If you want to make a few extra euros this summer and want to rent your main residence on the Riviera out to the holiday market as an owner or as a tenant (subletting), it is perfectly legitimate to do this directly yourself – subject to certain regulations of course. You are allowed to do so for up to 4 months per year. There are some specifics if your property is based in Nice (see below).
If you are a tenant and you want to sub-let the property that you are renting, you must first obtain permission from your landlord. The rent you receive must not be higher than what you pay to your landlord. However, if you own the property, you are not subject to regulation and can therefore rent your house freely.
If you are renting out a secondary residence, it’s a bit more complicated and you must request an authorisation from the Town Hall (Mairie).
The first step is to register in the Sirène Directory of INSEE (free service).
Once completed, a SIRET number will be assigned to you and the income from the rental is subject to income tax and possibly social security contributions (there is always a down side!). You might also have to pay business property tax and this can be checked through the Business Tax Service (SIE).
The local Mairie can ask tourists staying in their patch to pay a visitor’s tax. You will have to collect it from the person renting for the holidays and return it to your commune. In some communes such as Nice, there are specific regulations and you have to declare your holiday rental property at the Town hall and request an authorisation. The authorisation in Nice is valid for two years and then you have to go through the whole process again. It is very important that you get the authorisation in Nice! Failure to do so can lead to a fine of up to 25,000 euros.
It’s advisable to think about protecting your internet connection so that it is not used for anything untoward, and make sure your property insurance is comprehensive enough to cover any damages caused by holiday makers. Lastly, it’s a good idea to leave a list of practical information about bins emptying, noise at night or any local rules they need to know.
To rent for more than 4 months, you must comply with the rules governing tourist accommodation (declaration, rental contract – see below links)
Income tax: rental income to be reported (furnished premises)
For other useful information in English about your obligations when renting/subletting property in France, see the Angloinfo Riviera How To pages.