What are the annual monthly costs of owning a French property?

French property buyers have many questions, most of the information on this site is in direct response to questions. We were recently asked for a quick overview of the annual expenses that a French property owner will have to pay. Here is this quick introductory overview that is meant only as an introduction. There are sure to be more costs we have not mentioned : contact a professional for more details. Remember tax rules in France change frequently. Check all the suggestions below with your English speaking French real estate professional.


Property Taxes / Taxe Foncière

Each owner of a French property pays a tax to support the local commune, this tax varies with the town you live in and it can vary based on what part of the town you live in. You pay this tax even if you do not live in the property.



Habitation Tax / Taxe d’habitation

Owner of a French property have to pay a tax on their property because it is capable of being lived in. This is not the same as property taxes called taxe fonciere. In general the person who is living in the home on January 1st is the one who is responsible to pay the tax d’habitation so if your rent your property the renter may be responsible. This tax can vary based on the financial position of the person responsible to pay the tax. It is important to consult a French tax expert to make sure you know your responsibilty towards this tax.



Audiovisual tax / Redevance Audiovisuelle

Each person in France who has a TV (it does not have to be like this) pays this tax to support the national audiovisual network. But as always there are exceptions, consult with your French tax authority to find out if you are an exception.




If your French property is attached to the local gas service company you will have to pay for usage of this service in is not included as part of another local fee. Check to see if you are responsible.



Water and Sewer / Eau – assainissement

If you property is connected to the local water and sewer system you will pay a fee for service. One thing important to note is that in France unlike some countries you pay for usage of water and there is a Water Meter like this that measures how much water you use. Confirm your responsibilities.




Unless you have solar panels like this you most likely will have to pay for electrical supply to your property from companies like EDF. Ask the owner of the property for a copy of the electricity bill so you can have an estimate of cost.



Septic Tank / Fosse Septique

If your French property is not connected to the local sewer system you will most likely have a septic tank you will need to budget to maintain. It is very important you check the condition of this system before you purchase a property, have it repaired if neccesary and keep it maintained as neccessary.



French Property Insurance

French property insurance we understand is mandatory so even if you don’t want the expense you will have to pay for it. So you need to budget for insurance for your French property.


Monthly Charges / Charges Mensuelles

If you own a French apartment you will have monthly charges for the maintenance of the building, elevator etc (it all depends on the building you live in) and you are typically billed every 3 months. Sometimes these charges will include heating of your water and your apartment so make sure you find out before you make your offer to purchase.

Important note: Individual or attached houses in France can also have monthly charges so confirm these details before you sign any papers.


Other charges we have not noted here

Sometimes French property ownership is said to have a lot of surprises and this is because the owners did not think about some of the above costs or they thought, for example, taxe d’habitation is only for renters.

Make sure you consult with an English speaking French real estate agent or notary to make sure we have not left any expenses out and make sure you understand all you are investing in. Also, reemember French tax rules change regularly. Always check with local authorities and your French notary to confirm details. We can help you contact English speaking professionals at no cost to you for the search. Contact us today.