Finding/Owning French Property

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Re: Home Staging in France

 RachelB wrote:
Coffee is very true! Bread and cookies are a bit forced and not so effective I've found. The key is clutter as so many people have mentioned, removing personal objects and cleanliness. One other tip that makes a big difference is making sure your home feels light and bright. No one wants a dark cave to live in.

Hmm, well my house may not be the tidiest around, usually clean though, but those smells of bread, cakes and coffee are not 'forced',that is what my house usually smells of.

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Re: Home Staging in France

 PaulT wrote:
We sold a house that we had rented out. The girl who lived there looked absolutely fabulous when she went out but the house was filthy - never any problem with her so whilst OH was distressed by the house I always thought it can be cleaned. We got stuck in and two weeks later had the family bathroom and en-suite refitted, everywhere repainted and a light cheap carpet laid throughout. Result it looked superb and sold in two days. That was in the UK.

My last few tenants in the UK have been like that, where it does cost money is the down time,  you dont dare to show round prospective tenants until they have moved themselves and all their rubbish out (if you are lucky) this year it took me 3 months to put the place straight but that also involved new bathroom, new kitchen worktops, stripping of 30+ years of woodchip throughout the whole house and redecorating throughout in a modern but neutral style.

The result with some "staging" was a house that looked far better than it ever has in my 30 years of ownership, I once again hade pride in it and it rented immediately for 40% more than I had been getting to a very clean professional guy with a really top job for a UK blue chip company.

Sadly he is worse than all of the others put together and it makes me cry to go in their to do repairs etc. I cant say the house is filthy yet but it is so cluttered that its impossible to clean and so soon will be, the worst thing is there is no end of storage space in the house but these people just chuck everything on the floor, my pal calls it the floordrobe! Then spend all their time ordering more stuff on the internet to chuck on the floor together with its packaging.

The tenant had been in maybe 6 weeks when I had to change the boiler, I was going backwards and forwards from the front door through the hall, only what, about 8 feet long into the kitchen, every morning it would take me the first half an hour to clear a passageway through, ironically it was often the hoover strewn across the floor and then buried in other stuff, he works from home and often I would have to clear a path back out at lunch time and in the evening, every morning was the same. This was after only 6 weeks!!!!

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Re: Home Staging in France

Chance, how I can identify with what you say.

The only time we were reluctant landlords was back in late 1980s early 1990s.  Then, as now, there was a financial crisis and we had a maisonette that we couldn't sell so we decided to let it.  The tenant was a university lecturer and we even knew his family.

Fair enough, he'd bring the rent in to my office every month, no fail.  We never had reason to call on him because, hey, we knew the guy and his family, right?

At the end of 5 years, when the market improved, we gave him notice as we wanted to sell the flat and buy a nicer house for ourselves.  The mess and dirt were indescribable.  I paid for it to be professionally cleaned but, even after that, I could see that everything was just too "destroyed".

It was our own flat so all the furniture was our own (not cheapo stuff especially bought for tenants), the curtains, carpets, etc etc.  We had to have the whole place gutted, all the white goods taken to an amenity site, I gave him all the beds, dining table, armchairs, curtains, etc.  Had builders in to replace kitchen, bathroom, furnishers in to put in new carpets and other soft-furnishings.  In those days and with workmen doing stuff for minimum wages (OH's work contacts), it cost about 5 grand.

So now, we have the house in the Charente on the market and I have been approached by both French and Brits wanting to rent it.  But I think I'd rather sell it at a loss (and we will be about 40 grand down) than to ever have tenants again.  I don't think that, at my age, I could cope with seeing such destruction and defilement of any house that I have owned and loved.

Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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Re: Home Staging in France

Must admit that - thinking 8 - 10 years down the line, whether we might be better moving back to UK and renting, and leave house here to be 'staged' and looking clean, tidy and spotless.   Having to keep everything clutter-free for at least 6 months whilst house is on the market would drive us all totally nuts.

As for those of you describing your horror stories about tenants can I just make one point.    Aren't letting agents in the UK supposed to carry out brief inspections every 3 or 4 months, then if the tenant isn't keeping their side of the contract it's possible for them to be served notice.   I know Letting Agents aren't cheap but it would surely have prevented some of the horrible horror stories mentioned above.    And I am sympathetic - it's not easy getting in a team of builders, decorators, plumbers, arrange new white goods and carpets - and all the time there's no rent coming in.

Why do we own property ?  !!  (Don't answer, please....).    Any more horror stories anyone ?


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Re: Home Staging in France

Certainly in my job I visit lots of people who are living in rented accommodation, as they're expats (or immigrants) living in the UK. I haven't seen a single instance of people trashing the places they're living in, and as Chessie says, they're all visited once every 3 months by a representative from the letting agent who conducts an inspection. same thing with my younger son, who was renting until recently and was visited on a regular basis for an inspection.

Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: Home Staging in France

Horror Stories...Some years ago in Scotland in married quarters rented accommodation, one enterprising young lady was servicing the HGV drivers, calling them in on her CB radio. Other residents began to query why there were so many HGVs parked in a residential area.

The contents of the house had to be burnt after she was evicted!!

There was a good one on the 1300 TF1 news this week too..
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Re: Home Staging in France

Well these tenants of whom I speak and they seem to be the majority dont trash the place they just completely clutter it and live amongst their own mess, the result is that the place becomes impossible to clean.

Yes agents will insist on a thorough clean after their inspections but TBH if the tenant doesnt do anything what can you do?

As Sweet17 has said the money is always paid on time, you know when it gets to this state that you are going to have rental downtime so as long as they are not actually damaging things then the financial decision is to let them remain for as long as possible, this tenant had got this way in 6 weeks, the earliest I can insist on a clean up, and I am not actually sure that I can even do so, is 6 months, we are not even there yet, I cannot serve notice for a year and that could well result in unpaid rent and damages.

I did have the presence of mind to re-do the house in very expensive plain white Muraspec vynyl which is highly resistant and washable, can even be steam cleaned however I see that they have already painted over it in the bedrooms Sad [:(] On the positive side it means they are making it their home and are likely to stay longer, financially I cannot face having to redecorate a house every 12 months and having significant rent down time just because of my sentimental attachment to what was once my home.

I have had one tenant who trashed the place, that was a bad experience, I have had one tenant who kept the place spotless and I was able to have prospective tenants visit while they were there and see the place uncluttered and very nicely furnished, the only time that I had no rent down time. All of the others are as I describe but this is behind closed doors, otherwise they are outwardly nice pleasant people and good neighbours which is very important to me as I care for the other neighbours and am one myself when I stay in the UK.

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Re: Home Staging in France

We couldn't sell the little place we moved back to, and ended up renting it out. However, I was really frightened about renting out, as a friend of mine in France does it all the time and they regularly have terrible problems.

I was walking past an estate agents and there was a sign asking if people had a property to rent and if they were worried about non payment, malicious damage and a few other things which I was less worried about. In I went and had a chat and they now rent this house out for us. They charge 10% (tax deductible) and go and check that it is clean every six weeks. The tennants cannot decorate or do anything without permission. The insurance is a £150 (tax deductible) a year for all the things that worry me, and peace of mind is sort of priceless.

I'd love to sell this little house, that isn't worth much, but frankly a steady little income that covers all costs and the mortgage, will do for us.

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