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Homeowners hit by jump in French property taxes

Property taxes, known as "taxes foncières" have rocketed in France in recent years at a rate way above that of salaries, pensions and rents, according to a new report. A landlord's union is demanding that local authorities take action. How badly have you been affected?

Homeowners hit by jump in French property taxes
The rate of "taxe foncieres" has shot up in France in recent years. How badly have you been hit? Photo: Vic Burton

Between 2007 and 2012 property taxes in France, known as “taxes foncières” shot up by an average of 21.17 percent.

“Property tax has increased much faster than rents, wages and pensions, and it weighs more heavily on the budget of house owners. It is the equivalent of several months salary,” said the French landlords union UNPI in a statement on Tuesday.

In the same period that the “taxes foncières” rocketed by 21.17 percent, inflation rose by 8.18 percent, the hourly minimum wage by 11.37 percent and private sector rents by 8.23 percent.

This “taxe foncière” is an annual property tax levied partly by local authorities on home owners, even if they rent out the property.

The money raised goes towards the funding of local services.

The UNPI has called on local authorities to put a block on the rate increases.

“To end the rise in property tax the UNPI is demanding once again that tax rates are frozen and can only be raised in line with rents and in line with inflation by a change in law," the statement read.

According to UNPI, the surge in property tax rates is down to the accumulation of various increases imposed separately by regional departments, municipalities (communes) or groups of municipalities (groupements de communes).

“If each increase, taken in isolation, may seem reasonable because they are roughly comparable to inflation, the combination of them has lead to a dramatic rise,” said UNPI.

Tina Caspersen from French Property Experts based on the south coast of France told The Local: “We have obviously noted the rises, but each commune does their own thing.

“House buyers have not been put off by the rises. There is still a huge demand for property in France from people living here and in Britain.”

Nowhere has property tax increased more in France than in the capital Paris, where the "taxe foncière" has seen an eye-watering jump on 67.9 percent since 2012. The astronomical rise is mainly due to the creation of departmental tax in 2009.

In Argenteuil, Nantes and Saint-Denis the tax has jumped more than 30 percent since 2007 where as the French cities which have seen the lowest rise are Aix-en-Provence (10.44 percent), Reims (11.12 percent) and Nîmes (12.40 percent).

To see UNPI’s report in full, visit their website at www.unpi.org

For more information on the "taxe foncieres", click here.

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RENTING

EXPLAINED: France’s new rules for advertising rental properties

France is introducing new rules for private landlords from July 1st. Anyone who wants to publish a property listing will need to include certain information that wasn't required before.

EXPLAINED: France's new rules for advertising rental properties

If you are a private landlord and have a property that you want to advertise on the rental market in France, the rules on what information you need to include on the listing have been pretty vague – up until now. 

But an official ruling means that from July 1st that changes. From this date onwards, your advertisement must contain the following information:

  • Rental costs 

Monthly rental costs must be clearly mentioned on your listing. 

READ MORE Nine things to expect when renting an apartment in France

  • Charges

You must include information on any charges that the tenant will incur and information on how these charges can be paid. These charges can include anything from heating costs, to a concierge service. If you want to do an official ‘état des lieux’ or inventory of the property, this costs money. If you want the tenant to cover the cost, you must mention this on the advertisement (as well as the amount). 

READ MORE The vital French vocab for renting property

  • Rent control information

If your property is in an area subject to rent control, you must include the following text in your listing: “zone soumise à encadrement des loyers“.  You must specify the minimum and maximum rental price in your area. 

You can find out if your property is in such a zone by using this simulator

  • Other  

You must include information the the deposit that will be required. You must list the commune or arrondissement where the property is located. You must also provide the surface area of the property as well as information on whether it is furnished or unfurnished. 

READ MORE Renting furnished accommodation in France: What should your landlord provide?

The above information must appear on any advertisement – no matter what form that advertisement takes.

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