Take great care concerning your pool!
When we bought our house, no one told us about the ‘Déclaration Modèle H1’. Just over a year after taking over we received a nasty letter from the ‘tax tsar’ in our Region, warning us of pending prosecution because we had failed to sign off on a building project. We wrote back pointing out we had not made any planning application, but that our predecessors must have done so for the installation of a pool and a new toilet in a bedroom.
Back came an old photocopy of an old H1, with a new form to be completed. As we diligently completed the new H1 we quickly appreciated that nothing had changed since the 70s, until that moment. Our predecessors and their predecessors had ‘got away’ with making alterations and not paying more Foncier.
When it came to the pool I was confused, and since I had no one to ask, filled in the space to include the whole footprint, with the slabs surrounding the pool. Big mistake - but in my defence I did send a photograph of the whole set up with precise measurements of both the pool and the surrounding slabs, and wrote a sweet letter asking the advice of the ‘tax tsar’, explaining that I did not fully understand the requirement.
Move clock forward six years - for the first time I learnt of the Foncier being paid by a property with a bigger footprint and a bigger pool - it was less than us. I enlisted the help of our Maire Délégué, who laughed his socks off when he looked at the pool - he reckoned we were being charged for an Olympic sized pool - it was a joke but the point was well made. He ‘negotiated’ with the ‘tax tsar’ whom he described as the most powerful woman in our Region, and she finally agreed they had mistakenly ignored my photograph. He asked for relief for two years which was refused.
The new H1 was completed with only the measurement of the pool - an 8 x 4 pool registered at 32 m². Our Foncier went down by about 12% only! It was an exercise which taught me a lot at the time.