As we are getting close to the summer seasons, here are 6 tips to help future gite owners. If you are getting close to the end of your restoration projects or thinking about renting your property, here are 6 things that you will need to consider.
1- Inform the Mairie
Start by informing the Mairie of your plans to have holiday lets by filling a “Declaration de meublé de tourisme”. This doesn't officially register your business but it is a necessary first step. Since 2009, anyone who offers tourist accommodation for rent, whether it is classified or not as “meublé de tourisme”, must have previously made a declaration to the Mairie where the accommodation is located. This obligation also exists for chambres d’hôtes. The objective is for each town/village to identify the supply of tourist accommodation.
2 - Going professional or non-professional
If you are a non resident, your gîte will be considered as non professional - Loueur Meublé Non Professionnelle (LMNP) and only needs to be declared with Greffe du Tribunal . If you are a French resident the choice will depend on whether the gîte(s), chambres d’hôtes or table d’hôtes are your main activity or main source of income. This means that if the gîte represents less than 50% of your income, or if it generates less than 23,000€ per year for a gîte or less than 5,000€ for chambres d'hôtes then it is non-professional. The direct impact is that as a non-professional you will not get a health cover. If the gite or chambres d'hôtes is your main activity, it will need to be registered with Chambre de Commerce/Greffe du Tribunal de Commerce, as a business. Get in touch if you need help to register your gite.
3 - Adding extra activities for professionals
As France tends to see gîtes and chambres d'hôtes as a side hustle, it is worth adding an extra activity to ensure that you will be registered as a professional/ business. Things such as changeover services, retreats (heath/writing/art/cooking) or bike rental are also a good idea.
4 - Extra rules for going over 15 guests
This is an important rule to be aware of. If your gîte has more than 6 bedrooms and caters for more than 15 guests, then stronger health and safety rules called Etablissement Recevant du Public (ERP) will apply. This is when you are considered as a hotel or para-hôtelier. If you have several independent gîtes with their own access on the same property, for instance, a farmhouse, this rule doesn't apply, as the gîtes will be considered as independent.
5 - Serving alcohol
If you plan to sell drinks to your B&B guests or for your table d'hôtes, you will have to apply for a drinks licence from the Mairie - licence petite restauration. You will also have to take a compulsory training on drinks regulation called permis d'exploitation.
6 - Check your insurance
Double-check that your current home insurance covers you for the content value of the property, as well as for having paying guests.
For more detailed help on how to create a gîte, chambres d'hôtes and table d'hôtes in France, enrol on my online course. There is a 10% discount until 31st March with the code: gite2021. Enter the code after creating your account in the coupon area.