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What Brexit means for you - and 7 other things we learned from the May issue of French Property News

PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 April 2019

The May issue of French Property News is out now

The May issue of French Property News is out now

Archant

Read our dummy's guide to owning a French property and how to hire reliable builders, in the May 2019 edition of French Property News, out now!

1. The Atlantic seaside town of Arcachon is the best town to retire to in France

The seaside resort, which sits on the southern tip of a huge bay sheltered from the Atlantic, topped Le Figaro’s annual rankings, while the town on the north side of the bay, Andernos-les-Bains, came second.

See page 8 for this story and other news

Arcachon Bay is a retirement paradise (c) Eric Cowel - Getty ImagesArcachon Bay is a retirement paradise (c) Eric Cowel - Getty Images

2. Brexit or no Brexit, Brits are moving to France

Estate agents have been looking over the cliff edge for some time now, expecting enquiries to dry up because of Brexit uncertainty. Yet many have had a record year and were still busy as the now-scrapped deadline of March 29 came and went. Sales at Leggett, the largest agency working with international buyers in France, are up 22% on this time last year, for example.

See page 26 for our market report

French ch�teau on the market with Agence L'UnionFrench ch�teau on the market with Agence L'Union

3. You might be able to get help renovating your château

Grants are available for restoration and on-going maintenance of listed buildings.

The amount you can claim will depend on the level of classification and other factors

but the state will finance up to 40% of the total bill.

The Cote Vermeille has a wealth of sea life (c) Damocean - Getty ImagesThe Cote Vermeille has a wealth of sea life (c) Damocean - Getty Images

See page 34 for lots of beautiful châteaux

4, Don’t rush to get a residency permit as soon as you move to France

In many areas, long delays for carte de séjour applications are now being reported and some local authorities have suspended operations until it’s more clear what new system will come in after Brexit. The Remain in France Together group now advises that if you have less than three months’ residence, you should start putting together your application dossier, but delay your application until you’ve been resident for over three months and after Brexit (unless there is a long extension period). It’s important to keep an evidence trail of when you arrived in France and that you’ve been there continuously since then (e.g. travel tickets, spending in France, utility bills with consumption figures, bank statements showing transactions in France etc).

You might be better off with a fence than a pool (c) monkeybusinessimages - Getty ImagesYou might be better off with a fence than a pool (c) monkeybusinessimages - Getty Images

See page 30 for our no-nonsense guide to Brexit

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5. Getting around in Pyrénées-Orientales is super cheap

Public transport is heavily subsidised, according to estate agent Mark Sayers, of Perpignan’s Artaxa office. “The €1 bus service in particular is something of a marvel. Last weekend it cost my neighbour the princely sum of €2 to go skiing in Font Romeu for the day!” he says.

See page 52 for our feature on this beautiful Mediterranean department

6. Here’s how to hire reliable builders and other artisans

You can find out what skills an artisan is registered to do by looking up their SIRET number on such portals as as infogreffe.fror insee.fr. Every artisan must have public liabilities insurance at the very least and all major works should come with a 10-year ‘décennale’ insurance.

See page 56 for our guide to hiring reliable artisans

7. You might be better off putting in a fence rather than a pool at your holiday rental

If you are renting out your holiday home, you may find that putting in a below-ground swimming pool at a cost of €15,000-€30,000 won’t give you a return on your investment. However, fencing in a garden area so that you can advertise as a “secure dog-friendly space” is more likely to give you a return, according to property services expert Pete O’Grady.

See page 68 for our holiday rental reality check

8. When opening a joint bank account, the word ‘ou’ or ‘et’ can make a big difference

Be aware that a joint account in the names of ‘John Smith ou Joan Bloggs’ means either of you can independently sign cheques and authorisations, and in the sad event of the untimely death of one of you, the account will keep going without hassle. However, with an account in the name of ‘John Smith et Joan Bloggs’, both of you have to sign everything and neither partner can do anything without the other’s permission.

See page 76 for our dummy’s guide to owning a French property

On this month’s cover: A stunning château in Tarn-et-Garonne for sale with Agence L’Union

If you want to read and learn more about buying property in France you can buy the May 2019 issue of French Property News here.

Or, you can take out our great subscription offer and get the magazine delivered to your door every month!

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