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PROPERTY

Three ways the 2022 budget makes it easier to buy or renovate French property

Last minute amendments to the 2022 budget include a number of measures that will make it easier to buy and renovate property in France.

A residential housing block stands tall in northern France. The government is taking measures to support the property market beyond next year's elections
The French government is taking measures to support the property market beyond next year's elections. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP)

As the 2022 Budget is being debated by the French parliament, the government has added a number of measures aimed at boosting the property market. 

  • Zero percent interest loans for low-income to be extended until the end of 2023

Zero percent interest loans (PTZ) have existed in some form for home buyers in France since the mid 1990s.

In its current manifestation, these loans are available to first-time and low-income buyers, seeking to invest in B2 or C zone properties (which excludes Paris), and not earning above a fixed amount (which varies according the number of people who will live in your future household).

They are available to buy property, but also to do renovations on property that you already own if you bought it less than two years ago.

Those benefiting from these loans must use the purchased or renovated property as their primary residency and must move in as soon as possible. The loans can cover up to 40 percent of the required investment. 

These loans were due to be scrapped or reformed by the end of 2022, but will now likely be extended to the end of 2023. 

  • Zero percent eco-loans also to be extended until the end of 2023

The same goes for the so-called éco-PTZwhich are zero percent interest rate loans that can be used for property renovations aimed at reducing household emissions through insulation or renewable-powered heating.

These loans will be maintained at least until the end of 2023, with the ceiling raised from €30,000 to to €50,000. The éco-PTZ like regular PTZs are issued by banks.

  • Denormandie framework extended until the end of 2023 

Those buying properties in certain neighbourhoods, to renovate and then rent, can currently benefit from the dispositif Denormandie, which means they see a reduction in income tax (on money generated from the rent).

The purpose of this law is to facilitate the regeneration of various communes in France suffering from under-investment. You can check whether you could benefit via this interactive map

The Denormandie framework will likely be extended until the end of 2023. 

Grants

In addition to the loan options outlined in the Budget, there are also a number of government grants available for home renovations, particularly those that make the property more energy efficient – the largest such scheme in MaPrimeRoniv, which is also available to second-home owners. Full details here.

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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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