Why moving house in France is slightly easier than you think

Why moving house in France is slightly easier than you think
Photo: Loic Venance / AFP
Articles like this generally start with something along the lines of: ‘Moving house is a stressful business...’ but we’ve got some good news when it comes to the admin involved.

Reader question: I’m moving from one département to another in France – who do I need to inform of my new address? With an impending move, I’m hoping I’m not letting myself in for a snowstorm of admin!

Unfortunately, moving house is a stressful business – there’s nothing we can do about that.

Getting everything packed; cleaning the old place for the new owners; making sure the removal firm turns up on the right day and knows where to go; arranging final bills; handing over your keys and getting the ones to your new place; hoping the financial formalities go through as planned; getting in; making sure everyone and everything’s made it safely; finding the kettle… even generic broad strokes lists are long, and can build up a mountain of expectation and dread.

And, then, there’s the administration. All those businesses and authorities to contact who need to know your new address. With all that’s going on before, during and after a house move, the paperwork can seem to only add more pressure. Especially, as this is France, where it’s widely assumed that a byzantine maze of red tape makes everything more difficult.

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There, at least, we can help. Or, more importantly, the French authorities can. The good news is that there is a simple, single, online government form that will do a lot of the work for you – informing social security offices, utility firms EDF and Engie, Pôle emploi, the tax office and vehicle registration offices on your behalf in just a few clicks.

It makes moving from one town to another, or one département to another, much easier than it used to be.

Here’s the link to that incredible French website.

Britons in France

Britons in France, who now must hold a post-Brexit residency card, will have to get a new, updated, carte de séjour after they move.

You have three months from the date you move to inform authorities of your change of address. You can start that process here.

READ ALSO Eight online services which make dealing with French bureaucracy easier

You can also sign up to the France Connect service, to access more than 900 public and other services online, using a single user ID and passcode combination – as long as you have a French social security number. More details on that HERE

Of course, this won’t solve all your house-moving headaches. You will still have to find a new GP and dentist if you’re moving any great distance, and perhaps a new school if you have school-age children. And, on the day itself, you may still end up searching frantically through boxes for the kettle.

But, at least, easing some of the stress is just a click or two away…


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