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Best ways to rent a home for a month?

What are the best sites for renting a home for a month in France? We would prefer a village setting so we could walk to markets and bicycle, but near a train line.

Posted by
6647 posts

Also check out VRBO, Homeaway. com, and Airbnb. In a smaller town or village there is not the legality issue that Paris is dealing with so these are reliable sights to find rentals.

Posted by
3175 posts

I rented a house in Burgundy in 2013. I used Abritel.fr, which is part of the HomeAway group.

Posted by
509 posts

We had good luck with VRBO/HomeAway in Bayeux and Provence (L'Isle sur la Sorgue). (Also in Paris, but that's now more problematic.) More recently, success with AirBnB in western Austria and Prague. Study the reviews carefully and you likely won't be disappointed.

Posted by
809 posts

We use Gites de France for our weeklong rental in the Loire valley. How is your French? Some of the prices on the French-language site were much cheaper than on the English site.

Posted by
436 posts

Despite the company name, www.VacationInParis.com has properties all over France. We've used them in the past and have found them to be honest, helpful and well-informed about their listings.

Posted by
2466 posts

What time of year are you thinking of going to France?

I only suggest that you get a heated swimming pool, if you get a gite.

Almost every village has an outdoor town market. Look for it near the Hotel de Ville.

Posted by
206 posts

Airbnb, some offer discounts for longer stays.

Posted by
3346 posts

If you have your own home you might also consider exchanging homes with someone. We do this frequently and have had great experiences. We'll be trading homes with a family in the Marais in Paris for 3 weeks this summer. Check out homeexchange.com.

Posted by
2466 posts

www.sabbaticalhomes.com might work for you if you have the time it takes to find someone to exchange with. You don't have to be an academic to qualify.
You might have a lawyer draw up a contract so everything is on the up-and-up.

Posted by
2916 posts

We've used Gites de France (www.gitesdefrance.com) for about 30 years. With some places the rental is done directly with the owner, whereas many are through the GDF web site. We've always gone for the latter. But while it's easy to rent w/o speaking French, it can sometimes be an issue making the final arrangements for meeting up with the owner if you don't speak French.

Posted by
181 posts

We've rented from gites de france three times in the past and have a fourth gite rented for later this year. We have a car and prefer to be in the country side. When we first rented in 2001 I was advised by a frequent gite renter(they go several times a year) that if I wanted a popular location and wanted to get my first choice that I should rent as soon as rentals were opened for the next year, e.g. I rented my 2018 gite in late September/early October 2017.

Posted by
8 posts

Since the last couple of postings are much appreciated and are from experienced Gite renters, would any of you know if Americans must pay the VAT if payments are made from the U.S. prior to traveling to France. I am renting a Gite for a week (680€) and wonder if I have to pay the VAT? Thank you.

Posted by
2916 posts

, would any of you know if Americans must pay the VAT if payments are made from the U.S. prior to traveling to France.

Based on your other post (which I just read), I think you now know that the answer is "Yes."

Posted by
7006 posts

There are tons of sites where you can rent vacation cottages, condos etc. We have done it in several small towns in France. Gites du France is one such site, but we have usually gone based on reviews and recommendations. Expect to pay about 3 weeks rent for a month. In rural areas often the monthly rent is 2.5 the weekly rent. But 3 weeks for a month is quite typical. There are huge savings for landlords in having someone guaranteed for a month with no gaps and not having to do the between tenant cleaning so often. In rural areas the rentals usually run Sat to Sat of a week; for a month they might be more flexible. The problem of course is finding a vacancy for a whole month in a single place; this probably is easier outside high tourist season (and you often get better deals then).

Posted by
181 posts

The price you see for the gite is what you will pay except for the add on's that are listed on the gite rental page, eg linen, towels. Definitely no VAT is added on.

Posted by
4125 posts

For a month, I would consider seeing what an agency has to offer.

Many years ago, following a recommendation from Europe Through the Back Door, we found a 2-week rental though France: Homestyle, which is based in Seattle. We were very pleased. I understand they are still in business.

Posted by
7006 posts

The whole point of a VAT tax is that it is not 'added on'; it is built into the cost of everything.

Posted by
2466 posts

Since you are not carrying anything back, so to speak, you don't have to pay VAT.
You might have to pay a tourist room tax, though.

Posted by
2916 posts

Definitely no VAT is added on.

Unlike our sales taxes in the US, VAT is not added on, but rather is already included, and thus "hidden." I like the fact that when you see a restaurant menu price, that's the total price; no added tax, no tip. When you get the bill, though, you can see the breakdown showing how the VAT has been factored in.

Posted by
2916 posts

would be best if one of the hosts speaks decent English--or you speak good French. This can also be a big issue if problems arise.

This can be very significant. As I mentioned previously, you can rent through Gites de France on-line w/o knowing any French. But there have been occasions where speaking French (unless the host speaks English) became necessary, such as rentals in the countryside that were hard to find.

Posted by
2916 posts

I was given to understand that the wife (the named host on AirBnb) spoke English, but she really didn't.

That is sometimes the case. For example, the Gites de France listings include flags of countries whose language is spoken by the host(s), but I think the criteria for "spoken" is pretty loose. But it sounds like you had a very unusual, bad situation. In 25+ years of renting house in France we've never had a serious issue, once we made our connection and got into the house.

Posted by
2466 posts

I put my baguette in plastic bags all the time.
Dampen it, then put in the oven - if you have one.