Tax on empty housing: how not to pay it

This is a tax that many owners will have to be wary of. The tax on empty homes is expanding and will, from 2024implemented in all authorized municipalities, unless the municipal council decides otherwise, as stated in the Modem appendix voted on December 6, 2023, as part of a financial account. All owners of vacant apartments located in municipalities where the rate of second housing is higher than 20% or 7,672 municipalitiesas stated in the amendment.

Faced with strong tensions in the rental market, more and more cities want to use this system. For example, the municipal community of the Basque Country decided to introduce a tax from January 1, 2024. If it was already in force, it was only valid in about sixty municipalities out of 109. From now on, all cities in the city community will be affected. However, before you panic, it is good to consult a few cases that allow you to escape this tax. For example, furnished second apartments, already subject to housing tax, are exempt from free housing tax.


This owner has to pay for empty housing while his apartments are squatted

Involuntary vacancy: how to prove it?

Please note that if the accommodation is vacant for reasons beyond your control, it may not be taxed. It remains to prove to the tax authorities that the property you want to rent corresponds to the market. For example, if you try to rent a two-room apartment of 35 meters in Nantes for 1,200 euros per month, while the average is around 500 euros, the tax administrator will assume that the accommodation is free because of you and you will be liable for the tax. Also, make sure that the DPE of your accommodation corresponds to the schedule according to the Climate Act. Remember it from 1 January 2025, all category G accommodation will be prohibited to rent. You will also need to prove that you have tried to rent accommodation by creating a copy of a real estate advertisement published on classifieds portals. You will then be entitled to submit a complaint to the tax authorities online at impot.gouv or by post with acknowledgment of receipt to your tax centre. Please note that filing a claim does not exempt you from paying tax. However, you can request a payment suspension. The administration then has 6 months to answer. If accepted, you will receive a notice of concessions or restitution and any overpayments will be refunded.

Mobility leasing for short-term rentals

The texts state that if the accommodation is occupied more than 90 days immediately in the year, the owners are not liable for the tax on unoccupied housing. You can rent at least 3 months of your accommodation, for example through renting mobility, and thus avoid tax on unoccupied housing. Remember that the benefit of a mobility lease is that it can only be taken out for one month’s rental and cannot be extended or renewed. If the landlord cannot accept any deposit, you are automatically covered by this rental agreement, Visale’s unpaid rent guarantee. So you are assured that you will get your accommodation back as it is and you can be sure that your rent will be paid.


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No housing tax for renovation

Finally, note that housing requiring major work to make it livable is exempt from the vacant housing tax. This rule applies from the moment the price of the work exceeds 25% of the value of the property.

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