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French Leaseback As A Different Investment

Mar 8, 2008
Looking for an investment, I decided to try my hand at a new small business. I already have in the UK but was looking for something different. I was looking for something that would be as safe as possible, where I would be working with young people but I was also considering investing my money abroad. Any excuse to get overseas away from the UK's drab weather and into a warmer climate.

During my search for the perfect investment, I came across the idea of French leaseback. Apparently, this would be a business with the added bonus of saving me wads of tax money. I dislike paying tax immensely. It grates that I work so hard and so much of my money disappears in the direction of the Inland Revenue.

It turns out there are a few specialist companies in France that can help anyone looking for a French leaseback investment. France is low on accommodation for certain groups of people including corporate travellers, the elderly and students. These companies can show investors suitable properties that can be converted easily with the government's permission.

A mortgage on one of these properties is easily secured and I take on my French leaseback investment. It is a fairly large building housing 14 individual, ensuite rooms and a separate annexe. After some minor alterations, I am able to let the rooms to students.

I have let the flat to an onsite receptionist who can also take care of laundry facilities. These are some of the minor criteria that have to be provided to take advantage of the scheme. I let the annexe for 11 months at a time, giving me one month to take advantage of the accommodation and take a small holiday in the sun myself.

With the onsite staff, it means that the building is secure while I am in the UK and my French leaseback investment is well looked after. I have arranged for a French accounting firm to take care of all my finances as regards this property and the tax savings have proved enormous.

I received over 19% VAT back on the price of the property and my accountant informs me that every single expense regarding this property is tax deductable. This includes mortgage interest, property tax, accountants fees, transaction costs, stamp duty, an annual percentage for property depreciation and even an annual fee for furniture depreciation.

In fact, it has come about that none of my income is counted as profit. There is even some excess to carry over to the following year. Apparently, I am informed, that this method of perfectly legal accounting can continue year after year, with investors often not becoming taxable for near on thrity years. Easily within mortgage lifetime.

So, for the very nominal fee that the accountant charges me, which itself is tax deductable, I get a French leaseback property that provides me with a tax free income, a place to stay when I want to go on holiday - think I might try skiing this year - and an investment for the future. To top it all, any excess in deductibles can be carried over to my tax obligations in the UK thanks to a double taxation law that the UK has with France, bringing down my tax bill here also.

A win/win situation all round!
About the Author
Investments expert Catherine Harvey looks at the investment prospects of French leaseback properties. To find out more please visit http://www.premierfrenchleaseback.com/
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