A lot of the things below will be written into your mutual agreement.
Should you not find the answer here, contact us, we're always happy to help.
How can I see what I'm actually buying
If you want to visit and view it can easily be arranged, depending on availability. Our plan is to let you book 2 nights at the Chateau for €160 which will be refundable if you decide to become a co-owner. This should avoid time wasters and give us both a chance to meet each other. Alternatively you can always watch the TV show (links will be up when they allow us to post them) or click around here and our other sites below which seem to acquire more photos every year.
When can I actually start?
We need a minimum number of co-owners to make the project viable and we already have a few interested people. When we get the number required to proceed we'll organise the yearly rotation rosta and it will all begin. Meantime your money will be held in escrow at a French bank for up to six months and only released to us when we have enough co-owners.After six months you can either decide to keep it there for a further six months or have it refunded without penalty.
How does the Time Share element work?
This is not Time Share, this is Part Ownership for 25 years– plain and simple but obviously there are similarities with Time Share regarding the usage. We will produce a rotational chart detailing your personal usage periods. You will get 5 weeks a year divided over different periods of the year according to a rotating schedule. In practice there’ll obviously be a bit of juggling here with ourselves being the final arbiters in case of a conflict but we are taking advice from other people who have a lot of experience with this and they assure us that usually the ten owners get to know each other fairly quickly and sort things out among themselves.
Who are my other co-owners?
The short answer is we don’t know but the people who seem to be interested already are English, French and Dutch and thus far are professional people who have fallen in love with the Chateau & the area like we did and seem genuinely a very nice bunch. A few have become our friends already and we hope that this will be the case for everyone who comes in. As an aside to this every co-owner has to go through a due diligence process (as we have) which should give you some re-assurance that your co-owners are all bona fide and where there are any problems it's in everybody's interest to solve things amicably.
Can I sell my fraction?
Yes, whenever you like for whatever price you wish. The Sink Fund part will be non refundable though.
Can I jointly buy shares with friends and family?
Yes, you can buy fractions as an individual or as a syndicate.
Can I buy more than one fraction?
Yes, of course you can
What happens if someone doesn’t pay their site fees?
Their use of the Gite will be suspended and their time allocation rented until the outstanding debt is settled either by the owner or the rental income.
Can I sub-let the Gite?
Any periods of your residency entitlement which you are unable or do not wish to use you may either offer these to other co-owners, friends or family with or without fees changing hands. However commercial letting is not allowed.
Water Gas Electricity (utilities usage)
Utilities will all be metered when you arrive & leave so you should only pay for what you use. At time of writing we’re are hoping to install meters that send out a reading every 15 minutes to a site that everyone can access and keep track of their own costs, this is the "utilities usage" variable element in your site fees.
How do we replace things?
Part of your site fees include a non refundable (if you sell) sink fund of €150 per year to cover long term replacement of things like dishwashers, bed linen, furniture and water heaters etc., which we think should cover everything that will need replacing plus any general wear and tear and redecorating etc.. All furnishings and machines are fully guaranteed for the first six months of normal use following the start of usage by the first buyers. The building is 168 years old, it’s in outstanding condition and well insured but your Sink Fund will be there to cover anything we can’t predict.
Can I do what I like?
Yes and no. It is a listed building so the exterior is protected. Similarly conventions of good neighbourliness are as implicit here as they are in any civilized society. If you trash the place you’ll have to pay for it but in practice the co owners can customize the place to their heart’s content as long as everyone consents to it. Everyone includes ourselves; we think that is the easiest way of solving any conflicts that might arise. Otherwise essentially it’s leave as you find. You can rent it to family and friends but commercial exploitation is prohibited.
2 cars per fraction owner are allowed in the grounds at one time. This also applies if you have 2 owners of one fraction; sorry there just isn’t the space for more. You will have your own designated spaces that are only for use by people using your Gite. Don’t worry there’s plenty of extra parking nearby if needed and eventually your Gite will have its own entrance from the road.
What happens if you guys leave?
At the moment we are in charge of managing everything so your occupancy is worry free and couldn't be easier. If for any reason we have to stop doing that (and there are no plans to do so) then we will be contractually obliged via the mutual contract to find another agency to fully take over our role before we go. Since this is a popular holiday area there are many agencies who deal with holiday site management etc. so this shouldn’t be difficult. But there are currently no plans for this to happen.
Recycling & Rubbish
There are dedicated yellow containers nearby for recycling plastics, packaging, cans & paper etc. Other non recyclable organic waste is for the green containers and glass goes in the community recycling a couple of hundred meters down the road. We think this is a much easier system than either the UK or NL. If you can, save your bottle tops for Guide dogs. Also Nespresso capsules can be recycled.
Animals and smoking
No smoking allowed in the gites. There is a terrace but please please empty the ash tray, or carry a portable one. Breach of this will cost €100, sorry- we don’t know how else to prevent it. Animals are also not allowed for obvious reasons though there are kennels etc. we can put you in touch with.
Both Gites contain a TV for playing Dvds & DVD player
Who do we ring if there’s a problem?
We will take care of any maintenance that needs doing and help for whatever you need won’t be far away. We will also manage everything pertaining to the Chateau, including bills, taxes, insurance, storm damage etc. etc. In short all your liaisons with the French system and it's notorious complexities are taken care of.
This is a bit involved. Beds will be clean and made on arrival. Obviously you will need to leave the place largely as you find it, emptying bins etc. and readying used bed linen to be picked up by the laundry service. These charges are calculated as part of your variable costs. At the end of each week the gite will be cleaned by a professional cleaning company and the beds will be made with two hours allowed for this, should more time be needed you will be charged. Should less time be needed the cleaners will use it to deep clean where they can and the gite will be deep cleaned from time to time on top of this. Since you have 5 weeks use of the gite, 5 cleanings are calculated into your fixed costs, should you require more cleaning you can arrange to have this done. There are two free weeks in the year for us to sort out anything that needs to be done.