Renting out your property could be a smart financial move.
Tough times call for thrifty measures - and that applies to homes abroad. Sliding Sterling rates and rising maintenance costs have made many previously reticent owners consider renting out their holiday homes for part of the year.
However there is a good news for homeowners looking for income. Budget-conscious holidaymakers are turning away from hotels for the cheaper option of a rental pad.
Hugh Atkins of Pure France has seen rental demand increase each year since he set up the company in 2002. The company charges 12 per cent commission (10 per cent plus VAT) to advertise on its site, and offers 500 upmarket homes, all with pools, in the Loire Valley, Dordogne, Provence and the Languedoc-Roussillon.
Average high-season weekly rent is 2,190 Sterling and Hugh and his business partner visit every property, rejecting 60 per cent of what they see. French houses often don't have enough bathrooms, says Hugh. The number one rental request is for a good bedroom-to-bathroom ratio. A house in the Languedoc with five ensuite bedrooms is one of our most in-demand properties.
Hugh Atkins of Pure France lists his tips for finding a perfect French rental property.
More expensive property don't always provide a higher return on your investment. Good news for those without mega budgets.
It is essential to be within walking distance or a short drive of local facilities.
You need to be close to one. The Languedoc does well with 10 local airports.
A private pool is a must.
The South of France has 300 days of sunshine a year and is good for short-haul UK travellers.
Choose a property with a high bedroom-to-bathroom ratio.