Renting a secondary residence

A secondary residence can be a costly investment, especially due to the resulting expenses, maintenance and taxes. Groupe Mercure advises renting your secondary residence as a solution.

Owners of holiday homes, beachfront apartments or mountain chalets only use their secondary residence a few weeks in the year. When considering the commonhold service and maintenance fees, heating costs, local taxes, property taxes, housing taxes, etc. the investment may not seem worth it. So it’s understandable that owners decide to give seasonal renting a try to cover their expenses or even to finance a holiday in another location.

What are the steps?

You must contact the city council where your secondary residence is located to find out about your responsibilities. No matter how long the rental is for, a declaration is required, and failing to do so could lead to a fine of up to €450. Please note that there may be more constraints in municipalities with a tight rental market and where the high number of seasonal rentals aggravates the housing crisis.

If your property is part of a shared property or commonhold, check the regulations. They might contain a “habitation bourgeoise” clause which may prohibit commercial use of the property, therefore preventing seasonal rentals. 

Do not forget to inform your insurance agent that you are letting out your apartment or house. Check that you will be covered by your civil liability insurance in case of physical injury inflicted upon a tenant as a result of your property and be sure to determine what type of water and fire damage insurance you want to set up with holidaymakers.


When booking, the owner of a secondary residence is required to give future tenants a descriptive statement of the rental property.

In following, the tenancy agreement must be signed in two copies when the down payment is made (often 30% of the total rental amount). This may occur several months before the tenant enters the property. The agreement must include the price and fees, the duration of the rental period, the tenant’s arrival and departure dates, and the exact address of the rented property.

The security deposit typically does not exceed 20% of the total rent. The contract must set out the refund conditions for the deposit, preferably immediately following the end of the rental period or no later than ten days after.

Amenities that meet tenants’ high expectations

Seasonal renting is a fast-growing and increasingly competitive market. Therefore it is important to meet the requirements of tenants who have increasingly high expectations.

  • Amenities that will help your advertisement stand out include a swimming pool, exercise equipment, beds ready on arrival, toiletries, DVD player, high-tech TV or Satellite TV (i.e. Canal with 200 channels), Apple Sat, Netflix, and most importantly high-speed, unlimited internet.
  • A personalised welcome with a potential concierge service is a bonus
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