Check it out before you move

Selling or renting your property before moving

If you are selling your property in your present country, make sure you put it on the market well in advance or terminate any rental contract you might have. If you are keeping your property to rent out, you must inform:

– your local tax office (you may be expected to pay tax on rental received despite living abroad)
– your mortgage company if you have a mortgage on the property
– your insurance company (if you are intending to insure your car abroad you will need a letter to prove that you have terminated your insurance policy in GB)

For further help and advice on renting out your property when going abroad, contact:
Centre for Non-Residents,
Non-resident Landlord Scheme,
Fitzroy House
Castle Meadow Road
PO Box 46
Nottingham NG2 1BD
Tel +44 (0) 151 472 6208/6209

You can also phone or fax the Centre for Non Residents Helpline in Newcastle on:
tel: +44 (0) 845 915 4811
fax: +44 (0) 845 915 7800
(UK calls and faxes will be charged at local rates except for some mobile phones.)
You can get more information by contacting the Inland Revenue
For rental purposes , do consider a property management agency. Although they take a percentage of your rent, you’ll have peace of mind as you can hardly be expected to ‘pop round’ to sort out any problems which may arise.

If you are leaving your property empty , do check that you have ample security arrangements, alarm, security lights, arrangements with neighbours to make regular checks etc. It is also worthwhile informing your local police station that the property will be empty.
Apply well in advance for your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). This is free, and valid for up to five years, and will give you access to treatment by doctors, dentists, in public hospitals, or private clinics operating within the French “sécurité sociale” framework. The EHIC does not normally cover the full cost of medical treatment in France and the NHS recommends that all travellers also take out private health insurance, to cover the difference.

If you are retiring to France, you should also ask for form S1. Formerly known as the E106/E121), this is a certificate of entitlement to health care in another EU country, which takes away the need to pay French social security health contributions. You should still apply for you EHIC and consider top up insurance.
To apply for this form, contact your DSS overseas branch.
International Pension Centre,
Tyneview Park,
Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE98 1BA,
United Kingdom.


There is a wide choice of international removal firms , but sometimes it’s nice to choose by recommendation or go with somebody who is a regulary in and out of the region. They will give you estimates for moving the contents of your property based on either information provided by you on the size of your home or by visiting your property. If you wish to leave furniture, etc in storage, many of these removal firms will also provide storage space.

Bear in mind that much of your British household content is unlikely to work in France. Did you know that French windows open inwards for example? That pretty well rules out pelmets and certain types of curtains.

Who to contact

Make sure that you send a forwarding address to all agencies who might need to contact you when abroad, particularly your local tax office who will send you the necessary forms to fill in to apply for possible tax rebates, exemptions etc.

☛ Contact your local council to find out where you stand concerning Council Tax (you may be eligible for a refund).
☛ Arrange to have your mail forwarded by asking for a re-direction form at a Post Office. For further details and cost go to
☛ Notify gas, electricity, telephone, TV licence and other service providers for meter readings and final bills. Make sure you give them a forwarding adress to send bills or refunds.
☛ Inform your bank or building society and leave a forwarding address in order to continue to receive statements etc.
☛ If you have children of school age, notify the school/local Education Authority. Check out everything you need to know about the ‘Education Nationale‘ in France, its school programs and expectations. Find out what you can about the schools in the area to which you are moving.

Decide what to do with your car.

If you are keeping it and taking it to France, you need to bear in mind the following.
☛ Driving a right hand drive car on the right can cause all kinds of problems. (Sorry for stating the obvious!)
☛ It is really not difficult to find a reasonably priced second hand car in France and will save you a great deal of time and money in the long run, as well as having a resale value, unlike a right hand drive vehicle.
☛ Very few English insurance companies will insure for permanent or even temporary relocation abroad. You will have to reregister an English car, a procedure which can be quite costly and lengthy (3 – 6 weeks or more).
☛ Many French insurance companies will insure you whilst they are waiting for confirmation of your new registration document (carte grise).


Leave a Comment