The French real estate laws you need to know

No one’s going to complain about it: some French real estate laws allow you to benefit from interesting or very interesting tax cuts.

Invest to rent, invest faraway, invest and then renovate ... Zoom in on some real estate laws that can help you save big.

Loi Carrez - The right measures make the right friends

“53 m2, but 48 according to the Loi Carrez"; This sentence is often included in real estate rental advertisements. Which is what? The law requires that every owner and seller of condominium units (so not individual housing, neither homes sold off plan) indicate and guarantee the exact habitable surface-area of the property. 48 m2 according to the Loi Carrez means that strictly 48m2 is habitable even if the total privative surface is 53 m2 (at least you have some cupboards, phew): FYI, the surfaces included, does not include the less than 1.80 meters height, from ceiling to ground, in the calculations. Attics, small closets, or even walls truncated by installations are also excluded, even if they can still store a business or they still allow to store a business or make a water heater disappear.

Loi Pinel - Rent more, pay less

This law succeeds the Loi Duflot (which succeeds the Loi Scellier), and concerns tax cuts for individuals who opt for rental investment. 12% of the total amount of the investment (purchase price + notary fees) for a lease of 6 years, 18% for 9 years, and 21% for 12 years. However, the total amount of the real estate investment must not exceed 300,000 euros or drop under 5,500 euros per square meter. Just know that under the Loi Pinel, you have to choose your tenants according to specific criteria (especially regarding their income), and they may be your family (descendant or ascendant) contrary to the previous Duflot Law.

Loi Scellier BBC - We’re all going green

The Scellier Law applies only to BBCs, or Buildings of Low Consumption, which meet the criteria specified by the Grenelle Environment Forum. Wooden framework, photovoltaic electricity, triple glazing ... So many innovations that’ll allow you to consume less energy ... and pay fewer taxes. We are talking about tax cuts of up to 25% of the investment price, with a maximum of 300,000 euros again for the purchase price of the property.

Loi Girardin - Investing Far Is Good

You can invest anywhere, anywhere in France, including in its overseas department and territories. And, like the Loi Pinel, the Loi Girardin benefits those who think "rental investment." Imagine that you invest in a new house or apartment, then rent it out as a principal residence for at least 5 years, gives you a 40 to 50% tax reduction! It’s the real deal.

Loi Malraux - Make new with old

Again and again, the Loi Malraux introduces another tax reduction, this time for owners who decide to invest in a property to renovate - and then to rent. The property in question is generally located in a protected area or in a zone for the protection of urban heritage, and must undergo large-scale work; until its complete restoration, it is supervised by an Architecte des Bâtiments de France (Architect of Buildings of France). What’s in it for you? A tax reduction, which varies between 22 and 30% of the total amount of work done.

We should point out that laws (and governments?) go quickly in France, and that a law can change or even disappear within a few years. So ask your BARNES real estate agent about the applicable real estate laws in France at the time of your acquisition, sale or lease.

View BARNES listing of properties in France.

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