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Different ways to earn a living in France

PUBLISHED: 09:47 23 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:47 23 May 2017

Teach a skill like cooking © dolgachov / Thinkstockphotos

Teach a skill like cooking © dolgachov / Thinkstockphotos


Need to earn an income in France? From renting out your property to teaching a skill, here are 9 ways to earn a living in France

Peter-Danton de Rouffignac Ma LLM lives in Perpignan and advises on all aspects of property buying and searching

1. Rent out your property

Renting out your house or apartment short-term is a popular way to earn money, particularly if you don’t live permanently in France and therefore your property is vacant part of the year. The traditional holiday rental market remains popular during the ski season and in the warmer months and there are numerous promotional opportunities, from a letting agency to launching your own website and the ever-popular Airbnb. In some cases permanent residents even move out of their homes temporarily during the letting season. If you own a property in the centre of a busy town then an alternative option is to occasionally let a room to overnight guests or renting out your apartment as a temporary office – popular with start-ups and individuals needing an occasional base for meetings. However, you need to be aware of the rules: the French are now clamping down on matters like tax and the collection of tourist levies, particularly in Paris, and some building managers and residents may raise objections.


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2. Manage holiday lets for other people

If you don’t want to rent out your own property then how about earning an income working for those who do? Those who don’t live near the property they are renting will need someone local and reliable to do the cleaning, maintenance and handling changeovers. You could even extend the offer out of season to include routine maintenance and site checks while the owners are absent.


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3. Become a handyman

All kinds of ‘handyman’ skills are also in demand – fixing windows, tidying gardens, decorating, laying tiles and anything else that doesn’t require certifiable skills in electricity, plumbing or building. Although if you are skilled in these areas you could have your ‘foreign’ skills and qualifications officially recognised in France.

4. Make and sell products

If you have an artistic skill – drawing, painting, sculpture, woodwork, pottery, jewellery, graphic design and photography – then why not create and sell your own work. This could easily be done at home selling online or you could take out a stall at a local market (€5 or €10 will buy you a decent space for a morning or evening market). There is also the new trend for repairing and restoring old furniture which is readily available at brocantes which you can sell online. You could even teach domestic skills such as cooking or sewing to others in evening or weekend classes.

5. Teach a skill

If you have the relevant training and qualifications, there is a growing market for relaxation techniques, individual or group fitness programmes, dancing or learning to play a musical instrument. As an experienced teacher you might consider offering revision classes or help with homework, especially English language, either independently or through recognised organisations.


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6. Rent out your stuff

Hiring out or exchanging tools is another growing sector, where you can at least save money or even earn some if you extend your offer to include occasionally used items. How often have you dreamed of using a floor-sander or spray-painter during your DIY efforts and not found a convenient low-cost supplier? If you own a car but don’t need it all the time then you could try renting it out for a day or weekend via online platforms.

7. Become an estate agent

To become an estate agent you need a recognised business qualification and an acceptable level of French, plus a licence from the Préfecture de Police in Paris if you are a foreigner. However, you could start out as an agent commercial attached to an established agency, usually working on a commission-only basis.


Related articles

How to find a job in France

Buying an existing business in France


8. Buy an existing business

With some available capital, you have the chance to buy or create your own business, where the options include the ever-popular gîte, a bar/restaurant/café or an activity centre (horse-riding, walking or cycling tours, weekend retreats).

9. Purchase a buy-to-let

A buy-to-let property can be a sound income earner. There are a number of variations – letting long-term (from three years upwards) unfurnished; letting short-term (12 months) furnished; or trying a mix such as summer holiday letting combined with term-time letting to students. As with all things related to property, location is of prime importance. Letting long-term invariably means offering a property that has access to jobs, schools, shopping, medical services and public transport. Short-term lets, meanwhile, are best aimed at singles – post-graduates attending university or employees on temporary secondment – and work best in medium to large cities, with sufficient services and leisure activities within easy reach.

Like this? You might enjoy:

The best places to buy a buy-to-let property in France

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Article by Living France Living France

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