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Is Your French Property Subject to the Vacant Property Taxes?

Volume XXI, Issue 32

Adrian Leeds' apartment building in Nice

Imagine or not: You’re a homeowner of a secondary residence in France. You use it a few times a year. If you legally could, you’d rent it short-term, but since you can’t you can rent it “medium-term” to recuperate some or all of the expenses. Medium-term is one to 10 months. This is called the “mobility lease.”

Meanwhile, don’t get confused by the new annual property tax on vacant dwellings (TLV) and the new residential tax (taxe d’habitation) on vacant dwellings (THLV), because your property IS NOT VACANT.

The housing shortage in France has the authorities doing all sorts of things to try to combat it, including taxing vacant properties. If it is in fact vacant, really vacant, not having been inhabited for one year or more, then depending on the municipality in which it is located, you may have to pay the annual tax.

To check whether your municipality is subject to tax on vacant accommodation, you can use the following simulator (in French).

From January 1, 2023, the coverage and rates of the tax on vacant dwellings (TLV) have changed. The rates of the tax on vacant dwellings located in tense zones have risen to 17% for the first year of vacancy, and to 34% for subsequent years (article 74 of the Finance Law for 2023). The TLV applies in communes where there is a significant imbalance between housing supply and demand, leading to serious difficulties in accessing housing throughout the existing residential stock (a tense zone).

If the property is really unfurnished and uninhabited, then the government is offering a way to help you fix this problem: Zéro Logement Vacant (Zero Vacant Housing), is a new public service designed to help owners of vacant properties to get in touch with local authorities and benefit from assistance to put their property back on the market. Service-Public.fr introduces you to this scheme.

Developed as part of the National Plan to Combat Vacant Housing, the Zero Vacant Housing digital solution has, since 2022, been helping local authorities gain a better understanding of the vacant stock and encouraging the mobilization of owners of vacant housing. Since January 2023, a digital one-stop-shop has been open to homeowners to provide them with better information and support—to find out about current taxes and available grants, and find the right contact in a local authority for guidance and support.

In addition to its information function, this counter also enables the owner to be contacted by the housing department of the local authority where the vacant home is located. The aim is to jointly define an exit strategy for the vacant dwelling.

Now, let’s see if we can convince the authorities that they are CREATING vacant housing by NOT allowing your property to be rented whenever you like and to whomever you like! They cannot tell you who you let stay in your property—it’s yours to do whatever you like with, within the confines of the building regulations (bylaws), so how is being remunerated for that stay any different?

As you can tell, I am very opposed to the laws that punish the landlord and ultimately punish the city and its inhabitants, as well as its visitors. Providing a structure that will enable the landlords to manage their rentals to adhere to the highest standards is the answer to their problems…but they can’t perceive this.

I’d love an opportunity to teach them how! Can someone get me an audience with the mayor!?

A bientôt,

Adrian LeedsAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

P.S. Various graphics and information can be attributed to these websites: apur.org/, housing2030.org/, qz.com/, irishexaminer.com/, and rankmyagent.com/.

P.P.S. Don’t miss listening to and watching the YouTube interview of me with Sharri Harmel as part of her Extraordinary Women 50+ series. Tune in to this recording and many others by visiting her YouTube channel.

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