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PROPERTY

French property roundup: New rules on mortgages and those dreaded ‘dossiers’

From new rules on Airbnb rentals to your checklist of pre-move admin and extra laws for homes in the mountains, here is our French property roundup for the week.

French property
Photo: Sebastian Bozon/AFP

Minimum income

New rules on getting a mortgage mean that buyers now need to be earning an average of at least €30,000 a year to qualify for a first-time-buyer mortgage in France, according to research from the property team at Le Figaro.

New rules mean that mortgage lenders have become tougher on minimum income levels in France.

The research shows that anyone wanting to buy in Paris would need a minimum income of €60,000 for a first-time buyer, while the cheapest region is the northern Hauts-de-France area, where buyers would need to be on €22,000 a year.

Find the full list here.

Paris to intensify crackdown on Airbnb

The city of Paris already has some of the toughest rules on renting out your property on Airbnb, as city bosses have waged a lengthy struggle against the online platform.

But now authorities want to introduce a new ‘compensation zone’ which will make it even more difficult to rent out properties in the most popular areas, including Marais, Montmartre, the Champs-Élysées and the Latin Quarter.

These will be voted on by City Hall in December. 

READ ALSO What are the rules on renting out French property on Airbnb?

Let’s move to . . . the Paris suburbs

If you want to move to Paris but been put off by the price of property, try having a look outside the périphérique.

Technically, only the area that is inside the ring road is Paris, the rest is suburbs – but because Paris is a very small city as capitals go, the suburbs are often still within easy commuting or even walking distance of the city centre.

The inner suburbs – known as the petite-couronne – are formed of three départements; Val-de-Marne, Hauts-de-Seine and Seine-Saint-Denis, while the outer suburbs are Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Essonne and Val-de-Oise. 

The inner suburbs in particular are mostly accessible on the Metro lines and so are an easy commute. Prices drop dramatically as soon as you cross the périphérique so it’s well worth taking a look at the areas.

The banlieues, as the suburbs are known, don’t always have the best reputation, but while it’s true that there are some rough areas, particularly in Seine-Saint-Denis, there are also lots of lovely areas that offer larger properties, more green space and something of the feel of small-town France.

Here’s our pick of some of the best areas.

READ ALSO Banlieue boom: No, Paris’ suburbs are not all deprived and crime-ridden

Before you move 

Here at The Local we’re obviously big fans of starting a new life in a new country, but before you make the move there are some boring but important practicalities that you need to consider.

From legal residency to income, from making friends to selecting a place to live, we’ve put together a guide to the 10 things that you really need to think about before moving to France.

French property vocab 

Dossier – this won’t just come in handy for property, a dossier is essential for all sorts of things in France. The word itself simply means file but the true meaning of dossier in French is much more wide-ranging.

When completing almost all admin tasks – including buying, selling or renting property – you will need to prepare a dossier of documents in order to complete the task. The documents required will vary but will almost always include a passport for ID, proof of address such as a utility bill and bank details. Make sure when submitting an application that you include all the documents asked for it you don’t want to hear the most blood-curdling phrase in the French language – votre dossier est incomplet

Property tip of the week 

If you’re buying in the Alps, Pyrenees, Jura or Massif Central, be aware of the Loi Montagne. The ‘mountain laws’ cover all sorts of things from what building work you can do on your house, to your car.

A series of extra laws cover mountainous areas with things such as reinforced building codes in avalanche risk zones to compulsory winter tyres between November and March. So if you are buying in an elevated area, make sure to check whether your area is covered by mountain laws, and then familiarise yourself with them.

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LIVING IN FRANCE

Checklist: What you need to do if you move house in France

From the tax office to the post office, internet firms and pets - who you need to tell when you move house in France

Checklist: What you need to do if you move house in France

Whether you’re moving down the street, to the other side of town, or to a different département, the administrative scale of the task is almost as big as the physical side – and at least as stressful, unless  – on actual moving day – you lose the kettle and can’t make a cup of tea.

The job of moving house gets more difficult the closer you get to moving day, and it’s easy to forget or put off those administrative jobs you have to do. So, here’s a list of those annoying red tape jobs you need to consider in good time. 

1. Give notice to your landlord

If you’re renting your current property, you need to give either one month or three months’ notice – depending on the type and location of the property rental –  that you’re moving out, and arrange with your landlord a suitable time to carry out an état des lieux of the property, similar to the one carried out when you moved in.

2. Schools

Parents of school-age children attending state-run schools must notify the establishment if they move out of its catchment area, and find a new school for their children within eight days of moving. 

Under certain circumstances children will be able finish the school year in the establishment they attended before the change of residence.

The first step is to contact the town hall in the town you are moving to. The full rules, including those for children in private education or who are home schooled are here.

3.Tell the taxman – and other administrative bodies

The taxman needs to know you’re moving – if only to send your next tax form to the right address. 

You can inform tax officials of the fact and date of your move online, by logging into your Personal area on the impots.gouv.fr website

Here, at least, there’s some additional good news. France has set up a system in which you can tell a number of administrative offices – including the tax office, EDF, Pôle emploi, and Caf – that you’re moving house with one online form. Find it here.

4. Residence permit

Anyone living in France on a residence permit – such as Britons who have a post-Brexit Carte de séjour – needs to update the address on it.

The process can be completed online.

5. Driving licence and carte grise

Sadly, for technical reasons, declarations of change of contact details to the Vehicle Registration System with an effective date after June 30, 2022, aren’t currently included in the one form, all admin system mentioned above.

So, to change the registered address of your vehicle on its carte grise, you need to go to the ANTS website

Bizarrely, there is no rush to change the address on your driver’s license.  You can leave it until you apply for a new one (for example, if you lose it, or it expires) – and there’s no dedicated ‘change of address’ option on the driver’s licence application section of the ANTS website.

6. Utilities

You need to contact your electricity and gas supplier, as well as the water company and whoever operates your telephone, TV, internet package.

Be aware, if your current internet operator is unable to supply your new home, you can request the termination of your subscription free of charge.

Don’t forget your bank, either. 

7. New GP

You may want to change your GP – especially if you’re moving some distance. You will need to find a GP able to take on new patients, and they will be able to help with the process.

8. Don’t forget your pets

In France, carnivorous pets such as dogs, cats and ferrets, must be identifiable – usually by microchip, or tattoo – so that they can be returned to their owners if they get lost. This information is kept on a national database, which must be updated when you move house. Do that here

9. Get your mail forwarded

La Poste will forward any letters to your new address for up to 12 months. Click here for more information.

10. Help with the costs of moving

You may be eligible for some help with moving costs on the day itself. Those on lower incomes may be able to access help from the fonds de solidarité pour le logement towards the cost of hiring a removals firm, for example.

Parents with three children or more, or who are expecting a third child may be eligible for a moving allowance from CAF under certain conditions. More information is available here

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