If you have decided on spending a number of months in the South of France, what factors do you need to consider when you come to choosing your long term rental property? Below you will find a number of points to consider.
South France long term rental - What is the area like in the winter?
Many French towns and villages are quite different once the tourists have left at the end of summer. If you are renting 'out of season' just ask the question? A Long term let is different from a holiday rental and you want to make sure that you see more than one person a day. Even our village, Nezignan L'Eveque, which is a lively little place gets noticeably quieter from October through to March with about 20% of the houses closed up. So just make sure that your proposed long term rental does offer some signs of life in the winter months
South France long term rental - Is the holiday home equipped for a long term rental?
What linen and crockery is provided and is it sufficient? Is there decent lighting for those longer winter evenings? Is there enough storage facilities? Is there adequate heating for the winter months? Many holiday homes in the South of France are very simply equipped and lack decent insulation. Whilst open beamed roofs exposing the clay ceiling tiles maybe charming in the summer, you will not think so in the midst of winter. Our previous long term rental house was like a fridge in the winter. Also check that the fireplace works. All landlords in France have to get a certificate proving that the chimney is useable. Another trick to be wary of is to be proudly shown the electric wall heaters in every room as proof that the house is suitable for a long term let. If you are renting a house long term in France over the winter don't even think of turning these heaters on! - they drain money quicker than they heat up the room. Electricity in France is ruinously expensive. Everyone down here in the winter either picks up drift wood off the beach (there is huge quantities of it after there has been a storm), burns vine wood (burns well and gives off a beautiful smell) or uses small oil or gas cylinder heaters. I am sure that you will be fine, but it is better to be warned in advance.
South France long term rental - What is included in the long term rental cost?
How and when are utilities charged ? What extras do you need to pay for: logs, linen, gas cylinders? Are local taxes included? Ensure you are fully advised as to what exactly is included in your monthly rental and what is payable as an extra. In France there are two property taxes, (taxe d'habitacion and taxe fonciere - see French property taxes) make sure that you don't get stuck for either of them within your long term rental contract. Get the Landlord to pay.
South France long term rental - What deposit is required for the long term rental and when?
Ah, this is a real moot point with us. We rented a house long term in France for 14 months. Everything was sweetness and light until we came to move out and our Landlord turned into Dr Jackal. In particular be wary of clauses in the rental contract that call for you to "return the property back to the condition in which you found it" as this makes no allowance for wear and tear and you could find, like we did, that the most unbelievable deductions are taken out of your deposit. We almost ended up in court over the matter. Again you shouldn't find too many problems and most Landlords are reasonable people, but make sure you check through your long term rental contract thoroughly before signing it.
South France long term rental - Other facilities to look for in a Long Term Let
- Good cooking facilities
- Large refrigerator/freezer
- Washing machine/dryer
- Telephone & internet
- Indoor & outdoor seating
- Close to a Supermarket
- Car parking
- Heating for winter