For several years the increase in the number of tourists in our countries has gone hand in hand with a new trend, which is gain-ing momentum, namely letting dwellings to tourists; this yields a higher return than conventional lets.
All these dwellings that are no longer on the conventional letting market are gradually creating an imbalance, and certain city councils like Paris have decided to contain this trend. To that end they implement regulations that enable them to limit the number of dwellings rented out as holiday lets.
First and foremost, holiday lets are subject to approval in coun-cils with more than 200,000 inhabitants and the departments of Paris's nearby suburbs. In addition, there is a procedure whereby the owner can receive compensation between several premises used for different purposes; when it is not feasible, “marketability” can be purchased from an owner who converts a commercial property into residential accommodation, subject to council approval.
Failing which, heavy fines can be imposed.
The law has introduced more flexibility for owners, who can let their ordinary residence for a maximum of four months a year and for short stays; young owners are keen to supplement their income in this way and pay off some of their bank loans. Because the vast majority of offers on the Internet are posted by owners letting their own homes.
For the government, which wishes to curb this new trend, the difficulty will reside in counting the four months. In that respect, local councils can count on the readiness of discontented neighbours, who often complain of disturbance caused by tourists, above all if the co- ownership regulations prohibit this type of occupancy!
In view of all these complications, when purchasing a property it is important that you tell your notary precisely how you intend to use it, so that he can give you all the relevant advice.
A balance between all these conflicting interests has yet to be found, and the tax authorities could achieve this by involving agencies and specialized mediating sites.