French Property Guide
French property management market
Purchasers who want a holiday home often intend to occupy it for only two or three months of the year. While it can be let out, non-resident owners will need a property manager who can action changeovers, let customers in, and check the property, as well as maintaining the property, dealing with any emergency repairs that might be needed, and ensuring bills are paid promptly and rent is collected on time.
Some long term property owners make informal arrangements with locals - one British resident in Haute-Vienne lets her neighbour's goats cut the lawn when she's not there! At completely the other end of the spectrum, if you buy a property in a résidence de tourisme (basically a resort property) it will come with management services included. However, most buyers of French property are somewhere in between those two extremes; that's where property managers can make life much simpler.
The market for property management in France is quite well developed - at least partly because rental remains more common than in many other countries. Many French families rent the house they live in, and own a maison secondaire in the country or on the coast; over 35% of French homes are rented. That's before you think about holiday rentals and corporate rents, or rentals to expatriate workers (in Paris and other larger cities).
Property management professionals
A number of large property management companies operate in most of the larger cities. At the top end of the market, major international real estate firms like Savills and Barnes International provide services for the extremely well-heeled, while individual self-employed property managers provide a bespoke service. Those looking for English-speaking property managers in rural areas might consider Les Bons Voisins, a network that covers most of the more popular areas for foreign buyers.
Property management costs can be deducted from rental revenues if the regime réel is used - that's a choice that has to be made up front, and as so often when dealing with French bureaucracy and particularly tax, it's wise to take advice from a professional.