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EXPLAINED: How to access France’s €20k property renovation grants

The French government has extended the renovating initiative MaPrimeRenov’ to make it available to all home owners, including for second homes, for grants of up to €20,000. Here's how to go about applying for the scheme.

EXPLAINED: How to access France's €20k property renovation grants
Illustration photo: AFP

What is it?

Launched back in January 2020, the government scheme MaPrimeRenov’ lets homeowners apply for financial help to renovate their homes.

Each household can get up to €20,000 to renovate, although the amount will depend on several factors, including the type of project, the household income and the number of people living there.

Previously reserved for modest-income households, the scheme has been expanded and is now available to everyone, including high-income owners, landlords renting out their property and second home owners. 

Applicants do however need a French numéro fiscal (tax number) and a copy of their latest tax declaration, which means those who do not file the annual tax declaration in France are effectively excluded

What kind of work is covered by the scheme?

The grant scheme covers four main categories of renovating work:

  • Heating (so changing the heater, for example, or installing a new system)
  • Insulation
  • Ventilation
  • Energy audits

However the company hired to renovate must be on the government-approved list of companies that qualify for the grant, which means they need the label RGE (Reconnue Garant de l’Environnement).

Who can access the grant scheme?

Only property owners can access the scheme, so not those renting.

The building needs to be more than 2 years old.

For several months only lower-income owners could benefit from the scheme, but from July has been open to everyone.

At first the scheme was closed to second home owners, but a government decree published on January 26th confirmed that it had been widened to include anyone “with a legal right to the property”.

That includes co-owners, second home owners and landlords who rent out their property.

Why is the government doing this?

France’s economy has been reeling since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country with full force in March 2020, prompting several months of lockdown and economic downturn.

Of the government’s enormous €100 billion rescue package, €2 billion was earmarked for households.

The goal, as stated in the French government’s relaunch plan, is to stimulate the economy while transforming households into more environmentally friendly, less energy-hungry entities.

READ ALSO From taxes to toilets: All you need to know about renovating a house in France

Income thresholds

To determine whether or not a project is eligible for the grant scheme and how much money the household gets, the government checks the total income of the household against the cost of the renovating project.

The income thresholds for households depend on the kind of services needed, outlined in four different MaPrimeRénov’ schemes: blue, yellow, violet or pink (full list HERE).

While MaPrimeRénovBleu (blue) is typically restricted to modest-income households, the maximum income thresholds also depend on the number of people living in the property and whether or not it is located in greater Paris Île-de-France region. 

Below you can see the income thresholds for households outside the Paris region:

Photo: French government

And here is a photo showing the income thresholds for those inside the Paris region:

Photo: French government

If you want to check if your project is eligible for the grant scheme, the government website Faire has a Simul’Aid simulator available here.

How do I apply?

To apply for a grant, you must create an account on maprimerenov.gouv.fr and connect to that account. In order to do this you will need a numéro fiscal, the number you use for filling out your tax returns, plus other documents you use when filing your taxes (bank details – both French and international banks work – copy of your ID, etc).

You will be asked to provide:

  • A copy of your latest tax return
  • An email address and a phone number
  • Names and dates of birth of all members of the household
  • A dévis (builders’ invoice) for the work done
  • The amount of any other help schemes or grants the household benefits from
  • Co-owner households must provide an attestation signed by all parties as well as information regarding the number of households in the home.

Only work done after October 1st, 2020 is accepted (so applicants need a dévis signed after that date). 

A detailed guide to each step of the process can be found at maprimerenov.gouv.fr under the section “Me renseigner”.

READ ALSO: How to convert a rustic barn into your dream home

Where can I get more information?

For more information and to access the grant, go to MaPrimeRénov’. You can also call +33 (0) 8 08 800 700 if you have specific questions on the scheme.

If you want to search for a government approved renovating company in your area, go to this website, tap in your postcode and type of work you want done and hit search.

 
 

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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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