year without having to do extensive bookeeping or charge sales tax. In October of each year you will get a whopping bill for the Social charges over that year after you have reported your income in May> So be sure to put some money aside over the Summer because they will not accept a payment plan!

I can think of a few more things, have business cards made, good signage to your Gite and do an open hous for local people etc…this way the community knows you and will use you for the marriages, fetes and reunions which are numereous in our area…
Hope this helps!!!