Request for help with obtaining accommodation in December

The thread on ‘Reconfinement: here we go again’ prompted a heartfelt post from Captain Endeavour ‘I might just make it in time. I would dearly like to.’

And I wondered whether to make a post asking whether anyone might have pointers to helpful agencies, websites (morning croissant?), local connections and friends. A potential offer of assistance from a member hosting gites was wonderfully made by another member. While in no way want to be seen as looking a gift horse in the mouth, many thanks, it was suggested I make a new thread so here it is.

I’d like the post to be for everyone who is looking, not just me.! (E.g. Captain Endeavour is looking for accommodation in Manche/Calvados).

Here’s my situation – was hoping to rent an apartment for my partner and I in Nice to start with, use to settle in and then look around the country to find somewhere to settle if not Nice – south preferred, might help with my partners painful and stiff knee – all very sensible I was advised! However, as a member posted, ‘long term renting in France seems to be quite a tricky process!’. An offer of a house has been made and hoping to view after lockdown, however it might not be available before the end of December. Other offers made have ‘disappeared’, and generally people don’t get back to you.

So we’d like to check the potential for us getting established in some other way and maybe someone can help.

PS I know there has been some debate in other places on what sort of accommodation might be required for withdrawal agreement, so I am also creating a separate thread on that at the same time, to hopefully bring all the opinion together, as the CdS requirement will obviously inform on the accommodation.

But just to say, for gites, the opinion is established a gite owner can provide an Attestation de Hebergement’ (In case of accommodation with a third party: certificate from the host). And that should hopefully be fine.

In fact, for reasons I will set out on the other post, I suspect that just about any accommodation type is acceptable.

So any guidance / heads-up gratefully received, and many thanks in advance!

I’ve also had this list passed on today and we are waiting to see if there is any more coming from the authorities:
• rental : lease contract
• staying with family/friends: “attestation d’hébergement”
• hotel: paid bill
• motorhome: “attestation de résidence” from the mairie where the vehicule is parked / if on a campsite, letter confirming that the “campers” are living there permanently

From what Tory is saying this option is only possible if the gîte owner is giving you the accommodation for free as a friend. Otherwise you need a proper 12 months rental contract.

I’ll clarify this but as a hotel bill is acceptable I see no reason at all that a gite would not be. and in fact the actual wording of the clause just states ‘staying with a 3rd party’ and listing the attestation, plus some ID so that would probably be OK. However if it is a proper gite they should be able to provide some sort of bill anyway, or a letter of confirmation as per those who arrive and go onto a campsite. I think Jane you are worrying too much about it! If our gites were ready I’d certainly be happy to let people rent over the winter while they are househunting. I know there was concern that a ‘proper’ rental or house purchase would be required but that is not the case now the site has opened and all is clearer. This late in the day it is more the fact that they have landed with the intention to stay, which is then backed up by all the ducks in a row that follow as people get settled in find work / start businesses etc.

I just realised surely as a gite owner you have a contract that they you sign with the dates of the rental listed?

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You are misunderstanding me Tory… someone can rent a gîte on a normal 12 months rental contract no problem. But the standard gîte contract is a short term one with a max of three months and only for people with a principal residence elsewhere. So not suitable to show residence!

Therefore the only way someone can have an attestation de hebergement for a gîte is if the owner waives any form of contact and gives it to them for free. If money is exchanged there must be a contract.

Like labour law, housing rental control is tight in France.

And I am not worrying about it from the perspective of someone trying to become resident, but from being a gîte owner who doesn’t wish to break the law!

Ahhhh your post I’d not seen!! Sorry!

I think though at this late stage the proof of being here outweighs proper having a house etc - as you have seen from my list even a hotel is considered OK so a gite is also fine.

Ahhh well that is another thing - I just didn’t want people reading and panicking about not being able to use short term accomodations. So for a gite owner to be legal could they organise a 12 month rental so that they are being legal that the renter could then terminate when they find thier house?

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Absolutely! Most 12 month contracts have break terms, so if you want to be squeaky clean that’s the way to go. And with some of the gîte market having had such a bad year this year (particularly those that cater to Brits) some people may be very happy to go down that road.

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Or their motivation - having taken advantage of freedom of movement themselves and found France a better place to live - might be simply to offer a helping hand to others on the same road.


Altruism is great, but generally someone’s business plan is based on short term rentals at higher weekly cost, or annual rental at a lower weekly cost. There are a lot of details behind each of these models and not necessary easy or financially viable to switch from one to another on a generous whim.

We have one of each, and our one experience of altruism with the gîte cost us a fair bit of money.

Thank god for you Tory and your knowledge. I shall be a late arriverin France ie latest mid-December due to my mother passing away suddenly several weeks ago and having to put all plans of moving to France on hold while I sort things out as I’m going through a very distressing time at the moment. Someone who we have house/pet sat for in March said that we would be welcomed to rent their gite out inclusive of all bills but I beleive it would be for up to 6 months. Would just an Attestation de Hebergement be sufficient for apply for the residency permit under the WA? Sorry you may have overed this earlier but just wantt your advice as we are in a state of panic here with time running out and I so despartely want to be in France soon. Some other people’s advice here sends me into a panic, its only when I read your posts that I stop panicing! Thank you so much Tory!

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The flow chart is very clear…either a dated & signed attestation de hébergement from the host, with their passport/identity card or residence permit, and proof of their address if not same as on ID card


A proper rental contract or rental receipt

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Hi Linda, you’re welcome.
Exactly as Jane as said, either a contract / receipt or the ‘accommodation with a third party’ option.