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What you need to know about extra rent controls for 28 French towns

Rent controls that cap the amount that landlords can charge tenants have been extended to 28 towns and cities across France.

What you need to know about extra rent controls for 28 French towns
Photo: AFP

The government has announced that there will be further controls on rent for anyone living in a zone tendue – any area that has a housing shortage.

Towns and cities including Ajaccio, Bordeaux, Grenoble, La Rochelle, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice, Strasbourg and Toulouse are all affected by the renewal of the government decree that prevents landlords from imposing big rent hikes on their tenants.

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Paris already has its own rent control scheme which was reintroduced in July after a court challenge saw it temporarily halted.

The controls apply to new contracts or renewal of contracts for both furnished and unfurnished properties and run from August 1st 2019 to July 31st 2020.

It means the landlord must respect a cap on how much he or she can increase the rent by, with different caps set by different areas.

The 28 areas affected are all classed as zone tendues, where there is a significant imbalance between the supply of housing and the demand for it – leading to difficulties in people finding a property.

You can enter your town or postcode to find out here if you are in a zone tendue by entering your town name or postcode.

There are certain exemptions to the controls, which include buildings that have been vacant for more than 18 months, the first rental of a building and any cases where the landlord can clearly prove that the previous rent of the home was under the market value or where the landlord has carried out a very significant amount of work on the building.

Many areas that are zone tendues also impose extra taxes of second home owners in a bid to rebalance the housing supply.

 

 

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PROPERTY

Property taxes: How much will it cost to extend your French home?

Installing a swimming pool, building a garden shed, or adding a conservatory to your French home has become more expensive in 2023.

Property taxes: How much will it cost to extend your French home?

If you are planning a renovation project in 2023 you’re likely looking at rising cost for materials and labour due to inflation – but there is one other cost to consider; taxes. 

In France there is a one-off tax that has to be paid on certain building works, and the government has raised the rate for this.

The taxe d’aménagement, sometimes referred to as the garden shed tax, applies to all property development – construction, reconstruction and extension – of buildings that require planning permission or a building permit.

Garden sheds, swimming pools or extensions with a surface area of more than 5 square metres are subject to the development tax – although a 50 percent reduction is applied to the flat-rate values of certain buildings, particularly the first 100 square metres of main residences.

READ ALSO Everything you need to know about installing a swimming pool at your French property

The tax is collected by local councils, who set their own percentage rates for the tax, working off the base rate set by the government.

A decree published in the Journal Officiel set the base figures for 2023 at the following rates: 

  • €1,004 per square metre in Île-de-France (up from €929 per square metre in 2022);
  • €886 per square metre outside Île-de-France (€820 per square metre in 2022).

The flat-rate values per square metre of building space, which constitute the basis for the development tax, are revised on January 1st of each year according to the latest construction cost index published by national statistics body Insee. 

Additionally, specific rates are set for:

  • €250 per square metre  for a swimming pool (up from €200 in 2022);
  • €12 per square metre of ground-fixed solar panels (up from €10 in 2022);
  • €3,000 per wind turbine more than 12 metres high;
  • €3,000 per pitch for tents, caravans and mobile leisure homes;
  • €10,000 per pitch for a holiday chalet or bungalow.

The amount of the tax is calculated according to the following formula: 

(Taxable area multiplied by the government-set base figure) multiplied by the percentage tax rate set by the local authorities. This gives the total to be paid in cents. Bills are rounded down.

So, the tax for a 30 square metre extension in an area where the combined local and departmental tax rates total 6.25 percent would be calculated like this:

30 (the size of the development) x 886 (the base tax rate outside Ile-de-France) = 26,580

6.25 (local and departmental tax) x 26,580 = 166,125 cents, more usually expressed as €1,661. 

If the total payable is less than €1,500, you will receive a bill in the six months after planning permission was granted, with details of how to pay.

Otherwise, it is paid in two instalments, 12 months and 24 months after authorisation, with a 10 percent surcharge applied in cases of late payments.

READ ALSO The hidden costs of owning property in France

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