FRANCE is a hugely popular country to visit but in many areas there can be an oversupply of gîte accommodation.
This coupled with a relatively short summer season can make it difficult for many rental property owners to sustain a viable business, writes Ross Husband of Rent a place in France.
The ability to rent your property out for longer periods either off-season or year-round can be attractive to many owners.
These longer lets can offer owners the ability to maximise the rental potential of their property - peak season holiday rentals and long off-season rentals can be a winning combination.
While some owners opt for long lets year round with no changeovers and a regular monthly income.
The market for long lets is healthy in many areas of France. They are popular with house hunters from northern Europe, especially the UK, who are looking to rent before buying, retirees looking for a long winter break, artists, writers, or those on sabbaticals.
Most properties are let furnished, but there are different rules for unfurnished properties and leases for these normally run for three years minimum.
If you are considering renting your property out for longer lets you should ensure that it is adequately heated and equipped for the winter months - even the south of France can experience very cold weather.
Ensure that the tenant is given accurate and comprehensive details of your property at the outset, including the monthly rental price, location, type of accommodation, interior style and furnishings, facilities, details of any outside space and surrounding area.
Photos are extremely important in any advert, try to include a good balance of interior and exterior shots. A picture of a welcoming open log fire or wood-burning stove is a good idea for long winter rentals.
Ideally the tenant should view the property and meet the owners before committing to a rental, this is particularly important for longer lets of six months or a year.
Prospective tenants need to ensure they know exactly what the monthly costs will be. Are utilities, logs, linen, local taxes included or are they extra? Is a deposit required, when is the monthly rental due and what currency is acceptable?
If you are looking to buy property but are unsure of the exact area, two or three longer lets in different areas can be a good option. We did just that before purchasing our place in France.
Whether its extra revenue for the owner or a life changing experience for the tenant, long lets can be rewarding.