Buy-to-let tips, latest council tax: five French property updates

The instability of the neighboring house forces a woman to leave the house for two years

A woman in her fifties living in a village near Nice has been waiting for two years to return home because a nearby house, damaged by a huge storm, is in danger of collapsing.

Storm Alex hit southeastern France in October 2020, causing devastating flooding and the death of 18 people.

Read more: Storm Alex: reconstruction continues a year after flooding in the valley near Nice

Read more: Storm Alex: A resident of a French village recounts the devastation

Muriel’s village, Bonson, was hit but her house was not damaged. However, a nearby house above hers on a hill is in serious danger of collapsing, meaning she had to move into temporary accommodation.

The owner of the neighboring house, a German, proved impossible to reach, leaving the local authorities to pick up the pieces.

Muriel – only her first name was reported by French media – said she wanted her home back so her children and brother, who live in Scotland, could start visiting her again.

She said she bought her house in 2005 and only had three years left on her mortgage. She described her home as a “little paradise” where you can watch eagles fly overhead.

The town hall of Bonson being unable to find the German owner of the threatened house, it had to pay the security costs.

“The house is wrapped in an iron net and sensors have been installed to monitor the movement of its bricks at all times,” said Jean-Claude Martin, the mayor of Bonson, tells Le Figaro.

It cost €266,000, plus €10,000 to pay for a lawyer and a bailiff, a sum that amounts to around a third of the commune’s annual operating budget.

“As it is a private property, we receive no subsidies from the state, department or region,” said Mr. Martin.

Local authorities are hoping to buy the property for a nominal €1, with the owner apparently long gone. This will allow them to receive state subsidies to renovate the property.

It is hoped that Muriel will be able to return to her house in November, which is now almost secure. But she is skeptical.

“If in six months the sensors detect that a stone has moved, what will happen? I will have to leave my house again,” she said.

Read more: Storm damage in France: how to manage an insurance claim for your home

Five interesting cities to invest in low-budget real estate

A study by a real estate agency specializing in investment has designated Poitiers (Vienne) as the best French city for investors wishing to acquire real estate.

Masteos has studied cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants where the conditions are best for investing in a 30 square meter studio for around €100,000.

It specifically targeted cities with a student population above 20%, with students offering a more stable supply of tenants than cities with tourists.

Finally, the company only chose cities where real estate prices have risen over the past two years, so any investor should be able to sell for more than they bought.

Thierry Vignal, co-founder of Masteos, said property prices in Poitiers do not yet reflect the level of attractiveness of the city.

“The potential profit margin is very attractive and the risks are limited,” he added. says Capital.

The average price of a 30 m² studio in Poitiers is €73,900, with an average rent of €10.80 per square meter.

This gives investors a potential gross return of 5.26%, according to Masteos.

However, this does not take into account property tax charges or condominium charges. There are also, of course, initial notary fees to be paid.

This also ignores the fact that student tenancies are more likely to require regular maintenance and will often need to find a new tenant each year.

Masteos has also selected Caen, Nancy, Montpellier and Marseille as interesting cities for investors.

The start-up promises to sell its property within five months

An Italian start-up offering its clients the promise that if they can’t sell your property within five months, they’ll buy it themselves, has recently entered the French market.

Casavo raised 400 million euros in equity and debt this summer to acquire French start-up Proprioo.

“France is the biggest opportunity in the European residential market in terms of number of transactions,” said Giorgio Tinacci, founder of Casavo.

The idea is that if a person chooses to sell a property through Casavo, either the transaction is completed within five months or Casavo buys it at a fixed price set in advance. If Casavo buys it, they will get it at a 6% discount on the market price.

Casavo’s fee is 5% of the cost of the transaction if the property is purchased by a third party, or nothing if Casavo ends up buying it.

It will initially launch in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th arrondissements of Paris before extending to the rest of the capital. The idea is that it will later launch in other big cities like Nice, Lyon, Marseille and Nantes.

Last housing tax for 20% of primary owners

The 20% of people in France who are still subject to the housing tax on their main residence will pay it one last time in November before it is scrapped.

This property tax was abolished for 80% of owners in 2020 but still applied to the wealthiest fifth of the French population. The amount for people still subject to the tax was reduced by 30% last year, by an additional 35% at the beginning of this year and will finally be completely abolished so that from 2023, no one in France will pay this tax on their Principal residence. .

Owners of second homes in France must always pay this tax and at the full rate.

Read more: Which French households will still have to pay a housing tax in 2022?

Read more: French second homes: housing tax rates continue to rise

The final disposal of the housing tax comes as the TV license of 138 € per year (TV license fee) is also canceled in France.

Read more: Do I have to do anything if I am entitled to a refund of the French TV license?

New rules for sales and rentals of coastal properties

Real estate agencies in France will have to, from January 1, specify in their advertisements for sale and rental if a property is located in an area exposed to coastal erosion, specifies a new decree published on October 1.

The announcement must also mention the website where buyers or tenants can learn about the risks of erosion of the property that interests them. This website is currently not working.

The new regulation is part of the Climate and Resilience Law.

It obliges the seller or owner to provide a report on the risks of coastal erosion to any potential buyer or tenant during the first visit to the property.

This document must be less than six months old.

In addition, the seller or landlord must keep the potential buyer or tenant informed of any changes throughout the process of confirming the contract of sale or rental.

If the information is not accurate at the time the agreement to sell or rental contract is signed, the transaction may be canceled as of right.

Read more: Map: The 101 French municipalities affected by coastal erosion

Read more: Coastal boom, inflation: Six French real estate trends according to notarial data

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