Did you know…?

A whole host of useful information about the region for your reading pleasure, general knowledge or potentially a local quiz. So, did you know…

Second home owner?

According to French law, all non-EU residents (Brits now included) selling their property must appoint a ‘représentant fiscal’ – tax representative – to sign your capital gains tax return, even if there is none to pay!

There are some exceptions including if the property value is under 150K euros and if you’ve owned it for 30 years.

They guarantee the amount is correct and they are liable to pay for any tax or penalties in the event of an adjustment.

You can use either an accredited company or a French resident, but bear in mind that the French resident will be liable to pay if there is any additional tax due – a heavy responsibility for an individual – whereas an official tax representative is prepared for the liability of any miscalculations and their fees are deducted from the chargeable gain.

There will also be additional checks on private individuals which could prolong the process so using a certified company means a quicker and simpler outcome.

Notaires and avocats are NOT allowed to be tax representatives!

Check out our partners who CAN help here.


money laundering

Gone with the wind

Did you know that the game of billiards became popular in France in the time of Louis XIV when the king’s physicians advised him to take stretching exercise to relieve him of chronic wind! 


All for one and one for all

Adventure, friendship, intrigue, betrayal…Alexandre Dumas’s stories of the Three Musketeers has charmed and enthralled literature lovers for many years – but did you know that d’Artagnan was based on the real musketeer, Charles Ogier de Batz de Castlemore, Nicknamed D’Artagnan, he was amongst the King’s musketeers protecting Louis XIII in 1642 when he lay siege to Collioure and the Château Royal, and occupied the hills overlooking the town. 

And according to Dumas, our dashing hero was also a bit of a wine connoisseur as the book describes how the musketeers ‘were engaged in enjoying a demi-john of Collioure wine’ 

Castelnou Castle re opens to the public 

The medieval castle will welcome visitors again this summer 2021 after being closed to the public for renovations. With over 50,000 visitors a year, it was once the department’s third most popular paying tourist attraction. It was handed over to the department for the symbolic sum of 1 euro because of the prohibitive cost of the renovation work required to meet public safety standards. 

 Look out for a summer programme of special events in the castle and grounds. 

Castelnou castle

Dali in Céret

In 1965, with great fanfare and pomp, Dalí descended on the sleepy, little town of Céret and announced his engagement to his artistic muse, Gala. 

Traditional Catalan bands and dancing, alongside the most important municipal representatives, were given the surrealist makeover. Flourishes included a giant cardboard rhinoceros and a 2 metre skeleton, whose articulating arm offered flowers to the impressive (and impressed!) crowd. 

Dalí à Céret ©Gibernau

What is an ‘attestation d’accueil’?

This is a ‘Proof of Accommodation’ document that your UK visitors could be asked to produce when entering France. It includes plenty of personal details, documents to produce, and also how long a visitor will be staying, exact dates, their relationship to you, the size of the property they’ll be staying at, whether they love or hate marmite (not really for that last one)……

Pick up the form from your local mairie. The attestation itself is free but you need “un timbre fiscal” (30€) that you can buy in a tabac, or online at https://timbres.impots.gouv.fr.

At time of writing, it still seems there is still a lot of confusion regarding the attestation, with different mairies enforcing different rules. Both the British and the French government websites are showing the attestation as necessary… do with that what you will.

attestation d'accueil


If you think you’ve caught one of those ‘summer colds’, you may actually be suffering from a nasty attack of hay fever!

The RNSA (Réseau National de Surveillance Aérobiologique) is the French aerobiology network in charge of the analysis of the content of the air in biological particles.

Last year, it put much of France on red alert or

‘very high risk’ for high pollen levels, explaining that conditions were particularly good (or bad!) for the production and dispersal of grass pollen. This year is looking even worse, adding olive tree and oak tree pollen into the mix here in the south of France!

Find out more about the pollen count in France here.

allergy hayfever

Delivery services, mobiles, internet….complain online

Fed up of waiting for parcels that just don’t arrive, or interminable disputes with the provider about your mobile or internet connexion?

Did you know that you can complain online about problems with post and parcel delivery services, telephone, mobile and internet providers?

J’alerte l’Arcep is run by by Communications authority Arcep to review complaints. and point visitors in the right direction to take their complaint further.


Red cross on traffic lights

Have you ever wondered (or even noticed) why there is a red cross on certain traffic lights? It is quite simply to let you know what colour the lights are for the traffic coming towards you, so you know whether you can turn left safely. Clever eh?

red cross

Keeping up with the Joneses

Want to know how much your new neighbours paid for the house next door?

French land registry records are open to the public, so you can access other people’s property sale price on-line. The ‘Demande de Valeur Foncière’ app, or DVF, goes back five years and lists sale price, date of sale, size of property, number of bedrooms, land area and plot (cadastre) number for houses, apartments, land and any building that has changed hands. It doesn’t name seller or buyer.

Go to the interactive map of France, click on the department, of your choice, and enter details in the column on the left. If there has been a sale over the past 5 years it will be coloured blue. In theory, the database is updated twice a year.

house prices

Time to ‘think local’ for your financial planning?

Just as UK citizens lost automatic EU freedom of movement when Brexit took effect on 1 January, many UK financial businesses lost the right to provide banking and investment services within the EU. If you are resident in France but still use a UK bank account, or a UK-based financial adviser, check they have the authority to continue supporting you as a French resident.


Booking your flights

Did you know that, according to a recent fare comparison site study, air fare prices from France are cheaper if you book online on Mondays or Tuesdays?

Saturdays and Sundays  are the most expensive days to book flights.

Where actual travel is concerned, Friday is apparently the cheapest day to fly from France, Sunday the most expensive.

The study also showed that buying tickets 22-24 weeks in advance can cut your fare price by 17%.


How much did you know? Have you got a useful, interesting, weird and wonderful  fact to share? Let us know!

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