UK Office: 0044 (0)1440 820 358

Clé France

The French Property Network

Jul 14

Implications of Brexit

Question: Bonsoir, I am wondering if Brexit prevents me from renting or buying a premises in France, in which I can live upstairs, and create a social venture, in the ground floor? Can you advise me please?

Merci, Sandra

Answer: Hi Sandra, thanks for your message...

Brexit is a big question, and quite complex for me to try to answer succinctly: 

but there are quite a few articles on our blog pages on the website from various sources, especially from our legal contacts, so do have a browse over those. 

My own view is that the process of 'BREXIT' will potentially take a number of years to negotiate, and in the meantime nothing changes, British people are  still moving to France to live,  in fact we've just had our busiest month in 8 years.

So the consensus of opinion is that for now not much will change. The  process of withdrawing from the EU will not be a speedy one, and the  residency of those ex-pats living in France and elsewhere in the EU will no doubt form a part of that negotiation process.  

When I moved to France a residency  permit known as the ‘Carte De Sejour’ was required; it was a  relatively straightforward application process (or at least as  straightforward as a French bureaucratic process can be!)  Perhaps this could be re-introduced for British residents in the future, but for now we just don't know. Of course owning homes abroad will remain as it is today, there is no restrictions for non EU members on owning a house in France.

Clearly there remain many questions to be answered, and fine details to be ironed out. But what is becoming apparent is that this will be a long process, possibly years in the making, and we will of  course bring further news as and when it becomes available during the  coming months. But in the meantime life continues much as it always  has done: the British have always lived, worked and retired to sunnier  climes, and that will doubtless continue, even if some administrative aspects of live abroad may change.

Here is a link to 4 articles which we have published on the subject that you may find useful on The Legal Implications of Brexit

Thanks, Alex.

Cle France Blogs

For everything you need to know about French property visit

Add CommentViews: 2687
Jan 26

Preparing For Un Voyage In French

Question: Hi Alex, we are planning a viewing trip with you guys soon, as you know, it will be our first property viewing trip to France gulp! do you have any French phrases / terminology we could use so we don't appear to daft to 'the French'?

thanks Judith C.


Traveling can be difficult when you combine la fatigue à cause du décalage horaire (jetlag) with a language barrier. Before you ever leave though, making sure all your travel arrangements are in order can prove to be quite difficult as well.

Preparing a trip can take a long time. You might know where you want to go and how you want to get there, but sometimes you just do not have le temps to put it all together!

Cle France Blogs

The first step in la réservation d’un vol (reserving a flight) is looking at votre emploi du temps (your schedule) to see when you can prendre l’avion (take a flight). It can be hard to figure out how to arrange everything when you’re looking at un vol de nuit (a red eye flight) and un décalage horaire (a time difference).

Finding la meilleure relation qualité/prix (the best value for the money) can be hard, especially if there’s un vol at a good price, but it doesn’t fit into votre emploi du temps chargé (your busy schedule)!

While you might not be able to change votre emploi du temps chargé, you can choose your seat, côté couloir ou côté hublot (aisle or window), and le repas (the meal). Airplane food may not be the best, but you can let them know if you want un repas végétarien (a vegetarian meal) in advance.

After spending the time to réserver le vol the next big step is to faire vos valises (pack your bags). Fitting everything you need in une valise (a suitcase) can be the hardest part of la préparation. After stuffing everything into une valise you have to then make sure it meets the requirements of la compagnie aérienne (the airline).

The requirements for le bagage en soute (checked luggage) and le bagage en cabine (carry-on luggage) can change between les compagnie aériennes, but the information is usually easy to find on le site web de la compagnie aérienne (the airline’s website).

After everything is packed all that’s left is getting up at the right time. Once you’re at l’aéroport, it’s best to see if le vol est rétardé (the flight is delayed). If le vol est à l’heure (the flight is on time), the last hurdle is making it through la contrôle de sûreté (the security check) after vous avez enregistré vos bagages (you have checked in your luggage)!

There may be some things out of your control at l’aéroport, but at least you can make sure la réservation is ready and les valises sont faites in advance!

ALSO here’s a list of vocabulary that will help you in France during a viewing trip, although our agents speak English:


Immobilier - Estate Agency

les pièces — rooms (the French don’t use the number of bedrooms as a reference for the capacity of an apartment or house, but rather they count based on the number of habitable rooms, excluding bathrooms and the kitchen)

le loyer — rent

location — rental

la surface — the square footage; area

la maison — house

l’appartement — apartment

le terrain — land

le prêt immobilier — real estate loan, or mortgage

l’impôt immobilier — real estate tax

l’agent immobilier — real estate agent

l’agence immobilier — real estate agency

louer — to rent

acheter — to buy

le bâtiment — the building

le bailleur — the landlord

le bail — the lease

charges (non) comprises — charges (not) included

commission (non) comprise — commission (not) included

le dépôt de garantie — security deposit

meublé — furnished

le propriétaire — the owner

Hope these few words help a little?

Cle France LOGO

Cle Mortgages

Blog submitted by: Alex at The French Property Network - Cle France.

Add CommentViews: 1461
Dec 10

Cost of Living in France

Question: Hi Alex, what sort of costs for living cost ie. water electric gas and rates, for say, in western regions compared to south western France. thanks Sean.

Answer: Hello Sean, many thanks for your question, if I understand you correctly, I think your question is to ascertain whether or not the cost of utilities varies according to region, and the short answer to that is... not really.

However, there are considerable climatic differences in France, which will of course impact on things like usage of heating as you will consume energy differently if you live in a colder climate. That said if you are in an area where you can make the maximum benefit if solar power that will also impact favourably on your bills. 

So it is quite a complex question to answer, as really everything depends on usage, size of property, region, method of heating, well as opposed to main water; there are a large number of factors that will influence the amount you pay.

But I think its accurate to say that not many people will choose an area of France to live in according to what the cost of utilities might be:  it is more to do with accessibility, climate, lifestyle, cost of property, as whilst running costs are important, these other points are more significant.

Cle France Blogs

For everything you need to know about French property visit

Add CommentViews: 1283
Nov 28

How to buy a property in France

Question: Hi Alex, can you describe the buying process in France to me as a complete novice? a really basic step by step format please.

Thanks, Ernest.

Answer: Hi Ernest, here we go in basic terms the process of buying a house in France, for a more detailed version you can read a bit more on our "Buying Process - The Basics" webpage as well.

1. Unlike in the UK, in France the estate agent will accompany the buyer to see the house and does not give the address of the house before the viewing.

2. You make an offer, usually betwen 5% and 10% of the asking price [but this does vary] and once accepted by the seller, the buyer and the seller sign an initial contract called the "Compromis-de-Vente"

3. Then follows a 10 day cooling off period, during that time the buyer can change their mind about buying the property but the seller is already committed. 

4. A deposit of 10% of the price of the house is paid at this stage to reserve the property.

5. The "Compromis-de-Vente" may include specific clauses or conditions, such as the sale being dependent on obtaining a mortgage arrangement or planning permission for example. 

6. The "Notaire" then makes the conveyancing, a "Notaire" must always be used for the purchase of a property in France.

Cle France Blogs

For everything you need to know about French property visit

Add CommentViews: 1317
Oct 25

What is an Auto Entrepreneur?

Question: Hi Alex, I have a small gardening business in the UK and have always wondered if I can set this type of business up in France, we were thinking about buying a holiday home at first but after our first viewing trip with Cle France we saw that is we spend a little bit more we can get a lot more in France and move over full time. But... we would have to work and therefore was thinking about running the same sort of business in France.

A friend told me to start small and mentioned becoming 'auto entrepreneur' but I thought he was talking about being a car mechanic! LOL so can you tell me What is an auto entrepreneur?

Thanks, Dominic.

Answer: Hi Dominic, being an 'auto entrepreneur' is actually the most popular business set-up in France and is actually a 'tax status' or 'regime' rather than a legal stand point. You are actually an 'Enterprise Individuelle' or self employed / sole trader who chooses to be taxed as an 'auto entrepreneur'. Tax is based and worked out on your turnover, which cannot exceed 32,900 euros (in 2016 but this goes up a little each year) HOWEVER you cannot claim expenses against tax or charge VAT or recover it on purchases paid. 

So your gross turnover is taxed.

However it is a very simple system to operate when first arriving in France as you don’t have to produce accounts, Yippe! just proof of income and you have to pay as you go on a monthly basis. not many Ex-Pats setting up business set up Ltd companies as they are much more complicated when paying tax and social charges for both those within the business. But either way it’s essential to get some advice before setting up your business, particularly if your French is not that good yet.

Cle France have lots of local contacts so just ask for more details when you are ready.

Cle France Blogs

For everything you need to know about French property visit

Add CommentViews: 1368

Quick Search

Minimum Beds/Baths

Price Range

Land in sq metres (1 acre = 4000M2)

Join the Mailing List

Select subscriber list :

Featured Properties

Charming Rural House For Sale
Charming Rural House For Sale Coux-et-Bigaroque
€338,000 €315,000
Well Appointed Detached House
Well Appointed Detached House Carquebut
€232,320 €221,760
Property For Sale
Property For Sale Quettreville-sur-Sienne

Property of the Week

Property of the Week
Country House with Indoor Pool

Countryside in Normandy

Reduced to 287,000 €