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    Guide to French Standard Purchase

    French Standard Purchase (classic freehold)

    Many of our clients who are purchasing a property in the French Alps would rather not rent their property out, keeping it for themselves to enjoy as and when they wish. Others may want to rent their property, but find that the leaseback scheme doesn’t quite work for them.

    This is where classic freehold properties come in. As the name suggests, you are the freehold owner of a chalet or apartment and have no obligation to rent your property. The responsibility of running and maintaining the property is yours and you can visit and use the property however you wish.


    So, what do I have to pay?

    Classic freehold properties are subject to French VAT, the price you would pay would be VAT inclusive. On top of the purchase price, the buyer would pay a fee to the Notaire for their legal services throughout the reservation processes. As before, all responsibility of the upkeep and maintenance of the property is taken on by the owner, meaning that each year you will pay all the small costs involved in running the apartment or chalet. These may include: co-ownership fees, bills/utilities (water, electricity, Wi-Fi…), taxe fonciere (land tax), taxe d’habitation (council tax) and any applicable building or contents insurances.


    What if I want to rent the property?

    If you are looking to set up a flexible management agreement on your property, which will allow you to still use the property as and when you wish but also capitalise on the strong rental potential in the Alps, we can help you. In every major ski resort, there will be a number of excellent local management companies who will be happy to take on the management and maintenance of your apartment and chalet. We can also put you in touch with a large, respected management company in France that takes on the management of single properties as well as whole developments.

    Please contact us to find out more about the kind of management/rental agreements that are available for the classic freehold properties we have for sale.

    Depending on how you wish to use your property, there is also the potential to reclaim 20% VAT on the purchase price on any property newer than 5 years old. To do so, your property must be considered a ‘tourism residence’. What this means is:

    • Your property is fully furnished
    • Your property is professionally managed and maintained
    • Your property is marketed for rent for at least 182 days of the year
    • You employ the services of a management company to carry out 3 ‘para-hotel’ services: 1) Key handover   2) Cleaning   3) Linen & towel change

    With these services in place, you can contact the French tax administration to apply for a VAT rebate, offering a huge saving on the price of your property.

    Please contact us for more information on the purchase of a classic freehold property in the French Alps.