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The Legal Requirements for Letting a Holiday Property in France

Are you aware that the increase in privately-managed rental properties has meant a tightening up of legal requirements for letting a holiday property in recent years? More and more people are renting out their properties on online booking platforms such as Airbnb so the French government has strengthened the controls on these platforms and owners, in order to better regulate the holiday rental market.

At OVO Network we keep on top of all the changes to holiday let rules and regulations and make sure that our owners have all of the information they need. Read on to find out the latest modifications to the registration of your holiday home in France and the risks of not registering.


1. Registration with the local commune

Owners launching a holiday rental property business in France are legally obliged to register with their local commune via the local Mayor’s Office – La Mairie.

How do I register my holiday rental property with the local commune? 

There are two ways to register your property rental business with your local commune; online or in person. 

Online

There are several online platforms where you can register your holiday rental property. You could call your local Mairie and ask for the name of the online platform they are affiliated with. Many use DéclaLoc or Service Public France. To find out if a commune is affiliated to DéclaLoc or Service Public France simply visit their site then type in the name of your commune. 

If affiliated, you can create an account and register. At the end of the process, you will be given a receipt and a registration number. Keep this number safe! You will need it for listing your rental business on the Tourist Office website for example. 

If not affiliated, contact your local commune.

In-person

Alternatively, you can download and print off CERFA form 14004 (link below), fill it in and deliver it to your local Mayor’s office in person, or by post.

Many communes still use paper forms, but some, such as the Aravis, Grand Annecy (including Menthon Saint Bernard, Saint Jorioz, Sévrier, Talloires and 30 other communes), La Chapelle d’Abondance, and Megeve, have online registration forms via DéclaLoc. If you have any questions relating to the declaration in these areas please consult the following websites:

  • For the Aravis click here
  • For the Grand Annecy area click here and here
  • For the Megève area click here

Once registered you do not need to renew your registration 

Your registration is valid indefinitely, unlike the official classification of a holiday rental, which must be renewed every five years. (More on the official classification below)

Keep the Mairie informed if you change the number of people that your holiday property can accommodate, for example, if you change from 10 to 12 people.

PLEASE NOTE – Failure to register your holiday property rental can lead to fines for owners and for guests!

2. Collecting, declaring, and paying the Taxe de Séjour (Tourist Tax)

Guests are legally required to pay a Tourist Tax (Taxe de Séjour). Owners are legally responsible for collecting, declaring, and paying the correct amount of tax to the local Mayor’s office. 

  • Each local commune sets the level of tax to be paid per guest per night, the age range of those required to pay the tax, and, if a tourist tax is to be charged at all.
  • Owners declare guest numbers monthly, and pay the taxes due twice a year to the commune, on behalf of their guests. Most communes are affiliated to the DéclaLoc platform for the declaration and payment of the tourist tax collection.
  • Check out your local commune website, or your local Tourist Office for more information about registration, declaration and payment of local Tourist taxes, and information on initiatives and projects funded by the tourist tax each year.

How much is the Tourist Tax? 

The amount guests will have to pay depends on the official classification (star rating) allocated to a property. For unclassified accommodation or accommodation awaiting classification, the rate is proportional. 

Is registration with the local Mayor’s office the same as official classification?

No it isn’t. Official classification (star rating system) is a classification monitored by AToutFrance France’s National Tourism Development Agency. 

The official classification is awarded by a network of independent accredited organisations across France.  

A representative of the organisation visits to inspect the rental property completes a 133 point checklist, then feeds back on the star rating achievable. The criteria are reviewed every five years.

Owners can then decide to pay for the classification as awarded, to improve their property and jump into a different rating band, or, to refuse the classification.

Classified owners are awarded a certificate stating their unique reference number and the star rating awarded. 

The unique official classification number is required by online advertising platforms, in order for star ratings to be mentioned.

The official classification is valid for 5 years. It is no longer valid once a property is sold. If a business continues for longer than five years the owners must apply for a new classification after five years.

There are tax benefits to be gained by having the official classification – ask your French accountant for more details.

The number of tax guests are required to pay varies between communes and between star rating bands.


At OVO Network we partner with owners of gorgeous holiday homes in the French Alps to create a successful rental business.

We keep on top of all of the holiday let rules and regulations and make sure that our owners have all the information they need. If you’re interested in turning your chalet into a successful rental business then visit our “Add Your Property” page to see how we can help you achieve that goal.


Original article posted May 3rd 2019 below:

When you start your rental property in France, the law requires all owners to register their property at the Mairie.

This rule in Article L324-1-1 of the Tourism Code comes from Article 24 of the Law (No. 2009-888) of 22 July 2009 on the development and modernisation of tourist services.

This declaration must be made at the Mairie on a CERFA form, or via the DECALOC online platform, if the commune is linked to it.


At OVO Network we keep on top of all of the holiday let rules and regulations and make sure that our owners have all the information they need. If you’re interested in turning your chalet into a successful rental business then visit our “add your property” page to see how we can help you achieve that goal.


This is not to be confused with the official classification of meublé (furnished)

Registration of your rental business is a simple registration procedure at the Mairie to declare your rental property. This procedure is, in most cases, obligatory.

Official classification is a classification (recognised by the préfecture) awarded by an independent accredited organisation according to certain criteria and validated by the award of a star rating. This is a voluntary procedure undertaken by an owner looking to have the quality of his property officially recognised.

The risks of not declaring your rental property

There are legal sanctions against owners who fail to declare their rental activity at the Mairie. Article 324-1-1 of the tourism code (modified by article 145 of the ELAN law) defines civil penalties for those who rent out holiday properties without giving the relevant information to the commune. These sanctions can be as much as 10,000€** and are issued by the president of the TGI for the benefit of the municipality. If you haven’t made your declaration, we urge you to do so and to contact your Mairie for more information.

How to register your holiday property

There are two options: the traditional declaration using the CERFA form, or via the online declaration platform DECALOC. Most communities still use the CERFA form, but some, such as the Aravis and Grand Annecy have already adopted the DECALOC system. (We have included in this article a list of the communes which use this system and those which use the paper form.)

Traditional CERFA declaration

You can pick up this form (see the picture below) from the Mairie, or it can be downloaded (see the table below for the link to download). If the commune for your property does not use the DECALOC platform, you will have to fill out the form and return it in person or by post. You will be given a receipt with a registration number.

Holiday let registration document for the town hall

Declaration using the DECLALOC’ platform

This platform has been available to the communes since 2018. It works in the same way as the platforms for declaring the taxe de sejour. Communes are gradually replacing the paper form with this service.

If you have not yet made your declaration, and your property is in a commune which uses this platform, you just need to go to the DECLALOC’ website (French only) and create an account. At the end of the procedure you will be given a registration number.

Declaloc holiday let registration screen

Please note: Be sure to keep your registration number and/or receipt safe. You will be asked for it in several situations(for example, when creating an advert on Le Bon Coin or on OTAs).

For OVO Network owners – please forward the number and receipt on to your account manager at OVO Network.

DECLALOC’ has an online resource centre where you can check the validity of your number or download the CERFA form.

https://www.declaloc.info/notre-outil/controle-de-conformite-des-numeros-enregistrement

Download traditional CERFA registration form here.

Communes in the Haute-Savoie linked to the DECLALOC system

(where OVO Network chalets are present)

Annecy and the Grand Annecy communes: Annecy, Talloires, Sévrier …

  • La Clusaz
  • Le Grand Bornand
  • Saint-Jean-de-Sixt
  • Manigod

For any questions about procedures:

Communes not linked to the DECLALOC’ service

ThônesOwners must go to the Mairie to get the CERFA form or can download it at:

http://www.lesvillardssurthones.fr/mobile/fr/demarches_en_ligne/particulier/F2043

or

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R14321
Mairie de Thônes
Place de l’Hôtel de Ville
74230 Thônes

+33 (0)4 50 02 91 72
Villards-sur-
Thônes
Owners must go to the Mairie to get the CERFA form or can download it at:

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R14321
Mairie des Villards-sur-Thônes

71 impasse des Marronniers
74 230 Les Villards-sur-Thônes

+33 (0)4 50 02 07 88
La GiettazOwners must go to the Mairie to get the CERFA form or can download it at:

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R14321

https://taxe.3douest.com/arlysere.php
Mairie La Giettaz
Rue Haut Bourg
73590 La Giettaz

+33 (0)4 79 32 92 87
CordonOwners must go to the Mairie to get the CERFA form or can download it at:

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R14321
Mairie de Cordon
3650 route de Cordon
74700 Cordon

+33 (0)4 50 58 04 17
ValmorelOwners must go to the Mairie to get the CERFA form or can download it at:

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R14321
Chef-lieu
73260 Les Avanchers
Valmorel

+33 (0)4 79 09 83 27
CotignacOwners must go to the Mairie to get the CERFA form or can download it at:

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R14321

http://mairiecotignac.fr/services/demarches-administratives/?xml=F2043
Place de la Mairie
83570 Cotignac

+33 (0)4 94 72 60 20
AlbonOwners must go to the Mairie to get the CERFA form or can download it at:

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R14321
Mairie d'Albon
6 Place de la Mairie
26140 Albon

+33 (0)4 75 03 12 71
LacanauOwners must go to the Mairie to get the CERFA form or can download it at:

https://www.lacanau.fr/mes-demarches/tourisme/declarer-un-meuble-de-tourisme/

ou

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R14321
Hôtel de ville
31 Avenue de la Libération
33680 Lacanau

+33 (0)5 56 03 83 03

You do not need to renew your registration after the initial declaration

Your registration is valid indefinitely, unlike the official classification of a holiday rental, which must be renewed every five years.
With the exception of the Grand Annecy area: owners who make their declaration by CERFA must repeat the process on via the DECALOC platform to update it.

The only time you will need to make a declaration at the Mairie is if you change the number of people that your holiday property can accommodate, for example if you change from 10 to 12 people. In that case you will have to repeat your declaration. The legal requirements for letting a holiday property are likely to change again by 2020. We will make sure you are kept up to date with the latest procedures.

Now that the registration requirements are clear, are you up to date with the latest changes to the holiday let tax in France? Read more about this here. Check out our other posts about property rental for more great industry tips.



At OVO Network we partner with owners of gorgeous holiday homes in the French Alps to create a successful rental business. If you have a beautiful chalet and are interested in joining our exclusive club visit our “Add Your Property” page today. You can find out how much your chalet could be earning or talk to a member of our expert team.

*Source : Activmag April 2019 – monthly supplement of l’Eco des Pays de Savoie

** Source : https://www.entreprises.gouv.fr/tourisme/meubles-tourisme