Classification of gîtes in France: how and why to classify your gîte

What is a gite? This may seem like an obvious question, but before attempting a classification, it’s wise to make sure your property meets the minimum criteria.

According to the law, a gite is considered as “furnished accommodation for the exclusive use of a temporary and seasonal tenant”.

To be qualified as “furnished”, the gîte must have:

  • Bed linen and a duvet
  • Curtains/window treatment
  • Kitchen equipment such as a hob, oven or microwave
  • A refrigerator and a freezer
  • Sufficient crockery, cutlery and equipment
  • A seat and a dining table
  • Shelves
  • Lights
  • Cleaners

You can find all the details here.

For a cottage, the rental is only seasonal; in other words, the tenant resides there for a temporary period. The maximum occupancy by the same tenant is 90 days or 12 consecutive weeks.

To rent your accommodation, you must have permission from your local town hall, and there is a form to fill out. It is advisable to speak to your Mayor first, after which you can register online here.

Owners should ensure that the appropriate insurance is in place, which is different from standard home insurance, and the gite should also comply with health, safety and fire legislation. Your Mayor or local Tourist Office can advise you on this.

If you plan to allow your guests access to a swimming pool, find out about public safety laws. No one wants anyone to get hurt, or worse, so do your homework carefully. Besides potentially having a tragedy on your conscience, the fines can be hefty and ruinous. Be warned.

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