Short vs long-term rental activity

Hi – new to the forum and hoping to find some advice on a particular aspect of the auto-entrepreneur (now micro-entrepreneur) scheme.

My wife and I registered as AEs when setting up our gîtes, chambres d’hôtes & camping business four years ago. Having sold this last year, I then informed the RSI and URSSAF that the revenue would now be coming from a new rental property we had bought.

We now have the opportunity of letting this property on a one year (renewable) lease. I am pretty sure this is not in the spirit of the AE / ME scheme and that I probably need to de-register. That may well mean of course that we will need to revise our carte vitale and general healthcare arrangements (we are both under retirement age).

I haven’t yet contacted the RSI or URSSAF, as this can be a painful process, but it is on my list of unpleasant things that I will need to do! I can’t see the answer on

A bit specific I suppose, but has anyone else been in a similar situation?



I can’t advise on AE as I have never had that status. If you are renting furnished apartments and earn more than 23K € in this domain, you can opt for LMP (loueur en meublé professionnel). You need to register with your local Chambre de Commerce. The healthcare contributions are collected by the awful RSI, but the reimbursements sent (in my case) by the RAM (you can choose a Caisse ). It is all mind bogglingly complicated for a Brit, but seems to work in a convoluted way.


and if you rent unfurnished appartmentsbe very careful about getting the wording right for a year let - normal bail is 3 or 6 year minimum :wink:

Durée du bail
Le bail doit être conclu pour une durée minimum :

de 3 ans lorsque le propriétaire est un particulier ;
ou 6 ans lorsque le propriétaire est une personne morale (par exemple une société, une association).
Par exception, la durée peut être inférieure à 3 ans (ou 6 ans), mais d’au minimum 1 an, si le propriétaire prévoit de reprendre son logement pour des raisons familiales ou professionnelles (exemple : retraite qui oblige le propriétaire à reprendre son logement).

Le motif de reprise qui justifie cette durée plus courte doit impérativement figurer dans le bail.

Le propriétaire doit néanmoins confirmer au locataire, par lettre recommandée avec avis de réception, au minimum 2 mois avant la fin du bail que l’événement est réalisé et qu’il reprendra le logement à la date prévue.

Lorsque l’événement ne s’est pas produit ou n’a pas été confirmé, le bail doit se poursuivre jusqu’au délai de 3 ans.

Hi Sophie - thanks for your response. In fact the annual rental income will be a lot less than €23k, so LMP won’t be appropriate in this case. I am going to take professional advice on the question of whether I can stay as a micro-entrepreneur (unlikely!) and what this means in terms of healthcare. It is certainly a bit of a minefield!

Thanks Andrew - I agree you need to be careful. I am using a standard rental contract, which covers the points you mention and is quite specific on the subject of duration, charges, guarantors, deposit, proof of income etc.

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I would ask at the tax office, I think the rules are actually quite black and white and they will explain it for free…
Re heathcare, if you close a micro your healthcare continues for a year. After that even if your rental is classed as a non professional activity and therefore you are technically inactif I don’t see a problem (subject to Brexit of course) because assuming you earn enough to be classed as legally resident you can apply to move onto PUMA.

Thanks Anna, a good idea to speak to the tax office. I have always found them very helpful, although they generally only give you the rules rather than provide advice on best options. As for Brexit, we will have to wait and see!

Marc… just wondering…

Are you going to rent out as a holiday residence…(ie the person has a home elsewhere) or as a permanent residence (no home elsewhere) ??

Hi Stella - it will be the person’s principal residence, on a one year renewable contract.

Marc… others may well chip in saying different but…

We came a cropper doing just this same thing. We were advised to only allow the rental for 12 months absolute maximum…and this was the Agreement. But, they seemed so nice… that we let them renew… hmmm… then they showed their true colours… letting them renew brought them all sorts of rights…

Ended very badly… had to take legal steps against them… but, even so, we had to sell the property to actually get them out. Cost us a lot of money…

We vowed “never again”…

Sorry to hear about your experience Stella. I think there is always an element of risk involved and after checking all the paperwork, you also have to go with your gut feeling. This particular person is a teacher in the local village, her parents in a neighbouring village are guarantors and she comes across as serious and reliable. Fingers crossed!

Marc… fingers crossed, indeed.

We only rented as our neighbours were trying to help their daughter (and her family) find somewhere close by.

Those dear neighbours were as horrified as we were… by the physical, financial and emotional mess that subsequently followed…

They and the whole village breathed a sigh of relief when sanity returned after a 3 year battle…

Yes a good accountant could advise you

Oh my Goodness! I’m so sorry to hear this. One trick - which I haven’t done so far - is to get them to confirm their departure immediately after signing the lease. Stella you’re probably an expert now. (If you don’t do the above) you must send the tenant a recommended letter with “accusé de réception” and you must give a serious reason such as needing to live there yourself, a child of your’s needing to live there, selling it, as well as (from memory) 6 months warning. The tenant only has to give 1 month’s notice (in my Region). And I’m talking furnished rentals. Unfurnished would be ten times worse!

Hi Sophie… Our property was unfurnished …which did not help…and they certainly know how to play the system. They ran rings around the Huissier …

Even after they finally left, they caused trouble about the Caution… which I was holding against unpaid utilities etc.

Their legal advisor down south came at us like a bull at a gate… in the first instance…convinced that we were the “bad guys”… but as the truth of the matter unfolded, we almost became friends. :wink:

For us… no, never again… we have another property which we let friends/family use for free. No hassle. :grin:

You must be glad it’s over. Short term furnished rentals is the only really
sure way to get your property back without too much hassle