Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Property maintenance for holiday homes

Property maintenance for holiday homes

Picture courtesy of
The house has gone and we have moved into our friends holiday home, as I have said for a long time, my only stipulation for our next house is an inside toilet, and guess what? We don't have one! Or a shower!!!!!

This is not a major problem as John will be fixing these and I am going to to the UK for the weekend to visit the family in 2 days.

Our first day in the new house is so strange, it is tiny compared to our last house and this evening we go out to celebrate and get a little tipsy, so I come straight home and go to bed (I don't notice the toilet and shower tonight!)

In the morning I do, when I have to go downstairs and outside, I can't believe I am doing this again! I pop to a friends to grab a shower and John tries to order a saniflo unit to replace the old one.

Many people buy houses in France and arrange to have work completed, the owners had paid a company to fit a new bathroom and do other work, whilst not living here, they had also paid for a company to look after the house and keep it clean.

Neither of these companies had done their jobs correctly but both had charged and been paid. We have heard many similar horror stories such as these and certain newspapers thrive on these horror stories. But there are simple steps you can take to prevent this (although most of hindsight is simple, that is the joy of hindsight!)

My advice is:

  • If you are not going to be here, always use a fully registered company with the correct insurance policies, they must have l’assurance décennale. This gives a 10 year guarantee, it also proves that the company or individual is fully compliant.
  • Click on this link for further advice French Property . Com
  • Arrange for a project manager to oversee the work, this could be a friend that you trust and is willing to go and inspect the work for you.
  • As a minimum ask for photographs to be sent to you so that you can see the work that is being completed.
  • And remember that if you have a lot of high quotes (building work is expensive in France) and then you get one very low quote, ask your self why it is so low (remember if something seems to good to be true it often is!!!!!)
  • The same goes for the property management companies if you hire one to look after your house.
  • Get somebody that comes with recommendations from people you know and trust
  • If you don't know anybody ask your estate agent to recommend a company
  • If you have to find one off the internet ask them to send photos when they arrive and when they leave so that you know how long they have been there and what they have done.

This all sounds very negative, but it does protect you as there are some unscrupulous people the world over, I personally would not have considered being this untrusting had I not seen the evidence and heard the stories.

But on a positive note there are many good people and companies, you just need to ensure that you follow the tips above (afterall these have come about from experience)

Any way back to the house, I am all packed to go to the UK and John is all set to put the new shower in whilst I am not here (I know this is really bad of me to disappear when the work needs doing but it is not a big job and I need to see the babies!)

I fly into East Mids (UK) and my daughter and granddaughter are there to pick me up, I always panic that she won't recognise me, but as soon as she sees me her arms are out and she runs too me shouting meme! She hasn't forgot me, and I didn’t need to buy all the stickers to bribe her with, she loves me any way!!!

I have the most amazing weekend and get to see baby Jamie (our newest addition!) the day after he is born, I feel guilty now on John as he misses seeing the baby, but we will both be back over soon for a proper holiday.

The weekend goes so quickly and I am back on the plane to France.

Bye Bye kids, love you all so much.

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