2. Classification of Holiday Rentals

The various categories of holiday rental accommodation in France have an official classification, and sometimes a grade or rating.

This classification includes hôtels de tourisme, villages de vacances, chambres d'hôtes and résidences de tourisme. These will not be considered here as the guide is about renting independent forms of self-catered accommodation.

Beyond the collective accommodation there exists only one official grading and designation for rental properties.

The system is called meublés de tourisme, a form of official grading on a 1 to 5 point scale, based on an evaluation of over 100 characteristics of the property.

Those properties that do not obtain (or landlords who do not seek) this status are simply called meublés de tourisme non classes.

Whether meublés de tourisme classé or meublés non classés it is possible for landlords to apply for affiliation to one or other private labels, such as the Gîtes de France or Clévacances.

These privately accredited labels also have their own grading systems; in the case of Gîtes de France it is 1 to 5 ‘épis’, while for Clévacances it is 1 to 5 ‘clés’.

A gîte rurale is not necessarily classified by either body, so do not be confused by this generic name for a rural rental. The only legal definition of a gîte rurale is meublés de tourisme, whether or not classed.

Although the Gîtes de France is more widely known, their classification system is based primarily on the basis of the amenities available at the property, and not necessarily the quality of what is provided. This can, of course, sometimes mean that an otherwise good property has a lower rating because it lacks a particular amenity, or that a rather average property has a high rating. So you need to decide what works best for you, and use only the rating as a guide.

Many landlords consider that obtaining and maintaining access to these labels both expensive and laborious, so do not be put off considering other unaccredited property, but make sure you get full and accurate information about it.

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