The costs of running a gite in France: can you make a profit?
Costs largely depend on where your B&B is located, its size, and the standards you set for your business. A “one-size-fits-all” model is practically impossible. That said, the following information is food for thought and is arguably a good starting point to start deciphering your potential costs, especially if you’re building a business from scratch.
If you’re buying from an established business, ask to see the books. It might be wise to ask questions and also find out about the maintenance and repair program of the current owners.
Monthly and annual running costs
Most of the expected running costs of owning a property will also apply to your gite.
Business property contributions OR Residence tax
Annual property taxes and professional taxes vary depending on whether the gîte is LMP or LMNP, that is to say Professional or non-professional, depending on the turnover. Also, the department in which the gite is located, as taxes vary from place to place.
Social Charges or Annual Tax Return
Social charges and income tax must be paid on all income generated, depending on your personal financial situation and whether you are working or not working.
Insurance separate from your main residence is required – a special policy will be needed to cover your property as a gite and your guests as a public company.
Don’t underestimate this as a real cost. Think about how you could reduce your electricity costs through energy saving measures – replacing an electric hob with a gas version, installing eco-light bulbs, removing electric kettles, insulating, etc. This will be both a positive step for the environment and for your pocket.
Also pay attention to off-season prices. Renters often expect cheaper rates in winter as it is considered “off season”, but when two people can have electricity bills of almost 300 euros per month in winter, you should set your rates with care if you wish to open outside of the summer months.
Read our guide to electricity in your French property: energy suppliers, tariffs and installations
As above, if town gas. If it’s bottled gas, figure out how long a bottle can last and how much you’ll need per year. Read our guide to gas in your French property: town gas, gas tanks and bottled gas
Factor water costs into your rental charges and monitor your bills to watch for leaks as well. Read our guide to water supply and drainage for your French property
Central heating boilers, sweeping and wood
It is generally an insurance requirement that chimneys be swept annually by a registered professional. Central heating boilers should also be serviced annually. Also be sure to calculate fuel or wood costs, if applicable – fuel oil can be expensive and a winter rental can use up to five cubic meters or more of wood depending on outside temperatures.
Read our guide to options for heating your home in France
Bedding, towels, tea towels and bath mats should be washed, dried and ironed between guests. Duvets require regular dry cleaning and do not normally fit in a standard washing machine. Pillow protectors, mattresses and duvets will need to be replaced periodically.
If you provide customers with cleaning supplies, dish towels, toilet rolls, paper towels, washing up liquid, etc., all of these costs should be factored into your budget.
Maintenance of your gite
Maintenance needs can be a significant expense, both short-term and long-term.
General Maintenance – Interior
The decoration requires at least “touch-ups” every year and a complete decoration every two years in high traffic areas and according to the frequency of rental of your gite. Longer term rentals inevitably mean increased wear and tear on all items which is an additional cost to consider.
Take into account any monthly or annual general maintenance charges. For example, carpets/rugs/mats will need to be cleaned or replaced; tablecloths should be washed, cleaned and replaced. Beds, chairs and other furniture may be broken or worn out. It’s a good idea to have spare plugs, faucets and toilet seats on hand.
General maintenance – exterior
Also consider maintenance needs on the exterior. For example, roofs will need to be checked, shutters will need to be repaired and repainted, exterior walls will need to be repainted, gravelled driveways will need to be resurfaced, doors and exterior furniture will need to be maintained or repainted, weeding and gardening will need to be done. be done. regularly, and play areas/playground items will need to be checked for safety and replaced periodically.
Wooden garden furniture requires annual maintenance and should be strong enough to last more than two seasons. Metal furniture rusts and may need annual painting. Plastic deck chairs often break and need to be replaced as plastic can deteriorate in the sun. Parasols, if left unattended by guests, can easily be broken by a gust of wind. All of the above items are relatively expensive to replace on a regular basis, so consider your own setting and guest rules.
Plants and Flowers
Annual bedding plants for pots and baskets provide a pleasant and warm lodging. Year-round planting also helps reduce temperatures associated with paved or walled areas and can prevent flooding problems.
Fire controls and alarms
Fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and fire blankets should all be provided. It is advisable to call on an approved company to carry out a fire control and provide fire extinguishers adapted to each gîte. These will be checked and replaced annually. Alarms should be purchased, checked regularly and batteries replaced.
Running a pool includes the cost of chlorine, salt and cleaners, water costs for topping up (which can be a weekly task in high season), plus utility costs. ARS (Regional Health Agency) if necessary. Outdoor showers, footbaths, deckchairs and umbrellas should also be maintained.
Trade costs and upgrades
You will also want to consider the costs of promoting and improving your gite business in France.
If you use well-known online travel agency platforms, remember to increase your prices to account for their expensive commission – sometimes close to 20%. If you pay a fixed fee to a company or companies, keep track because the costs can add up. Read our guide to marketing your gite business in France: top tips
If you want to have your gite listed, do your research as prices vary. This is a once in five year cost. Read our guide to gite classification in France: how and why to classify your gite
The public must be able to find you, and the signs are quite important. Check with your Mayor, as ‘Wild Signs’ (homemade signs) are generally not welcome.
Hosting fees and, if you want to employ a web designer, annual fees for their work.
Roost transitions and management
If you employ staff to help with changes, gardening or managing your property in any way, make sure they are registered and fully insured. This also applies to pool maintenance companies – make sure the company is registered, insured and recommended. As a rough guide, an average three bedroom property can take 4 hours or more to clean depending on how it was left, so it may or may not be cost effective to hire a professional company to take care of these changes.
Appliances and furniture will eventually need to be replaced – fridge seals deteriorate, bed legs can break, sofas need updating, etc., and these need to be factored into your home budget. long-term business. Feedback from your guests can determine areas of improvement you want to make.
The installation of shutters, insulation, rain catchers, compost bins, gravelled areas or gardens, water reducers on taps, smaller cisterns, showers, reduction of plastics, etc., can save money later.
Welcome packs for guests
Some landlords don’t offer a welcome pack at all; others leave a simple bottle of wine, while others might leave a basket of local produce. Whatever your decision, the costs must be taken into account.