To let, or not to let?

Hi everyone, help please...

We are both retired, living on basic pensions. Can anybody tell me what costs would be involved if we let out part of our house as "holiday lets"

Would be very grateful for any advice, many thanks

What a wonderful explanation, thank you Chris. The proposition seems a bit better now!

Many thanks

Do you live in France as, if so, and you are taxable in France it is slightly different.

1. Register with the Maire

2. Get yourselves a siret number from the tax office

3, Check whether you pay Taxe D'Habitation or Cotisation Fonciere D'Enterprise on the property - with the tax office.

4. Our commune does not have a tourist tax so check with your mairie.

5. As to tax, you declare the income on your tax form and, if you are not registered with Gites de France or a similar organisation, you get a 50% allowance off the income and are taxed on the rest. If you are registered with the Gites De France (or similar organisation) you get a 71% allowance and are taxed on the rest. This means that you do not have to itemise all expenditure. This is called being registered as a Micro-Bic. The Micro-bic permits you to earn up to €23,000 per annum without any further problems.

6. Do not expect to make a profit, the income will be useful and will help you towards the costs of the property and enable you to meet some very nice people (and the odd, odd one).

Overall we have loved doing it but it is hard work but very rewarding and fun. You also have the advantage of living on the property as this enable you to meet and get to know your guests (if they want that) and be there to help with local information, and deal with any problems.

As to advertising while we have our own web site we have used two or three of the commercial sites where you pay to advertise but do not pay a commission.

If you need any further help please let me know.


The improvements and any repairs are allowable against tax once you have begun letting out the property. Don’t forget to keep all of your receipted invoices as you have to have proof.

That's good, as we have spent a lot of money renovating too. Thanks for your advice, and good luck for the future

We have been doing improvements on the house too like laying a patio, installing an electric awning etc and so have managed to offset our expenses against the income we have taken. We are still taxed in the uk rather than France so we only pay 25%

Thanks Elaine, very grateful

What percentage of the income is taxable, I have heard 25%, and 46%, and is it worth the effort?

You must register your property at the Mairie. Next you need to decide whether to register with a rating company like Gites de France or Cles de France, or, register with the tourist information office for your departement as an unrated property. For a nominal fee they will advise and inspect your property to make sure it reaches a minimum standard.

You must also make sure that your house insurance is adequate for a rented property and has sufficient public liability insurance.

Lastly you have to pay tourist tax for the maximum occupancy for a period in midsummer ( in our area that’s 4 months,) whether or not the property is rented or not.

You need to consider what services you will provide and remember you will have to be there on change over day as you have to clean and set up for the next visitors. It’s quite tying.

We advertise with the tourist information and with a UK website (for which we pay 15% commission). The maximum we have managed over the last 5 seasons is 7 weeks. We have made some profit and it does help in paying the impots and utility bills.

Please feel free to contact me.