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Establishing an address in France

Posted by stesam - Created: 13 years ago
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My partner and I are planning to move to France from October. We have found a property we are interested to rent and are due to sign rental agreements soon. The property seems to be still the legal / tax residence of our prospective landlord (who is currently working away from France) and he seems keen that we do not establish the property as our official residence while we rent. In the contract he has asked us to agree to a clause that says:

He will NOT establish his official domicile at the address of the Villa, even temporarely.

We are wary of the implications here in terms of taxation / banking / health care / social security cover and are wondering what 'establish official domicile' means in French law and what we will be unable to do legally if we sign this agreement ?

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7 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 7)

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 13 years ago

As already stated, the English is flaky and not valid as such in French law.  Sounds to me like the owner's feeble attempt to make sure that a seasonal let does not become permanent.

In any case, given that you will be employed and declared to the fisc, your "domicile fiscal" WILL be at your rented address unless you specifically arrange otherwise.

I wouldn't be concerned about this clause - I'd be more concerned not having a decent contract in French.

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Posted by jmcc-181202 - 13 years ago

agreed re the utility bills!  If you cannot produce these in your name you will have massive hassle with lots of things.  It does sound like a bit of legal advice is needed - sorry to say I cannot really advise from whom

Julian

 

 

 

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Posted by Twizzel-185350 - 13 years ago

Are you going to be allowed to have the France telecom line in your name? For alot of things eg. banks you need a telephone or electricity bill in your name.

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Posted by stesam - 13 years ago

JMCC - I am taking a French Contract with my employer. In the long term we plan to move to France and buy property. In the short to medium term (the next 6 months) we are planning to rent this place under these terms.

In terms of cars....my company provides a company car so that will not be an immediate issue. It was more from the taxation / health care / social security perspective that we were concerned

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Posted by jmcc-181202 - 13 years ago

it sounds OK (ish!) (assume you are from the UK)

The UK definition of domicile has a very specific meaning under the Inland Revenue (very complicated)

If you are planning to stay there for a few months, will not be earning money in France, will still maintain a house in the UK, etc, and don;t try to buy a car in France using the rented house as your residence, you will probably be OK

Bear in mind that under French law an English contract is not strictly valid.  In the event of a dispute, the court would order a certified translation to be made by a translator (traducteur assertmenté) and that version would hold valid.  Translators are expensive! And they have a closed shop! Looking at the spelling of the English you quoted, this was not a certified translator!

So if it is a casual arrangement for 6 mths you are probably OK!  If you are worriers would be worth some legal/tax advice

Good luck

 

Julian

 

 

 

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Posted by stesam - 13 years ago

Legend - thanks for the reply.

The rental agreement and clause in question appears exactly as quoted in English on the contract. You might consider the rental agreement to be 'seasonal' because we are only offered the property from October until May and then after May we will need to seek alternative accomodation as the owner lets the property to tourists over the summer for rates we are not willing to pay !

It sounds from your reply as if we need to establish whether we are restricted from establishing the place as our 'domicile fiscal' or not ?

 

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 13 years ago

Is the clause written exactly like that - in English?  If not, how is it written in French.

The word "domicile" without any adjective like "official" etc. has a well understood meaning in English and also a well understod (but different) meaning in French.  I don't know what "official domicile" means in English and in any case the term "domicile" in English is somewhat contradictory to the word "temporarely" (sic).

In French, the term to be sure of is "domicile fiscal".  This is your legal address.  It is almost always the address where you actually reside.  It is highly suspicious that you would be prohibited from having your residence as your "domicile fiscal".  There may be some case around this for a seasonal rental (where you are only very temporarily at the residence) but I understood your question was not for a seasonal rental.